Special interest groups: latest report

Here is current information about our Special Interest Groups: what went on last time, what is coming up, etc. Here is a list of all our Groups’ names

July  2019

We have two New Groups running I will add them to the Group List on my return from holiday. Information for Dance and Bowls is at the end of the report

Art Appreciation/History Group

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The next meeting of the group will be on Thursday July 4th at 2 pm at The Fielden Centre.  2019 is the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death so the group will be viewing and discussing the  DVD “Rembrandt, from the National Gallery London and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam“. This mainly features his later work.  New members are welcome to join the group.  Please contact the convenor for more information.

Art Club

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The next meeting of our Art Club will take place at 11 am – 1 pm at the Fielden Centre, Todmorden, on Tuesday, 30th July, 2019, when we will be exploring our programme over the next few weeks. There are a few places available for new members of the group.

Beginners Modern Greek Group

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The Greek class is still in recess. Re-commencing last week in September. 

Coffee Club

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The Coffee Club will shortly be changing venue.  On Monday 5/8/19 they will meet at The Polished Knob about 11am as usual.

However, on Monday 2/9/19, they will meet at Honest John’s.  Honest John’s address is 6 Rochdale Road OL14 5AA (the old Bank building) it is intended that all subsequent meetings will be held there.

Although it opens at 1030am members probably won’t arrive until 11am or slightly later, they usually leave about noon.  It is a ‘drop in’ so some stay the full hour & others just for quarter of an hour

All U3A Todmorden members are very welcome.

Concert Party

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If anyone has a friend or relative In a care home or similar and would like us to entertain, if it is in reasonable range, please contact Rita We are looking forward to another 10 years of fun.        No new information.

Craft Group

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At the following session on  Maddie will be explaining pattern drafting. Otherwise its catch-up. Members interested in possibly joining the group should contact the convenor for more information.

Creative Writing

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The creative writing group continues to meet and have fun whilst being creative at our usual venue (TCRC rooms) at 2.00 to 4.00pm on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. This month we had a very informative and inspiring session lead by Ryan Greaves a local playwright and performer/actor.

Our themes for July will be: –

“The Debt”         and/or   “On Second Thoughts”.

French Conversation

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Next french conversation group will be next Monday, June 17th, Community Room at the Fire Station.

French: ‘An Improvers Group’

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It’s good to welcome new members to sample what we do. 2 more sessions on 15th & 29th July before we break for the summer. Back 30th September. We’re getting to grips with the Future tense and all the essential vocabulary & constructions to talk about our holiday plans. What better topic when the sun is shining, or even when it’s raining & you’re looking for an escape!

German Group

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I missed 2 sessions during a break in Orkney, but the Group were fine without me. Aware, however, that we were making only marginal progress, while having fun, we spent 2 sessions entirely on grammar. Horror of horrors! I was surprised, though, how enthusiastic the Group were, especially when dealing with German’s notorious participial phrases. It seems,then, that all the reading we’ve done in order to absorb the language rather than hammering away at grammatical complexities is beginning to have an effect. Next week we’ll reading a comic piece by Kurt Tucholsky on Advice for a Bad Speaker (he shows how to make things worse). 1920s humour. He ends with a virtually incomprehensible ‘sentence’. Let’s hope the Group gets it – the humour of appalling writing/speaking. I think they will.

 Golf for Fun

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The usual suspects have returned this year. TGC have been very generous and allowed the U3A golfers to join as Social Members and play golf after the Golf for Fun course finishes at the “Visitors with a Member” green fee…Many thanks to the Captain Keith Lacey for his help with this……….

Let’s Go

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The next Let’s Go trip is on Tuesday 16th July when we will visit Erdigg near Wrexham. Please contact Linda Cook on 01706 817254 or email landcook@talktalk.net for further information. 

Lunch Club

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(details always emailed to members. If you want to join the group please contact the convenor) 

The August Meeting of the Lunch Club will be held at The Glen View Inn, 853 Burnley Road, Cornholme,  on Friday 23rd August at 12.30pm. 

The meeting has been organised by Peter and Irene Gibson.  Early booking is recommended for this event as there are only 24 places available.

Whilst there are limited places available on this occasion, there is no limit on membership of the Lunch Club and if anyone wants to join they should contact the convenors: Dave Tyas or Gisela Lea-McCann. 

Mah Jong

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We continue to meet during the summer, furthermore, we only stop for Christmas week, such is our need to sit down each week with the tiles..

We now have 24 members, and new members, including beginners, are still welcome.  If you’re interested, please contact Harriet [ha@blurrededges.co.uk ] for more details about how you may join us.   (Please note ….meets…. 3pm until 5pm)


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We continue to meet on alternate Tuesdays from 10 till 12. With a regular attendance of four we are at present meeting at my house (59, Well Lane, Todmorden).  In the warmer months we have been able to meet in Bridgeholme Cricket Club Pavilion, but we’ve opted for comfort during the winter!

Members bring their own recordings to share – most of it is what would e thought of as ‘classical’ music, but we interpret that pretty freely.

We’d welcome new members, though if we got up to eight we might get a bit short of room.  Also it’s impossible to park anywhere close to the house.  Ring me on 01706 839115 if you’re thinking of coming along, and I’ll tell you how to get there.

Novel Appreciation

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July’s meeting was given over to discussing ‘Waterland’ by Graham Swift, a tour de force of storytelling and a one-off in this novelist’s career in terms of its narrative eccentricities. The narrator, constructively dismissed Head of History, Tom Crick, tells us the story of his life and that of the Fens mostly in the form of a record of what he has, outrageously, been telling his A Level pupils in their lessons instead of teaching them the French Revolution. This covers the history of the Fens and in particular the brewing family of the Atkinsons whose last surviving scion was his mother, his ‘imbecile’ brother, his PTSD father, incest, murder, sex, abortion, madness, and is overall a consideration of what history is and how it affects us.

There were varying responses to the elaborately convoluted plotting and to the long periodic sentences, which the convenor urged everyone to look at rhetorically: if you understand how the narrator is presenting his material, you have a better chance of grasping what he means (as well as admiring his technique). So we encountered the terms periodic, hypotaxis, parataxis and syndeton, asyndeton and polysyndeton, and learning was given an opportunity to take place.

We have our summer break now, and will be reading ‘Blackberry Wine’ (and ‘Chocolat’) by Joanne Harris for Monday, September 2nd at 11.00 in Todmorden Library.

 Old English

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We continue to meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month in the upstairs room at the Stubbing Wharf pub, 1:30 – 3:00.

We are continuing to work through our textbook and other examples of Anglo-Saxon literature. Anyone interested in the group should contact Emily for further information.

This group is now full…………………..

Opera Appreciation

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Our next meeting is on July 9th  at 1.15pm in the upstairs room of the Stubbing Wharf Pub Hebden Bridge. Keith Coates will be convening the meeting. New members are welcome. No prior knowledge of opera required. Please contact Keith Coates or Sue Nightingale if you are interested in joining us.


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At our only meeting in June we looked at using filters while the photo topic was “random situations”. This month we are looking at “Chimneys” for our photo topic and learning about producing photo books. At our second July meeting we have a guest speaker (Tony Fisher) who will be showing some mountain photography.

Photography Group Two

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Our meeting are usually on the 2nd Tuesday/monthly. We will be at Todmorden Fire Station Community Room. No new information

Poetry Appreciation

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 A leisurely meeting in June with two apologies, so lots of time to discuss. Next month’s meeting will be on 12th July, with poems on the theme of ‘colour’.

Poetry Enjoyment

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Last month’Some really excellent poems. It felt to be a very full meeting in many ways. The next meeting with poems on the theme of ‘observation’.

Practical Art

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Our subject over the last few sessions has been flowers. Before we take a break in August, we’re going to look at the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe. In the last meeting we experimented with painting in her semi abstract style in as many different mediums as possible. This week we go to the Gordon Riggs garden centre to photograph or sketch, looking into the heart of the flowers, and rounding off the morning by meeting in the cafe. Our last session we shall be painting from the research and finishing off the year with a Jacob’s Join lunch.


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The Psychology group met in July and had a lively discussion about psychological aspects of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. We looked at each character and wondered what was going on for them. And then at the play as a whole.

In August we are exploring Sleep and Dreams.

Quiz Group

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The next Quiz is on the 25th July at 10.00 in the Central Methodist. We are full at the moment no more members allowed. 

Readers Group (3 Valley Readers)

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Three Valleys Readers will meet at Fire Station Community Room from now on. No new information

Science Group

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Our summer break has now begun and so there will be no Science Group meetings until September 11th. When we resume we will continue the course on botany and complete the course on structures. There are three new courses available to start on September 25th. The topics are neuroscience, the science of birds, or an appreciation of mathematics.

Scrabble 1

See contact details and information about the group — Please phone for details.

We meet every other Friday, as a very friendly group of like minded people, in the Central Methodist room. Usually 8 or 9 of us make up this very friendly group. Anyone welcome to join, but could you please call the Convenor for further details.

Scrabble 2

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Between 12 and 15 of us meet to play Scrabble on the first and third Mondays of each month. We have a very welcoming venue at the Golden Lion, Rochdale Road, Todmorden. We have room for new members. anyone wanting to come along can contact me or just turn up on the day.

Social History

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We are now discussing the autobiography by JR Clynes set in late Victorian Oldham .

This looks at his early life in cotton and his journey to improve himself especially in reading .Next month we will read Sam Bamford’s account of Peterloo .

Table Tennis & Badminton

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Table tennis/ badminton is full at the moment and we have a waiting list. Anyone wishing to be added to the list please contact Ernie Rogan; 01706 812015 arlineandernie@tiscali.co.uk

Sandra Lambshead, Convenor, and Ernie Rogan, On Line Contact.

Tablet Club

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5 members turned up at the last meeting. I helped members set up their mail app and another move pictures from her phone to her iPad.

The next meeting will be on the 13th August.

Walking Group

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The group meets on the last Tuesday in each month and group members take it in turn to organise a suitable route.  Walks are usually around 4 to 5 miles in length and details of the walk, including starting point, starting time, approximate length and degree of difficulty, are sent out to the group by email a week or so beforehand.

“If anyone feels they are able to arrange a future walk please will you contact Peter or Bill ”

Wine Appreciation

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The next wine tasting will take place at The Fielden Cetre, upstairs room at 7:30pm on Friday 12th July.

As Roger and Sue will be away for the July wine tasting Roger has passed 4 bottles of wine to me. They are, with links to the tasting notes:

Farinelli Pinot Grigio 2018


Campanula Pinot Grigio


Riversong Carmenere 2018


El Chango Malbec 2018

It will be interesting to compare the Italian and Hungarian Pinot Grigios.

Please let me, Bob Hayter, know if you intend to join us. my email is


Will somebody please volunteer to supply some nibbles even if it is just bread and cheese.

World Affairs

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No new information. Please contact convenor for information.
New Groups


For information please contact  Fiona Ryland fio.a.ryland@gmail.com 

Mandy Hill and Fiona Ryland will be joint convenors for these sessions.

The dance group has now started, with sessions at the Dawn Chapman School of Dance. Victoria Road,Todmorden,OL14 5LP. 01706 839113. The sessions will be on Fridays 1.30 -2.30pm. Please arrive by 1.25pm for a prompt start.

The School of dance closes for the summer on 20th July, until 2nd September. Dawn will give us taster sessions on 5th, 12th and 19th July. Each session will be 30 minutes of two different types of dance. She will teach us Salsa, Line Dancing, Latin Dancing, Modern Ballroom and Sequence Ballroom. A decision as to which type of dances to learn in September will be made after these sessions. The cost of these sessions is £2.50p each session, to be paid on the day, please. But all three taster sessions can be paid for on the first day. Steph Haworth has volunteered to be our Treasurer.

Parking is difficult round the venue. There is small car park and parking is also possible in front of the factory on the road opposite the School of Dance. There is also a small car park opposite the entrance to the Centre Vale Park. Dawn requests that we do not park in front of local residents houses.

If you have any medical conditions that may impact on your dancing, please let Dawn  know, so that she can tailor her teaching to our needs. These conditions include mobility problems, knee and hip problems and balance problems, as well as hearing problems.
Wear hard soled shoes, not trainers, since they would cause too much friction on movement.

 All went well with our first taster session. Having to talked to Dawn, I  think, until we know how many of the group are actually going to attend (14 today out of a possible 35 who had not told me they were not coming – no problem) we need to close the group to any new comers. The room will be very full if everyone comes. We may need to start a second group so we will  start a waiting list.

Crown Green Bowls 

Crown Green Bowls please contact  Peter Carrigan

Seventeen members have signed up. So far, thirteen of us have enjoyed personal bowling sessions with experienced club members as well as structured bowls playing sessions with detailed observation, analysis and feedback by Peter Carrigan.

Joining the Group:

We meet at 1.30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the bowling club in Centre Vale Park, near to the leisure centre.

 Each session costs £3 per person, paid in cash on the day to Todmorden Bowls Association. There is a £20 pa cash option with no further fees – a recommended path if you intend to fit in 7 or more bowling sessions this season which ends on September 30 .

Our group started late in the season, yet allows for 31 U3A CGB bowling opportunities between 22 July and 30 September. A good 10 weeks or so.

Practical matters about equipment

1) Thanks to a U3A new group start-up grant, we have three sets of bowls in a range of sizes for U3A members to use if the clubhouse is closed.

2) When the Clubhouse is open, we have access to loan of the TBA stock of bowls, jacks, mats etc as well as modest refreshments.

3) In addition, several group members have spare sets of bowls, mats and jacks that they might bring along, especially if they know someone will use them.

Can’t bowl? Then sit down and enjoy watching learners at play!

My feeling is that we may be one of those rare bird U3A learning groups that may be readily observed and our behaviours analysed without the observer taking part. Nevertheless, I am sure that (unlike birds) our group members would welcome your presence, may even speak to you!


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