Special interest groups: latest report

Here is current information about our Special Interest Groups: what went on last time, what is coming up, etc.

This is a list of all our Groups.

January 2020

Art Appreciation/History

The next meeting of the group on Thursday February 6th will be a visit to Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.  The group have never visited before but there is a regular (fairly) train from Todmorden now.  The Museum currently has a National DesignLab exhibition of William Morris Wallpapers on loan from the V&A.  The March meeting of the group will be a talk by a group member who was a joint curator of Kehmscott one of Morris’s homes.   The gallery also has  several other exhibition on inc one of Japanese wood block prints inc a version of Hokusai’s The Wave and a significant proportion of Hiroshige’s 60 Odd Provinces and 53 Station of the Tokaido Road.  New members are welcome to join the group.  Please contact the convenor for more information.

Art Club

The next meeting of Art Club at the Fielden Centre, Todmorden, will take place from 11am to 1pm on Tuesday, 28th January, 2020.   Places are available for new members.

Beginners Modern Greek Group

The new sessions will begin on Thursday 13th February in the Saltonstal room in Hebden Bridge town hall.

Please contact me if interested.

Coffee Club

Our next meeting takes place at about 11am on Monday, 3rd February, 2020, at Honest John’s, Todmorden.   Open to all members.

Concert Party

If anyone has a friend or relative In a care home or similar and would like us to entertain, and if it is in reasonable range, please contact Rita. We took part in the Panto of Cinderella for U3A just before Christmas. Anyone interested in joining the group should contact Rita by phone.

Craft Group

The next meeting of the group will be on Friday January 17th at 10.30 at the Fielden Centre.  The topic for the session is ‘Crocodile stitch and other more unusual crochet stitches’. 

The session after this will be on January 31st.  This session will be a catch up session concentrating on Dementia mats and Twiddle Muffs.  NB If any U3A members knows of someone who could make use of one of the mats or  muffs please contact a group member.  No charge for these but a donation to a Dementia/Alzheimers charity is requested. In addition at the session some members will be working on  the Japanese style bag that we started a while ago.

Then on February 14th we shall be make a ‘Pig shaped toy’. 

There are now some spaces in the group.  Anyone interested should preferably contact the convenor or call into one of the group’s sessions at The Fielden Centre.

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing Group continues to meet and have fun at the TCRC rooms in Todmorden on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. At our first meeting of the year we had a very full house and just about fitted everyone in around the table! It was a very successful meeting with the usual laughter and entertaining writing. Our themes for February will be: –

“Review”            and/or            “Water”

Crown Green Bowling

Only available in the summer. Restarts April 2020 when we will send out details.


Dawn will build on what we learnt, which was, for those who missed the lessons last term, “square tango, waltz, social foxtrot, quickstep and Caribbean Calypso.” I have spoken to Dawn about the possibility of learning Jive. She is dubious about this, given that some of our members have minor balance problems, but would not cope with the fast twirls in Jive.

We have started the new term learning the waltz, sequence foxtrot and rock and roll.

European Film Group

Our new group ‘European Film Group’ will have its first meeting on Friday 10 January so we don’t yet have any ‘group activities’.

This new formal group has resulted from the enthusiasm shown by the 30 or so members who attended the 3 film screenings in November to mark the 30th anniversary of the ‘Fall of the Berlin Wall’.

French Conversation

We are having a post-Christmas lunch on Jan 13 meetings have restarted after Christmas break.

French: ‘An Improvers Group’

We have had a break over Christmas and are starting the New Year by having our post Christmas meal with the French Conversation group at the Hare and Hounds on Monday 13th January.

French Improvers sessions restart at the Fielden Centre 1pm to 3pm on Monday 20th January when we will start by telling the group 7 phrases, or short sentences in the past ( perfect) tense of what we did over Christmas and the New Year. New members are always welcome, please contact Gill Radford if you are interested. We are currently basing our sessions(loosely) on the BBC book,’ Talking the Talk French, How to Chat in Social Situations: Your indispensable Toolkit’ by Danièle Bourdais & Sue Finnie.

German Group

In the last few weeks we have been concentrating on chapter 9 of Themen aktuell 2. It deals with the elderly. Totally inappropriate for our group, of course, but interesting and entertaining all the same. Since chapter 10 is the last in the book, the question was whether we’d have a go at Themen aktuell 3. We decided we would.

Further good news: all things being equal we’re now going to have ‘our’ room back every week: the Fire Station community room. Many thanks to The Pub for looking after us for a long time now on the first Tuesday of the month. I’m sure we’ll be going back there when our bookings are overridden by Bikability later in the year.


Golf’s over for another year. 

The gang continue to play at Todmorden throughout the year so anybody wanting to join us is most welcome. They join Tod Golf Club as social members (£35.00) and get 4 x 9 holes included then pay £5.00 for 9 holes on dates that are decided among themselves.

Let’s Go

The next Let’s Go trip will be in the new year. Details to follow.

Lunch Club

Tuesday 21st January 2020 at 12.30 for 1 at “The Old Gate” Hebden Bridge.

This is situated on the main street through Hebden Bridge and the bus stops either way are near the Co-op. 

Gwen Goddard is the organiser on this occasion, and if you want to attend, please let her know by the 17th January.

Gwen’s telephone number is 01422 842558  and email address gwendolinemgoddard@gmail.com

Mah Jong

Our first meeting of 2020 started the year well, with 17 of us playing at 5 tables in the Snug at Hare and Hounds.

Our annual lunch is planned for the end of the month, coinciding with Chinese Year Year, which will be the Year of the Rat; an appropriate mixture of keen and cunning intelligence…

We have 22 members, and new members, including beginners, are still welcome.  If you’re interested, please contact Harriet.

Novel Appreciation

Our January discussion looked at Anna Burns’ Booker Prize-Winning novel, ‘Milkman’. Two of us had finished it, and the rest of us (convenor included) had either decided not to finish it or had given up or had run out of time. The non-finishers were not all unenthusiastic, and as a consequence of discussions covering structure, stream-of-consciousness, fear, namelessness, tribal conformity, gender expectations, idiolectic/sociolectic style, the unenthusiastic became quite enthusiastic.  ‘Result’, this convenor thinks: one of the purposes of discussion and debate is to open ourselves to other ways of reading, to other ways of thinking about, interpreting and making sense of that which, without a bit of help, may have been opaque to us.

Our next discussion takes place on Monday, 3rd February at 2.00 in Todmorden Library when E.M. Forster’s ‘A Room with a View’ will be under the spotlight.

Old English

The group started in 2017, and we are now a group of 11 meeting twice a month trying to get to grips with the language of the Anglo-Saxons. We use a variety of methods including textbooks, internet resources, and our own research.
We will be starting on a new textbook in January 2020 so this would be a good time for any new members to join us.

Opera Appreciation

 A new programme will begin in January with Bizet`s “Carmen” with members of the group being consulted about preferences for future operas.”


Our next topic is on cooperation and competition. The meeting is this coming Monday, 20th January at 10.15 am at the Central Methodist Church although space is now becoming somewhat limited.


Our first meeting of 2020 was a trip to the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Later this month we welcome a professional wedding photographer Carley Stansfield to talk about her work, so have your questions ready for her.

Photography Group Two

Our meeting are usually on the 2nd Tuesday/monthly. We will be at Todmorden Fire Station Community Room. 

Poetry Appreciation

It was a good start to the New Year in welcoming our new member, Marguerite, to the group. Our theme was ‘gratitude’ which I must take responsibility for, and was a difficult subject to source. Sorry. But we managed to find some poems, and had that rarity, one poem brought by two members. But nevertheless, a delightful meeting as usual. Thanks, everyone.

Next month, being on 14th February, is on poems on the theme of ‘love’. At least poems won’t be difficult to find. Let’s hope we can also find subtlety . . .

Poetry Enjoyment

Last month we had our Christmas meeting with, traditionally, poems of our own choice. This was followed by Christmas Lunch in Kava. The next meeting will be on the theme of newness/beginnings. This will be on 23rd January.

Practical Art

The group returned last Friday after the Christmas break to prepare for a project painting in the style of David Hockney. We brought small objects to paint still lifes in acrylic or oil pastels in a bright colourful way. The next session will focus on Hockney’s paintings of Yorkshire through the seasons in either of the two mediums using our own photographs. Drawing hands and feet, painting children in context and Scraperboard will be covered in the next months.


The psychology group met in January to listen to a radio podcast about lying and luck.

A lively discussion followed about issues arising from the talk. The group has decided to continue discussing lying at the next meeting in February.

Quiz Group

Next quiz is on January 23rd. No new members can be accommodated for the time being.

Readers Group (3 Valley Readers)

The Three Valley Readers met for our Xmas lunch at the Hare and Hounds, which was delicious, and had previously decided we would have a month off from the demands of  reading. 

We are planning to have a joint meeting with the other U3A reading group in the New Year.

Science Group

At the next two meetings we will continue the plant science course and the mathematics course which is running concurrently. The topics covered in the plant science course will be desert plants and then temperate forests.

The subjects for the mathematics course are the method of calculating the area of a triangle devised by Hero of Alexandria at the first meeting. The second meeting will cover Al Khwarizimi and Islamic mathematics.

Scrabble 1

We meet on the first and third Monday of the month at Central Methodist. Convenor is only accessible by phone (01706 818729)she requests you leave a contact number so she can return your call. 

Scrabble 2

We have welcomed several new members this last month. The group has now reached its limits for the size of the room and the tables available, so no new members can be accommodated for the time being.

Social History

The Group did not meet in December , we resume on January 17 and discuss the Ben Turner autobiography and his life in Holmefirth and Huddersfield .

Table Tennis & Badminton

Table tennis/ badminton is full at the moment and we have a waiting list.

Tablet Club

We had a small but useful meeting where we explained how to carry out some tasks.

The next tablet and ipad group meeting will be at 11am on Tuesday 4th Feb at the White Hart, Todmorden.

Walking Group


Will members who are prepared to lead one of our monthly walks in 2020 please contact Peter or Bill, Joint  Convenors, to let them know your choice of month. All walks, except December, take place on the last Tuesday of the month. 

Thanks to all of our 2019 Walk Leaders”. 

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.

Wine Appreciation

We held our january meeting last Friday, the 10th,   10 members attended.
We tasted our usual two white and two red wines. We particularly enjoyed a white wine called Valle de Leyda Sauvignon Blanc, from Chile.
Next months meeting is on Friday 14th February at the Fielden Centre.

World Affairs

Our next meeting is at 2.30pm in the community room at Todmorden Fire station. The meeting will focus on a programme due to be broadcast on BBC 2 at 9.00pm on Tuesday, 21st January concerning population growth.