To contact our Group Co-ordinator
Click Here

This page contains a brief description of our various activities together with advice on how to form a group if your particular topic is not covered. This listing is far from complete at the moment but it is hoped to add-to as we progress. Topics covered at the moment are:-


Forming a Group

Does the U3A cover the subjects that interest you?

Are you satisfied with the content of the subjects covered?

If the answer is NO to either of these questions then we, the members, are deficient to a degree. If there is no group to cover the particular subjects that interest you then something CAN be done about it.

First and foremost we need a group of like-minded members to come together. These can be identified by someone putting an article in the newsletter or asking for an announcement at one of the monthly meetings. Then, simply arrange a get-together at a convenient location in order to discuss what is required and how you are going to achieve it. In particular, determine who is going to be the group leader.

Iím sure there is a considerable misconception on exactly what the duties of a group leader might be:

All the group leader has to do is to coordinate the activities of the group, ie. keep everyone informed of what is going on, together with where and when. It will be handy if the group coordinator (probably a better name than Ďleaderí) has access to e-mail, as this is the cheap and convenient method of maintaining contact with group members, but of course there is always snail-mail & telephone to fall back on.

The subject of where to meet really depends upon the nature of the group; for instance it is little problem for a Bridge Group to rotate around membersí houses. Where a particular piece (or pieces) of equipment are required you may be limited to one particular home, or if numbers necessitate, you could hire one of the local community centres as a meeting place. Simplest of all is the likes of the Gardens Group who meet outside, at various locations, for their activity.

Whatever you choose, of course, has to be paid for, whether it be a local community hall, the services of an outside tutor or refreshments at a personís home. In this we insist that each group be self-financing. Our £8 overall membership fee could not possibly cover the necessary costs of every group.

So Ė if the Andover U3A does not fully meet your needs, please consider starting a new group. It is not difficult or time-consuming and indeed there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained. If you would like to talk this through with the Groups Coordinator or one of the committee members, help is always at hand.

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A Guide to Walking Groups

Andover U3A has four walking and two strollers groups each with its own slightly different strategy. Read on to find a group that suits you.

Let us start with Walkers 1 who walk on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. This group prefers to take a leisurely pace with time to chat and take in the views. They take about 2ľ hours to do about 8 kilometres (that is 5 miles in old money). In practice walks vary according to the terrain, the more hills the shorter the route. With the standard 10.30 ramble-off walkers are out of their boots ready for lunch well before 1 oíclock.

Walkers 2, who walk on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, like a slightly brisker pace and with the same time constraint can manage up to 6 miles, occasionally a little over if stops are kept to a minimum.

Weekend Walkers walk on the 1st Saturday of each month. Their pace is similar to Walkers 2 but most walks are over 5 miles, some are as long as 7 -  naturally matched with a later lunch.

The Tuesday Group has a different strategy, being primarily for those who like to walk fast and longer distances than the other groups. With exercise foremost, there is little time to chat except at the short mid-point stop and lunch is not normally part of the curriculum. Meeting at the Iron Bridge on Micheldever Road, Andover, at 9am, they aim to be back between 11 and 11.30.

At the other end of the scale are the two groups of Strollers who, as the name indicates, prefer a gentler way to keep fit.

Strollers 1 (Thursday Strollers) meet on the 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month. They aim to keep walks to 2 - 4 miles long, taking between 1 & 2 hours, giving time to lean on a few farm gates before enjoying lunch.

Strollers 2 (Tuesday Strollers) meet on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month. Walks are between 2 & 4 miles maximum, normally taking 1 to 2 hours and finishing with a pub lunch. This is a very social group who enjoy chatting en route and taking in the English countryside. Due to its popularity Strollers 2  is presently full with a waiting list.

Regarding lunch, you need to know that U3A prefers to walk off-road in the country. Unfortunately there are few cafes out in the sticks so you will find most walks start and finish at a village pub that does reasonable food. However, please donít get the idea that lunch is a boozerís paradise. There are normally more soft drinks and coffee cups than pint glasses on the lunch tables. Of course, staying for lunch is not compulsory.

So you are interested. Get in touch with the leader of your preferred group; itís as simple as that. Trial walks are the norm and if you are up to it, you can join more than one group.

A few essentials:

You will need transport. About 50% of venues are within 10 miles of Andover with a few over 20 miles. Most people share cars.

You will be expected to be suitably attired, pay attention to your own safety and generally keep to the pace of the walk leader.

Walkers take turns to organise and lead walks once they have become established. Coaching is available and nobody is turned away if they find it too difficult.

To contact Walkers 1 click here
To contact Walkers 2 click here
To contact Weekend Walkers click here

To contact Tuesday Walkers click here
To contact Strollers 1 click here
To contact Strollers 2 click here

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Handywoman Group

 As indicated by the title, this group is specially designed for ladies to take the mystique out of the small technical jobs that arise around the home.  The aim is to learn about electrical, water and central heating systems and what you can do yourself to solve problems before calling in a tradesman.  You will learn about the tools needed for tasks and use them to fit an electric plug, investigate a dripping tap and fix something on a wall.  You will also learn the precautions to take and the pitfalls that await the unwary.
This practical groupís activities can be tailored to meet the requirements of the members, so if there are other jobs around the home that you feel you might tackle, come along and learn in a light-hearted way how to be your own handywoman.
The group will
start with the basics, but will welcome back several members who have joined during the year. We meet in the Burghclere Down Community Centre Meeting Room at 10.30 am to 12 noon on the first Friday of the month. If you would like to join us, please come along. 
To contact the Group Leader, Derek Grimston, click here 

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Gardens Group

By the time you read this the Gardens Group will be coming to the end of the 2010 programme. There are many and varied visits to follow throughout the year and I hope there may be one or two extra little surprise visits tucked in somewhere.
Prior to each visit, everyone in the group will receive full travelling instructions and I would very much appreciate knowing whether or not you are able to attend. At our "cream tea" afternoon I mentioned that I and some friends do some volunteer gardening in the grounds of the beautiful Houghton Lodge near Stockbridge. Under the direction of the head gardener we prune, snip, tidy, leaf pick, weed and generally enjoy a three hour session twice a month. Nothing too strenuous and our reward is a free tea break with scrummy home-made cake in the tea room. Do you fancy joining us to help maintain this beautiful garden? The day and time can be mutually agreed and it makes sense to fill a car. I already have one new volunteer from the group and a few more would be wonderful ó just ring or e-mail me

To contact the Group Leader, Hilary Eddy, click here

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Mah Jong

The group meets twice a month on the 1st & 2nd Friday from 2-5pm, except for the Friday nearest to Easter and the 2nd Friday in December.  We meet in membersí houses but this is dependent on the host/hostess being able to accommodate the numbers and is entirely on a voluntary basis.                     
To contact the Group Leader, Margaret Bowman, click here

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Read Out Loud

The group was formed to record readings for the Andover visually impaired people society ( The group discontinued with a change of expertise in the vipís. The group could possibly re-form with a group leader who has a closer association with the vipís or thinks that live readings to care/residential homes would be beneficial. Some members of the Creative Writing group may be interested in joining.

To contact the previous group leader click here

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Creative Writing

Creative Writing: meeting monthly (usually 3rd Wednesday of the month 2pm Ė new members please confirm) in the group leaderís house, we decide on a subject, genre, style etc to write about for the next meeting. Members read extracts from what has been produced during the month (or the morning before etc that may or may not have a bearing on the task set etc etc), in order to discuss and hear feedback from the other members.

To contact the group leader click here

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Family History

Family History (We have changed the group name from Genealogy as it better reflects the groupís aims).

We meet at 2.00pm on the 3rd Wednesday of the month to exchange news, views, ideas and helpful suggestions on researching our family trees and histories. New members are always welcome and will find plenty of help and advice.

To contact the group leader click here

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Unfortunately Jean has been unable to continue and the pianist was recently taken ill. Rookwood school was becoming expensive when a meeting was poorly attended. If a new leader came forward there are some members who would like to join a re-formed group meeting in membersí house/houses.

To contact the Groups Co-ordinator, Andy Hellyer, click here

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Photography Three

We meet once a month at a member's home with three photos of A4 size, or thereabouts, presented on A2 mountboard. We discuss our pictures and vote to decide which is our individual best. These pictures, one from each member, are posted on the below link Several topics are selected in advance so that we know what we are working towards in coming months. To contact the group leader, Andy Hellyer, click here
To see some of Photo group three photographs, please follow this link Andover U3A Group3 - Photobucket Groups

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The Exploring Villages (Group 2)

The Exploring Villages Group 2 meet on the third Tuesday of the month, walking around a village with a guide.

We finish at 12 noon to enable us to get to the U3A talk in time.

We have 15 members and can take another 5 if anyone wishes to contact me. I prefer new members to use a computer as it becomes labour intensive if they are unable to do so.

To contact the group leader, Hilary Seddon, click here

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The Bus Pass Group

Two members have led trips in the past but both are now too busy with other commitments to be able to continue. The concept is limited by the frequency of bus services and the fact that most members do not live adjacent to the bus station. Perhaps a 'car-less' group could resurrect the idea? Perhaps the group could discuss trips on Skype (conference call) and choose to go at times of their choice, alone or in reduced numbers Ė with the benefit of other membersí experiences. The group discussion could help those who dislike travelling alone. Help/suggestions are available for a new prospective leader. It would be less arduous for the leader not to have responsibility for individualís journeys.

To contact the previous group leader click here

The Guitar Group

Happy New Year from the Guitar Group. We resume our meetings, on a weekly basis, on the 12th January.
New members are welcome and may contact me on my home number, 01264 729155. We meet every Wednesday at my house from 10.30 till 12.00.
To contact the Group Leader, Stuart Hinkin,
click here


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