Leigh Estuary U3A has over 65 Interest Groups which are listed below. Please click on the group you are interested in joining and send a message to the Group Contact by clicking on the link or find out more details by clicking on the News & Events that some groups have set up.  Most Groups welcome non-members for one trial visit by prior appointment and if you wish to continue attending it is a simple matter of enrolling with Leigh Estuary U3A.

If listed as ‘Please register your interest by contacting me’ at the top of the individual group page, do not hesitate to do so. Your name will be put on a waiting list and we will try and get another group started as soon as there are enough members interested.

Petanque on a Monday

We have a new Petanque group starting up soon.  As you will have worked out from the title it will take place on a Monday; it will be held at White Hall Bowls club in Clatterfield Gardens, Westcliff.  Whilst Covid19 is still an issue, numbers will be limited so if you are interested please get in touch with Peter quickly to register with him and for further details.

Monday Table Tennis
Group Contact: John Abraham
Meets: Monday Morning 10:00am
Venue: MegaCentre Rayleigh Weir
Status: Please contact me if interested, we do have spaces                             Contact Me

This new group has plans for their first table tennis session to take place on Monday 16th March for one hour from 10:00am to 11:00am.

Spaces available so please contact John using above button.

Rayleigh MegaCentre is the proposed venue and there are four table tennis tables available.  The centre can provide bats and balls but you are recommended to bring your own bat if possible.

After this first session the group will decide as to whether they will make a 10 week booking (payable in advance) and whether to make it a one or a one and half hour session.  If you want more information please contact John.

Portrait Painting

Do you enjoy Portrait Painting or maybe want to give it a go?  Then we are hoping to get a new Portrait Painting Group underway in the New Year.  (Some of you may recall that we had such a group running in the past.)  Derek, one of our members who is an accomplished artist, is looking to get things started and is planning a meeting in the cafe at the Leigh Community Centre early in the new Year to discuss with all those interested.  Please contact Derek for more details.

Meetings will take place from 10:30am to 12:30pm at the Leigh Community Centre on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday mornings of the the month.

Proposed new groups are listed at the top. If you have an idea for a new group, would like to start a new group, or have any group queries please contact me, Sally Dickinson (Group Coordinator)

Contact Me

Art for Pleasure
 Group Contact: Rowan
 Venue: Leigh Community Centre
 Meets: First Friday each Month 1.30 -3.30pm
 Status: Spaces available. Please contact Rowan     Contact Me

Art for Pleasure is a relaxed friendly meeting for anyone who is interested in coming together to paint and draw using a variety of suitable materials. We improve our skills and knowledge through discussion, books, handouts etc.

Each meeting has a ‘theme’ which members can interpret in their own way.


New members are very welcome
The group is suitable all levels of ability
The ‘themes’ are merely to provide some ideas
Members ideas and input is valued
Please contact me if you need more information or wish to join our group.

Art History
 Group Contact:
Status:  Currently on Hold

This group is currently on hold.  If you, maybe along with another member, wish to get it going again then please contact the Groups Co-ordinator for more information.

Group Contact: Richard Lytheer                                             News & Events
Venue: out in the fresh air
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                         Contact Me

Bumblebees are in decline and conservation efforts  can be supported and enhanced by understanding the populations and distribution of the various species.  The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) has developed a national surveying process which we plan to join.  This will involve a small group undertaking a self-selected monthly walk of a set route and identifying and recording all the bumblebees we see.

We are especially lucky that the Thames Gateway is home to two rare species, the 'brown-banded' and 'shrill' carder bees, both of which have been seen on Two Tree Island.

We'll arrange for members to be given training to help you identify the bees you see.

If you want to be part of this exciting piece of work, have the chance to learn more about bees plus get a little bit of exercise each month or if you just want to learn a little more about what's involved, then please contact Richard using the button above.


Book Group
Group Contact: Mary
Meets: 4th Thursday of each month 10.00 am
Venue: TruLeigh Scrumptious (opposite Leigh Library)
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                 Contact Me

We are a small friendly group and we like to read a variety of books, ranging from classics to biographies to thrillers -- in fact anything goes! We take it in turns to come up with a list of books and decide between us which one we are going to read next, which seems to work well.




Group Contact: David White                                                                News & Events
Meets: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month 2 - 4 pm
Venue: Private House
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                         Contact Me

Why play Bridge? Well in the words of the novelist W. Somerset Maugham “Bridge is the most entertaining and intelligent card game the wit of man has so far devised”.

As a social game, bridge is unparalleled and a great way to meet new people. Bridge is good for the mind – a mental workout that stimulates both halves of the brain in equal measure. Playing bridge develops both logical and lateral thinking, it helps short and long term memory among many benefits.

At the start of 2018, we were able to get a Bridge for Beginners group underway. After two years of learning and playing, the group acknowledge they are far from complete but decided they are no longer beginners so a name change to simply "Bridge" might better describe where they are.  If you want to join please contact the Group Leader to check level reached and see if it might fit with your standard of play.

Canasta 1
Group Contact: Anne
Meets: 1st Thursday each month 7.30 pm
Venue: Private House
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                Contact Me

Leigh Estuary U3A Canasta Group has been going strong since November 2017 and meet at a members home on the first Thursday of the month. We have 12 members and we usually get 8-12 members attending. It is a very friendly group and although we did start with 2 or three beginners and a few who hadn't played for some time, everyone is of a reasonable ability now.

Bearing in mind that usually Canasta is played in fours, we do sometimes have to adapt to three-handed Canasta!

Of course we do have varying rules of Canasta within the group which is interesting but we ask that everyone plays the same as the majority and the people we have taught.

Canasta 2
Group Contact: Duncan Cooper                                        Contact Me
Meets: 1st and 3rd Friday 1.30 pm
Venue: Naval and Military Club, Royal Terrace, Southend
Status: Spaces available. Please contact me on 01702 712805

This group is now up and running and intended for those members who have played Canasta before. Please contact Duncan if you are interested in joining.

Some of the group playing at the Naval & Military Club - July 2019
Canasta for Improvers
Group Contact: Lynne Daughtrey
Meets: 1st and 3rd Monday in each month 2:00 - 4:00pm
Venue: Private House
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                          Contact Me

Already play canasta and looking to improve then contact me using button above to see if spaces.

Church Visits
Group Contact: Margaret Tothill               News & Events
Meets: Various Days
Venue: Various
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                 Contact Me


This group is for people who are interested in church architecture, history and comparative religions. Members share organising the visits to places of worship. The group has visited many Essex churches of a variety of Christian denominations. We have also visited two synagogues, a mosque and a Sikh gurdwara along with Hindu and Buddhist temples.

We vary the days we visit.  Usually we have coffee at the church on arrival, and then afterwards we try to arrange an optional lunch if there’s a suitable venue in the locality.’
The lunch option is usually popular as people like the chance to have a chat and talk about the church we’ve just visited.
Cinema Films
Group Contact: Looking for new group leader, please contact Groups Co-ordinator if you can help.                             News & Events
Meets: Various
Venue: Southend and Basildon Cinemas
Status: Spaces Available.  Please contact                Contact Me

This group is currently on hold, apart from the issues with Covid, it needs a new leader.  If you are willing to take this role on board and organise trips to the cinema to watch a film with like minded individuals then please contact the groups leader using the link above, thank you.


Classical Music Appreciation
Group Contact: John Hanks
Meets: last Thursday in each month @ 2:00pm
Venue:  private house
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                              Contact Me

This group explores Classical Music together.  The group has restarted now with a new group leader so please contact John using button above if interested in joining.

Classics You Never Read
Group Contact: Kris Mee                                                                             News & Events
Venue:  Private House
Meets: 4th Friday each month - 10.30 am
Spaces: Please register your interest by contacting me                              Contact Me

This group is currently full but meetings have been temporarily suspended, although book reading continues. When the current situation improves we will resume meetings in a members home.  We take it in turns to choose the book and try to limit ourselves to those written before 1940 excluding War & Peace (too long), Virginia Woolf and James Joyce ('streams of consciousness' too baffling).

For a full list of books already read please click on the "News & Events" button above.
We had planned to discuss Nana by Emile Zola at our meeting on Friday 27 March 2020 but now postponed.  I suggest everyone continues to read through future planned books as below and we can discuss at a later date.
Future books to be read are (all dates subject to revision/update in due course):-
Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift to be discussed 24/4/2020
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh to be discussed 22/5/2020
Lavengro by George Borrow to be discussed 26/6/2020
Howards End by EM Forster to be discussed 24/7/2020
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser to be discussed 28/8/2020
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to be discussed 25/9/2020
TBA to be discussed 23/10/2020
Goodbye Mr Chips by James Hilton to be discussed 27/11/2020
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens to be discussed 22/1/2021
So get reading, stay well and enjoy.
Thanks Kris
Group Contact: Can you help?  See notes below
Meets: By arrangement
Venue: By arrangement
Status: Need help with your computer, a specific programme or maybe just need guidance to use email then please get in touch                      Contact Me

If you have some knowledge of setting up and using a computer and would be willing to help another member when needed then please let us know.
If you need help with your computer or tablet then please get in touch using link above and we will see what we can arrange.  We will not be able to sort every problem out but we will help where we can.
Ravenshead U3A have kindly shared their useful computer guides. Click on the *Computer Help Guides* link here.
Contemporary Novels
Group Contact: Frances Devereaux (temporary leader)                                                                      Reading List
Meets: 2nd Wednesday each month 10 - 11.00 am
Venue: Leigh Community Centre
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                              Contact Me

We have lively discussions (very loosely based on some discussion questions/issues that I email before the meeting). We usually get between 8 and 12 people attending. People often do a bit of research on issues that have interested the group so there is a bit of information sharing that goes on between sessions.

I hope people are enjoying themselves - I know I am - lovely group and very interesting discussions (and lots of laughs!)

So far this year, the Contemporary Novels group have read:

January - 'Arthur and George' by Julian Barnes
February - 'Where My Heart Used to Beat' by Sebastian Faulks
March - 'The Little Red Chairs' by Edna O'Brien
April - 'Hagseed' by Margaret Atwood
May - 'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver
June - 'Notes from an Exhibition' by Patrick Gale
July - 'The Stranger's Child' by Alan Hollinghurst
August - 'Deaf Sentence' by David Lodge

To see the books that we have read since we started, please see the Reading List in link above.

Country Walks
Group Contact: Dave Rixon                                                    News & Events
Meets: Various days
Venue: Variable venues
Status: Currently Full                                                            Contact Me

We have decided to change our group name from vigorous walking to Country Walks as this better reflects what we do.

Apart from the name change everything else remains the same.

Click on News & Events above for details of our walks.

This group has proved very popular with members wanting to get out and exercise and although the group is currently full with some 50 members, if you are interested please let Dave know using the button above and he will add your name to the waiting list.  Then again, maybe time to start another walking group - if you want to get another group going do shout.

Group Contacts: Pat Lytheer and Amanda Archard                               News & Events
Meets: 2nd Tuesday each Month 2 - 4 pm
Venue: Leigh Community Centre
Status: Please register your interest by contacting us                     Contact Us

The Craft Group is a very friendly, informal group which welcomes members with an interest in any craft, whatever their level of ability.

In keeping with the spirit of the U3A, we are all willing to share our skills with each other. Although we generally work on our own individual projects, which include knitting, crochet, quilting, card making, embroidery etc, we also, on occasion, try a new skill as a group, led by one of our own members. Member-led sessions to date have covered Chicken Scratch, Quilting, Iris Folding, Gift bags and boxes.

We meet at Leigh Community Centre, from 2 - 4 pm on the second Tuesday of the month. To enjoy a sociable afternoon and maybe feel inspired to try a new skill, please contact the Group Organisers via  the link above.

We are planning to resume our meetings in September 2021 but, as we must be mindful of social distancing, we are sadly unable to accept new members at present. Hopefully, this situation will improve soon.  If you would like to add your name to a waiting list, please contact us.

Creative Writing 1
Group Contact: Lynda                                                                                          Examples
Meets: 1st Friday each Month 2.30 - 4.30 pm
Venue: Members' Homes
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                          Contact Me

Creative Writing for all abilities. Using memory and imagination and encouraging each other with our writing. For examples of our work click link above.

Please contact Lynda for details.

Creative Writing 2
Group Contact: on hold
Meets: on hold
Venue: on hold
Status: on hold looking for new group contact to take over its running                        Contact Me

Unfortunately this group has had to be placed on hold awaiting a new leader/group contact.  If you are willing to take over the reigns then please contact the groups Co-ordinator using the button above.

Cribbage and other Card Games
Group Contact: tba
Meets: 2nd & 4th Friday of the month 1:30 - 3:30pm
Venue: Naval & Military Club, Royal Terrace, Southend
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                            Contact Me

This group needs someone to take it forward, if interested and willing to help please contact the groups co-ordinator.


NB: Days/times/location are not set in stone and can be changed to suit members if necessary.

Cryptic Crosswords
Group Contact: Pat Wickham
Meets: 3rd Monday each month 3 - 4 pm
Venue: Various, see below
Status: Spaces available, please get in touch with the Group Contact                 Contact Me

The Cryptic Crossword group aims to support members to improve their skills at completing Cryptic Crossword clues (i.e. those which are not just straight definitions).
Both those with existing skills and those who want to learn how to do crosswords of this type are welcome to join the group.

Group members bring along crosswords they are working on and blank crossword grids are provided for those who are beginning to learn.

More experienced members of the group support new learners.

We also have general discussion on the different types of clues and how they can be solved
Members are invited to nominate a Clue of the Month which they have found particularly clever, challenging or amusing!

The venue for the meetings is generally at cafes in the Leigh area. At present it is at the TruLeigh Scrumptious, (opposite Leigh Library), Broadway West.

Your Group Contact will e-mail members each month to confirm the meeting date and venue.

Please check with Pat before attending.

Current Affairs & General Discussion
Group Contact: Looking for new leader, please contact Groups Co-ordinator (using link below) if willing to help
Meets: 3rd Monday of the month 10.00 - 12.00
Venue: Leigh Community Centre
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                            Contact Me

A friendly group which encourages members to talk about any subjects that interest them. This creates added stimulus and variety in other areas besides our news reviews.

We are pretty full right now but please let me know if you are wanting to join us and I'll let you know once a space is available.

Days Out by Coach
Group Contact: Moira Sweet 01702 710337                                                News & Events
Meets: Various Days
Venue: Various
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                               Contact Me

The title says it all!

The group will enjoy bi-monthly(ish) visits to interesting venues using scheduled coach trips from local coach companies. Destinations will be within approximately two hours journey time.

I will be using Cooks Coaches for transport on all excursions, all their vehicles are air conditioned with a toilet. The pick-up points will be Chalkwell, Leigh Elms and Thames Drive, although if sufficient demand for other pick-ups these could be added.

I will also be using two companies with guides, Greatdays ( and City and Village Tours ( Both companies have very good websites, so do take a look.

Please note: As of the March 2020 trip, I am changing payment arrangements.  I will be taking a non-refundable deposit of £5 per person at the time of booking, with the balance being due about six weeks before departure.  I will also limit each trip to a maximum of 40 people, and I will only do about six trips a year

UPCOMING TRIPS (please click on trip name for more details when available)

Thursday 12th March 2020 - VERNACULAR SPECTACULAR
Thursday 7th July - Sutton Hoo and Woodbridge
Thursday 10th September - Beach Huts and Barnacles
Dessert First Lunch Group
Group Contact: Trevor Matthews                                                                          News & Events
Meets: Various on a Sunday
Venue: Various
Status:  Please contact Trevor if interested                                      Contact Me

This second Sunday Lunch group got off to a start with lunch at the Southchurch Park Dining Rooms.  Some wonderful home cooking that was enjoyed by everyone.  Plans for 2020 were also discussed and organised.

February's lunch will be on Sunday 16th February at The Trading Rooms pub on corner of Crowstone Road and London Road for 12:30.  Contact Trevor for more details.

This group does exactly what it says so if you want to enjoy lunch on a Sunday along with friends then please contact Trevor who will keep you informed of where and when.

Discovering Essex
Group Contacts : Richard Lytheer                                                                           News & Events
Meets: Covid-19 -- SUSPENDED
Venue: Out and about
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                                Contact Us

Discovering Essex does what it says on the tin. We are a group keen to learn about the people and places of our County by visiting or, very occasionally, having a speaker. Essex, despite its reputation, is rich in history from the dawn-of-time right up until yesterday and we intend to discover some of it.

One month there might be a guided tour of a historical building, on another, a trip on an ancient vessel or we might find ourselves watching someone practising an ancient Essex skill or craft.

We all take turns suggesting and organising an event of interest which means there is something for everyone and we all enjoy ourselves whilst continuing to feed our brains a little  (and usually, satisfying our bodies too!).

See our newsfeed for where we've been lately and click link for our latest 2020 programme (which is, of course, always subject to change!)...





East London
 Group Contact: John Walters                                                                                 News & Events
 Meets: 1st Tuesday of the month 2.00 – 3.45 pm
 Venue: Leigh Community Centre
 Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                           Contact Me

Members of the group are now organising the sessions. Our objectives are explore and discuss people and their occupations, history events and locations that make up the area East of London. We do not restrict ourselves by looking at London’s East End only but will be exploring South East and North East districts as well as London’s sprawl into Essex.

Family History
Group Contact: Derek Murphy tel 01702-556680
 Meets: 3rd Tuesday each month 10 – 12 noon
 Venue: Constitution Club, Elm Road, Leigh
 Status: Spaces available, please contact me                           Contact Me

This group is for everyone who is interested in family history matters in all its many facets. It is not solely for research into ancestry but covers any matter which is related, however loosely, to family history generally.

If you have a family history matter/mystery that you would like the group to research for you please get in touch with the group contact mentioned above. Derek will be able to indicate what may be possible and talk to you about what information you already have or need to find to enable the research to commence.

Fashion & Fabrics
Group Contact: Joan Murphy                 News & Events
Meets: 4th Friday of the month 2.30 pm
Venue: A member's home and alternate 'awaydays'
Status: Full but please register your interest.               Contact Me

Fashion comes quite high on the list of interests of lots of women, with this in mind we could see the need for another group dedicated to inspiring and furthering our knowledge. Meetings are taking place on the 4th Friday of every month. Alternate months 'AT HOME', an hostess from the group members at 2.30 pm to discuss future events. The other alternate months we will endeavour to have an' AWAYDAY' to anything fashion related that catches our eye.

This promises to be a valuable and informative time for us which will hopefully enable us all to make the most of ourselves and not fall into the trap of 'looking old'.

Fabulous Fashions
Group Contact: Heather Tetchner                                                                        News & Events
Meets: Varies
Venue: Private House and out and about
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                        Contact Me

If interested in finding our more about any of our planned trips then please contact Heather using link above.

  • Mary Quant at the V&A Museum date to be confirmed
  • ‘Out of the Blue’: 50 Years of Designers' Guild £15.50 or less if 9+ members attend – Wednesday April 5th 
  • 10th June meeting at Jenny’s house.  Contact me for address.
  • We are planning a "Behind the Seams" Tour in June/July to see what goes on and how they create those wonderful outfits for Strictly Come Dancing.  If interested then contact Heather using button above to check on availability etc.

For details of past trips please see our News & Events page

Fashion & Lifestyle
Group Contact: Mary Pudney                                                                  News & Events
Meets: 4th Tuesday each month, alternate months we go on a Fashion or Lifestyle adventure
Venue: Private House
Status: Please discuss with the Group Contact                                            Contact Me

October 2020 - the group has been renamed Fashion & Lifestyle to reflect the wider range of topics we cover.  If you want to know more please contact Mary using the link above.

Our "News & Events" page (link above) provides write ups and pictures of events we have visited or topics discussed.

Our latest Programme can be found on the "News & Events" button.

French Conversation
Group Contact: Andy Archard
Meets: 2nd and 4th Friday in the month 3 - 4 pm
Venue: Private House
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                         Contact Me

Learn a second language like you always promised yourself you would.

Gilbert & Sullivan
Group Contact: Looking for new leader -please contact Groups Co-ordinator, using link below, if willing to help                                                                 News & Events
Meets: tba
Venue: tba
Status: Currently on hold                                              Contact Me

The group aims to enhance our knowledge of the works of this theatrical duo by talking about one of their operettas and where possible play a DVD or YouTube performance at each meeting. There may also be outings to performances of their work.


But first we need a new leader - anyone willing to take the role on?  Please contact the Groups Co-ordinator.




Guitar Group
Group Contact: Jim Jennett                                                                       News & Events
Meets: 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday of the month 9:30am - 12:00 noon
Venue: St Peter's Church Hall, Eastbourne Grove, SS0 0QF
Status: Spaces available. Please contact me                                                                      Contact Me

The group's initial meeting was on the 17th October 2019 and is being well supported.

The group mainly comprises members who have no previous experience of the guitar although a few have been playing for many years.

The intention is to gradually learn the basics of playing melodies and simple chords to reach a reasonable standard and have fun doing it. There are a few spaces available so, if you are interested, please contact Jim using the above "contact me" link for further details.

Jazz Appreciation
Group Contacts: Liz and Neil Jaggers 01702 710056                                     News & Events
Meets: 2nd Tuesday and Wednesday of the month 7.30 - 10.30 pm
Venue: Private house
Status: Please register your interest by contacting us                                   Contact Us

This is one group, but divided into two consecutive sessions, sharing the same programme. This means we can listen - and (hopefully)- learn of the history and development of Jazz from its origins to the present day in the comfort of our home. The programme is not chronological, but an eclectic mix to appeal to all tastes.
No live music, but we would typically have a mixture of DVDs, CDs and LPs.

The aim is for an enjoyable and sociable evening which runs from 7.30 until 10.00 - 10.30 pm with a halfway interval for refreshments and chat.

Local History
Group Contact: Tony Bullock, Jim Sanctuary and Tricia Thomas     News & Events
Meets: 2nd Thursday each month 2 - 4 pm
Venue: The Stables, Leigh Road Baptist Church
Status: Please register your interest by contacting us                                            Contact Us

Meetings currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Stay safe everyone.

During this pandemic, Jim is very kindly producing the Local History Link which is emailed to group members.  If you have stories to share or just want to comment please contact Jim.

Local History is an opportunity to find out more about the town and surrounding area where we live.

Previous Talks:

Our talk on 12th March 2020 was "Paintings of our town from the Beecroft Art Gallery Collection" a very interesting talk for both local history and art lovers, thanks to Jim and Tony.

We have been taken on an illustrated tour of some of the town's notable buildings outside of those that are listed, thanks to Jim for that  interesting look at a few buildings that are often overlooked.

In September 2019 we had Jim Gaillie from Battlesbridge Antiques visit and not just tell us a bit about the Centre, how it started etc but set us a fun quiz showing us a number of unusual objects and asking us to work out what they were.  If you missed the meeting and want to have a go then details are on our News & Events page, link at top.

At our July meeting, and following a bit of research undertaken, a number of members gave brief talks on the history of a few local Essex villages.  Some fascinating facts were unearthed.

At the May 2019 meeting the group were delighted to have Ken Crowe (ex head of Southend Museums) come and talk to us on the 2003 discovery of the Anglo-Saxon grave at Prittlewell.  The tomb is reckoned to date back to around 580AD.  Many of the excavated artefacts are now on show at the Southend Central Museum.

A fascinating insight into the discovery and work around recovering what turns out for the UK some unique Anglo-Saxon artefacts.  The talk was very well received and if you have not yet seen the exhibition then you must get along to the Museum.

Local Walks 1
Group Contact: Victor Beadle                                                                               News & Events
Meets: 1st Wednesday in the month 10 - 12 am
Venue: Various
Spaces: This group is full at the moment, Local walks 2 may have spaces        Contact Me

When Liz Simmons sadly gave up her role as GC of this group, after an illness, the members got together and decided that they wanted the group to continue but in a slightly different way.

Although I am Group Contact, the members run the group themselves, taking turns to organise and contact the other group members. This has been working extremely well and everybody seems quite happy with the arrangement.

We have also extended our range of walks by going out as far as Danbury and Rettendon, very adventurous for us, but the tea cakes were good. The tea cakes are mandatory, of course, but only after we've finished the walk, usually a maximum of three miles.

Our latest walk was around Rochford via Stambridge Mills and alongside the river Roche (see photo). As we came back, we met the proprietor of our coffee stop who turned tail and rushed back into the shop to put the kettle on.

We are full at the moment but join the waiting list anyway.


Local Walks 2
Group Contact:  Group on hold
Spaces:                                            Contact Me

Group currently ON HOLD.  If you are interested in trying to get the group up and running then please contact the Groups Co-ordinator using the button above..

London Visits 1
Group Contact:   Allison Llewellyn
Meets:   Various
Venue:   Various
Status: Spaces available, please contact Allison                                       Contact Me
The City

Allison’s group embarks on visits to all sorts of interesting destinations; they visited the Old Operating Theatre and Borough Market last September and The Royal Opera House in October.  On Friday 15th November the visited the World Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibition at the Natural History museum.

If you are interested in joining her group and visiting places of interest in London then please contact Allison.

The group met on Monday 9th December to plan trips for 2020.  The proposed list of visits is below.  Final dates depend on opening days, group numbers, times etc:

January - Guildhall - library, possibly tag on Tower Bridge
February- Sir John Soames Museum
March - Bank of England, Silver Vaults and Temple of Mithras
April - Royal Albert Hall Tour -if available
May - Greenwich - choose your own
June- Lambeth Palace plus secret gardens walk led by Bob on 10th June ( 2 trips this month)
July - Geffyre Museum
August - London walk to be discussed
September - Buckingham Palace
October - Houses of Parliament
November - Old Bailey and Appeal Court
December - Kew Gardens - to view the lights so a late pm trip.



London Visits 2
Group Contact: Lorna Reeve                                      News & Events
Meets: Various
Venue: Various
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                         Contact Me

The group organises monthly trips by train to London. The group uses tubes, buses or short walks to get to the various locations.  Contact Lorna for further details of any trips or with ideas of where you might want to visit.

Upcoming trips:
Hoping to start some trips in the New Year.
Lunch Group 1
Group Contact: Judy 01702 713748                                                                News & Events
Meets: Last Wednesday each month 12.30 pm
Venue: Various eating establishments
Status: There are currently no spaces available in this group. Please register your interest with Lunch Group 2 or contact me for any other information.     Contact Me

The main aim of the group is to ‘do what it says on the tin’.

It has been a long time since this blog was updated but the of restaurants we have tried continues unabated. We continue to average 26/27 members at each lunch and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new restaurants who can cope with the numbers successfully.

With that in mind, all our members put forward their two favourite restaurants and from that input I have now drawn up a ‘Favourites’ list of 10 restaurants to eat our way through!

Today, we visited the No. 1 choice, Baboush, in the Ridgeway, Chalkwell, a much talked about and maybe, mis-understood Turkish restaurant. For those of you who have never had the opportunity to see the fascinating decor, not to everyone’s taste, should look at the attached photo and a visit to the ‘golden’ toilets is a must! The food is delicious, arriving Mezze style and as we work our way through the courses finishing with the delectable Baklava, we try not to think about the calories. A true experience.

Our ‘Christmas’ meal at the end of November was to another favourite on the list, The Royal Tiger, at Rettendon. This was our third visit.

And now 2019 ...... where did that last year go?

Lunch Group 2
Group Contact: Lynda Mead                                                                   News & Events
Meets: Last Thursday of the month
Venue: Various
Status: There are currently no spaces but please register your interest by using the contact button alongside                                       Contact Me

If you enjoy eating good food and sharing some friendly, interesting company then we are the Group for you. We aim to eat at restaurants that offer a good variety of different cuisines at reasonable prices. I took over in November 2018 and we now have a list of restaurants from which group members can make a choice. We aim to eat in the local area and have been to a variety of venues including Leigh Bistro (European), Damak (Turkish), Il Palazzo (Italian), Peterboat (Pub Grub) and had a delicious Xmas meal at the Royal Oak at Stambridge. I look  forward to hearing from anyone who would like to join our waiting list - please use "contact me" button above.

Maths for Fun
Group Contact: David White
Meets: 3rd Monday of the month 10 - 12 am
Venue: Private House
Status: Spaces available. Please contact me.                                                        Contact Me

I can hear you questioning yourselves … how can maths ever be fun?

But did you know that the writers of The Simpsons included numerous high-brow maths references in the show, on account of how many of the main writing staff had a detailed knowledge of maths.

Think about that … the most popular TV show in history, an animated comedy, had a writing staff packed with maths experts. The fact that mathematicians are behind the most successful comedy in history does somewhat annihilate the stereotypical view that maths, and by extension mathematicians, are no fun, or "humourless".

So, if you can see past the stereotype, if you like exercising your brain, if you enjoy figuring things round and round till the penny drops; then join us for some fun solving and discussing of mathematical, logic and other puzzles.

Mental Activity Training - MAT
Group Contact: Ian Hutcheon
Meets: 3rd Wednesday of the month 2.30 - 3-30 pm
Venue: Leigh Community Centre
Status: Please register your interest by contacting us                                       Contact Me

Anyone interested in joining - please contact Barbara Zybutz by using button above

News at 10:30am
Group Contact: John
 Venue: Truleigh Scrumptious, Broadway West, Leigh
 Meets: First Monday each Month 10:30am
 Status: Spaces available. Please contact John     Contact Me

A current affairs group for everybody to discuss, deliberate, consider, moot or address the issues of the day. It is quite delightful. A great way to start each month.

If you love to chat about things going on then please get in touch, look forward to meeting you.

Pétanque 1
Group Contact: Pamela Walters                                  News & Events
 Venue: Whitehall Bowling Club, Clatterfield Gardens, Westcliff
 Meets: Every Wednesday 09:45 - 11:45am
 Status: Please register your interest                           Contact Me

We have a great time and there is help on hand if needed. Boules are

This is only a small group and, whilst currently full, please register your interest with Pamela if you like the idea of joining as soon as vacancies arise.

We do play on an outdoor rink and play every week, weather permitting, we aim to keep meeting throughout the Winter months and you can always warm up with a coffee in the Club House.

Pétanque 2
Group Contact: Victor Beadle                                                                  News & Events
 Venue: Whitehall Bowling Club, Clatterfield Gardens, Westcliff
 Meets:  every Thursday afternoon from 2pm - 4pm  (except for the third)
 Status: Please register your interest                           Contact Me

We now have a second group up and running.

If interested then please contact Victor using the button above.


Group Contact: Derek
Meets: 4th Friday of the month 10.30 - 12.00
Venue: TruLeigh Scrumptious Cafe, Leigh
Status: Spaces available.  Please contact Derek                                     Contact Me

This group has been going for several years now.

We started an OU syllabus more recently.

If this interests you then please get in touch.

Group Contact: David White                            News & Events
Meets: 2nd Friday in the month 10 - 12 noon
Venue: Leigh Community Centre (LCC) or out-and-about
Status: We have vacancies                     Contact Me

We are a small group of keen photographers of varying experience and equipment. Our informal monthly sessions include a mixture of external 'shoots' and meetings at LCC, where we review our efforts, cover technical issues and sometimes just chat (strictly relevant subjects, of course). You can view some of previous shoots via the "News & Events" button above.

Our latest timetable of events can be downloaded on the link to be found on the "News & Events" page. 

We also have a closed (i.e. private) Facebook page (administered by Graham) where members can post pictures. Please get in touch via FB to join and request to join the group

We welcome new members of all levels of ability (and kit!). We do have spaces if you wish to join us, in which case please get in touch using the "contact me" button above.

At our December 2019 meeting, Sue and Ruth treated us to a very "photographic" quiz.  If you missed the meeting but want to see how well you might have done then you can try for yourself here.

Our sessions are currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic - further details will be provided as and when the situation changes.

Details below are all provisional and subject to the coronavirus situation.

We are meeting outside the Sarah Moore pub, Elm Road, Leigh for a stroll to Old Leigh as our May outdoors session and our photos from that walk along with Leisure and Architecture photos will be reviewed at our LCC meeting on 12th June.

In July we will be visiting Battlesbridge and reviewing those photos along with your Furniture submissions in August.


Physics for All
 Group Contact: Steve Scroggs
 Meets:  1st Monday of each month @ 10:30am
 Venue:  Private House
 Status: Spaces available, please contact Steve                                      Contact Me

A newly formed group that held their first meeting on Monday 1st April.  Spaces available so if you want to get involved please contact Steve.

Play Reading 1
Group Contact: Sue Wright 01702 831711
Meets: 4th Monday in the month 2.00 - 5.00 pm
Venue: Private house
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                Contact Me

We do what it says on the tin!

Since we began in June 2013 we have read a variety of plays, some suggested by members, some well known, occasionally favourites of mine. We started with J. B . Priestley's " Dangerous Corner", then Agatha Christie's, " The Mousetrap". Several of us had never seen it. "Ten Times Table", an Alan Ayckbourne was next, then Rattigan's "French Without Tears", and Paul Doust's "Cold Comfort Farm". Rather more serious was Wesker's "Chicken Soup and Barley". Then for Christmas a one act version of "Scrooge the Miser", an excellent read and time for festive goodies. "Darling Buds of May" by H. E. Bates was a fun afternoon and my favourite last week was Noel Coward's "Waiting in the Wings".

Next month we await Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. Variety is definitely the spice of our lives!

We are now fully subscribed and have a waiting list. If you would like to be added, or are interested in becoming part of a new, similar group, please get in touch and let us know.

Play Reading 2

Group Contact: Solveig Doyle
Meets: 4th Tuesday in the month 2.00 - 4.00 pm
Venue: Private house
Status: Spaces available.  Please contact Solveig              Contact Me

If interested then please get in touch

















Group Contact: Bee
Meets: 4th Wednesday each month 10.30 - 12.00
Venue: Members' homes
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                         Contact Me


- is for people who like to read poetry, but may have not had the time or motivation to do so of late. Recently we decided that individual members would choose a poem, find out a little bit about the writer and introduce it to the group - this has worked really well so far.

To make it easy for everyone we have also decided to work from an anthology called The Rattle Bag edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, so even if you do not have a computer, you still have access to the chosen poem and can think about it before we meet. Of course the local library can help here if you want to do some research.

In recent months we have looked at the poems of John Keats and Robert Frost, and John Betjeman and Carol Ann Duffy (two very different Poet Laureates). At the meeting in September we discussed metaphor in poetry and this theme continued with a look at three poems by Robert Frost and two of the Metaphysical poets. We have also discussed sonnets and what they are.

We are a very friendly group, and individuals are free to suggest where we might go next so that everyone's taste is catered for.


Group Contact: Chris Robinson                                                News & Events
Meets: 1st Tuesday each month 10.00 - 12.00
Venue: Leigh Community Centre
Status: Spaces available. Please contact me                            Contact Me

The subjects for the next three meetings of the Psychology Group are:


Anyone interested in joining please email.

Quirky History
Group Contact: Ian Spacie
Meets: 1st Wednesday each month 2.30 - 4.30 pm
Venue: Private house
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                Contact Me

For those with an inquisitive mind. You hear something, or read something, and you wonder why it is. It intrigued you to the extent that you want to find out more. You look it up on the Internet, or look it up in a book, perhaps in the library. One thing leads to another and suddenly you come across some obscure fact or event of a historical nature, probably not the sort of thing you would read in a conventional history book. It's "Quirky History" and you want to share it with someone. And that's exactly what we do in the group. Meeting during the afternoon on the first Wednesday of the month in the informal setting of the home of one of the group, we talk, we discuss, and we share, the topics we have discovered.

You might like to join us just to see and hear how it all works out. You might like to make it a monthly commitment!

Group Contact: David White
Meets: 2nd Monday of the Month 2 - 4 pm
Venue: The Stables, Leigh Road Baptist Church, Leigh
Status: Places available. Please contact me                                         Contact Me

We meet on the ground floor room of the Stables at the rear of Leigh Road Baptist Church; accessed via Chalkwell Park Drive at south end close to Leigh Road.

If you love the challenge of a quiz then join us on the second Monday of each month for a fun session of questions and answers. Don’t worry, you are not left to answer questions alone as we play in teams, mixing the teams for each session. Members volunteer to set the quiz and we share that load throughout the year. Whoever is setting the quiz, sets the format for that session so we get a variety of ideas coming through. This is not University Challenge and we keep it at that fun level.

It is a great way to meet new people at the same time as learning something new (or maybe a reminder of something you have forgotten).

We currently have spaces so please get in touch and join in the fun.

Group Contact: tba
Meets: tba
Venue: tba
Status:  ON HOLD

This group is currently on hold and looking for another group leader/contact to take up the challenge of taking it forward.


If interested in helping out please contact our Groups Co-ordinator

Group Organiser:                                                                              News & Events
Meets: No set day
Venue: Various
Status: ON HOLD

Sadly, we have put this group ON HOLD and really would like to find a new Group Leader/Contact to take over what has been an exciting and popular group.  If anyone is willing to help out then please contact the Groups Co-ordinator

In the meantime, members can continue to enjoy previous events via the "News & Events" button above and remember:

Serendipity - A happy accident or pleasant surprise – specifically, 'the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it'.

Objective: to explore and have fun!

The idea: To visit places of interest ideally unusual, that the majority of us haven’t visited before. No coach trips. We will jump on the train at Leigh/Chalkwell and have a fun and informative day, may be London, may be anywhere! To be serendipitous and be prepared to change our plan and take advantage of an opportunity that occurs.

Our days are variable, sometimes on a Saturday, usually every 2 months unless something occurs to take advantage of more frequently.

Please click on News & Events above for the adventures we have had so far!

Short Mat Bowls
Group Contact: Looking for a new Group Leader, please contact Groups Co-ordinator if you can assist
Meets: 2nd and 4th Tuesday in the month 2 - 4 pm
Venue: Whitehall Bowling Club, Clatterfield Gardens, Westcliff
Spaces: Spaces available.  Please contact the Groups Co-ordinator                                      Contact Me

Short Mat Bowling is played indoors. No previous experience is needed and woods are provided.

The group has been on hold due to covid-19 but looking to get back into the swing of things once allowed.  The group does need a new leader so if you are willing to help then please contact the groups co-ordinator using link above.

Group Contact: Mick Miley
Meets: 3rd Monday of the month - 1.30pm
Venue: Leigh Community Centre
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                  Contact Me

We are a new Group with the aim of improving our sketching skills through practising, sharing knowledge and discussing our efforts - beginners are welcome. It's a very relaxed group with lots of chat whilst we draw and the more experienced members are very encouraging and helpful.'
We meet at Leigh Community Centre on the 3rd Monday of the month with ad hoc outings on the first Thursday of the month.
There are currently some spaces available on the group, please contact me if you would like to come along.
Spanish Beginners
Group Contact: Corinne Taylor
Meets: 3rd Tuesday of each month - 2.00 - 4.00 pm
Venue: Private House
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                Contact Me

This is a group who welcomes absolute beginners along with those who have some knowledge of the language. We are using the BBC Talk Spanish book to assist our learning while mainly focusing on conversation. The group is currently full but you are welcome to come along to one session as a taster and then join this group when spaces become available. Please contact me if you are interested in joining.


Spanish Improvers
Group Contact: Sheila Byde
Meets: 1st Monday of each month, 2 - 4 pm
Venue: Private House
Status: Please register your interest by contacting John                             Contact Me

John Poland is helping this group to improve their Spanish.

Sunday Lunch 1
Group Contact: Mavis Miller
Meets: Various
Venue: Various
Status:  Please register your interest by contacting Mavis                                       Contact Me

Like food and good company then come and join us.

Something on a Sunday
Group Contact: Trevor Matthews
Meets: Aiming for 3rd Sunday in month but special events may dictate otherwise
Venue: Various
Status:  Please contact Trevor if interested                                    Contact Me
We will meet up on the 3rd Sunday of the Month unless a concert or event dictates otherwise so it may vary but not too often.
This group got underway on Sunday 16th December 2019 at a very short notice with a visit to the film Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby & Fred Astaire at the Palace Theatre Westcliff.
January 2020 - subject to weather we may take a walk along the seafront and a pub lunch to discuss future events - ideas circulating so far include a restaurant meal one month, concert in the park, a film, take the train to London and explore the city of London when it’s quieter, or maybe a day out in the Essex countryside.  But nothing is set in stone so please get in touch if interested and if you want a say in future events then get along to the January meeting.

Table Tennis - Wednesday
Group Contact: Dawn Purkiss
Meets: Every Wednesday morning
Venue: Rayleigh
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                    Contact Me

We must emphasise that you do not have to be a good table tennis player to join. The emphasis will be very much upon enjoying the game, having some fun whilst at the same time having some regular exercise and keeping active.

If you are interested or would like to know more then please contact Dawn.

Table Tennis - Friday
Group Contact: Marilyn Abraham - 01702 712230                                            News & Events
Meets: Every Friday morning
Venue: Rayleigh
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                       Contact Me

We must emphasise that you do not have to be a good table tennis player to join. The emphasis will be very much upon enjoying the game, having some fun whilst at the same time having some regular exercise and keeping active.

If you would like to know more then please contact Marilyn.

Tap Dancing
Group Contact: Laura O'Connor and Iris Judd
Meets: We meet on the second and fourth Friday of each month from 1:30 - 3:00pm
Venue: Southend and District Reform Synagogue, 851 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9SZ
Status: Currently full but if interested please contact us as we do hold a waiting list                                           Contact Us

Please contact us for more information.

No previous experience of tap dancing is necessary. Meetings fall on second and fourth Friday of every month.

Group Contact: Trevor Mathews                                                        News & Events
Meets: Various days and times
Venue: Various
Status: Spaces available. Please contact me                                      Contact Me

Ticket Conditions

When indicating interest in a show, payment by the deadline will guarantee you a ticket. Please include a stamped addressed envelope with your cheque.

Please note that all tickets booked and paid for are your responsibility to sell in the event that you can no longer attend. I will of course direct any enquiries in your direction.

See our News & Events page for details of future trips planned.  A few details of trips in near future are included below.

Forthcoming Trips:

Advance notice of planned trips (contact Trevor to get your interest booked in early):

27th February 202 - THE CROFT - Matinee performance at The Palace Theatre.  Tickets   £24.50

29th February 2020 - Priscilla - Queen of the Desert at Palace Theatre - fuller details to follow

18th March 2020 MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET - Matinee performance at the Cliffs Pavilion.  Tickets  £30.
25th March 2020 - DIAL M FOR MURDER -  Matinee performance at The Palace Theatre.  Tickets  £29.50.

April 2020 - Beautiful (The Carole King Musical) at Palace Theatre - fuller details to follow.

7th May 2020 - Prince of Egypt - Dominion Theatre London - more details here.  Cost including travel - £60

May 2020 - & Juliet at Shaftesbury Theatre, London. Tickets incl coach £52.  More details on News & Events page

Thursday 23rd July (7:30pm) at Palace Theatre, Westcliff - THE MIKADO - tickets £21; front stalls rows G, H & I - see News & Events page for more details or contact Trevor.


Enjoy having a look through and let Trevor know if you are interested in booking. Please make sure you send a cheque by the deadline (cheques payable to Leigh Estuary U3A) and if you could include an SAE, it would be useful. Thank you.


Group Contact: Graham Lipscombe 07929 316205                        News & Events
Meets: 1st Tuesday of the month
Venue: Private house and on location
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                           Contact Me

This group explores anything and everything that might loosely be associated with a transport theme including aeronautical, buses, coaches, trains along with anything that floats.



Visits Planned:

January  - Amazon Fulfilment Centre
February  - Waterman's Hall, 16-18 St Mary at Hill Billingsgate, London EC3R 8EF
March  - Biggin Hill Memorial Museum

For full details of our 2020 Programme and details as to who is organising please see link on News & Events page

Group Contact: Lorna Reeve                                                       News & Events
Meets: Various
Venue: Various
Status: Spaces in the group available. Please contact me                                  Contact Me

If you'd like to join the group to be kept informed of any future trips, then please contact me.


Group Contact: Marion Collins 01702 476831                                         News & Events
Meets: 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month 2:30 - 4 pm
Venue: Iveagh Hall, Leigh Road
Status: Please contact me if interested, we do have spaces                             Contact Me
detail of the body and the keyboard of a red soprano ukulele

Our aim is to learn simple chords to accompany popular songs.

This group comprises a mixture of abilities ranging from well seasoned musicians to complete novices. We meet twice a month for a session that is guaranteed to be fun and always very uplifting to the spirits. As Plato said “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

Music, especially that of a ukulele, can be very uplifting so if you want to raise your spirits come and join us.

We occasionally put on performances for local events such as the celebration of 400 years at the Dutch Cottage (Canvey), to performing at Nazareth House (Southend), and for the Home Sweet Home Care Group in Leigh.

Contact Marion if you are a beginner, want more experience, or are just after more information.

Notation for the music we play can be downloaded via links you will find by clicking on from links on the 'News & Events' page.

Vigorous Walking

If you are looking for the vigorous walking group then please note we have changed the group name to Country Walks.  Please see Country Walks tab for information on this group.

Visiting Gardens 2
Group Contact: Sue Sullivan                                                                      News & Events
Meets: Various days and times
Venue: Various
Status: Please contact me to register your interest                                   Contact Me

Our first visit was in April 2018 to Warley Place, formerly a famous garden, but now managed as a nature reserve by the Essex Wildlife trust. After a pub lunch most of the group visited the "Arts and Craft" church as it was only a mile down the road and open that afternoon. I attach a picture of the group outside the church.

In May there was no organised visit but a number of members went to Writtle Agricultural College on 24th, as they were open under the National Open Garden Scheme.

Our June visit was to Beeleigh Abbey Gardens near Maldon, where roses were one of the main features.

In July we visited South Shoebury Hall and enjoyed a fine display of agapanthus.

In August we went rather further, visiting Marks Hall Arboretum. This was a very large, interesting site so we were unable to see all of it in one tour.

Our final visit was to Horkesley Hall in September where we had a lovely tour, followed by homemade soup and cake.

In October there was no organised visit, but members were notified of free open days at Beth Chatto's garden and RHS Hyde Hall.

We have enjoyed lovely weather for all our visits and most places provided refreshments. Many thanks to all who organised a visit during 2018.

Wildlife Walks
Group Contact: Frances Coombs                                                         News & Events
Meets: 4th Wednesday each month 10.30 - 12.30
Venue: Various
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                          Contact Me

On our wildlife walks we look at the natural world, taking short, fairly slow walks round local open spaces such as the parks, the woods, the marshes, even the streets. We are looking at nature in every form - animals, birds, trees, flowers, insects, and little things like fungi and lichens. We share any knowledge and identifications, and use books when this fails. The aim is to enjoy the wildlife, increase our knowledge, maybe find new places, take photos and generally get the most out of our precious open spaces.

We usually finish up having coffee together.

Our last walk was to a chilly Chalkwell Park.

No walks during lockdown but to see the photos that members have been sharing please see the News & Events page.

Wine Appreciation
Group Contact: Barbara Zybutz
Meets: 2nd Monday of the month - 7.30pm
Venue: Private house
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                                  Contact Me

This is a small group and currently full.  Please use the contact me button above to add your name to the waiting list.

The group is very warm and friendly, with each person contributing in a different way. We have lots of laughs, not necessarily from the consumption of alcohol, so don't get the wrong idea!