Tests – groups page

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: Val Davies
 Venue: Leigh Community Centre
 Meets: Second Monday of each month 1:30 – 3:00pm
 Status: Spaces available, please contact Val                  Contact Me

The group have a list of artists for each month. Members do some research on the artist they choose and give a brief talk while we look at their paintings on a projector. Some of us attend U3A days at the National Gallery which are very interesting along with visiting the Mall Gallery to see the Portrait Exhibitions. It is a friendly group, none of us having any prior knowledge of the subject.

Bee Walk
Group Contact: Richard Lytheer
Meets: once a month timing tbd
Venue: out in the fresh air
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                         Contact Me
Common Carder Bee

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 can be 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.




Bridge for Beginners
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 the Bridge for Beginners group underway. Currently there are no spaces in the group but if you are interested in playing this fascinating card game then please register your interest by contacting the group contact and getting your name added to the waiting list. Once we have enough names, plus someone to teach, we’ll start a second Bridge group.

If you already know the game and would be willing to share that knowledge by teaching others how to play then please get in touch.

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: Anne Owen                    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 and history and comparative religion. 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.


Our first visit for 2020 has been arranged and we will be visiting St Laurence Church, Eastwood on Wednesday 12th February at 10:30am.  This visit is being organised by Dorothy and Beryl and if you want more details please contact Beryl direct by using this link.

Cinema Films
Group Contact: Pamela Waters                              News & Events
Meets: Various
Venue: Southend and Basildon Cinemas
Status: Spaces Available.  Please contact                Pamela

This group is now up and running and they enjoyed their first cinema outing to see Red Joan at the Odeon, Southend.

Next trip is to see 1917 - During World War I, two British soldiers -- Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake -- receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades.  The group will visit Basildon Cineworld Festival Leisure on Wednesday 15th January to see the 15.30 showing.  Contact Pamela for full info.

If you are interested in watching a film with like minded people then please make contact with Pamela  by using link above.

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 meets at a members home and is currently full.  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.
There is no meeting in December and we will be discussing The Queen of Spades by Emile Zola and Diary of a Nobody  by George Weedon Grossmith at our meeting on Friday 24 January 2020.
Future books to be read are:-
Green Dolphin Country by Elizabeth Goudge to be discussed 28/2/2020
Nana by Emile Zola  to be discussed 27/3/2020
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift to be discussed 24/4/2020
So get reading and enjoy.
Thanks Kris
Clay Modelling
Group Contact: Jennifer
Meets: see below
Status:                               Contact Me

Sadly this group will be closing in the late autumn.  If there is anyone willing and able to take on then please contact the Groups Co-ordinator

Group Contact: Lorna Reeve - to email use link below or phone 01702 478102
Meets: By arrangement
Venue: Private House
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                       Contact Me

Computer help is available for those with basic knowledge, and can be on your desktop computer or laptop.
For those members who would like to learn how to use their iPad or tablet, tuition is available when enough members show an interest. Contact me to be put on the waiting list for the next course.

Ravenshead U3A have kindly shared their useful computer guides. Click on the *Computer Help Guides* link here.

Contemporary Novels
Group Contact: Vivien Rosier                                                                      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: Spaces available                                                                  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.

If you are interested please contact Dave using the button above.

Group Contacts: Amanda Archard and Pat Lytheer                                   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.

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: Jackie Jackson-Smith
Meets:1st Monday each month 2.00 - 4 pm
Venue: Leigh Community Centre, Room 8
Status: Welcoming new members, please contact Jackie                           Contact Me

A new Creative Writing group welcoming beginner writers as well as writers with more experience. Sessions will feature short story writing, autobiography and poetry. Optional homework and additional resources provided and your suggestions for writing topics always welcome!

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
Group Contact:
Meets: 2nd Monday afternoon in the month
Venue: Private house
Status: Please register your interest by contacting me                 Contact Me

The group consists of 14 members and are asked that, if possible, everyone bring an article from the media or write out a subject that they would like discussed and these are put into a bag and pulled out at random. We do not discuss religion or politics (very wise) but the topics are varied and can be anything from space travel, state/private education, the pros and cons of medical science etc. and of course we also have light hearted topics such as "talking is the best way to beat winter blues" (no problem for us) or life begins at 60 not 40 (very encouraging). Each meeting is different so it is not possible to be specific on the topics but the most important thing is that obviously everyone has their own ideas but there is never any bad feeling however diverse opinions maybe.

We end with tea and biscuits and the satisfaction that we have put the world to rights - leaving as the same friendly group that arrived.

Current Affairs & General Discussion
Group Contact: Barry Freshwater
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.