Activity Groups

Updated October 2021

General Meetings

The General Meeting is a great chance to find out more about the U3A if you are not already a member. We meet once a month in a hall in central Slough with a guest speaker, who will talk about a topic of general interest for about 45 minutes. After that, there’s refreshments and a chance to socialise.

Active Groups

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Activity Club  [Sept 2021] Our Activity Club is off to a flying start. We’re playing Table Tennis, Scrabble, Bridge and Carrom once a fortnight in a hired hall, with the emphasis on friendly social contact and having fun. No prior experience necessary – you can come along and try out any activity to see if you enjoy it. In particular, we have a tuition group for beginners to learn to play Bridge.

Art Appreciation         [October 2021] Art Appreciation arrange visits once per month to galleries and museums. In October 2021, a 4-day group visit was made to Birmingham, taking in the Barber Institute, Winterbourne House etc.  Future visits include the Contemporary Art Exhibition in Windsor and Alice in Wonderland at the V&A (November).

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Badminton     [Sept 2021] this group meets every Thursday in the Centre in Farnham Road to play badminton. We have fun and get good exercise at the same time. You don’t have to be able to play badminton – we have all abilities and we’ll tutor if you are a beginner.

Book Club       [November 2021] Slough U3a Book Group meets monthly in members’ homes.  Although some members access books via their Kindles or audio, the majority of us still like a physical book, so we choose our monthly book titles from what Buckinghamshire or Berkshire libraries can provide multiple copies of. Last month we read “Big Brother” by Lionel Schriver which provoked quite a discussion about obesity and relationships!  This month we are reading “Everything and Nothing” by Araminta Hall.  We have space for one or two more members so if you love reading but don’t expect too erudite a discussion each month please contact me:  Jenny Carey. e-mail: jennyandpeterc@aol.com

Bridge for Fun [July 2021] Bridge is a social and friendly team game, which can be played at a leisurely pace.  Bridge is a game of memory and skill – not difficult to learn, but always challenging to play. No experience is necessary – we’ll bring beginners up to speed. We play in the Activity Club group (see above) once a fortnight, and in-between sessions in members’ homes – currently limited to 6 players in each session. Beginners are very welcome – come along, watch, and learn!

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Create & Craft [November 2021] are meeting again Tuesdays from 11am – 3pm, but people don’t have to do the full session, they can come for as long as they wish. Those making cards have started on Christmas now! We provide all that’s needed for card making, some people like to bring their own crafts so we have knitting and cross stitch going on as well. Three members of the Arts society have joined us and they do their sketching and drawing, so we are a very mixed and very friendly group, and always pleased to welcome new members.

Creative Writing – Creative writing have done several tasks and have been meeting up in people’s gardens; or twice in the garden of the Red Cow pub! We’re corresponding by email during the lockdown.

[Nov 2021] The Current Affairs group meets once a month in members’ homes on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 10.30am.  We would welcome new members so if you are interested in current affairs and enjoy sharing opinions and different points of view please give us a try. 

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Our Drawing Groups  have been meeting this year using Zoom, looking at the styles of some classic painters such as Monet and Turner. Now getting get back into parks & gardens.

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French [Aug 2021] The Intermediate-level French Group meets on the 1st Friday of each month. If Trivial Pursuits is your favourite party game…. come and join us. We are now the proud owners of an almost vintage edition of the game, so the questions are quite relevant to our era BUT all in French. Understanding the question is our primary objective!! We also do play- reading, swapping news, translations and try to remember some new vocabulary. Our latest initiative is to learn a poem–that should be interesting!

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Gardening       [Aug 2021] The Gardening Group meets monthly. A visit to Church Gardens, Harefield was a real treat for June – the owner talked about the history of the garden and her passion for restoring it, while making it as eco-friendly as possible. We were fortunate in that the rain dried up for our tour, and we were royally entertained by her description of the work they have done and continue to do as a family.  Do try and attend an open day! In July Elaine kindly showed her garden and provided teas. Our August meeting is on Monday 23rd at 2pm at 196 Langley Road, when we are going to look at propagation.

German           [Aug 2021] – The Beginners German Group meets every 2 weeks, and its members are very enthusiastic. Our attempts at Bingo are impressive and have given us numerical confidence as we take turns at being caller. We try to learn some rules of grammar, increase our vocabulary, play word games, and read stories. We may not be ready for exams in the foreseeable future, but we enjoy our meetings!!!

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Local History – [October 2021] We visit or have talks on aspects of the history of Slough and the surrounding towns. We have enjoyed talks by members on subjects such as Slough Football Club, Upton Park and Herschel Park, the stories behind the names on the Slough War Memorial, the history of Langley Schools, and Swan Upping. Our most recent activity was a visit to Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens; in September we learned more about ancient remedies courtesy of the Kedermister Library and Octobers talk at St Laurence’s Church is on the Ward family, many of whom are buried within the grounds.

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Lunch Club – (October 2021)

We meet on the last Thursday every month.  Each venue is chosen to be most convenient for as many of our members as possible. We consider, Disabled Access, price, whether it’s on a bus route, does it cater for various dietary needs, parking, and try and organise lifts where possible. We each pay for ourselves to avoid confusion (in theory!)

So far, we have had some lovely lunches. Red Lion, Stoke Place, Punjab. Last one was the Palmers Arms in Dorney, where we had a smashing time, chatting and catching up with many of the members we hadn’t seen during Covid. It’s really a good time to get together and perhaps get to know people you may not normally bump into.

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Outings Committee arranges coach trips to places of interest. There was only one opportunity during 2020 – a group visit to a National Garden Scheme garden near Maidenhead; members drove their own cars. We’re looking for similar opportunities in 2021.

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Play Reading  Our Play Reading Group is flourishing with eleven members and at least three more who will be joining us once we are meeting in person. It’s an opportunity to step out of yourself and become immersed in a dramatic role. Our play scripts come from Reading Library, which has a comprehensive collection of modern and classic plays. We have enjoyed reading plays online, including “Calendar Girls” – both touching and hilarious – and “Daisy Pulls it Off”. We’re currently discovering the macabre goings-on in “Arsenic and Old Lace”.

Poetry in Action covers a variety of poetry and explores the lesser-known poets. We have included the Victorians, the Romantics and Women in Poetry and shall be exploring Poetry of the Sea. We also include a fun group reading at each meeting. Eliot’s Jellicle Cats was very successful, complete with Zoom distorted catawauling, and we have great hopes for The Owl and the Pussycat.  Tu-woo-meow! 

Practical Philosophy [October 2021] – or to give our group its full name – Practical Philosophy for Everyday Life. Philosophy is in the lives of all of us. It helps us solve our problems, clarify our thoughts, and sharpen our critical thinking. The group has had many thought provoking discussions around a wide variety of topics such as ; ‘Is it more important to help yourself, your family or society?’, ‘What’s in a Name?’ and ‘What do you think your future self will remember about you now?’ We meet monthly for an interesting and lively exchange of views.

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Social Scrabble [ July 2021] – If you like words, have a sense of fun, want to enjoy a good game and good company, and keep your brains active – come along and join us! Meeting as part of the Activity Club (see above) but also in members’ homes. If you fancy a cuppa and a chat, and if you can spell the words “relaxed” and “friendly” then come and join us!T

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Table Tennis currently meets as part of the Activity Club

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Table Tennis

Currently meeting as part of the Activity Club (see above)

Ukulele [October 2021] The Ukulele group have just had their first gig! We were entertaining the local branch of Berkshire Vision at their first proper meeting post lockdown. Berkshire Vision is a charity which supports people with impaired vision. A range of activities includes coffee mornings, quizzes, and sports as well as support for newly diagnosed. The group rehearse regularly, during lockdown in members gardens and in the Bentley Centre. 

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Walking [Sept 2021] Walking is a great, natural form of exercise. The u3a Walking group is continuing to explore walking opportunities in the vicinity of Slough. During August we enjoyed a circular walk starting at Cooper’s Hill near Egham, which included historic Runnymede and a stretch of the Thames. This month our walk will start in Iver and include a stretch of the River Colne and Little Britain Lake. We are also able to join some walks which are organised by Windsor & District Ramblers so we have plenty of opportunities to get out and about!

Wine Appreciation

Providing opportunities for learning about grapes, wines, regions, countries and methods of production, gaining confidence in buying and ordering wines, knowing what to drink with what and when