Groups

The Goring Gap u3a has over 390 members and supports over 30 groups.

The activities of the Groups range from Arts and Crafts, through Health and Fitness, History to Social; there’s something for everyone in their Third Age.

The normal schedule of group meetings is shown in the calendar below. n.b. most of these have been suspended because of the current social distancing constraints.

To find out more, or join a group, take a look at the cards below.

  • For more information on the group, click the downward arrow next to the number of groups

  • To contact the groups co-ordinator, or a specific group leader click here, or on any of the images. A contact form will open in a new browser tab.



If you can't find what you are looking for, or simply have an idea for a new group, you can suggest a new group, or read and comment on the suggestions for new groups, please go to the Interests, Ideas & Comments page

Art in action

Painting & drawing in various media

  • We meet fortnightly on Tue afternoons

  • Group 1 meets in members homes

  • Group 2 meets in the leader's home

Book Groups

Reading wide variety of books

  • There are five book groups.

  • They meet monthly on Tuesday and Wednesday, at various times, in members homes.

Bridge

Social Rubber and Chicago Bridge

  • Meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, at 2 pm, in Goring Community Centre

  • Beginners classes start in September each year

Chess / Draughts

Social/non-competitive chess

  • Group 1 welcomes any moderately competent players, interested in playing social/non-competitive chess.

  • Group 2 provides individual tuition for beginners in chess and draughts

2 Groups

Art Group 1

Leader: Janet Phillips . Description:We have seven regular members and meet fortnightly on Tuesday afternoons in each other’s homes. We decide in advance the theme for the next meeting and sometimes watch DVDs or videos for inspiration. We have tried various mediums and techniques and work from a still life composition provided by the host or from our own material. We have some excellent painters who have been coming for years, and others of us who just plod along for pleasure.

Art Group 2

Leader: Gail Shuttleworth . Description:We meet fortnightly on Tuesdays 1.30-4pm in my home. We experiment with a range of media and techniques, and are currently working on a ‘portrait of a loved one’ in either oils on canvas, or modelling using Modroc. A member comments that “I have loved the opportunity to learn new and rewarding techniques in the company of fellow artists.

5 Groups

Book group 1

Leader: Ann Walsh.

We meet on the fourth Wednesday in the month at 7.30pm in members’ houses. We read a wide variety of books chosen by our members.

Book group 2

Leader: Gill Amos.

We meet on the fourth Tuesday morning of each month.

Book group 3

Leader: Pat Nias.

We meet on the third Wednesday morning of each month.

Book group 4

Leader: Sara Daniels.

We meet on the second Wednesday morning of the month in each other’s houses and often the discussion veers off pleasingly to topics related, but outside of, the current book.

Book group 5

Leader: Jane Ray.

The group meets in each other's homes on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 1.30pm.

1 Group

Bridge

Leader: Gill Thomas.

The bridge group meets on the first and third Thursday of the month (excluding July and August) at the Goring Community Centre at 2pm. Group members make a small subscription to cover rent and incidental costs.

We play a mixture of Rubber and Chicago bridge, with occasional diversions into Duplicate. The use of Standard English Acol is favoured. U3A members with any bridge experience are welcome to join us at any time. Beginners should join our ‘Introduction to Basic Bridge Skills’ course running from September to Christmas each year. To pre-book a place on this course contact me before September. Andrew Robson’s Need to Know? Bridge is recommended as the favoured textbook. We are a mixed ability group and our aim is to have a relaxed and enjoyable afternoon whilst trying to improve our play.

2 Groups

1: Chess

Leader: James Dobson. James is keen to restart this group. Anyone interested in playing social/non-competitive chess can contact him via the contacts form (click on any image on this page)

2: Learn Chess and Draughts

Leader Joe Green. Provides provides individual tuition, by appointment, for beginners in chess and draughts @ the Care Hub in the arcade in the centre of Goring.

Climate Change

Discussion of various aspects of climate change

  • Meets on the 1st Wednesday morning of the month, in each other’s homes, but at present is making highly effective and enjoyable use of Zoom to support our activities

Craft

Encouraging each other with all types of needle craft

  • Meets every Monday, 11 am – 1 pm, at Towse Court, Icknield Road, Goring


Current Affairs

Discussion of local, national and international topics

  • Meets on the 1st Thursday morning of the month, in each other’s homes

Dining out

Meeting for lunch at restaurants or pubs within a 20 mile radius

  • Meets on the second Tuesday of the month, at a venue of choice

1 Group

Climate change

Leader: John Clark

The Climate Change Group was formed just before the lockdown. However, one of our members was very familiar with Zoom and agreed to host on 18 March and subsequent meetings on Zoom. By the May meeting the group had become experienced in using Zoom and the group has learned that the use of Zoom allows meaningful meetings and presentations to take place.

Our group focuses on understanding the effect of climate change on the environment and its impact on humans around the world, quite possibly the greatest threat to human life since Homo sapiens evolved.

The group is not full, the list of topics for discussion is lengthy, our meetings are monthly on the first Wednesday of each month at 10am, presently held by Zoom; and we would love to welcome more members.


1 Group

Craft

Leader: Jean Edwards .

Our members are free to work on their own projects and this will include knitting, crochet,quilting,tapestry, cross stitch and anything else that can be done with a needle. We enjoy working in a relaxed atmosphere and learn from each other.

1 Group

Current Affairs

Leader: Linda Waller.

The Current Affairs Group meets on the first Thursday of each month. We discuss local, national and international topics that are of interest. We have 15 in the group and members take turns in hosting the meetings and leading discussion on the topics.

1 Group

Dining Out

Leader: Jenny Storch.

The group meets for lunch on the second Tuesday of each month. We choose restaurants or pubs within a 20 mile radius, but usually much closer. The cost for two courses (paid individually) varies between £12 and £18. We enjoy visiting new locations but like some places so much we return there every year – The Highwayman, Lord Nelson, Villa Marina and The Red Lion, Blewbury, are four of our favourites. New members are always welcome

Family History

Discussion and reporting on individual research

  • Meets on the 4th Thursday afternoon of the month, in each other’s homes

Folk Dancing

Mainly English folk dances of various periods

  • Meets on the 1st and 3rd Thu mornings / month, in the Goring Village Hall

  • Caller Ted Morse

French

Improving and speaking French

  • Group 1 is focused on improving spoken French.

  • Group 2 engages in topical discussions in French

  • Both meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday afternoons of the month, in each other's homes.

German

Discussion of varied topics in German

  • Meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday afternoons of the month, in a member's home

1 Group

Family and Social History

Leader: Marigold Brass. The group normally meets in the afternoon of the fourth Thursday of each month, members taking it in turns to host the meeting. Occasionally we visit places such as the National Archives. As every member has different interests, we cannot provide a research facility. However, we have between us very different experiences, and sharing our discoveries is a useful way to pass on our expertise. We often have a talk on the social history of past eras, which gives insight into the way our forebears may have lived, or a member may talk about a particular ancestor. New members are welcome.



1 Group

Group:Folk Dance

Leaders: Wendy Riley and Patricia Talmage. Our large and popular folk dance group this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. We meet over three terms during the year, with a total of 23 sessions annually. We meet on the first and third Thursday mornings of each month, 10am – 12 noon in Goring Village Hall , with a break for refreshments. Our indispensable caller and instructor is local man Ted Morse. We have several ‘special’ mornings annually, at the end of a term, incorporating something a little different to add interest. At Christmas we have some form of entertainment followed by an excellent lunch, and at the end of the summer term in late July we have a picnic, before reconvening in early September. We also have an outreach group of volunteers who visit local residential homes to entertain the residents. So something for everyone – and learning the dance steps provides both physical and mental stimulation! There is a cost of £20 per term, which covers hire of hall, refreshments and caller expenses. The first session is free, so do come along and meet our friendly group for a taster – no partner required, and all abilities catered for. Please contact the leaders for more information.

2 Groups

French Conversation 1

Leader: Joan Williams. A more accurate title for our group might be ‘Improving our French Conversation’. On average we are above Intermediate Level with our reading of the language, but when it comes to speaking or listening we often fall well below this. To help us improve we have been using a magazine, Rendez-vous, which has topical articles in French with a CD with native French speakers reading the articles. This is gradually making us more adventurous in what we attempt to say to each other.

Ours is a ‘Do-it-Ourselves’ group. At each meeting we decide on the subject matter for next time, and the venue. The member who is the host takes charge, in a very informal way.

We all share responsibility. This means we prompt, correct and praise each other, try to come up with new ways of tackling things, and we find we laugh a lot. It is not all work. We have enjoyed excellent celebratory Christmas lunches in the home of one of our members. We meet in each other’s homes on the second and fourth Tuesday afternoons of each month. Usually we work for about an hour, break for tea, and continue after as the mood takes us.

French Conversation 2

Leader: Helen Rugman. We meet in each other’s homes on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, 2.30-4pm. We are a small, friendly group (currently seven members) who meet for casual French conversation over a cup of tea or coffee. We generally chat about current news items and our own activities. Sometimes a member will bring an article in French dealing with topical events or issues in France, French Canada or other French-speaking communities. We would welcome one or two more members who have some background in French (even if rusty) and have enough familiarity with French to be able to join in sociable conversation

1 Group

German Conversation

Leader: Ann Bridgens. The group meets in the home of one of our members in the afternoon of the first and third Monday of each month. We try to discuss a variety of topics, speaking as much German as possible. We are very lucky to have the support of two native German speakers, who often attend and help us out. The standard is very variable, but anybody with any knowledge of German is welcome to come along and see how it goes.

History

Discussion of varied topics; research encouraged

  • Meets on the 1st Tuesday afternoon of the month, in each other’s homes

Italian

Continuing Italian

  • .The group enjoy speaking, listening, reading and writing the language.

  • They meet on the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 2 pm.

Mah Jong

Playing this ancient game

  • Both beginners and experienced players

  • Meets on the 2nd and 4th Wed afternoons of the month, usually in the leaders home

Maths for fun

Exploring all aspects of maths

  • This relaxed group meets on the second Tuesday morning of the month, in a members home

1 Group

History

Leader:Linda Ogle. The group meets in each other’s houses at 2.30pm on the first Tuesday of the month. Members are encouraged to undertake some research. Please email for more information

1 Group

Italian for Beginners

Leader: Mary Turner. We meet on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. If anyone is interested in learning Italian, please make contact. If we are unable to accommodate you, we will help you to set up a new group.

1 Group

Mah Jong

Leader: Gill Thomas. The Mah Jong Group exists to offer members of Goring Gap U3A who already know the game an opportunity to play it regularly in the relaxed setting of a member’s home.

Equally importantly, it exists to give members who wish to learn this ancient, oriental game an opportunity to do so in a non-competitive atmosphere. The group aims to meet twice a month, usually on the second and fourth Wednesdays at 2pm.

1 Group

Maths for Fun

Leader: Terry Hookway. The group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10.30am.

Music Appreciation

Listening to and learning about all types of music

  • Meets on the 2nd Friday morning of the month, in each other’s homes

Philosophy

Philosophical discussions on various topics

  • Meets on the last Friday of the month, in each other's homes

Photography

Aesthetics and technical aspects of photography

  • Examination and discussion of aesthetics and technical aspects of photography

  • Meets at 10:00 on third Thursday via Zoom

Piano

Piano playing

  • Members perform at their own levels

  • Meets every 4/5 weeks, in each other’s homes

1 Group

Music Appreciation

Leader: Derek Carter. The group meets in the Goring home of one of the members where the audio system will ensure first-rate sound.

1 Group

Philosophy

Leader: David Vincent. Professional philosophers differ widely amongst themselves, so there are rarely any ‘right answers’. This means that the views of amateurs can be as valid as those of the professionals. So far, we have approached the subject mainly by topics, but we occasionally look at particular philosophers. At each meeting a member introduces a topic which we then discuss. As the aim is to have a discussion or debate rather than a lecture, we hope that other members will read up on the subject to enable them to participate. We are not trying to be academic philosophers, but we try to be logical and consistent in our discussions, and if we don’t always come to agreed conclusions at least we have aired the issues and clarified our ideas. We meet in the morning of the last Friday of each month.

1 Group

Photography

Leader: Peter Brass. The group normally meets in the morning of the third Wednesday of the month, usually in a member’s home. Two or three times in the year we vary this by going on a visit with our cameras to some place of photographic interest. We split our regular meetings into two sessions. In the first we look at pictures we have taken on a pre-set theme. After coffee, we cover a technical subject to help us get the most out of our cameras and the range of post-processing computer software.

1 Group

Piano

Leader: Barbara Thompson. The Piano Group is proving very enjoyable and all members perform at their appropriate levels thus providing a varied and interesting programme in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We rotate the venue and our present number of seven is about right but if anyone is very eager to join do contact me. We meet every 4/5 weeks to give ourselves time to reach "performance " standard!

Play Reading

Reading and discussion of a wide variety of plays

  • Meets on the 3rd Tuesday afternoon of the month, in each other’s homes

Poetry

Discussion of individual poets or themes

  • Meets on the 3rd Tuesday morning of the month, in each other's homes

Recorder

Improvers group playing a wide variety of music

  • Meets every Friday morning, in each other's homes.


Science/Technology

Discussion and debate on varied topics

  • Meets on the 3rd Thursday afternoon of the month, in each other's homes

1 Group

Leader: Carol Mallen. This has proved to be a popular group. We meet on the third Tuesday afternoon of each month and read through a complete play, with each of us taking a different part. We share the choosing, casting and hosting of the play in our own homes. We try to choose as wide a variety of plays as is practical, from comedies through mysteries to the more serious, and usually have time to discuss it afterwards, to round off an interesting and enjoyable session

1 Group

Poetry

Leader: Michael Anderson. Up to 10 of us meet on the third Tuesday morning of each month, either to discuss the work of one poet or to take a theme such as ‘winter’, ‘children’ or ‘life and death’. We have ranged widely across time and style from John Milton to Ted Hughes, and from Emily Dickinson to Carol Ann Duffy.We are not experts but just a group who share a pleasure in the power of words to engage, entrance and challenge.



1 Group

Recorders

Leader: Frances Thompson. The Recorder Group is flourishing. It is no longer a beginners group, but if any beginner or returner to recorder playing is interested in playing, do get in touch with me. We meet every Friday morning and try to play a variety of music, but of course early music is such a joy to play on recorders; we do seem to specialise a bit!

1 Group

Science & Technology

Leader: John Turner. As one of the main aims of the U3A is to promote study and participation, each member undertakes to organise and run one group meeting a year. They either speak on a topic themselves, show a video, e.g. from the U3A Central Office collection, or bring in an external speaker, always with the aim of fostering much lively debate. Between us we cover many diverse areas of Science and Technology.

We meet every third Thursday in the month at 3pm in a member's house.

Scrabble

Friendly, chatty group


  • Meets on the first Tuesday afternoon of the month, in a member's home

Singing for fun

Sociable singing of a wide variety of songs

  • Group 1 meets in term time on Monday afternoons in the Community Centre

  • Group 2 meets on he 4th Tuesday afternoon of the month

Spanish

Intermediate Spanish speaking

  • Meets every Monday morning, in each other's homes.

Table Tennis

Playing for fun not competitively

  • Meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday afternoons of the month

1 Group

Scrabble

Leader: Briony Cooke . The course of Scrabble ‘ne'er did run smooth’ and after rotating the venue and date we have now agreed to meet regularly at a member's house in Goring on the first Tuesday of each month at 2.30pm. We could squeeze in a few extra players and would welcome anyone interested in joining our friendly, chatty (but quite competitive !) group.

1 Group

Singing For Fun 1

Leader: Janet Pound. We meet on Monday afternoon every week during term time, 2-4pm in Goring Community Centre. We sing all kinds of songs: folk songs, traditional songs and selections from all the well-known musicals. We are a very happy and friendly group and enjoy the time we spend together. We have a break at 3 o'clock for tea and a chat, which, after a quiet weekend for some of us, is very welcome. No auditions are held, just come and give us a try. You will be very welcome.

1 Group

Spanish

Leader: Mary-Ann Harding. We are a small group who meet in each other’s homes on Monday mornings at 11.15. We would welcome new members with an intermediate knowledge of Spanish.

1 Group

Table tennis

Leader: Frances Thompson. We meet at Storton Lodge on the first and third Thursdays of each month, 3.30-5pm. We are not very serious about the rules as we play for fun; occasionally we seem to improve a bit which is always encouraging. So if you want a bit of exercise, a good laugh and a bit of skill, do 'come and join us


About the u3a (The University of the Third Age) and Acknowledgements and Copyrights

The U3A (The University of the Third Age) is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment. Our inaugural meeting was held in June 2006 and membership has grown to our present 370 members. As we expand we are also able to increase our range of activities. We are a self-help organisation with charity status, run by volunteers. Like all U3A’s we are affiliated to the national body, the Third Age Trust. Click here to go to the U3A national web site. The Goring Gap U3A is a member of the Thames Valley U3A Network, an association of over 35 local U3As. The network puts on events, such as subject study days, that would not be possible for individual U3A