Maldon U3A
Maldon U3A
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Activity Groups

Art Appreciation Group

Group co-ordinator: Judith Johnston
Time: 1st or 2nd Tuesday each month 2pm - 4pm.
Place: Members' houses or visits, see newsletter.

We are a small, popular, friendly group who enjoy viewing and discussing paintings. whether classical masters, impressionists, more modern art or one particular sector. We have visted the Wallace Collection, Tate Britain and The National Gallery in London, and we went to the 2018 Royal Academy 250th Summer Exhibition in Piccadilly. We have also been to The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (twice), the Christchurch Museum in Ipswich and The Dulwich Picture Gallery, as well as many of the other galleries and art houses throughout the home counties and the south of England. We have studied most of the Masters of European art of the last 100 years, the outstanding women painters and impressionists.


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Astronomy Group

Group co-ordinator: Malcolm Case
Time: 4th Monday each month at 7:30pm - 9:30pm.
Place: Chigboro Fishing Club, Chigborough Road, Heybridge CM9 4RE

The group covers a wide range of topics including the Solar System, the stars and their galaxies, and man’s exploration of the heavens. We generally have a short presentation which is followed by a discussion on the subject and during the winter months, we usually manage to observe, through members’ telescopes, the stars and planets. All members of the U3A are very welcome at the meetings.

For information on past events, click here.

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Aviation Group

Group co-ordinator:tba
Time: 3rd Tuesday each month at 2pm.
Place: Purleigh Pavilion, Howe Green Road, Purleigh CM3 6PX.

This group is currently inactive, pending a new co-ordinator.

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Bird Watching Group

Group co-ordinator: Peter Gaywood & Mike Bagshaw.
Time: 10am unless stated otherwise.
Place: Various - see below

We have a regular group of birdwatchers who meet on a monthly basis to spend approximately two hours on a “watch”. We visit many different venues in Essex using our own/shared cars.

Experience is useful, but not essential; also, a pair of binoculars would be an advantage.

Programme for 2022:

All rendezvous times are 10am unless otherwise stated.

6th March: Heybridge Basin - Meet in Daisy Meadow car park.

2nd April: Tollesbury - Meet in Woodrolfe Road car park.

7th May: Minsmere Reserve, Suffolk - Meet in the centre.

18th June: Wrabness Reserve - Meet in Railway Station car park.

2nd July: Salcott - Park outside the church.

August: No meeting.

3rd September: Blue House Farm - Park in reserve car park.

2nd October: Cudmore Grove, East Mersea - Meet in pay and display car park.

5th November: Wallasea Island - Meet in car park.

4th December: Hanningfield Reservoir - Meet in car park

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Botany Group

Group co-ordinator: Veronica Smith.
Time: Dates and times of the meetings are agreed when there is a viable group, but always take place in the morning.
Place: Various - see the newsletter.

This group meets once a fortnight during the months of March to October, learning to recognise the names and groups of wild flowers, by going out in the field - and inside if the weather is not too good.

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Bridge Group

Group co-ordinator: Sheila Epps.
Time: 2nd & 4th Wednesday at 1:45pm - 4:30pm.
Place: West Maldon Community Centre - main hall.

No partner necessary – we make up tables according to numbers there. We do not teach from scratch so do come having knowledge of bidding etc. We are of all abilities and like to discuss the hands. Informal and friendly –even get a cup of tea!

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Canasta Group

Group co-ordinator: Iris Slaney.
Time: Alternate Fridays at 2pm - 4pm. See the calendar in the newsletter.
Place: West Maldon Community Centre (Linton room).

We are a friendly group and play in pairs at tables of 4 people. You do not need a partner as pairs are randomly selected at the meeting. We play a form of Canasta called Boliva and use 3 packs of cards. We may have space so please contact me for further details. We are willing to teach anyone who would like to join us and learn the game.

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Cribbage Group

Group co-ordinator: Pat Clements.
Time: 4th Friday 2 - 4pm
Place: Members' houses

Most of us have played before and we are certainly not experts. Our group is full at the moment but we are willing to put your name on a waiting list.

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Croquet Group

Group co-ordinators: Jean Healey, Shirley and Geoff Macro.
Time: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays 2:30pm
Place: Foresters Golf Club

This group has been set up with the assistance of Maldon Croquet Club, who helped us get an understanding of the game and how to use the mallet and work their way around the lawn. Croquet is a fun game to play, especially when with good company. Complete beginners were successfully hitting the ball and running hoops, all greeted by cheers and cries of “Well done!” A very pleasant afternoon is rounded off with a cup of tea (or coffee) at the Clubhouse.

If you would like to come along and have a go, the group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday afternoons from April through to October. There is a charge of £5 for the use of all the equipment. We will be playing from 2.30pm. Please note that for safety reasons, closed-in shoes should be worn, no open sandals.

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Discussion Group

Group co-ordinator: Elisabeth Jones.
Time: 2nd Mondays at 2pm - 4pm.
Place: Members' houses.

We are a friendly and informal group where there is room for agreement and disagreement, laughter and serious views and anything is up for discussion.

We welcome new members.

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Film Group

Group co-ordinator: Shirley Macro.
Time & place: Zoom on the last Wednesday each month at 7:30pm

Each month, we choose two films that are available on free-to-view channels to watch individually. At the meeting, we discuss the films and give them a score between 0 and 10.

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French Conversation Group

Group co-ordinator: Ann Lester.
Time: 2nd & 4th Thursday each month at 2pm
Place: Member's house in Tolleshunt Knights.

We are a friendly group all keen to converse in and improve our French. We usually begin by talking about where we have been and what we have done since our last meeting. We then read and translate an article or two from a French magazine, often accompanied by a recording of the article by native speakers. Help is always on hand as I am an ex French teacher.

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Garden Group

Group co-ordinator: Veronica Smith.
Time: 2nd Tuesday each month at 10am.
Place: West Maldon Community Centre.

This is a new group, the main purpose of which is to visit local gardens of note and larger national gardens further afield. That means that sometimes the whole of a Tuesday might be needed and we shall probably not meet in the community centre very often.

Tuesday 25th January: Inaugral meeting.

Tuesday 22nd February: Visit to Ulting Wick, Crouchman’s Farm Road, near Hatfield Peverel particularly to see the snowdrops

Tuesday 8th March: tba.

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German Conversation Group

Group co-ordinator: Howard Broadbridge.
Time: Alternate Tuesdays each month at 2 - 4pm. See the calendar in the newsletter
Place: Members' houses.

We will be looking into written material e.g. magazines etc, together with as much German conversation as possible. The main objective is to improve simple conversational German – and have some fun in doing so.

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Geology Group

Group co-ordinator: Sylvia Cousins.
Time: 3rd Wednesday each month at 2pm.
Place: Various.

We enjoy a varied programme of visits to local museums, visiting speakers and film. None of us is an expert and our levels of knowledge vary widely, but everyone is keen to know more and with such a wide-ranging subject, there is something for everyone.

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Handicrafts Group

Group co-ordinators: Marian Manning and Brenda Heal.
Time: 2nd Monday each month at 10am - 12 noon, except August.
Place: Cold Norton Village Hall, Cherry Blossom Lane, Cold Norton

A small group who have an interest in Crafts and Handicrafts. We meet regularly in a very light, warm but airy pleasant room in the Cold Norton Village Hall. Members bring their own projects to do, and any help will almost certainly be available from some of our very experienced members. New members will be very welcome.

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History - Stuarts Group

Group co-ordinator: Beryl McDonell
Time: 2nd Thursday each month at 10am.
Place: West Maldon Community Centre.

We are a very friendly group who meet monthly. Between us we are finding out about this very interesting period of our island's history as well as some world-wide events. Do come and join us.

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History - Local and General Group

Group co-ordinators: Sylvia Cousins,Kathy Goff.
Time: 4th Monday each month at 2pm,
Place: Maldon Town Hall - see the monthly newletter for details.
Price: £2.00 per session but could be more for some speakers

The group meets throughout the year to hear speakers and presentations on various historical subjects from a local and general perspective. This is interspersed with visits to museums and places of interest either by coach or car share.

All members are welcome – come along and share an enjoyment of history.

For information on past events, click here.

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Just Jazz Group

Group co-ordinators: Jim Light and David Coombes.
Time: 3rd Monday each month at 7:30pm.
Place: Maldon Little Ship Club in the downstairs room.

We play mainly "TRAD", but if anyone has something that they want to share with the group then bring it along on CD or memory stick. Please itemise the tracks you want to listen to as this helps us to plan the evening. There is a bar available and the evenings are very enjoyable.

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Luncheon Group

Group co-ordinators:
2nd Wednesday: Joan Cummins ('Meet and Eat')
Place & time: 12:15 for 12:30pm at various venues

The Group keeps to a limited membership and visits a different ‘fine dining’ restaurant or bistro pub each month. Every member takes a turn in organising the venue, The details are in the newsletter (a month in advance).

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Mah-Jong Group

Group co-ordinator: Mags Pell
Time: Alternate Fridays each month at 2 - 4pm. See the calendar in the newsletter.
Place: West Maldon Community Centre - Linton room.

We meet alternate Friday afternoons for an enjoyable two hours. We are now a group of fifteen members, more always welcome.

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Maritime Group

Group co-ordinator: Malcolm Case
Time: 1st Monday each month at 10am - 12 noon autumn to spring. In the summer, we usually go on outings.
Place: The Blackwater Sailing Club, Basin Road, Heybridge CM9 4SD.

During autumn to spring we generally have illustrated talks at The Blackwater Sailing Club on subjects with a Maritime interest, such as sailing around the world by yacht, the role of the Merchant Navy in times of peace and conflict, information on specific ships, both Merchant and Royal, amongst many other interesting nautical topics. During the summer months the group generally visits places of Maritime interest.

All members of the U3A are very welcome at the meetings.


Monday 3rd January – No meeting – Bank Holiday

Monday 7th February – Talk by Gordon Davies on – 'Brunel and the Great Western'

Monday 7th March – Talk by John Rogers on "An Affair with a Dolly", an essential shipwrighting tool. A light-hearted look at John’s restorations of wooden boats, the intrigue of researching their heritage and the highs and lows of shipwrighting.

Monday 4th April - no meeting.

Monday 2nd May – Bank Holiday - no meeting.

Monday 6th June – Talk by Malcolm Case on the training of Merchant Navy Deck Officers from the early 1960’s to the 2020’s.

Monday 4th JulyTrip to the National Maritime Museum's stores for a guided tour with Dr Megan Barford of the various ancient nautical maps and other artifacts. This is a follow up from Dr Megan Barford’s talk in November 2021. The plan is to leave Maldon in the morning, travel to London by coach, visit the Greenwich Maritime Museum, have lunch and then by coach to the 'Stores'. Cost £20 per person.

Monday 1st AugustTrip on the river Medway. Cost per person to be advised.

Monday 5th September – Talk by Roger Smith on Southampton Docks, its history including information on various ships..

Monday 3rd October – Talk by John Pomfret on The Middle Danube and its Connected Waterways

Monday 7th November – Talk by Alison Mainwood on Lighthouses which have been built all around the coasts of many nations to guide mariners away from dangerous rocks and reefs

Monday 6th December – Talk on the Regents Canal by Simon Gregor. Simon is a Blue Badge Guide for London. He is also a World I and II battlefield guide. Simon currently lives in the USA so he will be talking to us via a video link. This will be followed by a discussion on our programme for 2023.

All meetings start at 10:00 am on the first Monday of the month.
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Click here for information on past events.

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Music Appreciation Group

Group co-ordinators: Enid Hall and John Skuse
Time: 4th Thursday each month at 2 - 4pm.
Place: Members' houses.

Mostly classical, some jazz, sometimes a musical, other times – comedy. Short extracts, the full works, popular and obscure, and always members’ choices. Discussions – animated and often provocative. This is a very friendly group with an average attendance of eight or nine. Oh yes, and always a cup of tea and a biscuit.

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Petanque (Boule) Group

Group co-ordinators: Jack Veash and Geoff Macro
Time: Thursday afternoons at 2pm. See the newsletter for dates in Spring and Autumn.
Place: Promenade Park.

We play on our terrain which must be one of the prettiest in the country. We are very proud of it. It is in the Prom Park, in the hedged area overlooking the new lake. There is plenty of room for us all. It is very simple game and we play for fun only!

For pictures of past events, click here.

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Photography Group

Group co-ordinator: Tony Groves
Time & Place: Zoom on the 3rd Wednesday each month at 7:30pm.

Share your photographs with other members. This is for everyone who has a camera or smartphone. It's not a competition nor only for expert photographers. Each month we will choose a topic and you can send up to three photos to me. I will host a Zoom meeting so we can all see and chat about them. I will then put them on this website.

Click here to see this month's subject and pictures from previous months.

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Poetry Group

Group co-ordinator: Jo Robson
Time: 1st Thursday each month at 2pm - 4pm.
Place: Members' houses, or a hall if numbers require it.

We are a like-minded group who enjoy reading poetry. We have found, by dedicating ourselves to just one poet or occasionally two each session, that we learn a lot about the actual poet, and this has proved very interesting to us all. We do, however, sometimes have a theme to follow up and are always flexible and open to new ideas.

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Reading Group

Group co-ordinator: Sheila Epps
Time: 4th Friday each month at 2pm - 4pm.
Place: Members' houses.

We meet monthly to discuss the current book which could be a novel, classic or modern, biography, travel, diaries etc. Our reading list is compiled from members' suggestions and most of our books come from Maldon library, which gives us a great service. We may also choose a theme and each member reads something connected to it, and once a year each person brings a book of their choice and we have a lucky dip.

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Rummikub Group

Co-ordinator: Beryl McDonnell
Time: 1st Thursday each month at 10am - 12 noon.
Place: Plantation Hall, Heybridge.

We are a very friendly group. This easy-to-learn game uses numbered tiles to make runs and sets, similar in some ways to Rummy. Come and join us - you will be made very welcome.

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Scottish Country Dancing Group

Group co-ordinator: Diana Rogers
Time: Alternate Thursdays at 10am - 12 noon. See newsletter for dates.
Place: Mundon Village Hall.

Our group is very informal with teacher Sue Last bringing patience and great enjoyment to our dancing. No experience is necessary, many of us were beginners. If you are interested, why not come, see and join in our laughter.

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Sing For Pleasure Group

Group co-ordinator: Sue Garnham
Time: 2nd & 4th Fridays each month at 10am - 12 noon.
Place: Plantation Hall, Heybridge.

We enjoy singing a variety of songs and rounds. The group is led by two of our members. Visitors and new members are always welcome, but please telephone the co-ordinator to check there is room in the group.

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Strollers Groups

Co-ordinator: TBA
Time: 3rd Sunday at 10:00am for 10:30am start.
Place: Various - see the monthly newsletter for details.

This group has been going for some years to accommodate the members who preferred walks around 4-5 miles at a steady pace which cover many different locations. The main format is to start the walk at a pub, have a circular walk, which lasts approximately 2 hours, then arrive back at the pub for lunch. Members are asked to provide a walk during the summer, this way we find we have different leaders and new locations.

Strollers Too
Co-ordinator: Malcolm Case
Time: 4th Tuesday at 10:00 for 10:30am start.
Place: Various - see the monthly newsletter for details.

A new group which started in January 2014, following the same format as Strollers but meeting on a Tuesday morning. See the newsletter for details.

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Ten Pin Bowling Groups

Group co-ordinator: David Arnold
Time: Every Wednesday and Thursday at 9:45am - 12 noon.
Place: Maldon Heights Bowling Lanes, Maldon.

All those who come along know that the actual bowling is just an excuse to get out, have some fun, meet a lot of nice people, make new friends and have a little exercise. The scores are not important – there are no teams, leagues or tables! It’s all very friendly and there are no inquests at the end of each game.

We meet every Wednesday and Thursday morning at 09.45 at Madison Heights. You choose which you prefer. In total between 30 to 50 of us play each week.

At present two hours bowling costs £4.25 but this includes a cup of coffee and cake/biscuits and shoe hire.

They have also provided us with a number of light bowling balls with specially enlarged holes for our older chubby fingers. So come along and join our happy band of bowlers.

On the 4&5th of April 2018, we completed our 800th weekly meeting. There was a total of 55 bowlers on the two days. Sixteen of us have been bowling since 2002. We are full to capacity at the moment and we have a waiting list.

Wednesday bowlers

Thursday bowlers

Those who have played since the first session


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Theatre Outings Group

Group co-ordinators: Rosemary Case and Sheila Childs.
Time: Various.
Place: Various.

This group organises theatre visits to London by coach throughout the year to a variety of shows. All visits are open to all members and are very popular and usually oversubscribed. We advise members, who have requested it, by email as soon as tickets are put on hold. If you wish to be added to this list, please contact Rosemary Case by email.

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Group co-ordinator: Veronica Smith.
Time: Once a fortnight from autum to Spring, date arranged after discussion in the group.
Place: Members' houses and local venues.

We meet to discuss tree identification and make forays and collecting in the local area to further our knowledge of the trees etc.

Everybody is welcome to join this group even if you feel that you do not know anything. You will almost certainly find that that is not true.

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Wine Groups

Wine Group 1 has now closed.

Wine Group Two
Group co-ordinator: Graham Boswell
Time: 4th Wednesday each month.
Place: Members' houses.

Members take it in turns at our monthly meetings to do a presentation. These have been wide ranging and very varied, but always interesting and informative, and of course, with plenty of tasting. We look forward to more of the same in the coming year.

Wine Group Three
Group co-ordinators: Mary Burd
Time: 4th Thursday each month.
Place: Members' houses.

This group was formed in 2013. Members take it in turns to host and do a presentation on wines of their choice. Unforutantley due to Covid-19 the group has only been able to meet over the last year via Zoom for its monthly meetings. When lockdown eased during the summer months we were able to lunch at Crouch Ridge Vineyard on a couple of occasions and it is hoped we can return there this year.

During 2019 apart from our monthly meetings, we took a party together with other U3A members to the Champagne and Alsace Regions in France for a six day holiday with numerous wine tastings and a coach stacked full of wine purchases for our return! Our summer event was a bring-and-share lunch held at one of our members’ houses on a beautiful summer day in August. This year we combined our Christmas celebration with a meal and wine pairings at The Oak House in Maldon.

Wine Group Four
Group co-ordinator: Ann Goody
Time: 4th Tuesday each month at 7:30pm.
Place: Members' houses.

This wine group started in mid-2014 due to demand that could not be satisfied by the other three wine groups. However, it too is full. We take a less formal approach than the first three groups. This group is now full. We meet in members’ houses and the host(s) decides what form the meeting will take. Suffice to say we drink, and talk about, a lot of wine; an endlessly fascinating subject worthy of serious study.

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Writing for Fun Group

Group co-ordinator: Pete Norman. Contact: Patrick Forsyth
Time: 4th Wednesday each month at 1 - 4pm.
Place: Members' houses.

We are a small but dedicated group of writers who enjoy creative work of many kinds. The most frequently produced is the short story: perhaps humour, mystery, ghost, historic etc. of about 1000 words, this being a suitable size to allow each person to read aloud at our meeting. We also write non-fiction, autobiography, poetry and plays.

Each year we choose a new programme of titles, each of which can be widely interpreted, as its aim is to encourage and inspire, rather than to constrict in any way. The writing is composed at home and brought to our monthly meeting, where each member in turn reads his/her writing aloud. There are never two pieces remotely alike and all are much enjoyed. Each one is commented on by fellow writers, with suggestions, if necessary, for enhancement. This year we will also continue to explore methods for publication and, some of us, more ambitious projects such as writing a full book.

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