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Book groups

Each group starts with discussion about books on a topic chosen at the previous meeting.  After refreshments, members discuss other books they have read and a decision is made about the topic for the following month. Some books may be borrowed (carefully recorded).  A different venue and meeting leader are chosen each month.

Detective Novels

This is a book group for people who enjoy detective stories. After 30 years working with the Metropolitan Police in London, our facilitator is enthusiastic about this genre and can add an extra dimension to the group’s discussions.

Within this genre, there are all sorts of “who dunnit” books with clues interspersed within the story to involve the reader in their own detection. There are also procedural tales where the writer explores the difficulties experienced by the detectives, whether they be an apparent lack of evidence, legal hurdles, time constraints, intrigue or twists in the telling.

Current affairs 

We talk about almost anything that is happening in the world—locally, nationally or internationally. Members are encouraged to keep up with the news and to bring along a prepared topic for discussion. We seek out facts and member’s opinions, which are often very illuminating given their wide life-experiences.  The discussions are informal and free-flowing, and as discussion lags on one topic we move on to the next.

Each group has an afternoon tea break, though `break’ is a strange word to use here since discussions often just keep going.

French Conversation

As the name suggests, we simply talk in French about anything and everything that happens to be of current interest. We do not follow a course and there is no homework. Our members all have a reasonable degree of fluency but we occasionally reach for our French dictionaries or even resort to an odd English word.

Sometimes we watch a DVD or a recorded TV programme on some aspect of French life, history or culture. And of course we always finish with a cuppa and some calories.

TED Talks

TED is a non-profit, non partisan organisation which aims to share great ideas from some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. TED speakers come from many disciplines and cultures and present short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less), which you can view on  These deal with education, science, language, technology, global issues and much more.

If you love to be stimulated by new ways of thinking, if you believe in the power of ideas to change attitudes, or if you like to challenge your own views, this may be a group for you.  Members select talks, view them via the Internet and then discuss the issues raised.

Antiques and Collectibles

In this group we have a theme each month, e.g. antique books, china, linen, artworks, glass, inherited items etc.  Themes arise out of the interests of the group. Members bring along any collectable related to that theme and share what they know of its history. One or two members may volunteer to research the topic for the meeting and gather books or videos from the library. People also like to talk about their own collections of objects which need not be antiques.

French for Beginners

This course is designed for beginners, and for learners whose schoolboy/girl French is now a distant memory. The aim is to develop communication skills, and to gently ease our way to understanding some of the grammar essential in speaking the language. Everyone welcome, and the atmosphere is encouraging rather than challenging.