Group Leader: Thelma Britz
Telephone: 01777 948676
Meetings: 4th Wednesday @ 1.45pm
Venue: Garden Room, Trinity Hospital, Hospital Road, Retford. Details of Summer outings/visits in Newsletter

PLEASE NOTE changes to time of meetings from September 2018. 

Our programme is as follows. For meeting reports click here.


Happy New Year to you all!  I trust you had a lovely end to 2019 and are looking forward to an interesting decade ahead. We are well on our way to planning our programme.  This is to let you know what we are doing in the first few months and what we hope to arrange for the summer months.  Our monthly meetings are still in the Garden Room at Trinity Hospital on the fourth Wednesday from 1345.

22 JANUARY   Lincolnshire Buildings - Then and Now - by Michael Costigan

26 FEBRUARY  We are trying out a new formula for a couple of sessions:- a number of people doing a short presentation of their choice.  It will be interesting to see the variety of the subjects chosen.  I look forward to your feedback after the second session. So, in alphabetical order, we have:

Bolsover Model Village       -       Michael Costiga

Ollerton Hall                        -       Pam Hardwick

Norman Town Planning.      -       Jane Sumpter

Redbourn Portico Project    -       Denise Taylor-Roome

25 MARCH         Wind, Tidal and Solar Power                 by John Kelly

22 APRIL            Second of the “Short Slots”:

Building with Carbon Positivity     -   Thelma Britz

Lichfield Cathedral                        -   May Lindley

Pont du Gard                                -    Norah Staley

Volunteers?  Otherwise,               -   Michael Costigan

27 MAY               Norah is arranging a morning visit to a mosque in Sheffield.

                           In the afternoon Michael is exploring a visit to Victoria Quays.  More to come!




24 JUNE            -                Sheffield                      

22 JULY 

26 AUGUST      -                 Papplewick Pumping Station


Watch out for information regarding further visits.

I welcome your suggestions and particularly your offers of help with the visits and presentations.


Thelma Britz




Following a fascinating account of the history of Worksop Manor by Jane Sumpter on Monday, 27 November, we went across to the West Retford Hotel for what is becoming our annual lunch.  There were 28 of us and it was pleasing that Janet and Dick Lewis were able to be our guests this year. 

At our meeting I was handed a letter from the Bailiff and Estates Manager of Trinity Hospital.  We have been very fortunate in being able to hold our meetings there for many years but I am now informed that they would like us to change to an afternoon instead of our current 4th Monday morning in the month. 

The Architecture Group was started by The Dukeries U3A and met originally in a member's house in Retford.  After Retford U3A was formed in 2010 several of us became members of both U3As.  It seemed logical to open the Group to the new U3A group, which meant an increase in the number of people attending our meetings.  At the time Hal Kinsey was a Brother living at Trinity Hospital and he suggested we use their Audit Room for our monthly meetings.  We were extremely fortunate that we were offered this opportunity and we climbed the stairs to our interesting venue for many years.  Even following Hal's death we were able to continue meeting there with Janet and Dick Lewis (its chaplain) taking care of our needs.

We watched the Darrel Room garden extension being built and were delighted when we were invited to hold our meetings there.  For the last couple of years we have enjoyed comfortable, modern facilities with views of the lovely gardens - and plentiful car parking.  How lucky we have been!

The Bailiff's letter concludes, "As Trinity Hospital is the home of the Brethren we do not routinely allow outside groups regular use of our facilities, nor are we geared up or staffed to manage the use of our facilities by external users.  We are, however, very happy to accommodate the U3A Architecture Group in memory of Hal Kinsey, our former Brother."

I attach a copy of my reply.  You will note that we may continue our programme for 2018 until the September meeting by which time we will be required to make the change to an afternoon.  I do hope we can find one that suits us all.  I will try to work out some way of taking a consensus on that.  In the meantime here is the programme of presentations for the coming months:

22 JANUARY               "Eleanor Crosses" by Richard Croft

26 FEBRUARY            "Old Buildings and Streets of Retford"
                                     by Katherine  Ashton, Bassetlow Museum

26 MARCH                   "World Bridges" by Norah Staley

23 APRIL                      "Le Corbusier" by Janet Lewis

28 MAY                        "Milton Mausoleum" by Friends of the Mausoleum

One of our summer outings will be to the Mausoleum; further visits to be announced.
All meetings start at 1030 in The Darrel Room at Trinity Hospital, Hospital Road, Retford.
I wish you all a happy holiday season and an interesting new year in our Architecture Group.

Thelma Britz

Meeting Reports

JULY 25 2016 Wirksworth, Derbyshire


The group from both Retford and the Dukeries U3As were intrigued by the guided tour we had of the National Stone Centre on 25 July.  Somehow we coped with the tricky terrain.  We had not known what to expect and were fascinated by the site of Special Scientific Interest with its fossil trail around the disused limestone quarries, the old lead mine, the Millennium Wall, each section of dry stone walling undertaken by a different area of the country, and much  more.

The coach took us down to the charming town centre for lunch, after which we spent a pleasant afternoon trying to follow the 'town trail'.

AUGUST 24 2015 - Morning walk around Retford

The Architecture Group's August trip was a walk around Retford looking at its lovely buildings and variety of styles.  Most of us ended up at the Opera Tea Rooms which has recently moved from Market Square to Jubilee Court.  The new location is a complete contrast to the old site; it has plate glass windows from ground to upper levels and a fine outside seating area.  It was there whilst having our coffee that we were lucky to meet the architect, Sarah Foxwell.  By co-incidence she had come that day to take some photos of one of her latest achievements.   We recommend that you too call in for a coffee or a meal and see the interesting addition to our town for yourself.

The following photo's are published with the kind permission of Sarah Foxwell.