Short Courses

The Aughton & Ormskirk U3A has been organising Short Courses for its members over many years. These courses can be anything from, say, three to ten or more sessions or sometimes one-off workshops.  In the past we have covered a diverse range of subjects such as chemistry, botany, astronomy, geology, poetry, painting, stained glass, meditation, memory, ballroom dancing.  More recent examples can also be found further down this page.

Demos and Workshops in 2019

As an experiment, here are some  Demo and Workshop Opportunities that could be run by Alan and Joyce who are Computer Helpers and Web Team members.  These Demo / Workshop opportunities would be short, taking an hour or less. Initially, they will be designed for individuals or very small groups of U3A members. They will be arranged for a time convenient to you and for when the Small Meeting Room is available.  For some Workshops, you can bring along your own laptop or other mobile device.

If interested, email:

A. As a Member and / or a Group Leader, you can  learn how to make best use of the Beacon Membership System employed by our U3A:

  • Check and update your own Beacon membership details (suitable for any U3A Member)
  • Renew your Membership online via Beacon (suitable for any U3A Member)
  • Set up and use a Beacon ‘Group’ for emailing and organising purposes etc (suitable for Group Leaders, and Coordinators, Committee members, Event Organisers)

B. If you are interested in getting involved in the Maintenance or Development of the Aughton & Ormskirk U3A Website, there can be Demos / Workshops arranged based on the following topics:

  • Becoming a Group Author
  • Using the Website for U3A Publicity
  • Media on the Website

C. Email is a very useful and efficient  way for our U3A to keep you, as a member,  in touch with all that is going on. We hear that 88% of our U3A members, now have an email address registered on Beacon. If you don’t have / use email, then Demos / workshops can be provided to:

  • help you set up and use a gmail account
  • make better use of your existing email address

There are no Short Courses planned at the minute, but we have been notified about 2 taster sessions of a nautical nature open to U3A members.  Please see:

Suggestions for short courses are always appreciated and are particularly welcome from U3A members (or a Group) prepared to run or organise one.  Help and support for this endeavour can be provided by the Learning & Group Support Subcommittee. If you have any suggestions for a short course or offers to run one, please email them at:

Past Short Courses in 2019

Beginners’ Tap Dancing Class

Leader: Irene Arkinstall

Six week course:  Wednesday 9 January – Wednesday 13 February – 10.30-11.30 (1 hour)

This class was for anyone who fancied learning to tap-dance and was suitable for those who have had no tap dancing experience. It delivered the basic tap-dance steps at a pace to suit the individual.

Once finished, this Short Course morphed into a new Tap Dancing for Beginners Group. You do not need tap shoes but you do need some comfortable flexible-soled shoes (not trainers).

If you want to speak to the coordinator, please ring Irene  on 01695 578263.  And if any ex-tappers wish to donate their unwanted tap shoes, then please contact Irene and she will arrange to collect them.

Past Short Courses in 2017 / 2018

An excellent, brand new course on Botany was successfully completed in September 2018.

“Digging Up Your Past” – How to research and write your life story

Leader:  George Russell

George has conducted courses in the above subject for mature students in the Adult and Further Education Sector.  A research chemist by training and experience, he joined our U3A and was prompted to write a small readable publication “Digging Up Your Past”.  An inexpensive publication, it is a useful publication for U3A members contemplating the subject.

AUGHTON & ORMSKIRK U3A joins the ‘Ukulele Age’!

Leader:  Tony Crimlisk

The offer of a six-week course in playing the ukulele for absolute beginners proved so popular in 2016 that Tony Crimlisk arranged more courses 2017 and 2018.

The ukulele is a fun instrument and very popular at the moment.  It only has four strings, simple chords and participants learned to play and sing a variety of well-known songs.

There are no plans for future beginner courses, but there is now a Ukulele Group for people who can play a few chords already.

Past Courses put on by Groups

In addition to the above, individual special interest groups sometimes run courses or tasters on their subject open to all Aughton & Ormskirk U3A members. Examples in recent  years:

  • Ballroom Dancing put on a 10-week course of dancing lessons for beginners starting September 2016. This beginners course continued in January 2017.
  • Country Dancing  ran Taster Sessions starting in January 2017.
  • Church History ran an excellent series of talks and visits on Cathedral Architecture over 2016 – 2017, another in 2018 and a third in 2019.

But we hear a reliable rumour that we may be fortunate enough to have

a 4th Church History series in 2020!

  • A Computer Courses  group for many years ran courses covering everything from Word Processing to Getting Started with Tablets. No courses are currently in the pipeline as the group is inactive, in want of a Leader. But call in at Computer Advice on a Monday or Tuesday morning for individual help or tuition with PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, smartphones, digital cameras and so on..
  • Tai Chi teacher, Heather Reade, has run  taster sessions for Beginners and a Summer School.  She currently teaches 4 U3A Tai Chi classes.

Please consider if your group could offer a short course.