Short Courses

Even under Coronavirus Lockdown, there is still a great opportunity to learn, remotely, how to Play Ukulele!  thanks to Ukulele Group Leader, Tony Crimlisk.

And there are loads of opportunities on the Internet for online learning and joining in with remote classes.  If you are struggling to find suitable links or need help with the technologies involved, contact  or

Below are a selection of the sort of courses we run under normal circumstances when not practising social distancing because of the coronavirus. Let’s hope we can return to and enjoy our more normal activities soon.  In the meantime, check out the sidebar in the Groups Page for remote activities run by Groups.

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.

Of  recent times, the Learning Opportunities have been more varied in format eg a Series of Talks and / or Outings, One-off Workshops, Demo Sessions and so on.

The following Groups plan to run Learning Opportunities in 2020:

Please consider if your group could offer a short course  or other learning experience to our U3A members.

We have been notified about a taster session of a nautical nature open to U3A members.  Please see:

Suggestions for short courses, or other learning experiences, are always appreciated and are particularly welcome from U3A members (or Groups) prepared to run or organise one.  Help and support for this endeavour can be provided by the Learning & Group Support Subcommittee.      The Co-chairs of this committee – Jane Astles and Paul Andrews – are often to be found at Horizons on a Thursday morning or you can 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 is now a Ukulele Group for people who can play a few chords borne out of the Ukulele Short Courses.

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. And now a fourth series in 2020!
  • The 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. There are also Computer Helpers in attendance during most Thursdays at Horizons.
  • Tai Chi teacher, Heather Reade, has run  taster sessions for Beginners and a Summer School.  She currently teaches 4 U3A Tai Chi classes.