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York U3A

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Current "History" Groups.                                   Members: to find more details/dates/news or to contact a Group Leader, go to our Member's Page

                                                                                    Interest Groups are open to York U3A members only.

Historical Walks



Social History Walks

History of York and its Suburbs

Military History



Dipping into History


The History Course



This class explores the history and architecture of York on monthly walks lasting about 2 hours.  


The charge is £4.00 for the year.  


Venue: Once a month on Tuesdays at 2 pm September 2016 to August 2017.  

Family History Using the Internet



The Early Days of Cinema



Study of York and the history of this city and its suburbs. Most months there will be a speaker but if anyone wishes to research a place or person help will be given.


This is a very friendly group.


Venue: Fox Room on the last Tuesday of each month 10.00 am – 12.00

We will visit various places in and around York following certain themes e.g. the history of medicine, crime and punishment, Fallen Women and the history of marriage and weddings. This is a continuing course which started in September 2015 and follows a two-year cycle. The next one will start in September 2017.


Venue:The walks will normally take place on the afternoon of the third Tuesday in the month although some degree of flexibility on the actual week may be required. The walks will start at 1.30 pm and last no more than two hours. Members of the group do need to be fairly walking fit.


The group is interested in British, European and American military history of the last 200 years.  In the past 20 years, our knowledge of warfare has been enhanced by modern authors’ research of the official archives so that nowadays we often have a more realistic insight into what actually happened and a better appreciation of the characters of the great military leaders.  


True to form, fact is often more fascinating than fiction, or, dare I say, legend?  Our presentations are usually given by our own members, sometimes jointly, and are followed by a lively discussion.  


We also have some historical visits in mind and have an annual comprehensive programme.  


New members are most welcome and don’t need to have a wide knowledge themselves – just a real interest.  


Venue:The Fox Room monthly, 2nd Thursday, 10.00 to noon, Sept 2016 to June 2017.


This course explores diverse aspects of history developed from a theme, a movement, an individual person, event or topic. The areas of study and discussion are chosen by the whole group and presented by individual members who have either a personal expertise or a particular interest. Everyone is encouraged to participate in making a presentation.


In the past we have focused on an over-arching theme such as The Growth of Democracy from Magna Carta to the beginning of the 20th century (2012-13) and Events in English and British History which shaped us as a People (2013-14).


We departed from this theme for 2015-16, allowing members an open choice for a mixed bag of historical figures from Brunel, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Luther and Calvin.


For 2016-17, there will be a free choice for presentations of historically significant events or movements which have influenced the history of Britain, Europe or the world.



Venue: The Garden Room at the Friends’ Meeting House, the second Tuesday of the month   10am - 12 noon

This is a very broad, but fairly light subject. We decide on the theme/topic/period

by common assent etc. and each contributes information. Outings in the summer.


Information available re: date and time each month


Venue:The leader’s home.

Tracing your family history using online sources is becoming easier every year as more and more records are put online. Census records from 1841 to 1911 and indexes of births, marriages and deaths from 1837 up to the 1980’s in some cases are available. Earlier records exist going back to 1538 for some parishes and whilst some of these are available online, coverage is incomplete. To consult these, you will normally need to visit the appropriate county record office. Numerous other records, military, ecclesiastical, wills and probate and occupational are being added.

It should be possible to trace your ancestors online back to 1841 if they lived in England and Wales. Scotland has an excellent but separate record system, but few Irish records are available online as many were destroyed in “the troubles”.  

We have a subscription to one of the online databases and can do searches using the U3A laptops from the Friends’ Meeting House. You can bring your own laptop/tablet if you wish. You don’t have to be a computer wizard but should have basic computer skills and be reasonably confident surfing the internet and using search engines. We can show you what is available on the internet, how to access it, and help if you have problems.


Venue: We meet on the first Friday of each month  in the Fell Room,  2pm.

We began by looking at the history of cinema from its earliest days until the end of the silent era, and are now looking at one full silent film each session. I provide notes on each film as a handout.  


New members are always welcome, and I am happy to provide notes to bring new members “up to speed”.



Venue:The Woolman Room at the U3A at 2 pm on the second Monday of each month.