Clubs and Groups

UEA Retirement Association

Now that the COVID-19 lockdowns are hopefully coming to an end, the Association is gradually restarting its activities and events. The July 2021 issue of Renaissance will give information about when various groups are starting up again.

Monthly talks by visiting speakers, some from UEA, are held at the Costessey Centre, Longwater Lane, Norwich. Tea, coffee and biscuits follow the talks, providing time for meeting with former colleagues and friends.

Country walks are organized on a regular basis with a five-mile walk once a month and a shorter two and a half mile walk every two months. For most of the year the walks end at a pub for lunch but in summer a picnic is held in the middle of the walk.

Day trip coach outings are organized in the warmer months. Recent trips were a blue badge tour of Kings Lynn and a tour of Benjamin Britten's home at the Red House in Aldeburgh.

Holidays are organized with a walking holiday in the autumn and a half board hotel holiday in early summer. Recent walking holidays have been based in Monk Coniston in the Lake District and Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight. Recent early summer holidays have been in Eastbourne and Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds.

The Art Group and Knit and Natter Group meet at the UEA Pavilion in Colney Lane. These are hands on groups, the former working on their own art with encouragement by a local artist, and the latter working on their own knitting and needlework while nattering.

The Book Group meets monthly in the Pavilion to discuss the book of the month chosen from a ballot of members' suggestions.

The Film Group views a film at Cinema City in Norwich, and meets afterwards in the café.

Games afternoons are held monthly in the Pavilion including card and board games, with outdoor croquet in the summer.

The Garden Group has a meeting every two months. There are talks in the winter, visits to local gardens and member’s gardens in the summer. The last annual overnight visit was made to Beth Chatto Gardens near Colchester, the RHS Hyde Hall Gardens near Rettendon and The Place for Plants at East Bergholt.

The History Group meets occasionally at an historic building in Norwich or Norfolk usually with a guide. Recent events included a visit to the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford and a guided tour of Norwich Cathedral and Close.

The Luncheon Group meets at different pubs and restaurants in Norwich and the surrounding area. Most recently under Covid-19 restrictions in the gardens of the Eagle in Newmarket Road and the Shoulder of Mutton at Strumpshaw.

The Music Group held private recitals by a flautist and two pianists. Group bookings have been made to concerts at St Andrew Hall and to Salle Church.

Art Group


The Art Group meets on the third Monday of the month (except Bank Holidays) at 2:00pm at the Colney Lane Pavilion. Refreshments will be provided, but please bring your own painting and drawing materials with you. Brenda Mace has kindly agreed to act as mentor to the group.

The Group will meet on the following dates:

18 October 2021

15 November 2021

17 January 2022

21 February 2022

Book Group


Informal meetings, lasting about one and a half  hours, are normally held in the Colney Pavilion at 2pm on the second Monday of the month. Books to be discussed are listed below and all titles are available in paperback and from the library, some as downloads.

We will go to Maggie’s as already arranged for the October meeting.

11 October 2021 -Girl Woman Other’ by Bernadine Evaristo

We will resume our book group meetings at the Pavilion from Monday 8 November at 2pm. 

8 November 2021 - Poetry on the subject of music
13 December 2021 - ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell
10 January 2022 - ‘The Dig’ by John Preston
14 February 2022 - ‘A Bird in the Hand’ by Ann Cleeves

Anyone is welcome to come along and join us and to suggest titles for future sessions. There is no charge and tea, coffee and biscuits are served. For more information please contact Janet Havers (Email or Tel: 01603 759644).

For more information please contact Janet Havers ( or  tel: 01603 759644).

Film Group


This small, lively group meets once a month, on a Monday, at Cinema City. Whenever possible we go for a late morning/early afternoon screening to allow time afterwards for refreshments and to discuss the film before going our separate ways.

New members are most welcome.

For more information please tel: 01603 743464 or email:

Games Group


Games afternoons are held on the third Tuesday of the month starting at 2.00pm at the Pavilion. We have regular tables for Cribbage, Dominoes and either Whist, Rummikub or Scrabble. Additional board games and cards are available at each session with the opportunity to learn something new.

We also hold an annual Croquet Session. This year’s event has recently taken place and thanks are due to Jeremy and Sue Kitchener for organising both the session and the refreshments. The afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by the ten people attending and the fine weather was a bonus

The emphasis at games afternoons is on enjoying playing games rather than skill and you are welcome to bring your own games for other members to try. Refreshments are provided.

Future dates are: 

19th October 2021 

16th November 2021

21st December 2021

18th January 2022

 15th February 2022

15th March 2022

Contact Details: Denis Brown Tel: 01603 409905 email:

Garden Group


Garden Group meetings are normally held every two months throughout the year, actual dates are given below and in the Renaissance diary.  Activities include talks, open gardens and garden visits.

Please pay £1 per person at the door for talks, including tea and biscuits. This payment goes towards the cost of speakers and refreshments.

Recent events: 

Thursday 19 August 2021: Visit to Dale Farm, Dereham

Over 30 members and guests spent an enjoyable afternoon on a return visit to Dale Farm, our first Garden Group visit for two years. It was lovely to see several new faces joining us! The weather forecast was mixed, but we were surprised by an afternoon of sunshine and blue skies. We were greeted by owners Graham and Sally Watts, who gave us a warm welcome and answered the many questions throughout the afternoon. The gardens were looking wonderful, full of vibrant colour and with something new to see at every turn. 

Afternoon tea on the patio was a chance to catch up on news and enjoy the splendid cake which Graham had encouraged us to eat up! There were numerous plants for sale, so we left clutching bags of plants, after a very pleasant afternoon.

Tuesday 28 October 2021: Talk on Humphry Repton by Professor Tom Williamson

 Tom gave a very interesting talk describing the life and work of Humphry Repton. Using pictures of many estates and gardens, he compared the work of Capability Brown and Repton and showed how Repton developed his own style with more emphasis on defining the boundaries of estates, hiding local housing and agricultural but retaining views of distant scenery including church towers and windmills. He particularly liked to have entrance driveways that started at a bend in the road so that the main road looked as if it leads just to the house. Repton is said to have carried out some of his finest work in Norfolk, including Sheringham Park and Catton Park.

Future events:

A private group tour of Hoveton Hall House and Gardens is planned for May/June 2022. The tour will comprise a guided tour of the Hall, a self-guided tour of the gardens and refreshments. The Regency Hall has been owned by the Buxton family since 1946 and in 2013 passed on to Harry and Rachel Buxton. It was built between 1809 - 1812 and the design is attributed to Humphry Repton and his son. The Hall is well known for its gardens, including the walled ‘Spider Garden’ (named after the wrought-iron spider’s web design gate) with its collection of rare and unusual plants. Hoveton Hall Gardens is a mix of formal and informal planting, over 15-acres of gardens and woodlands. Further information and booking arrangements will be included in the February edition of Renaissance.

Additionally, an Open Garden visit is under consideration for the summer 2022.

I circulate occasional emails about Garden Group events and gardening activities. If you would like to be included in this circulation, or for general enquiries about the Garden Group, please contact Pam at

History Group


Suzanne Cunningham and Evelyn Mould are the ‘committee’ which organises the History Group programme. We both feel it would be best to leave any History visits etc. until 2022.

We had planned to visit the John Innes Library and organise a Hidden History Tour. However having looked into these it would not be possible to realise the full potential of these visits given we would have to follow Covid guidelines.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022: “History of Norfolk - on a Stick” by Dr Andrew Tullett

Believed to have originated in Norfolk ornamental village signs which contain a wealth of history. Dr Tullett will enlighten us all by explaining the stories behind some of these signs. 

Knit and Natter Group


We are a small group who appreciate the company, friendship and fellowship of meeting with like-minded people. We have people knitting a variety of pieces from garments and baby items through to novelty items and toys; tapestry making; felting; fresh lavender bags; Christmas decoration construction and beading/jewellery making. It is interesting to see what other people are doing and to help each other with our projects. Some of our group have been knitting items for charity which are delivered via the Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers to whom we are affiliated.

If anyone is interested in coming along (you don’t have to commit to every month) we meet at the Colney Pavilion, 2-4pm on the third Monday of the month. If anyone would like further information, please contact me at

The Group will meet on the following dates:

18 October 2021

15 November 2021

20 December 2021

17 January 2022

21 February

Luncheon Group


There were 15 participants for the July lunch at the Shoulder of Mutton in Strumpshaw, which was held in an open sided marquee in the pub garden. In September 14 members met at the Red Lion, Eaton with 8 sitting inside the pub and 6 siting outside in the garden.

Thursday, 4 November 2020 - Red Lion, Drayton

Please meet at 12.00 for 12.30. The Red Lion is situated on the green at Drayton (NR8 6PW). It has a large car park and a varied menu, including vegetarian. Buses on routes 28, 29 and X29 provide an every 15 minute service to just beyond Drayton Green from St Stephens and Castle Meadow. A route 29 bus leaves St Stephens (stop BA) at 11.20, Castle Meadow (CB) at 11.25 and arrives at Drayton Green at about 11.46.

If you wish to attend, please email: or phone 01603 456465 by Thursday 28 October.

Thursday, 6 January 2022 - Wine Cellar, Norwich

Please meet at 12.00 for 12.30. The Wine Cellar is in a courtyard behind 8 Guildhall Hill. There are some steps with a handrail down to the entrance. There is a varied menu with daily specials at a reasonable price, including vegetarian options.

If you wish to attend, please email: or phone 01603 456465 by Thursday 23 December.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

There will a lunch group meeting organized for this day. Details will be given out at the January lunch and sent to all members who have attended on of the lunches since July 2021.

Music Group


Musical events are appearing on the calendar but as yet it is not possible to organise group trips. Although I will continue to forward to members all the information I receive, as yet bookings must be made individually. However this is a welcome sign of things to come and we look forward to September and the Christmas season with hope.

If you would like to be included in this circulation or wish to publicise any concert or musical event, please email Verity at or phone 01603 613698.

No planned Retirement Association visits or events for this report but I am sure you are as happy as I am to see the number of concerts that are happening.

News of the UEA Chorus and Orchestra this term:

UEA Choir and Symphony Orchestra

Thursday 25th November 19:30
St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich
Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

Tickets: £4 - £12. Tickets available online at in person at the final few UEA Choir rehearsals; and on the door (cash or cheque only for in person sales).

UEA Chamber Choir and Chorus Christmas Carol concert

Wednesday 15th December 2021, 19:30
St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral
UEA Choir, Chamber Choir & Community Choir 

Tickets: £10 (full price), £7 (UEA staff, students and seniors). Tickets available online at in person at the final few UEA Choir rehearsals, and there may be a small number available on the door (however this concert often sells out before the night, so please advise guests to buy their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment).

Also three exciting events from the Britten Sinfonia:

Wednesday 6 October, 7.30pm St Andrew's Hall

Sunday 14 November, 7.30pm Norwich Theatre Royal

Thursday 16 December, 7pm* St Andrew's Hall

Tickets for all these are available from the Britten Sinfonia website.

NB: If any members attending these concerts fancy a drink and a chat beforehand, why not contact me. If I'm not going myself I can still put you in touch with those that are, to make your own arrangements.

In addition to planned events, information about musical activities in Norwich is circulated from time to time to members who have shown interest. If you would like to be included in this circulation or wish to publicise any concert or musical event, please email Verity at or phone 01603 613698.