U3A Shared Learning Project Hampton and Kempton Waterworks Railway 2019 / 2020

Project Title: Building the Railway Archive

We are now starting a project to build an archive for the Hampton and Kempton Waterworks Railway. We need to collect everything we can find from the early 20th century to the present.

Volunteers on the project will need to visit local and national archives, make contact with those connected with the railway past and present, and search a wide range of publications.

We hope to find photographs, plans, maps, documents, memorabilia, objects and artifacts, personal reminiscences and film.

Having everything in a central archive will assist us in many ways. It will help with providing material for future exhibits and displays; website and social media; publicity material; articles in magazines and future publications; for people researching railway history; and for future talks.

About the railway

We are arguably one of the best kept secrets in West London and we have one of the oldest working steam locomotives in the south of England. Visitors can ride around the Hanworth Loop – our 2 foot gauge railway line – in period coaches hauled by our 1903 steam locomotive.

The Hanworth Loop is the first stage of a major project to reinstate the historic narrow gauge line that hauled coal from the River Thames at Hampton to the giant steam pumping engines that are in the beautiful listed building adjacent to our railway.

We work closely with the Kempton Great Engines and when the Museum has a weekend steaming we run on a Saturday as well. On these weekends the giant triple expansion steam pumping engine is operating. There are seven full weekend steamings and they each have extra attractions.

How the project works for volunteers

Volunteers on a U3A Shared Learning Project enjoy working as part of team and learning from each other. They develop new skills in research.

To decide if this project interests you, see the railway website or visit us on an open day and learn about the history. The railway is open every Sunday in 2019 until 17 November and some Saturdays.

While some research can be conducted online it will be necessary to visit various archives including: London Metropolitan Archives in Islington, National Archives at Kew and local archives in Hounslow and Richmond.

The first meeting of the group will discuss the overall theme of the project and consider what each person may like to research.

Volunteers should ideally attend all the group meetings to report on progress. Prospective volunteers should consider before committing to the project if they have enough time to attend the meetings and carry out the research.

Some volunteers may have experience of a previous U3A project. Other volunteers are coming with little previous knowledge of a Shared Learning Project. All are welcome. In between meetings volunteers work on their own though they can email each other for advice. Volunteers will need to use Microsoft Word, the internet and email. PowerPoint or Excel may be useful.

For the project to go forward we will need a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 volunteers.

What happens at the end of the project

At the end of the project the group deliver a PowerPoint presentation of their research to an invited audience. Each volunteer prepares their own section.

The research from the project is kept in the archive with a short version appearing on the railway website. The material may also be used in future talks and displays.

Meeting dates in 2019 / 2020

Meetings will be every two or three weeks and are all on a Tuesday from 2pm to 3.30pm

  • First meeting in September. Outline of the project and agree on each person’s area of research.
  • Other dates to be agreed between September 2019 and April 2020 Getting to the railway

To Apply

For enquiries / application form: Jo Walters

It is easiest to get to the railway by car where parking is available. Some buses stop near the railway entrance but all require a walk of about 20 minutes. Should you decide to join the group we will explain more about accessing the site through the security gates.


Location for meetings

Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway,
Kempton Park Waterworks, Snakey Lane, Feltham, TW13 6XH

2nd Dec Monthly Meeting – Celebratory History of Christmas

Andy Thomas offers us this deeper understanding of the history of Christmas

2pm (doors open 1.20pm), United Reformed Church, Eden Street, Kingston Members only



12 Dec – Christmas Lunch at Heaver Castle

Visit the castle and see the beautifully decorated rooms, log fires and twinkling Christmas trees. Follow the Alice in Wonderland-themed Christmas trail through the grounds and enjoy a Christmas menu in the restaurant.

We’ll travel by coach in time to arrive at Hever Castle for coffee/tea and biscuits. There’ll then be time to visit the house and/or gardens before lunch at 1pm. This will be a three-course Christmas lunch with mulled wine or hot spiced

apple juice on arrival and tea/coffee afterwards. After lunch there’ll be more time to spend around the castle or in the gift shop until we leave at 4pm to arrive back home by about 5pm.


Meeting time/place:
● 9am Kingston: High Street, opposite

the Rose Theatre
● 9.15am Surbiton: Ewell Road, bus

stop Surbiton Telephone Exchange

Cost: £51 per person (includes entrance to the castle and gardens, morning coffee, three-course lunch with mulled wine and coffee, coach transfer and a tip for the driver)

If you would like to join this outing, please complete the attached application form and send it with your cheque for £51 per person made payable to Kingston U3A (GAS) and a stamped addressed envelope (if you do not give an email address) to: Gisela Zürcher- Feiss, 37 The Byeways, Surbiton,
KT5 8HT. Tel 020 8399 4990.

Application forms will come with your newsletter either in the post or via email.

6th Jan Monthly Meeting – Quiz – come in a Team of 6 or Join one on the Day

 Kingston U3A Annual Quiz Please arrive in good time for a prompt start at 2pm. Numbers are limited: first come, first served.

2pm (doors open 1.20pm), United Reformed Church, Eden Street, Kingston Members only


Surrey Network Study Days

Fri Mar 20th  2020                                                Geography & Landscapes of South East England
Presented by Dr Geoffrey Mead, Sussex University
Booking opened on Thursday 9 January and places are available.
A change of study day subject was necessary as the Results of Research on Food & Nutrition by Professor Susan Lanham-New, University of Surrey has been postponed.
Fri Apr 17th 2020 The Most Famous Pharaoh of Them All: Tutankhamun, the Boy King
Presented by Clive Barham Carter
Places are available
Fri May 15th 2020 Two Centuries of British Design
Presented by Paul Atterbury, Antiques Road Show
Booking opens on 1 February
Fri Jun 19th 2020 Understanding Turner – The Man, His Life & His Work
Presented by Maria Chester
Booking opens on 1 February
Fri Sep 18th 2020 The Art and Objects of the Mughal Emperors, from Akbar to Shah Jahan.
Presented by Ursula Weekes
Booking opens on 1 June
Fri Oct 16th 2020 Planned study day on Industrial Archaeology
Presented by Professor David Perrett
Booking opens on 1 June
Fri Nov 20th 2020 The Art of Drawing
Presented by Colin Wiggins
Booking opens on 1 June

Surrey Network study days are open to members of all U3As in Surrey and the surrounding area. They are held in the Menuhin Hall, Stoke d’Abernon and normally start at 9.30 a.m. with registration, and finish at 4 p.m. The fee, including coffee / tea and biscuits, is £10, though a visitor who is not a member of a U3A will be charged £12.00

Prior booking is essential and forms are available at the Monthly Meetings or from the Surrey Network internet site,

Attendees should bring a packed lunch as there is nowhere very close by to provide food on the day.

Kingston U3A

Welcome to Kingston U3A

Prospective members: Welcome to Kingston U3A! If you have recently retired, or are coming up to that exciting third age phase of your life, there is so much to do! We have an extensive range of groups you can join, covering everything from literature through arts, music, walks, discussions, dancing and table tennis to games, languages and science.   There are regular monthly meetings with an interesting talk, introductory get-togethers for new members and a chance to meet people and make new friends. There is a wide monthly programme of visits to places of interest and a holiday, abroad or in the UK, every year. This website will give you a lot of information about all of these and many other activities. Please browse and let us know if you would like to join us.

Existing members please make regular visits to this website as we will be posting up-to-date information as it becomes available.

To find out more of the U3A s history please follow the link :-    U3A History

Other Organisations

These cover a wide range of events and activities notified to us by the organisers, which may be of interest to you.  These have no direct connection with the U3A.

London Region U3A

This is the site of the London Region of the University of the Third Age (U3A). We have 33 autonomous U3As in the Region. The U3As are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning not for qualifications, but for fun.

This site is useful for seeing events happening across London. We highlight some events and Shared Learning Projects on our own website as well but this gives you a fuller picture of what is available