Groups

You can get in touch with group facilitators using our contact form or using the contact details on the printed groups list which is distributed to all members.
If a group has no vacancies your name will be placed on a waiting list. If there is enough demand a facilitator will be sought to start another group.

Proposed New or Re-formed Groups

Internet and Society Discussion Group (Starting soon)
Proposer: Chris Leamy.
Monday pm
The internet is used by many digital technologies to provide a vast and varied range of linked information resources and services to many segments of our global societies; impacting a substantial and growing proportion of their populations. The group will discuss the wider social and economic implications, good and bad, for different sections of society. 

Classical Music (Starting in March 2018)
Proposer: Sarah Wood
Monday pm – first of the month
Thank you to those members who have expressed an interest in reviving this group.

Current Groups

Amateur Artists Group – Toni Cox. (New group)
The idea is that amateur or budding artists would get together, say once a week, to dabble together and encourage each other.

Amiable Ramblers 1 – Jane Middleton
Wednesday – every 2 weeks
Walks are chosen and led by members and are are moderately easy, although the pace is brisk so you need to be reasonably fit to enjoy the 2 hour walks of about 5-6 miles.

Amiable Ramblers 2 – Ruth Madigan
Thursdays 10.30am  – every 2 weeks
2 hour walks followed by tea, coffee or lunch.
New members are welcome.

Art Appreciation – Anne Gullo
Thursdays am – first Thursday of the month
Meetings vary between visiting exhibitions, local artists or meeting at the house of a member to discuss various topics. Subjects discussed include painting, sculpture, music, textiles, porcelain.
New members welcome

Arts and Crafts Study Group – Peter Banks
Wednesdays pm  – second of the month
The Arts and Crafts Movement was not, as so often seems to be suggested now, a ” STYLE ” but an attitude which permeated all aspects of the minor or useful arts and which had implications for how life could be lived to the benefit of all. This group will examine architecture and gardening, town planning, design of household goods such as furniture, ceramics, carpets, wallpapers and tapestries. Design of jewellery, typefaces and books and the private press movement all form part of the movement and the areas to be studied will depend on the interests of the members.

Birdwatching 1  – Maggie Driscoll
Thursday – second of the month.
Visits various birdwatching sites around Dumfries and Galloway to see & enjoy a wide variety of bird life.

Birdwatching 2 – Geoff Packard
Thursday – first of the month
Find birds of interest without travelling too far.

Book Club 1 (Fiction)- Lesley Milligan
Wednesday 14.00 – third of the month
Community Centre in Castle Douglas
We discuss one member’s choice of book at each meeting and this has provided an interesting range of books over the year.

Book Club 2 – Penny Keenan 
Thursday 10.30 – second of the month.
Kings Arms Hotel,  Castle Douglas
New members welcome.

Canasta Group – Bunty Davies
Monday – first of the month
At homes of members
If you enjoy playing cards, this is the group for you.

Coffee & Discussion 1 – Marilyn Peacock
Monday 10.30-12.00 – first of the month
Kings Arms in Castle Douglas
Members put forward topics for discussion.
Members contribute towards the rental of the room and the coffee and biscuits supplied by the hotel.

Coffee & Discussion 2 – Susan Gillone
Monday 14.00 – third of the month
Kirkcudbright
Members take turns to facilitate the sessions and ten to fifteen minutes is spent on each topic. Topics for discussion revolve mainly around current affairs. Members contribute £1 each to the kitty and Susan Gillone spoils us with delicious cream scones, cake and tray bakes.

Cooking & Wine 1 – Mary Newton
Thursday – last of the month
Kirkcudbright
Members learn new techniques and work according to recipes/themes selected. At least two courses are prepared at each session which members cook together and then sit down to enjoy eating with a glass of wine or juice.

Cooking & Wine 3 – Linda Kinnell
Friday – last of the month
Enhancing your cooking skills and try out new recipes.

Computing  –  Beverley Jackson
Tuesday 14.00 – first of the month
Crossmichael.
This group focuses on general computer use, software  application  and assisting with problems.

Creative Writing – Peter Turnbull
Wednesday 14.00-16.00 – second of the month.
Short creative writing exercises are done to stimulate thinking and develop skills. Members write essays, short stories or work on longer stories and they have the opportunity at the start of meetings to read some of their writings for comment by fellow members.
This group has recently updated their blog site, we recommend that you visit this site where you can see some inspired writing from the members.   https://stewartrywritersblog.wordpress.com/

Current Affairs – Mike Lawton
Tuesday 14.30 – third of the month
Greyfriars meeting room, Kirkcudbright.
Members are asked to say which items of news from the morning’s media coverage have attracted their attention and interest, and from this round-table a lively discussion ensues. A back-up subject is agreed for review if time allows, and members can propose this and do some background research on it if they wish. We do consider the UK and international political scene-but avoid party politics!

Family History – Don Cowell
Monday pm – first of the month
Millhall, Borgue.
The aim of this group is to research family history.
New members welcome

Film Discussion – Glenda Bowman
Sunday, 14.30 bi-monthly
Kings Arms Hotel, Castle Douglas.
At the last meeting the group discussed the films Hidden Figures, Denial and Trainspotting2. At the next meeting in June 2018 , the films, I Daniel Blake, The Sense of an Ending and Lion will be discussed. Members are encouraged to see the films selected on their own or to make own arrangements with other group members to see the films before the next meeting.
New members welcome.

French Conversation – Sandra Walsh
Tuesdays – weekly
Members’ homes.
Enjoy refreshing and adding to your French conversational knowledge. The group enjoys a range of activities including some grammar and vocabulary but also reading magazine and newspaper articles, listening to and watching French news broadcasts and conversing on a variety of topics.

Gardening Group 1 – Colin Milligan
Interesting outings during the summer season
We meet in March to put together the programme for the year.

Gardening Group 2 – Mary Clegg
Wednesday- last in the month
Time and place vary depending on weather and venue.
The aim of the group is to visit local gardens and in the winter, meets to enjoy a cup of coffee and swap gardening ideas and tips.

German Conversation 1 – Mau Cormack
Friday pm – twice monthly
Members’ homes
This group is for members that have some knowledge of German, would like to learn more about the language and converse in German under the guidance of Mau. The group meets twice monthly, on a Friday afternoon, per arrangement in the home of a member either in Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas or Twynholm. The facilitator uses Deutch Plus as a guide and members are expected to do some work in their own time.

German Conversation 2 – Alison Elkins
Monday 10.00 – every two weeks
Castle Douglas

History Group  – Anne Levi
Thursday 10.30 – monthly
Members’ homes in Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse of Fleet or Castle Douglas.
A subject in history is chosen, each member takes a specific topic to research and it is then presented at the next meeting to share knowledge and discuss the topic. Outings are planned twice a year during summer to places of historical interest, museums, galleries etc.

Local History Group  – Eileen Johnson
Thursday 14.00 – first of the month
Kings Arms, Castle Douglas.
At our indoor meetings we take it in turns, 3 members each month, to talk about an aspect of local history that interests them. It may be its towns, people or social and economic development. We also visit local sites of historical interest and, in coming months we are planning: a guided walk around Wigtown and Wanlockhead lead mining museum.

Intermediate French – Joelle Madeley
Monday am – weekly
Castle Douglas
This new group is now established thanks to the enthusiasm of Joelle Madeley, a native French speaker.

Knitting and Crochet   –   Helen Bullock
Monday 14.00 – second of the month (October to April)
Kings Arms, Castle Douglas.
It is time to get your knitting needles and crochet hooks out again and rekindle that lost skill.   Beginners always welcome.

Lunch Club 1 – Anne Levi
Monthly
We visit restaurants in the area and give them a rating.

Lunch Club 2 – Sheila Packard
Thursday- third of the month.
New members welcome.

Lunch Club 3 – Alison Johnson
Friday – second of the month
We visit restaurants in the area.

Lunch Club 4 – Renee Roxburgh
Monday -second of the month ( changeable)
New members welcome.

Mahjong – June Rham
Wednesday am – every two weeks.

Memoir Writing – Caroline Arnell (New Group)
Writing a memoir gives us insights into our unique lives and the lives of others. A memoir is a memory put to words and can take many forms (about an individual, a lifelong theme, an event or series of events, etc.). In this group we discuss the form, reading some published memoirs, and write one (or more!) of our own. We use exercises to get us started and keep us on track, writing both when we are together and when we are alone with our thoughts and ideas.

Music and Memories Singalong – Ron Newton
Monday pm – third of the month.
Ron has an extensive library of songs to suit all tastes and uses his audio-visual system to play the songs, often with words on the screen. Members take turns to choose which songs they would like to sing along to.
New members welcome.

Non Fiction Book Group – Don Cowell
Friday – every six weeks
Crossmichael
The aim of the Non Fiction Book Group is to read and discuss a range of non fiction books chosen by the members. Members of the group all have the opportunity to lead the discussion of any book they recommend.
New members welcome.

Philosophy – Mike Lawton
Monday – second and fourth of the month (September and June).
Greyfriars room in Kirkcudbright
This is a long-established Stewartry group which features  sessions on  ‘headline’ philosophy topics, such as Knowledge & belief or Morality & Ethics; and then to use the BBC Radio 4 ‘Moral Maze’ programme as a source of input for discussion of how these philosophical concepts relate to the challenges of today’s world. Summary briefing notes are provided and members can also use the ‘listen again’ facility in preparation for our discussions.

Photography – Inglis Lamont
Monday 10.00 – last of the month.
Venues chosen by the members at the previous meeting.
After an hour or so of photography we adjourn to a café for refreshment and discussion. ‘Bad weather’ meetings are held indoors, looking at photographs and discussing ways to improve.
No previous experience necessary and equipment anything from smart phones to digital DSLRs. Members are always pleased to help less experienced colleagues.
New members welcome.

Playreading 1 – Carol McQuistan
Wednesday pm first of the month
We read a wide variety of plays for pleasure.

Playreading 2 – Renee Roxburgh
New members welcome.

Poetry – Diana Clayton
Thursday pm – last of the month
Barhullion, Tongland
We read read and discuss poetry. A member introduces a different poet each month and poems chosen by the members focus on a monthly topic. Some members write poetry; most do not.
New members welcome.

Rummikub  –  Marthie Clark
Monday 14.00-16.00 (September to May)
Castle Douglas Parish Church Hall
Rummikub is a tile based game for two to four players and combines elements of the card game rummy and mah-jong. A fun game to play while keeping your brain active.
New members are welcome and need not to have played the game before.

Science Discussion Group  –  Chris Leamy
Friday 14.00 – first of the month.
Discussion topics are suggested by members and while one member usually prepares for and leads the discussion all members are encouraged to do their own prior research. Recent topics have included climate change, antibiotic resistance, fracking, left/right handedness and a local geological site visit

Scrabble Group 1 – Alison Johnson
Tuesday 10.30 – weekly
King’s Arms Hotel, Castle Douglas

Scrabble Group 2 – Rita Hamilton-Grant
Friday 10.30am – weekly
Kings Arms Hotel, Castle Douglas.
New members welcome

Social Bridge  – Mike Craig
Friday 14.00 – first and fourth of the month
Daar Lodge
Kirkcudbright
We welcome both beginners and more experienced players, together with those who have not played for some time, to enjoy a game and improve their skill by playing Social Bridge (Rubber Bridge).

Spanish Group – Jo Westwood
Thursday pm – every two weeks
For those with some competency in Spanish and who would like to improve their conversational skills.

Sunday Outings – Charles Keal
Sunday – weekly
This newly formed group is proving very popular. Members take it in turn to select a location of interest which can be outwith the Stewartry. Usually a lunch will be arranged and car sharing is encouraged.

Touch Typing – Jo Westwood
Short course of 6 weeks
For members who already have a lap-top. Software and training are provided. Learning to touch type not only greatly speeds up your typing ability but also improves general brain activity.
The current group has finished but Jo would be prepared to run another class later in the year if there is sufficient demand.

Trees and Woodlands – Chris Ingram
Monday – fourth every second month
This reformed group (formerly Plants and Fungi) makes field visits to different locations to find specimens and spend some time in their identification. Activities are geared to take account of the interests of the members.

Wine Tasting – Magnus Johnson
Wednesday – fourth of the month
Members homes.
We meet to taste and discuss wines selected by a member of the group. The main objective of the group is to introduce members to wines they may not be familiar with or would not select from a supermarket shelf.