Group Leaders

Steve Chicken   Camera Club

After more than 20 years in university administration, I jumped at an opportunity to take early-retirement.  After much thought on what to do next, Sue and I decided to start a new life in France.  We have had no regrets about that decision and, largely thanks to Sue’s early determination that we integrate with our local community, we have a wide circle of French friends and contacts and participate in a number of activities and groups, mostly related to choral singing.


My involvement with the Library is relatively recent and came via the Photography Group.  Sue and I are now members of the Walking Group and Sue the Art Group. We now find ourselves enjoying a second circle of friends and, after 16 years of conducting a social life in French, having friends with whom we share a mother-tongue and a common cultural background is a pleasant development.

As well as running the Camera Club , I am by profession a Management Accountant but I hope that in the flesh I am a little less dull than that might imply.  Outside my family (including our dog), my major interests and activities revolve around photography, choral music, “the great outdoors”, good books, Social Psychology, life-long learning and laughter. As a Geordie born and bred, I am an ardent follower of Newcastle United. This probably explains my worry-lines and my ability to take lots of rough with only a little smooth


Francesco Zangrandi   French Group

A degree in Psychology followed by a career in Human Resources has encouraged the enjoyment I get from dealing with people. Patience, both with myself and others, is a strong point.

I’ve had to learn both English and French as an adult, and am more than aware of all the difficulties. Over the last 12 years, with the assistance of a French neighbour, I have organised and given French classes, at intermediate level, in our village hall. I am now having fun helping a small group of beginners coaching French at the English Library.

I was born in Milan in 1948. In my twenties I moved to work in London, where I stayed for 30 years. My wife and I moved to the Limousin in 2004, and we enjoy giving our horses and dogs the freedom afforded by the unspoilt French countryside, and also getting involved in local organisations. I like reading – especially about cosmology, and I’m trying to learn to play the cello!


Glyn Smith    Art Group

Glyn Smith currently tutors 10 – 12 students (varies weekly), who have a wide range of abilities, from beginners, to creating detailed drawings as well as some very capable painterly students.

Glyn is from Yorkshire and studied at Sheffield Art College for 3 years at foundation level, and spent 18 years living in St Ives in Cornwall, where he worked, and created many art works which he sold locally. He was very much a part of the art culture there.  He enjoys guiding and encouraging artists of all levels of abilities, to help build good solid skills that will allow each artist to develop their own expression in art. Drawing and pointillism are Glyn’s own skills, however he says that he gets much more personal enjoyment, from helping others find their own talents and capabilities in art.

Glyn’s way of tutoring, is very relaxed and friendly, and his aims are to ensure that every student enjoys the experience, and gains confidence and increased skill levels.

Work that has been created by the Library Art Group, is regularly exhibited at the Library.


Jan Pitwell    Singing Group







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Gardening Group

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Writing Group

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