From Faraday to Ferranti (a) – Talking History with Farnham U3A – S2018/9 07A

In From Faraday to Ferranti (a) Trevor tells us about the career of Michael Faraday. The son of a blacksmith with only a basic formal education he was a brilliant intuitive scientist. He was apprenticed to a bookbinder when he was 14. He read many of the books in order to improve himself.

In those days public displays of scientific experiments were popular. Faraday went to those held at the Royal Institution in London. Faraday became assistant to Sir Humphrey Davy in 1812.

Faraday toured Europe with Davy in 1813 / 1814 and met many of Europe’s scientists. Faraday continued to work for the Royal Institution until his death in 1867.

The talk continues with descriptions of Faraday’s experiments into electro-magnetism.

From Faraday to Ferranti (a) ends with a brief introduction to Sebastian de Ferranti. Listen to Part B to find out more about Ferranti.

Click on the link to open the  presentation that accompanies the talk.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

The music Media Magazine used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

From Faraday to Ferranti (b) – Talking History with Farnham U3A – S2018/9 07B

Faraday to Ferranti (b) continues Trevor’s talk about the career of Ferranti. It starts with the Grosvenor Gallery project. Ferranti redesigned the system and made it very successful.

Faraday to Ferranti (b) starts with his work at the London Electric Supply Corporation where he was Chief Engineer. He designed the Deptford Power Station to provide a high voltage electricity supply. The talk continues with how the high voltage was to be converted to one that could be used domestically.

Ferranti developed a high voltage cable and the description about how this was created is fascinating – considering the technology available at that time. Some of the cable was still in use in 1933.

The talk continues with the Marindin report about the electricity supply industry in London. The report recommended that the companies should have specific supply areas. The one given to the London Electric Supply Corporation was too small for the Deptford Power Station to operate economically without major modification. This led to Ferranti’s departure.

Ferranti opened business in Lancashire making equipment for the power supply industry. At it’s peak the business employed 20,000.

Click on the link to open the Presentation for this part of the talk.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

The music Media Magazine used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Driving and Firing Experience pt. 3 – WC Ep. 11

Welcome to part 3 of the Driving and Firing Experience offered by  the Watercress Line. The afternoon was my opportunity to drive a steam engine  – something that I’d wanted to do since I was a child!

Three of us were trainees that afternoon, guided by an excellent Watercress Line driver and fireman. This podcast starts as leave Alresford, for the second time, for the uphill climb to Ropley.

After reaching Ropley we went on a tour of the engineering sheds. The sheds enable the line to carry out work on the locomotives and carriages.

We then returned to Cheltenham for the final section, downhill, to Alresford. I was the driver for this last section but, as you will hear, I forgot about the ‘handbrake’. Silly of me as I’d spent ages putting it on!

You can learn from the driving instructions and from the informal conversations during the afternoon.

It was an amazing experience on a warm and sunny early autumn afternoon.

If you’d like to try the Firing and Driving Experience, or know someone who would, click here. It is a wonderful three hour experience.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for Walk the Line in the series Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

US Rail Journeys – Across Wyoming to Rawlins – S1 Ep.13

In  episode thirteen I travel on the California Zephyr from north of Denver, Colorado,  then along our diversion across Wyoming to Rawlins, an oil town in Carbon County.

The diversion is to allow engineering work on the California Zephyr’s normal route. We are travelling along the historic Overland route last regularly used by a passenger train over 20 years ago. The Amtrak Pioneer. The Pioneer ran for nearly 20 years from June 1977 until May 1997.

Although we stopped many times on our journey none of the stops were in a station, so we had no air break for many hours.

We passed through Greeley where the former Union Pacific Rail Depot which closed when the Pioneer service ceased in 1997. Find out more about the history of this station by clicking this link.

We then crossed the desolation of Wyoming passing through Laramie in the early afternoon – click this link for more details. We have left the arable farming area and now we only see cattle; and in many places there is nothing!

As the afternoon progresses we come into a belt of the first snow of the winter. Considering that this is early October I imagine that it can be pretty cold in mid-winter. In the desolation there are some wind farms, I imagine that the winds can be fierce here.

This episode ends as we reach Rawlins in Wyoming’s Carbon County (more details here) and our locomotives are refuelled. The station first opened in 1901 and finally closed in 1997.

I’ll tell you more about the journey as we travel from Rawlins to Reno on the California Zephyr in the next episode of US Rail Journeys in two weeks time.

Click on any of the ‘thumbnails’ below to open the photograph gallery.

My thanks go to the passengers and crew on our journey from Chicago to the Bay Area, aboard the California Zephyr, for their tolerance of the man waving the microphone. It truly is a magnificent journey.

Full definition copies of the photographs taken by MrT are available on Flickr. In addition a selection are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The music Steam Railway is used under licence from AKM Music.

This podcast is also available through iTunes (Apple podcasts), Spotify and Stitcher as well as this website.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2017 to 2019

Your Best Practice Programme – Talking Business – S1 Ep.2

Welcome to Your Best Practice Programme. The second episode in the series ‘Your Big Project‘. Hopefully this series of podcasts will improve the chances of success for your project. In this series we always consider the good, the bad and the extremely ugly!

In Your Best Practice Programme, the essential foundation before you start your systems project, we look at key building blocks for the programme.

The talk is based on the experience I have gained through my involvement in a number of Best Practice Programmes. I hope that you find it useful.

I hope that you gain ideas from the successes and failures of others and that you have a life changing success.

Please click on the link to access the .PDF slide pack for this talk:

Your Best Practice Programme presentation

This series of podcasts is also available through iTunes (Apple Podcasts), Spotify and Stitcher.

Join me in two weeks for episode three of Talking Business – Your Big Project.

The theme music Lifestyles used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Driving and Firing Experience pt. 2 – WC Ep. 10

Welcome to part 2 of the Driving and Firing Experience offered by  the Watercress Line. My opportunity to do something that I’d wanted to do since I was a child!

Drive a steam engine!!

There were three trainees that afternoon, guided by an excellent Watercress Line driver and fireman. The podcast starts as we reach Ropley after an uphill climb from Alresford.

This episode takes you from our arrival into Ropley, on to Medstead and then all the way back down the hill, through Ropley and on to Alresford.

You can learn, as we did, from the driving instructions and also from the informal conversation as we move between the stations.

It was a lovely early autumn afternoon – lots of sunshine.

If you’d like to try the Firing and Driving Experience, or love someone who would, click here. It is a wonderful three hour experience.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for part 3 of the Driving and Firing experience in the series Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

US Rail Journeys – Mount Pleasant through Denver on the California Zephyr – S1 Ep.12

In  episode twelve I travel on the California Zephyr from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, through Denver and then northwards to our diversion through Wyoming.  The diversion is because there is engineering work on the normal route between Denver and Salt Lake City. The diversion takes us along the historic Overland route. The last regular passenger service to use this route was the Amtrak Pioneer. The Pioneer ran for nearly 20 years from June 1977 until May 1997.

We travelled from Burlington through the late afternoon towards Mount Pleasant in Iowa where the station opened in 1912. Over 13,700 passengers used Mount Pleasant station in 2017.

We then stopped at Ottumwa where the station canopy lacks any glass. Ottumwa is the fictional home of Radar O’Reilly from M*A*S*H. 12,200 passengers used the station in 2017. The Rock Island Line services used to stop here.

It was dark when we reached Osceola, 80 miles on from Ottumwa. Osceola saw 16,000 passengers in 2016. A further 33 miles took us to Creston. The station at Creston is like a small industrial unit. It was built in 1969 and was used by just over 3,800 passengers in 2016.

We reached Omaha after another 108 miles and crossing the state line between Iowa and Nebraska. After a short air break we set off into the night. I slept whilst the train travelled through Lincoln, Hastings, Holdredge, McCook and Fort Morgan stations on the way to Denver.

We reached Denver after breakfast. The train spent over 40 minutes in Denver and this gave me the opportunity to look round the station. Denver Union Station was rebuilt in 1914. The platform area was rebuilt again between 2014 – 2014 and is very modern.

We left Denver going north to the diversion route which took us non-stop across Wyoming. I say ‘non-stop’ because we didn’t stop at any stations between Denver and Salt Lake City. The journey out of Denver, however, was more stop than go for the first few hours and give us a scenic tour of Denver’s scrap yards.

I’ll tell you more about the journey across Wyoming on the California Zephyr in the next episode of US Rail Journeys in two weeks time.

Click on any of the ‘thumbnails’ below to open the photograph gallery.

My thanks go to the passengers and crew on our journey from Chicago to the Bay Area, aboard the California Zephyr, for their tolerance of the man waving the microphone. It truly is a magnificent journey.

Full definition copies of the photographs taken by MrT are available on Flickr. In addition a selection are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The music Steam Railway is used under licence from AKM Music.

This podcast is also available through iTunes (Apple podcasts), Spotify and Stitcher as well as this website.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2017 to 2019

Talking History with Farnham U3A – Kitchener – S2018/9 06

In Kitchener, Alan Bridgeman focuses on the campaign to avenge the death of General Gordon. His main source is the book With Kitchener to Khartoum, written by the Daily Mail journalist G W Steevens who covered the campaign. The book is written in the style of the time and might not be considered to be ‘politically correct’ today.

A number of journalists covered the campaign against the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the Khalifa. He was the successor to the Mahdi.

The talk is full of observations made by Steevens in the period before the battle as well as his description of the battle and its aftermath.

The talk concludes with Kitchener’s role in the First World War and his death when HMS Hampshire sank after hitting a mine in 1916.

Click on a graphic to open the gallery:

Please note: The graphics included in this post may differ from those used in the original talk for copyright reasons.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

The music Media Magazine used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Your Big Project – Talking Business – S1 Ep.1

Welcome to Your Big Project. This series of podcasts is about improving your chances of success. In this series we will consider the good, the bad and the extremely ugly!

In episode 1 we look at the A to Z of things to ask yourself before you start your project. I have attached a set of slides to accompany the talk below.

The talk includes Best Practice, the Customer’s role, scope Elasticity, the dreaded JFDI, Kerfuffle, Vanity and Zzzzzzz amongst many other things. A different look at the alphabet but one I hope you find useful.

I hope that you gain ideas from the successes and failures of others and that your next project is a life changing success.

Please click on the link to access the .PDF slide pack for this talk:

The A to Z of questions to ask yourself.

Join me in two weeks for the next episode of Talking Business – Your Big Project.

The theme music Lifestyles used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019