The Southwest Chief part 5

The Southwest Chief part 5 – US Rail Journeys Series 2 Episode 6

From La Plata, Missouri to Princeton, Illinois

The Southwest Chief part 5 starts as we  pass wet and muddy farms and cross flooded level crossings. As we approach La Plata in Missouri the train is still running late. This morning, sadly, there is no sun – just rain and flooding. The total journey is advertised as taking 40+ hours – click  here for more details.  Long distance passenger trains in the US often run late because freight trains take priority.

After leaving La Plata we pass flooded land where we can’t see where the river ends and land begins. There is an awful lot of floodwater here. Luckily another passenger is on hand to tell us why.

Fort Madison and the toll bridge:

We reach the station at Fort Madison and have a chance to stretch our legs. There is even floodwater in parts of the town as we go past. After two miles we reach the mile long Fort Madison toll bridge. The bridge takes us from Iowa to Illinois. The top layer of the bridge is for vehicles and the lower one for trains.

The bridge, used by 100 trains a day, was built in 1927.  It swings open, up to 5 times a day, to let river traffic through – click here to see it open. The ‘swing’ section is 525 feet long (160 metres).

The Mississippi really is vast!

Onward into Illinois:

As we travel through Illinois the sky starts to lighten. Here and there a touch of blue and yellow. There is a short stop at Galesburg and then we continue on to Princeton.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast. Please join me in two weeks for the next episode where I complete my journey to Chicago.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

 

To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

Music:

AKM Music has licensed the theme, Steam Railway, for use in this podcast.

Audioblocks has licensed Country Train Ride by Michael Nicholas & Carl Carter for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019 – 2020

RHS Bridgewater

Episode 6 – RHS Bridgewater

Welcome to the RHS Bridgewater podcast made as part of the Surrey’s Greener Future initiative.

Please note: it was a windy day so there is some wind noise in parts of the podcast.

Francis Egerton, them 1st Earl of Ellesmere, built Worsley New Hall between 1839 and 1846. His fortune was generated from coal mining in the area. The hall fell into disrepair and was demolished in the 1940s.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is building the RHS Bridgewater garden in the grounds of Worsley New Hall. The site is over 150 acres and is on the edge of Salford. This is the Society’s fifth garden and their first urban garden.

Our tour takes place on a blustery, cold day after weeks of rain. During our tour of the garden we learn about the history of the site. We see the garden developing even though they are working in a great deal of mud. We are shown all areas of the garden.

It is all amazing when you realise that on one side is Junction 13 on the M60, on another side is the A572 Manchester to Leigh road, and to the south the Bridgewater Canal and the M62.

The photographs in the gallery are from the visit. Click on one to enlarge them:

 

To find out more about the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) please follow this link.

To find out about the Bridgewater Garden follow this link.

The Wikipedia entry on Worsley New Hall is here.

Find out more about Surrey’s Greener Future:

  • To find out more about the ‘design challenge’ please follow this link.
About the ‘Surrey’s Greener Future’ podcasts:

The next episode will be in a few weeks.

Please use any of the material to support your own initiatives to Combat Climate Change – each of us really can make a difference!

You can listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts / iTunes, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed ‘Perfect Circle’ for use as the theme.

Joseph McDade has licensed ‘Chill Electronic – Sunrise Expedition’ for use as incidental music in this episode.

You may use the photographs that accompany this podcast subject to compliance with the Creative Commons licence.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

David Lloyd George

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 03 b – David Lloyd George

Michael A’Bear tells us about the life of David Lloyd George. There was no hyphen until he became a Lord!

We learn that David George was born in Hulme near Manchester.

His father was a teacher. When his father died the family was taken in by David’s uncle. They moved to his home. His uncle, Richard Lloyd, was a bootmaker, Baptist Minister and local politician.

David was articled at 16 to a solicitor in Porthmadog and qualified at 21. He started working from the back parlour in the family home and was successful. David married the daughter of a wealthy farmer when he was 25 and they had 5 children.

He won his first Parliamentary election by 19 votes and he represented the same constituency for the next 55 years. He became Chancellor in 1908 and remained in that position until 1915.

Lloyd George was implicated in the 1913 Marconi scandal. Accused of ‘insider dealing’ he denied this as he had not bought share in ‘that company’. In fact he had bought shares in the parent company.

He interfered in the way the military ran the First World War. There were many disagreements. Lloyd George became Prime Minister after a disagreement with Asquith and split the Liberal party.

He was a social reformer. The ‘Representation of the People Act, 1918, gave the vote to women over 30 and also allowed women to become MPs.

Lloyd George hated Neville Chamberlain and refused to join Churchill’s cabinet. He believed that Britain would lose the Second World War.

David Lloyd George –

  • A leader in war and peace
  • A social reformer
  • A salesman of honours
  • A serial womaniser. The woman who became his second wife was his mistress for many years.
  • A brilliant speaker
About this podcast:

There are neither photographs nor a presentation available to accompany this podcast.

The Farnham U3A site is found at Farnham U3A Home Page.

This podcast is also available through the Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher ‘apps’.

AKM Music has licensed Media Magazine for use as the title music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A World History Group 2020

The Southwest Chief part 4

The Southwest Chief part 4 – US Rail Journeys Series 2 Episode 5

From Raton to nearing La Plata

The Southwest Chief part 4 starts as we approach Raton. The train is running late as we reach Raton. It is dusk and we are seeing the last of the sun. The total journey is advertised as taking 40+ hours – click  here for more details.  There are frequent delays to long distance passenger trains as freight takes priority so they are often late.

After leaving Raton (pronounced ‘Ratone’) we pass through the Raton Tunnel. The tunnel is at the highest part of the pass at 7,588 feet (2,323 m) above sea level. As we leave the tunnel we cross in to Colorado.

The Southwest Chief is usually the only train to use this section of line. There is one ‘Chief’ each way each day. Freight trains use a by-pass route with easier gradients.

I have an enjoyable dinner. I then talk to two teachers who like to travel by train. They find it less stressful and love the scenery.

I get up in the morning to flooding by the side of the tracks. Very different weather to the day before! We travel through rain and floods for the rest of the journey.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please join me in two weeks for the next episode where I continue my journey to Chicago.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

 

To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

Music:

AKM Music has licensed the theme, Steam Railway, for use in this podcast.

Audioblocks has licensed Railroad Blues by Bobby Cole and Country Train Ride by Michael Nicholas & Carl Carter for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019 – 2020

War on the Line 2019 (part 1)

Episode 29 – War on the Line 2019 (part 1)

Welcome to War on the Line 2019 (part 1), where I talk to a number of characters from the local community. The 2019 event commemorates 75 years since D Day.

The cycling Cobbler:

I talk to a shoe repairer who uses his bicycle to visit different parts of the area so that he can provide a service. I find that he has a pair if shoes for a soldier. He doesn’t know where the soldier has got to. Let’s hope he’ll come back to pay for the repairs!

The Auxiliers:

The next person I spoke to told me about the Auxiliers. They would stay behind if there was an invasion. The idea was to be an active resistance to the invaders. They would cause disruption though their activities. Their life expectancy after an invasion was only a few weeks.

The Auxiliers had new and novel weapons including ‘tommy guns’ and exploding rats. There were over 3,000 very fit and extremely brave civilians in the Auxiliers. They were trained at Coleshill House in the Vale of the White Horse.

The National Trust owns the property today. You can find out more by clicking this link.

Travelling magician:

I meet a magician on the train. I am not permitted to say where it was going! Careless talk …..

The magician was keeping the passengers entertained with three pieces of ‘knicker’ elastic. I could not see how he joined the three pieces together with just a wave of his hand!

The Russian Army:

I meet members from our allies in the Russian Army camped at one of the stations on the line. Their tinned food supplies are of great interest to the visitors.

A hair do fit for the occasion:

My final interview in this episode is with a hairdresser. They tell me that there was a queue outside before they had set up. We all know about queuing in wartime.

To view the photographs:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

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

VE Day commemoration:

Visit the Watercress Line between the 8th and 10th May to join in. The line will take you back to 1945 to mark the 75th Anniversary. Find out more here.

Come along in period clothes, you can even have a 40s makeover at Pearl’s Pin Up Parlour on the Friday and Sunday.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

Robert Baden-Powell

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 03 a – Robert Baden-Powell

Michael A’Bear tells us about the life of Robert Baden-Powell. We learn that he was born in Paddington in 1857. His father taught geometry at Oxford. Robert was the fifth of the six children borne by his mother. His mother was the daughter of an Admiral and the niece of a General.

Baden-Powell didn’t excel in lessons at school. He enjoyed stalking and tracking in the woods next to Charterhouse. He caught and cooked rabbits, making sure that no-one saw the fire-smoke. His school holidays were adventure holidays.

He joined the army in 1876. He was first stationed in India. The moved to Natal in the 1880s. He rapidly rose through the ranks. In 1897 he was the youngest Colonel in the army.

We learn about the siege of Mafeking in the Boer War. Baden-Powell became a national hero after Mafeking. He became a General and returned to England in 1903. His book ‘Aids to Scouting’ was a best seller.

He held an experimental camp on Brownsea Island in August 1907. He published ‘Scouting for Boys’ in six installments in 1908. In 1920 he asked his sister to start the Girl Guides.

Robert Baden-Powell lived with his wife at Pax Hill in Bentley for 20 years. They had a son and two daughters. In 1939 Robert and his wife moved to Kenya. He died there in January 1941, shortly before his 85th Birthday.

There are over 50 million ‘Scouts’ worldwide today.

About this podcast:

There are no photographs nor is there a presentation available to accompany this podcast.

The Farnham U3A site is found at Farnham U3A Home Page.

This podcast is also available through the Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher ‘apps’.

AKM Music has licensed Media Magazine for use as the title music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A World History Group 2020