Ataturk – the greatest Nation Builder of modern times

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 08 – Ataturk – the greatest Nation Builder of modern times

Alan Freeland tells us the amazing story of the life of  Ataturk – the greatest Nation Builder of modern times. To call Ataturk a complex person is a great understatement! Alan takes us through the ups and downs of Ataturk’s life.

Everything changed under Ataturk. The name Ataturk means ‘Father of the nation of Turkey’. For many years the major European powers wielded global control. This was the first time a nation stood up to Europe and won.

Section 1:

Alan calls this session ‘historiography’. The dictionary defines this as ‘the study of the writing of history and of written histories’. Alan certainly did a great deal of research for this talk.

Section 2:

This section sets the scene. Alan talks about the rise and decline of the Ottoman Empire. He also introduces us to the complex culture in Turkey at that time. We learn that although Turkey was an Islamic country other religions were tolerated.

Section 3:

Alan continues by telling us about the complexities of Ataturk’s life. We learn about his focus on modernising Turkey and the lengths that he went to to achieve his aims.

The talk does cover a significant amount of history as this is critical for our understanding of his achievements. Alan touches on the First World War because that was where Ataturk made his reputation.

We hear about the war to achieve independence and how the republic came about.

And finally….

We hear about his relationships with other people. Alan tells us about his marriage to someone who fully understood his mission. We hear of the care she tried to give him because of his heath. Being a strong willed person it was in vain!

Listen to the podcast to find out more!

The are no graphics to accompany this talk
About this podcast:

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

This podcast is also available through the Apple Podcasts, Castbox, 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 Sunset Limited (3)

The Sunset Limited (3) – US Rail Journeys Series 2 Episode 14

Lake Charles, Louisiana:

The Sunset Limited (3) starts as we approach the City of Lake Charles. The city is home to just under 72,000 (2010 census). It is the fifth largest city in Louisiana.

The major activities include petroleum refining, gaming, tourism and education. It is one of the three most humid places in the US.

We cross the lake beside the bridge carrying road traffic and head off into the lush countryside. Then we pass both small and large waterways, go through small towns and pass farms growing sugarcane.

Once over the Sabine river we’re in Texas. It doesn’t look any different!

Beaumont, Texas:

The station in Beaumont was built in 2012 and in 2019 passenger numbers increased to 3,651. We get an air break and so we can walk along the platform whilst there is a crew change. A crew change means a new engineer and conductors whereas the passenger care team is on the train for the whole journey.

We leave the Beaumont running late. As our journey continues we see that oil is never far away in Texas.


We travel at speed for parts of the next leg, probably because we’re running late. I get the opportunity to talk to Henrietta and learn about the Cajun culture and cooking.

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the US. Industries in Houston include oil and natural gas, biomedical research and aeronautics. And, of course, there is the NASA Space Centre.

The station is below a flyover on the edge of the city. On the platform I see traditional luggage carts being used to move passenger baggage. In a siding there are a couple of historic railway carriages.

After our break we rejoin the train and start the journey to our next stop at San Antonio where we will be joined by the Los Angeles section of the Texas Eagle.

So far, we’ve averaged 36 miles per hour!

The photographs that accompany the podcast:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Next up:

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If so please join me in two weeks for the next episode where I continue my journey on the Sunset Limited  along the southern border of the United States towards Los Angeles.


To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

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


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

Audioblocks has licensed Twang in Texas by Keith LeBrant for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019 – 2020

Message in a Bottle (9)

Message in a Bottle (9)

Welcome to Message in a Bottle (9), the a store for the material in the ninth Flotsam and Jetsam e-Newsletter from Farnham U3A.

It doesn’t matter if you deleted the e-Newsletter – the important bits are here!

From your editors:

Getting towards the new normal – slowly

We’re learning the skills of our parents as we’re getting used to queuing to enter a shop. We need to wear face masks when we travel by public transport and when we’re in situations where we can’t socially distance. So we’re being careful!

As our world slowly opens up, we can soon start back at the gym, maybe get an ‘I loved lockdown’ tattoo and then, in August, go out for a half price lunch, courtesy of Rishi.

The downside? Joe tells me he’s having trouble cleaning his face mask since he tried to drink a glass of red wine through it. Still, it filtered out the sediment!

Have you taken the Life in Lockdown survey?

Lockdown has given new meaning to the good, the bad and the ugly.  This survey gives you a chance to join the many Farnham U3Aers who’ve participated to tell us how you’ve fared in lockdown.  It’s simple and anonymous – click here now. The survey results will be published in the later in the year.

Monthly meetings

Monthly meetings will resume in September via Zoom. We’re told that they’re working on the programme and we’ll publish it when its available.

 Two local businesses benefitting from Farnham U3A

Two local firms will benefit from our “business as usual” approach to member communications. Months of copyrighting and design to produce our Annual Review magazine which this year will be published and distributed by A3Design.  You’ll receive yours, with the AGM documents, in the late summer.

Separately work has just begun on the development of our new website which will be unveiled in the autumn. A team of six guided the selection process with the final contract being awarded to Kallkwik in Farnham.

A picture tells a thousand words

Got photos of your group which show how you do what you do?  We’d love to use them for both our new website and PR activities.  To share a photo, save it using your group name then email us on –

Groups on the go:

U3A Communities online

You might be interested in this website that has been developed by Runnymede U3A. Its been developed to share ideas and projects amongst the U3A community. They’re building a list of U3A related sites and providing links to them from both the Home page and the Links page. You can access the site  here.

Grumpy Old People

We hear that the Grumpies (1 and 2) did a test run on Zoom recently to raise the spirits of those members who have been missing the opportunity to get together for a good grumble. As usual they digressed from the chosen topics and there was much laughter along the way.

40 minutes went in a flash and the session came to an abrupt end. Memo. to secretary – watch the time! It was good to see familiar faces and they’re doing it again next month.

Songwriting Group

The Songwriting Group continues to meet regularly over Zoom. A few weeks ago, the theme ‘thrown out’ for creativity was “What do you see of your friends and colleagues homes via your Zoom screen“. One of the members wrote this amusing song.

Group Leaders

Please keep us updated about your socially distanced programme so we can give you a plug here.

Armchair Culture

The Louvre

You might not be ready to take the plane or train to Paris yet. You can still visit the Louvre by taking one of their online tours. In line with the requirements of the Académie Française you’ll need to understand a bit of French to fully appreciate the artworks – but the you’d have needed that to order your lunch…  take a look here.

The Science Museum Group

You might not know that the Science Museum Group comprises of five museums. They are:

  • The Science Museum, London
  • The Science and Industry Museum, Manchester
  • The National Science and Media Museum, Bradford
  • The National Railway Museum, York
  • Locomotion, Shildon

Sadly they’re all closed at the moment but you can make a virtual visit here.

The Natural History Museum

No need to travel up to London by train and tube, you can explore the museum in 13 different ways whilst remaining at home. All you need to do is take this link to be transported there.

 The National Theatre

The National Theatre has extended its season of streamed performances again, each one is only available for seven days. You can see:

  • Terrence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea is available until 6.59 p.m. on Thursday 16th
  • The National Theatre production of Amadeus premieres at 7.00 p.m. on Thursday 16th

This has been a wonderful series of plays – don’t miss out – the link is here.

Its July – time for the Proms

This year the Proms is 125! The revised 2020 season brings the spirit of the Proms to music-lovers at home. There will be treasures from the archive and incredible live performances.

The BBC Proms will consist of 8 weeks of world-class performances by the world’s greatest classical musicians of the past, present and future.

There will be archive concerts on BBC Radio 3, they’ll also be available through BBC Sounds – you might want to download the app from the Apple or Android store or explore what’s available on your computer here. 

There will also be a selection of archive concerts on BBC Four and the BBC iPlayer.

In the last fortnight of the season there will be live performances from the Royal Albert Hall on BBC Four. They’ll also be streamed via iPlayer and be on Radio 3 and BBC Sounds.

Find out more here.

The first night, on Friday 17th July, starts at 7.05 p.m. with a ‘mash up’ of Beethoven’s nine symphonies to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. Its been recorded in lockdown by a Grand Virtual Orchestra made up of around 320 players from the BBC Orchestras and Choirs.

Click here to find out more.

More scams for the unwary

Joe had three emails in 24 hours telling him that his Microsoft 365 (previously called Office 365) subscription was about to expire. When he investigated the email addresses carefully he found that they were all from different people and none were Microsoft.

You should check the email address that the message has come from and also and verify any link you’re being asked to click on. Look carefully – some of them are very clever – a quick glance and you might mistake Cornmons for Commons.

One other thing, major organisations don’t use or etc.

Hover over the address or link to find out the person behind the message – to hover, just move your pointer over the information that you want to verify.

Hover over the ‘From’ display name or the link you’re being asked to click on, to see the real email or link address. Attackers often spoof a display name to look like it is coming from someone legitimate, but when you hover over the display name you’ll often find someone completely different.

Fight back

5 ways to detect a phishing email – with examples was published last month here.

Details about a PayPal scam are here.

Three ways to verify the sender of an email can be found here.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is – report anything that looks like a fraud or a scam to Action Fraud online or phone 0300 123 2040


We’re all having to learn new skills with technology, hopefully we can help. Please don’t let it get to you like it got to Joe!

Surrey County libraries – as mentioned earlier the Farnham Library has re-opened. Details of the safety and social distancing measures can be found here.

If you’re after the collection of e-books and e-audiobooks. Available to all Surrey library members – more here

The Zoom Guide below has helped members connect. Feel free to read it and circulate it to others. The latest update of the guide was updated on 28th May 2020.

Zoom instructions 20200528

Tip for joining an online meeting: please sort out the software and your computer / tablet / ‘phone before the meeting. This is because the meeting host can’t tutor you during the meeting!

Community Tips

The Town Council, along with the Maltings and the Farnham Herald, has produced a useful fact-sheet full of help and advice for residents of Farnham and villages which is worth printing.  Click here.

About this post:

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

Please use this material to help you through the lock-down.

Posted by The MrT Podcast Studio for Farnham U3A – 2020

The Repair Cafe Conference

Episode 8 – The Repair Cafe Conference

Welcome to the Repair Cafe Conference podcast which is made as part of the Surrey’s Greener Future initiative.

The University for the Creative Arts in Farnham hosted the Repair Cafe Conference on 12th March 2020. You can see the large number of delegates in the photographs.

The Repair Cafe concept started in the Netherlands, however there are now over 2,000 across the world.

Professor Martin Charter starts by welcoming the delegates and introducing the day’s agenda. Then Councillor Pat Evans, the Mayor of Farnham,  addressed the delegates. I caught up with her recently for an interview to include in this podcast.

The morning – information for the delegates:

The morning agenda:

  • Professor Wouter Spekkink, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, covers the 3rd Global survey of Repair Cafes. Interested in the full report? If so click here.
  • Professor Martin Charter talks about the Farnham Repair Café Visitor survey.
  • John Pearce delivers an analysis of the Farnham Repair Café activities.
  • Steve Privett on the CO2 Calculator and also the use of 3D Printing for repairs.
  • A panel discussion about key issues for Repair Cafés.
The afternoon – delegate discussion and feedback:
  • Speed networking giving delegates the opportunity to meet others.
  • Group discussions on the Lessons related to Product Repair.
  • Group discussions about Policy making implications at Local and Central Government levels.

Please note: in some places there are issues with the sound quality somyou will need to listen carefully!

Photographs from the day:

Click on one of the photographs below in order to see the gallery:

More information and webinar details:
  • Details of the Conference are here.
  • Managing Repair Cafes #sharerepair – the video of the webinar is at.
  • Repair Learning #sharerepair – the video of the webinar is here.
  • Repair Cafes in Lockdown #sharerepair – agenda for the webinar to be held on 14th July 2020 at 18.00 (BST).
  • Managing Repair Cafes #sharerepair – agenda for the webinar to be held on 25th July 2020 at 10.00 (BST).
  • A link to the Centre for Sustainable Design at the University for the Creative Arts Events page is here.

To contact the Repair Cafe Conference team please email

Click in order to find out more about the Farnham Repair Cafe.

Find out more about Surrey’s Greener Future:

To find out more about the ‘design challenge’ follow this link.

The ‘Surrey’s Greener Future’ podcasts:

The next episode will be in a few weeks.

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

In addition to this web-page this podcast is available on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Perfect Circle for use as the theme

Joseph McDade has licensed On the Verge so it can be used as incidental music in this episode.

You may use the photographs that accompany this podcast in line with the Creative Commons licence.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

The Sunset Limited (2)

The Sunset Limited (2) – US Rail Journeys Series 2 Episode 13

Morgan City:

The Sunset Limited (2) begins as we cross the Atchafalaya River at Morgan City. The river is a tributary of the Mississippi. There are two road bridges and one rail bridge crossing the river here.

The population peaked in the 1970s and has declined by about 35% since then.

Many of the houses in this area are in need of some TLC. This may be because, in 2018, the median income in Louisiana was just under $48,000. This compares to a US average of $62,000.

New Iberia:

The train is lightly loaded today. If those who travel by car and plane took the train they’d travel in comfort and see so much more of the magnificent scenery.

New Iberia has a short platform so the train moves forward to let the coach passengers get on. There are about 20 of them.

As we leave New Iberia the line from Avery Island curves in on the left. Avery Island is the home of Tabasco.

Towards Lafayette:

Our journey takes us past a great deal of agriculture. Rice and sugar cane are two major crops because the climate is suitable for them.

We reach Lafayette, the fourth largest city in Louisiana. The station has been rebuilt because the original one burnt down in May 2001.

A childhood on a rice farm:

In the last part of the podcast I learn about growing up on a rice farm. I hear that it was hard work but that there was a great sense of family. The family had a natural well which gave them large quantities of water for irrigation and cooling down in the summer heat.

The photographs that accompany the podcast:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Next up:

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If so please join me in two weeks for the next episode where I continue my journey on the Sunset Limited  along the southern border of the United States towards Los Angeles.


To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

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


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

Audioblocks has licensed Railroad Blues by Bobby Cole, Country Train Ride by Michael Nickolas & Carl Carter and Southbound Train Alt Mix by William Pearson for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019 – 2020