Remedies of Days Past

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 15 – Remedies of Days Past

In Remedies of Days Past Lorna Thomas tells us about the remedies and supplements that her mother used. This is a talk full of the traditional cures that many of us will remember! The talk starts with hand washing, something that came back into vogue in 2020.

Virol

Lorna continues by telling us of a rather delightful food supplement called Virol. According to the advertising this was a supplement that was essential for all children. Fortunately most children who were fed it were not aware of the ingredients.

Horlicks

The talk continues with a beverage used by many at bedtime. We hear the story of this famous beverage introduced by the Horlick brothers in 1873.

The brand was independent until 1969 when the Beecham Group acquired the company. They then became part of GSK. Today Aimia Foods owns the UK business is owned by and Unilever the Indian part.

Liquorice and Senna Pods

We learn about the importance of these two naturally occurring plants in keeping people healthy.

Germolene and Savlon

These two antiseptic creams have been around for a long time. They are both in everyday use today.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, has many uses in addition to helping cakes rise. We lean of its uses in cleaning and deodorising as well. A very useful item.

Glycerin, lemon and honey

Another remedy, this time to sooth a sore throat. Today often just hot lemon and honey.

Recycling

Often thought of as a modern activity this was practiced by our parents. I well remember the man who collected salvage from our home. There really is nothing new!

To view the slides accompanying this talk:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

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

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

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

Tales of Christmas Past

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 30 – Tales of Christmas Past

In Tales of Christmas Past Lorna Thomas tells us how the Christmas that people celebrate today has come about. This is a talk full of the traditions of Christmas!

What does Christmas mean to you?

Lorna starts by asking what Christmas means to us, is it a tree with presents underneath it or does it mean the Nativity? She also explains why the 25th of December, in mid-winter, became the date of this Christian celebration.

Lorna then discusses the divide between those who talk about Christmas and and those who prefer Xmas. Apparently this is something that causes a great deal of tension.

St Stephen

We hear how St Stephen became part of Christmas and why his life is celebrated on the 26th December.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Many of us know this cumulative song with 12 verses, each celebrating gifts from ‘my true love’. I’m sure that few of us know the deep religious significance of these gifts to members of the Catholic church in England during the years of the Reformation.

The true significance of these words will surprise many.

A Christmas Carol

This book has become part of Christmas for many. 35 years ago the Vicar of St Peters in Wrecclesham, Harry Dickens, used to read parts of the book in church on Christmas Eve.

We hear that, of the many films of the book, that both critics and filmgoers consider the 1951 one starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge to be the best version.

St Nicholas

We learn how St Nicholas is celebrated across the world. Today he seems to have merged in many peoples minds with Father Christmas and become Santa Claus.

Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Robins and the other traditions

Christmas today is a complex celebration because of the traditions that have grown up over the centuries. Hear the whole of the Christmas story by listening to this podcast.

To view the slides accompanying this talk:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

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

AKM Music has licensed Media Magazine for use as the introductory music and Storyblocks has licensed Jingle Bells by Velimir Andreev for use as the ‘outro’ music.

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

Guildford in 1914

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 14 – Guildford in 1914

In Guildford in 1914 Michael A’Bear takes us back to the events in the town at the start of World War One. He tells us that, until close to the outbreak, most people did not expect war.

How we were entertained

He introduces us to some of the people who were keeping us entertained. Charlie Chaplin who had joined the Keystone Studio and was developing his ‘tramp’ persona. George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion opened in London in April 1914 starring Sir Herbert Tree and Mrs. Patrick Campbell.

W G Grace batted for the last time at Eltham Cricket Club on 25th July, aged 66. Brooklands Race track closed during the war and continued in its role as a flying training centre. It also be came a production, testing and supply centre for military aircraft.

As war became apparent

There was a degree of confusion. The situation resulted in conflicting news reports being published. The population became aware of the situation over a relatively short period.

There was some panic shopping and prices of some foodstuffs rose. The main suppliers in the town tried to calm the demand.

The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment)

The first battalion was based at Bordon and the third at Stoughton Barracks when war broke out. The second battalion was in Pretoria.

The third (reserve) battalion was also based in Guildford.

Michael tells us about their mobilisation and the reaction of the towsfolk as they marched to the station and set off for war.

Hear the whole story by listening to this podcast.

To view the photographs accompanying this talk:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Warning: there are some sound glitches because this was only the second time we’d used of Zoom for our meetings.

Please note: Some of the views expressed and expressions used in this talk may reflect views common during this period of history and do not reflect those of the speaker, Farnham U3A World History Group or The MrT Podcast Studio.

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

This podcast is also available through the Amazon Music, 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 Alhambra

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 13 – The Alhambra

In The Alhambra Nigel Marriott tells us about the near 800 year rule by the Moors in Spain.

Invasion and conquest

Tariq Ibn Ziyad invaded in 711, leading 10,000 men. They swept Roderic, the Visigoth king, aside, taking eight years to bring most of the Iberian peninsula under Islamic rule.

The remaining Visigoths and Hispano Romans held out in the north because they offered stubborn and organised resistance.

Moorish Forces

Tariq Ibn Ziyad led an army with both Berber Cavalry and Moorish soldiers. These fighters were feared with good reason. They were very experienced and a key to the invasion of the peninsula.

Reconquest

When Ferdinand and Isabella captured Granada in 1492 Muslim rule came to an end. The war, pushing the Muslim forces south, lasted some centuries.

The Golden Century of Islam

The Caliphate of Cordoba lasted  for the 100 years between the accession of Abd-Al-Rahman III in 912 until a civil war led to the sacking of the city in 1013. Cordoba overtook Constantinople as the most prosperous city in the world. The population grew to 500,000.

Cordoba was a pre-eminent centre of learning and study so scholars came from all over. There were many advances in astronomy, chemistry, surgery and other branches of medicine.

Christians and Jews had to pay the Jizya tax to pay for the war in the North in this period of great religious tolerance.

Culture

We learn about some of the amazing buildings built during this period. Stunning and ornate. The use of water and irrigation. Beautiful garden paradises. The Muslim influence has had a great effect on Spanish history and is responsible for many of the amazing sights in Spain.

Hear the whole story by listening to this podcast.

Please note: Some of the views expressed and expressions used in this talk may reflect views common during this period of history and do not reflect those of the speaker, Farnham U3A World History Group or The MrT Podcast Studio.

To view the photographs accompanying this talk:

I have had to omit many of the photographs used in the original talk because of copyright restrictions. I have tried to find substitutes where there are licences allowing their use however in some cases it is not possible to find substitutes.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

This podcast is also available through the Amazon Music, 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 Great Depression

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 12 – The Great Depression

In The Great Depression Andrew Cole tells us about the period between 1929 and 1939. Whilst much of his talk is about the US he also tells us about the global context.

Please note: this talk is from early March 2020 and is therefore from before the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic fully hit economies.

What was The Great Depression?

We learn that a great deal has been written about this period. There are over 500 non-fiction books, 100+ television documentaries and at least 5,000 papers. Add to that 11,000+ YouTube videos and 24.4 million hits on Google!

It is described as ‘the longest and most severe economic downturn in the history of the industrialised world’.  The result – widespread long-term unemployment, hardship and unrest.

It covers the period from the Wall Street Crash (24th October 1929 – ‘Black Thursday’) to the start of World War Two (1st September 1939).

Causes:

The European economies were fragile. The First World War had been very expensive. The losers, the Central Powers (Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Hungary and Turkey), had the added burden of reparations.

In the US people believed that the stock market would continue rising. In the US many shares were bought using loans. Some of the financial institutions used sharp practices.

When the market crashed loans were called in resulting in bankruptcies and there were also bank failures. This then affected industry and resulted in lower wages and unemployment.

This reverberated around the world and there was a global recession.

Remedies:

Three US Presidents were in power during the period leading up to and through the depression:

  • Calvin Coolidge. President from August 1923 to March 1929. Presided over much of the ‘roaring Twenties’.
  • Herbert Hoover. President from March 1929 to March 1933. The Peak to Trough era.
  • Franklin D Roosevelt. President from March 1933 to April 1945. The ‘New Deal’ era and World War II.

The US Governments tried a number of stimulus packages. Many of Hoover’s were unsuccessful whereas Roosevelt’s New Deal were more successful. The Roosevelt era also saw the 1933 Homeowner’s Refinancing Act and the 1935 Social Security Act.

The New Deal also had measures to help farmers who had been hit by both Bank failures and the dust storms cause by over cropping.

The Consequences:

Many consequences of The Great Depression have been suggested, amongst them are:

  • The rise of Hitler and World War II
  • A change in public attitudes to risk taking.
  • A greater understanding for the need for regulation although many might question its effectiveness.
  • The role of Governments and Central Banks.

Hear the whole story by listening to this podcast.

Please note: Some of the views expressed and expressions used in this talk reflect views common during this period of history and do not reflect those of the speaker, Farnham U3A World History Group or The MrT Podcast Studio.

To view the photographs accompanying this talk:

These graphics are from the talk. For copyright reasons some of the photographs, recordings, newspaper headlines and cartoons used in the original talk have had to be omitted.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

References:

The list of References for further reading is here.

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

This podcast is also available through the Amazon Music, 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

Pax Britannica

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 11 – Pax Britannica

Pax Britannica describes the role of the Royal Navy in the century between 1815 and 1914, where Britain acted as ‘global policeman’

The talk is given by Elizabeth Anson. She has a great personal knowledge of the Royal Navy because she is the daughter of a Rear Admiral. Her father was Flag Officer, Malta when she was born. She was also the wife of Rear Admiral Sir Peter Anson.

A hundred years without a major conflict:

The ‘War of 1812‘ with the United States was the last major naval conflict until World War 1. The war saw the smaller Frigate, HMS Shannon, defeat the US Navy’s refitted Chesapeake off Boston.

Role of the Navy:

For most of the Nineteenth Century the Navy’s role protected British trade. It also enforced the law passed in 1807 that abolished slavery as Naval ships intercepted suspected ‘slavers’.

Britain’s global trading resulted in naval bases being set up across the world. They were critical to the Navy’s global role providing dockyards and resupply points.

The ‘Trincomalee Bell’:

We hear the story of the ‘Trincomalee Bell’, originally presented to Admiral Austen, the brother of Jane Austen. The bell travelled from Naval base to Naval base. The bell was sent to Jane Austen’s home in Chawton after a request by Admiral Peter Anson.

Hear the whole story by listening to this podcast. There is an echo and some electronic buzzing sounds resulting from the PA system.

Please note: Some of the views expressed in this talk reflect views common during this period of history and do not reflect those of the speaker, Farnham U3A World History Group or The MrT Podcast Studio.

To view the photographs accompanying this talk:

These pictures are free for use with this podcast. They differ from those shown at the original talk. Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

This podcast is also available through the Amazon Music, 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 Amritsar Massacre

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 10 – The Amritsar Massacre and its aftermath

John Hambly tells us about the Amritsar Massacre and its aftermath. Often referred to as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre because that was the area of Amritsar where it took place in.

John starts by setting the scene and telling us about the key players on both sides.

Background:

During the First World War the Indian sub-continent had contributed many soldiers to the British war effort. Because of this there were expectations from the population for increased status.

The Defence of India Act of 1915 limited civil and political liberties. The very unpopular Rowlatt Act followed.

Michael O’Dwyer:

The Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab had been active in the passing of the Defence of India Act because it gave him great powers!

From mid-March 1919 the CID in Amritsar kept a close surveillance of two Gandhian non-violent Indian nationalists. On 10th April 1919, O’Dwyer summoned them, had them arrested and secretly escorted to Dharamasala, at the foot of the Himalayas.

He supported Dyer’s actions in the massacre. Aged 75, he was shot dead, 21 years later, at a meeting in Caxton Hall, Westminster.

Brigadier General Reginald Dyer

The Brigadier General rank was temporary because his substantive rank was Colonel.

He is known as the ‘Butcher of Amritsar’. This is because he gave the order to fire. This resulted in the death of at least 379 people and injuries to over 1,000 more.

Dyer was removed from duty following the massacre and widely condemned in both Britain and India.

The aftermath

Many senior Indians had been pushing for Dominion status (like Canada and Australia) before the massacre. After, many abandoned their loyalty to British rule and became Nationalists who distrusted British rule.

Hear the whole story by listening to this podcast. There is an echo and some electronic buzzing sounds resulting from the PA system.

The are no graphics to accompany this talk.

Please Note: The description of scenes in this talk may be distressing to some people.

The quotations and actions described in this talk represent views held at the time of the Massacre. They do not represent the views of John Hambly, the Farnham U3A World History Group and The MrT Podcast Studio.

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is found here.

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

British Art between the Wars

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 09 – British Art  between the Wars

Peter Duffy tells us about the key contributors to British Art between the Wars. Peter starts by introducing is to Britain before the First World War. He tells us about art at that time,

Artists:

We are introduced to the leading artistic talents of the time.

  • Paul Nash a British surrealist painter and war artist. He was also a photographer, writer and designer of applied art. He was among the most important landscape artists of the time and played a key role in the development of Modernism in English art.

Self portrait woodcut – in the Public Domain

  • by George Charles Beresford, half-plate glass negative, 1913 – In the Public Domain

    Wyndham Lewis was an English writer, painter, and critic. He was a co-founder of the Vorticist art movement and edited the Vorticist literary magazine called Blast.

Posted to the western front as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, he spent much of his time ‘spotting’ in Forward Observation Posts. He registered targets and called down fire from batteries massed around the rim of the Ypres Salient. After the 3rd Battle of Ypres he was appointed as an official war artist for both the Canadian and British governments.

  • We hear about other members of the Vortices Group including:
    • William Roberts,
    • David Bomberg,
    • Eric Wadsworth
    • Jacob Epstein,
    • Jessica Dismorr,
    • C R W Nevinson, all of whom studied at the Slade School of Art. Many of these artists studied under Henry Tonks, an ex surgeon given to sarcasm.
More artists:

Peter then talks about the artists:

  • Stanley Spencer,
  • Mark Gertler,
  • Dora Carrington, and
  • Ben Nicholson.

World War 1:

The war had a great impact on Society and the artists. There was a great difference between those who fought and those who didn’t.

The Bloomsbury Group artists were non-combatants and were conscious of the changes that the war had brought. This led to divergences of opinion.

Many of the artists who were war artists were very far behind the lines others had direct experience of the conflict.

Those who had experience of the front line include Paul Nash, David Bomberg, Wyndham Lewis, William Roberts and David Jones. Jessica Dismorr cared for the wounded.

Hear the whole story by listening to this fascinating podcast.

The are no graphics to accompany this talk:

Copyright restrictions apply to much of the art in the original talk and so it cannot be included on this page. You will find much of it on the Internet on the sites of the owners of the copyright.

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

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

Sleepwalking into World War 1

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 06 – Sleepwalking into World War 1

Lorna Thomas tells us the fascinating story about the nations Sleepwalking into World War 1. She starts by telling us about the protagonists.

A time of great Empires, Empires with ambitions to expand. At the same time, some Empires were weakening with states seeking  independence. Because of these factors it was a time of stress, particularly in Europe.

A World War:

Soldiers came from across the Empires of the belligerents. The British forces had soldiers from Canada, India, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to name a few. The French and German armies were similar.

The Catalyst:

Lorna discusses the issues in the Austro Hungarian Empire and the support it was receiving from Germany.

We hear about Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand’s visit to Sarajevo and are introduced to the principal players. Lorna tells us about the demands made on Serbia following the assassination.

The Alliances:

The key alliances were:

  • The Triple Alliance – Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and
  • The Triple Entente – France, Great Britain and Russia. In addition Serbia and Montenegro were allies of Russia.
Overconfidence in the outcome?

Franz Joseph was 83 at the time of Sarajevo. One of his key advisers believed in ‘war, war, war’. In addition Kaiser Wilhelm’s advisers had planned for war in Europe for many years.

Russia had a vast army and promised support to Serbia and Montenegro.

The launching of HMS Dreadnought made many of the world’s navies obsolete.

France had lost territory to Germany in the war of 1870 and resented the defeat.

Germany believed that they would win because if the Triple Entente fought they’d be defeated and if they didn’t, the alliance would collapse.

Fallout in the family?

Queen Victoria, the Grand-mamma of Europe, might have had an influence if she’d been alive because Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Nicholas and King George were all close relatives.

Listen to the podcast to find out more!

View the slides that accompany this talk:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

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

All about Prohibition

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 06 – Prohibition

Joanne Watson tells us about Prohibition. She starts by covering the journey that the US followed to the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment. We then hear about what happened after.

Moral conscience:

There was a flowering of moral conscience after the abolition of slavery. American adults drank an average of 1.7 bottles of 80% proof spirits a week in 1830. That equates to 3.5 bottles of spirits at today’s strength.

Someone commented ‘Americans drink from the crack of dawn to the next crack of dawn’.

The first suggestions of Prohibition came in the 1840s. The US enacted their first laws in 1851.

Alcohol generates taxes

Alcohol taxes came and went in the US. They were applied when the government was short of money.

The road to Prohibition:

The United States started to look at Prohibition from 1896. The Acts that were proposed never got past the Committee Stages.

Canada enacted their laws before the US. In Canada doctors could prescribe alcohol. The were queues of patients before holidays – the prescription? Pints!

‘Lemonade’ Lucy Hayes was the wife of President Rutherford B Hayes. She was an activist and he banned alcohol in the White House.

Carrie Amelia Nation was another active member of the Temperance movement. She used to stand outside bars singing hymns and throwing rocks. Then she graduated to using a hatchet to destroy the bars. She was arrested many times but made money from the sales of replica hatchets.

The British Government enacted licensing restrictions during the First World War. Lloyd George said ‘we are fighting the Germans, the Austrians and the drink and the drink is the deadliest’.

75% of the US States ratified the Eighteenth Amendment by early January 1919.

The law took effect in January 1920 and then the lawlessness began. F Scott Fitzgerald said that ‘during prohibition the parties were bigger, the pace was faster and the morals were looser’.

You’ll need to listen to Joanne to hear the full story.

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

Into the Outback (part B)

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 05b – Into the Outback (part B) with Captain Charles Sturt and John McDouall Stuart

Into the Outback (part B) is Michael A’Bear’s talk about the explorers Captain Charles Sturt and John McDouall Stuart. He tells us about their discoveries and the cost to their health.

Captain Charles Sturt:

Charles Sturt comes from the generation before Burke and Wills. He was born in 1795 in Bengal. At the age of 5 he went to England to go to school. He lived with members of his family he had not met before.

He went to Prep school and then on to Harrow. Although Cambridge University beckoned the family finances weren’t enough. He got a commission in the Army instead and served in the Peninsular War.

After promotion to Captain he volunteered to take command of the guard for a convict ship. He liked Australia and decided to stay.

Sturt became Surveyor General for South Australia. Unfortunately the British Government appointed someone else and he was out of a job! He married and let his wife, and some other women, accompany his expedition to the Murray Darling River.

Sadly he was never a wealthy man and ventures in both Australia and Britain were not a success. He returned to England and died at the age of 74.

John McDouall Stuart:

He was born in Scotland. He arrived in Australia in 1839, aged 24.

Stuart was one of the most successful explorers of Australia. He led the first expedition that crossed the centre of Australia from South to North and returned safely. He showed great care for his men travelling in harsh country and has the reputation that he never lost a man.

The Australian Overland Telegraph Line was constructed along the route he found. This enabled rapid transmission of messages to Britain and the (then) Empire. The main road from Port Augusta, in South Australia, to Darwin, in the Northern Territory, also follows his route. It was named the Stuart Highway in 1942.

After many years of hard conditions, malnutrition, scurvy and other problems he was nearly blind. In April 1864 he left Australia for Britain. He died in London two years later.

Accompanying pictures:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

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

Burke and Wills – Talk 5a

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 05a – The Burke and Wills Expedition

Michael A’Bear’s talk is about the Burke and Wills Expedition into the Outback of Australia in 1860 to 1861. He tells us of initial success, suspect deeds and disaster!

The plan:

The Royal Society of Victoria organised the expedition. It started from Melbourne. The objective – to cross Australia from South to North to reach the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The distance is 2,000 miles through inhospitable territory. Territory that had not been explored by the settlers before.

Cooper’s Creek:

The advance party reached Cooper’s Creek by early summer. They established a depot camp with stores there. Four men remained at this camp.  They agreed to wait for 4 months. Burke, Wills and two others set off for the Gulf of Carpentaria. It was mid summer with temperatures of 50°C in the shade.

The Gulf of Carpentaria:

They got within sight of the coast but swamps prevented them from reaching it. The weather going north had been hot and dry but on the way back they had tropical monsoons. The party were also desperately short of food.

They shot, and ate, their only horse as well as three camels. They jettisoned equipment because of the reduced number of pack animals. Burke and Gray went down with dysentery and on 17th April Gray died.

Back at Cooper’s Creek:

The party at the base were suffering from scurvy. They waited 18 weeks and were running low on supplies. They buried supplies and left in the morning on 21st April.

That evening, Burke, Wills and King arrived. 9 hours too late!

They rested for a few days. They then set off for Mount Hopeless as there was a cattle station there.

The journey to Mount Hopeless

The journey led to the deaths of Burke and Wills. Six rescue groups went to look for them. King was like a scarecrow when rescued. He went back to Melbourne to recover. He lived for another eleven years, dying at the age of 33.

Accompanying pictures:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

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

Victorian Philanthropy

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 04 – Victorian Philanthropy and its Legacy

Judith Edge’s talk is about Victorian Philanthropy and its Legacy. She introduces us to four different people and one couple.

Joseph Rowntree:

A Quaker and businessman from York. He made his fortune from chocolate and created three Charitable trusts in 1904:

  • The Joseph Rowntree Village Trust to set up and manage the village of New Earswick. The village was built to provide homes for his employees.
  • The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. It is a Quaker trust that supports people who address the root causes of conflict and injustice.
  • The Joseph Rowntree Social Services Trust.
Octavia Hill:

We learn that she was an English social reformer. Octavia was concerned with the inhabitants of cities, especially London. She was a major force in the development of social housing.

A believer in self-reliance, this was a feature in the work that she did. She believed in ‘open spaces’ for all and was one of the three founders of the National Trust.

Angela Burdett-Coutts:

She was the daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet and Sophia, the daughter of banker Thomas Coutts. In 1837 she became one of the wealthiest women in England. She inherited her grandfather’s fortune of around £1.8 million (£160 million in 2019).

She spent much of the rest of her life trying to use her fortune for good works. A great friend of Charles Dickens and the Duke of Wellington she married her American secretary in 1881. She was 67, he was 29! Because she married a foreigner 60% of her income transferred to her sister.

George Peabody:

Many of us have heard of the Peabody Trust. Did we know that he was an American?

George was born in Massachusetts in a town that now bears his name. His family were poor. He went into business and then into banking and moved to London in 1837.

In 1854 he partnered with J S Morgan and after his retirement the company became J P Morgan & Co.

Ada and Alfred Salter:

The talk finishes with the story of this couple who dedicated much of their lives to the people of Bermondsey.

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

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

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

The Scramble for Africa

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 02 – The Scramble for Africa and the Winds of Change

Richard Thomas tells us about the Scramble for Africa which took place over a short period at the end of the nineteenth century. He then goes on to tell us about the Winds of Change leading to African states gaining independence in the twentieth century.

In 1880 the European powers controlled around 10% of the continent. The scramble gained momentum following the Berlin Conference from 1884 to 1885. The colonisation had been completed only 30 years later when the European powers controlled 90% of the continent. Only Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Liberia and the Dervish state (a part of Somalia) retained their independence.

After telling us about the colonisation of Africa Richard continues his talk by telling us the story of how the countries re-gained their independence. Ghana (previously known as the Gold Coast) was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence. This happened on 6th March 1957.

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

The London Underground

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 01 – The London Underground

The talk by Tim Davies on the London Underground is the first talk of the 2019 / 2020 year.

Tim tells us London before the Underground. Walkers ran the risk of unpleasantness from above and around their feet because people emptied chamber pots from above and horses and cattle on the streets also generated a great deal of compostable material.

On 10th January 1863 the arrival of the Metropolitan Railway changed this. The talk tells the story of the story of the planning and building of the line from Paddington to the city.

The talk covers the building techniques, tells the story of the expansion of the Underground and the coming of the deep ‘Tube’.  The development of ‘house styles’ is discussed, initially these varied by company. Frank Pick did much to develop the style we know today.

Inter-war investment is described covering the expansion of the network, new rolling stock, advertising and maps. We look at the building of London’s first skyscraper at 55 Broadway. This Grade I listed building has been the HQ of the Underground since it opened in 1929.

The final part of the talk looks at a number of disused stations and considers their place in history.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Interested in finding out more?

The London Transport Museum (LTM) in Covent Garden has licensed photographs used in this talk. Visit the Museum understand more about transport in London; find out more by clicking here.

There are Open Days at the LTM Museum Depot in Acton, click here to find out more.

To find out more about the Hidden London tours click here. I have found these to be both informative and enjoyable.

About this podcast:

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

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

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

Aethelstan

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 16 D – Aethelstan

David Simpson’s talk on Aethelstan is the last in a series of four short talks given at the end of the Summer ‘Term’ to the Farnham U3A World History Group.

David tells us that he is a forgotten King from the Dark Ages. Aethelstan was the first King of the English! As late as the Elizabethan age he was seen as a hero in stage plays.

Aethelstan destroyed the invader in 937 and preserved the English throne. He was famous across Europe.

It is not possible to include all the pictures shown in the original talk because of copyright limitations.

Please follow this link for the presentation that accompanies the talk.

This is the last talk in this series of Short Talks. The 2019 series of talks will begin in a few weeks.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A World History Group 2019

The Chinese Art of Dissent

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 16 C – The Chinese Art of Dissent

Alan Freeland’s talk on The Chinese Art of Dissent is the third in a series of four short talks given at the end of the Summer ‘Term’ to the Farnham U3A World History Group.

The first part of the talk looks at the ‘scholar’ officials of the Ming Dynasty. Alan tells of the importance of scholarship in the Government of China over the years.

He talks about the trials and tribulations of the officials when there was a dynastic change. We learn about the use of ‘bamboo slips’ to create the written records.

The talk continues with the paintings of Gong Kai and Wang Hui. He ends by coming completely up to date with examples of modern dissidence expressed in art.

It is not possible to include all the pictures shown in the original talk because of copyright limitations.

Please follow this link for the presentation.

The last talks in this series of Short Talks will be published in the next week.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A World History Group 2019