Handel in London

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 16 B – Handel in London

Ian Wallace’s talk Handel in London is the second in a series of four short talks given to the Farnham U3A World History Group.

Ian’s talk charts the life of George Frederick Handel from his arrival in London until his death.

As a young man Handel travelled to Italy. He had composed his first opera by the age of 24. He then got leave of absence from his employer, the Elector of Hanover, to travel to London in 1710.

The Elector of Hanover became King George I in 1714.

Handel wrote very successful operas in Italian. The operas made a lot of money. As a result he was able to get the best Italian singers to perform in London.

Tastes changed. Italian operas became less popular. There were arguments about the cost of staging the operas.

Handel had a stroke when he was 52. He went to a Spar to ‘take the waters’. He made a good recovery and went back to work.

Charles Jennens wanted an oratorio based on the King James Bible. The result – The Messiah.

Handel is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Click here to open the presentation that accompanies this talk.

At the original talk on Handel in London included musical excerpts. These cannot be included in the podcast as they are copyright.

The other two talks in this series of Short Talks will be published over the next 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

In the Blood

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 16 A – In the Blood

Andrew Cole’s talk In the Blood is the first in a series of four short talks given to the Farnham U3A World History Group.

Andrew’s talk is about the influence that parents have on the careers chosen by their children.

He starts by asking the question ‘to what extent are eminent composers from professional musician families?’ In his analysis he went through the family trees of 100 famous composers. The composers came from the periods – pre-1700, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Andrew then created similar lists for other professions. He reviewed doctors, lawyers, clergy, engineers and novelists.

Andrew found that the strongest ‘in the blood’ links were amongst composers and the clergy.

Please click below to open a .PDF copy of Andrew’s presentation.

Presentation for ‘In the Blood’

The other three talks in this series of Short Talks will be published over the next 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

Spending a Penny (A)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 14 A – Spending a Penny

Spending a Penny (A) is the first part of the talk by Tim Davies.

The organisers of the Great Exhibition appoint George Jennings to provide the ‘necessary convenience’ for the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. He installed ‘monkey closets’ used by over 827,000 visitors. The charge? One penny! Visitors got a clean seat, a towel, comb and shoe shine.

Tim tells us about the many euphemisms for ‘spending a penny’. Do they come from a taboo?

The Romans had very advanced baths and sanitation. They were 1500 years ahead of their time in Britain.

Tim then talks about Chamber Pots and how they were disguised as furniture.

For many years the rivers were sewers. The ‘Great Stink’ of 1858 mad Parliament take notice. The Thames, the lifeblood of London, was the biggest sewer of all.

The talk continues with a description of ‘Garderobes’. These draughty cold places were a feature of many castles.

The monasteries had their ‘necessary houses’. In Canterbury the facility was 145 feet long! Tim describes Jerichos, earth closets , miner’s ‘netty’ and the ‘Zimbabwe long drop’.

Tim then talks about the ‘Thunder Box’. No explorer left home without one! And then there were the ‘night soil men’ who dealt with disposal.

The first British water closet was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harington. He was a godson of Queen Elizabeth I. 182 years later Joseph Bramah perfected the technology. It was in use for over 100 years.

The talk then introduces George Jennings.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

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 History Group 2019

Spending a Penny (B)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 14 B – Spending a Penny

Spending a Penny (B) is the second part of the talk by Tim Davies. In this part George Jennings marries his first wife Mary Ann Coates Gill  in 1836. They had four children.

George Jennings established his company in Paris Street, Lambeth, in 1837. At this stage he worked virtually single handed.

Mary died in 1844. In 1850 he consulted on the sanitary needs for the Great Exhibition. His ‘necessary convenience’ at the Crystal Palace was used by over 827,00 people. The move to Sydenham required day and night working by his team.

In 1848 George Jennings married 16 year old Sophia Budd. They had 11 children.

The spring of 1865 saw a fire that destroyed his works. The insurance had lapsed! He built a new, larger works, nearby. The business thrived. George Jennings was keen to open public facilities but had to fight against the reactionary stance of many councils.

In 1872 he built a house in Nightingale Lane, Clapham, where he lived until he died 10 years later. The firm prospered and by 1887 employed over 1,000 people. The podcast takes you through the departments in Lambeth. It also talks about the South-Western Pottery and Terra-Cotta Works at Parkeston in Dorset.

We hear about the 0-4-0 saddle tank steam locomotive named ‘George Jennings’ that was still in use when the works closed in 1962.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

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 History Group 2019

Marconi (1)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 13 a – Marconi (1)

Please note: This talk is in two parts and Marconi (1) is the first  part. Please scroll down to the second part after listening to this one. I regret that the sound quality varies during the recording due to issues with the PA system.

Alan Freeland tells us about the life of Marconi starting with his childhood and then his first experiments in Italy. He then move to Britain, after being ignored by the Italian Government as he felt it would be easier to raise the funds for his work.

William Preece, Chief Electrical Engineer of the Post Office, became interested in his work and supported him. Preece introduced Marconi’s work to the public through lectures in London.

After working from the Isle of Wight, Marconi set up an experimental base at the Haven Hotel in Sandbanks by Poole Harbour in Dorset. Marconi also visited the United States. At the invitation of  the New York Herald he provided the equipment used to send reports to the paper about the America’s Cup.

Alan continues with Marconi’s work to transmit across the Atlantic in order to break the power of the cable companies. By 1912 he had even invented an early form of GPS!

I have converted the presentation used at the talk into a series of images as it is too large to load. I have had to change or remove a number of the images in the presentation because of copyright reasons.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

The title music is Media Magazine and is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Marconi (2)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 13 b – Marconi (2)

Please note: This talk is in two parts and Marconi (2) is the second  part.  I regret that the sound quality varies during the recording due to issues with the PA system.

Alan Freeland continues to tell us about the life of Marconi. This episode, Marconi (2), starts with the technology that Marconi brought to the world. Alan also looks at a technology timeline between 1830 and 1900.

The talk looks at the start of the wireless service 2LO which, in 1922, became the BBC. Wireless was just one of the many innovations that came from Marconi and his company. It was in 1914 that he predicted the mobile telephone!

Alan continues with his talk taking a look at Marconi’s ladies. Although Marconi was married, he enjoyed the company of ladies – particularly on his transatlantic voyages.

On ships the radio operator was a Marconi employee, using Marconi equipment. This was all hired to the shipping line.

Towards the end of the talk Alan tells us about Marconi’s increasing feelings for Italy. These feelings included an unfortunate association with Mussolini.

Please note: the language used in some material published during Marconi’s life, mentioned in this talk, would not be acceptable if published today.

I have converted the presentation used at the talk into a series of images as it is too large to load. I have had to change or remove a number of the images in the presentation because of copyright reasons.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

The title music is Media Magazine and is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Victoria and Albert (1)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 12 a – Victoria and Albert (1)

Please note: This talk is in five parts and Victoria and Albert (1) is the first  part. Please scroll down to each part after listening to the previous part. There is a linked video after parts 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Nigel Mariott tells us about the lives of Victoria and Albert and their great love for each other. He brings humour to the talk and included a number of video clips. I have split the talk into five parts so that you can ‘click on the link’ to see the video at the appropriate place.

Victoria and Albert (1) starts with a view of Britain and its Empire in the early 1800s. Nigel continues with Victoria’s early life and her meeting with Albert in 1836.

The story continues with the Coronation in 1838. We then hear about Albert’s early life and their wedding in 1840. Nigel tells us about the influence of Lord Melbourne and the true love of Victoria and Albert.

This episode concludes with the showing of a trailer for the ITV series – click the link to view it.

I have converted the presentation used at the talk into a series of images as it is too large to load.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

I have used Media Magazine for the title music and it is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Victoria and Albert (2)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 12 b – Victoria and Albert (2)

Please note: This talk is in five parts and Victoria and Albert (2) is the second part. Please scroll down to each part after listening to the previous part. There is a linked video after parts 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Nigel Mariott tells us about the lives of Victoria and Albert and their great love for each other. He brings humour to the talk and included a number of video clips. I have split the talk into five parts so that you can ‘click on the link’ to see the video at the appropriate place.

Victoria and Albert (2) starts with Victoria and Albert’s family life. Nigel  talks about their affection for their dogs. This section concludes with the creation of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

Please click on the link to view the video of Osborne House.

I have converted the presentation used at the talk into a series of images as it is too large to load.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

I have used Media Magazine for the title music and it is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Victoria and Albert (3)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 12 c – Victoria and Albert (3)

Please note: This talk is in five parts and Victoria and Albert (3) is the third part. Please scroll down to each part after listening to the previous part. There is a linked video after parts 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Nigel Mariott tells us about the lives of Victoria and Albert and their great love for each other. He brings humour to the talk and included a number of video clips. I have split the talk into five parts so that you can ‘click on the link’ to see the video at the appropriate place.

Victoria and Albert (3) starts with Victoria and Albert’s family life. Nigel then talks about the importance of Balmoral. He continues with the importance of the Great Exhibition. This section concludes with Albert’s death in 1861.

I have converted the presentation used at the talk into a series of images as it is too large to load.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

I have used Media Magazine for the title music and it is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Victoria and Albert (4)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 12 d – Victoria and Albert (4)

Please note: This talk is in five parts and Victoria and Albert (4) is the fourth part. Please scroll down to each part after listening to the previous part. There is a linked video after parts 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Nigel Mariott tells us about the lives of Victoria and Albert and their great love for each other. He brings humour to the talk and included a number of video clips. I have split the talk into five parts so that you can ‘click on the link’ to see the video at the appropriate place.

Victoria and Albert (4) concentrates on Victoria’s later life. We are introduced to John Brown and hear about his influence. Nigel talks about her good character and also the Diamond Jubilee of 1897.

I have converted the presentation used at the talk into a series of images as it is too large to load.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

To view the Diamond Jubilee videos please click here and then here for the second one.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

I have used Media Magazine for the title music and it is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Victoria and Albert (5)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 12 e – Victoria and Albert (5)

Please note: This talk is in five parts and Victoria and Albert (5) is the last part. Please scroll down to each part after listening to the previous part. There is a linked video after parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Nigel Mariott tells us about the lives of Victoria and Albert and their great love for each other. He brings humour to the talk and included a number of video clips. I have split the talk into five parts so that you can ‘click on the link’ to see the video at the appropriate place.

Victoria and Albert (5) concentrates on the legacy they left on British (and global) culture. Nigel talks about the National History Museum, the Albert Hall, the ‘V and A’ and the Albert Memorial.

I have converted the presentation used at the talk into a series of images as it is too large to load.

Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk to open the gallery.

To view the ‘V and A’ video  please click here.

For more about membership of the ‘V and A’ please click here.

Queen Victoria’s Scrapbook can be found by by clicking here.

The exhibition ‘Victoria: Woman and Crown’ is open until 5th January 2020 – for more details please click here.

The Farnham U3A site is at Farnham U3A Home Page.

Media Magazine is used as the title music and is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham U3A History Group 2019

Shortcuts Around the World (A)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 11 A – Shortcuts Around the World (A) – the Suez and Panama Canals 

Please note: Shortcuts Around the World (A) is the first part of the talk by Bruce Oelman. Once you have listened to this part please scroll down to part B.

In Shortcuts Around the World (A) Bruce tells us about the building of the Suez Canal and then starts on the story of the Panama Canal.

Bruce talks about Napoleon’s interest in building a canal. The project didn’t proceed because the French engineers got their sums wrong! We also learn of the canal built by the ancient Egyptians.

He talks about the difficulty Ferdinand de Lesseps had in getting permission from Turkey to build the canal. Much of this was due to the attitude of the British who wanted to protect the Empire. He covers the fact that de Lesseps used innovative money raising techniques for both canals!

This part of the talk ends at the start of the project to build the Panama Canal.

The presentation used at the talk is too large to load here. I have converted  it into a series of images shown in the gallery below. Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk and it will open the gallery.

Please note: there is a slight echo on the recording which I cannot remove.

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

Shortcuts Around the World (B)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 11 B – Shortcuts Around the World (B) – the Suez and Panama Canals 

Please note: Shortcuts Around the World (B) is the second part of the talk by Bruce Oelman.

In Shortcuts Around the World (B) Bruce tells us about the building of the Panama Canal.

He covers the difficulties encountered by the French in their efforts. He also talks about the corruption case that ruined the reputation of Ferdinand de Lesseps. It appears that de Lesseps used innovative money raising techniques for both canals!

The USA bought out the project following the failure of the French efforts. They then brought in people who were capable of delivering the project and preventing the endemic disease issues. The Canal was build by the US Corps of Engineers and opened in 1914.

The presentation used at the talk is too large to load here. I have converted  it into a series of images shown in the gallery below. Please click on one of the images as you listen to the talk and it will open the gallery.

Please note: there is a slight echo on the recording which I cannot remove.

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

The Sick Man of Europe (A)

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 10 A – The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878 (A)

Please note: this talk is in two parts. Please scroll down to the second part after listening to Part A.

Peter Duffy tells us about the fate of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire in The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878.

The conference led to changes in the countries allocated to the different European Empires in both the Balkans and Mediterranean. The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878 describes the different policies driving the key attendees.

Britain was keen to protect the Suez Canal and India from Russian aspirations and so supported Turkey. In addition Britain gained Cyprus at the conference. Austro Hungary received states in the Balkans. Germany wanted to consolidate its position and alliances.

The ‘carve up’ described in The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878 ultimately laid the foundations for the First World War.

Click here to open the presentation that accompanies this talk.

Please note: there is a slight echo on the recording and some disturbance from builders renovating the room next to the meeting room.

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

The Sick Man of Europe (B)


Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 10 B – The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878 (B)

Peter Duffy tells us about the fate of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire in The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878.

The conference led to changes in the countries allocated to the different European Empires in both the Balkans and Mediterranean. The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878 describes the different policies driving the key attendees.

Britain was keen to protect the Suez Canal and India from Russian aspirations and so supported Turkey. In addition Britain gained Cyprus at the conference. Austro Hungary received states in the Balkans. Germany wanted to consolidate its position and alliances.

The ‘carve up’ described in The Sick Man of Europe and the Berlin Conference of 1878 ultimately laid the foundations for the First World War.

Click here to open the presentation that accompanies this talk.

Please note: there is a slight echo on the recording and some disturbance from builders renovating the room next to the meeting room.

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

Darwin and Evolution (A) – Talking History with Farnham U3A

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 9 A – Darwin and Evolution (A)

Sam Osmond tells the story of the life of the Victorian scientist Charles Darwin and his theory of Evolution in Darwin and Evolution (A).

We hear about his early life, and how he went to Edinburgh to study to be a doctor. Sam tells us about his time at Cambridge where he was studying to become a clergyman. As Darwin was more interested in entomology, botany and geology he only got an ‘ordinary’ degree.

He was lucky to get a berth on the 5 year voyage of the Beagle. We hear of the visits the Galapagos Islands. There Darwin saw an amazing range of wildlife and geology. He studied the wildlife and noted the difference in the finches on different islands.

In Darwin and Evolution (A) Sam discusses the books he published and how some Christians were, and still are, offended by them.

Please note: there is a slight echo on the recording and some disturbance from builders renovating the room next to the meeting room.

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

Darwin and Evolution (B) – Talking History with Farnham U3A

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 9 – Darwin and Evolution B

Sam Osmond continues the story about the life of the Victorian scientist Charles Darwin and his theory of Evolution in Darwin and Evolution (B) .

We hear about Herbert Spence, a leading Victorian philosopher, and his  ideas about evolution. Sam discusses selective breeding, a topic Plato wrote about over 2,000 years ago. 18th century selective breeding ‘improved’ livestock.

We learn that DNA analysis of fossils supports the theories discussed in Darwin and Evolution (B).

Please note: there is a slight echo on the recording and some disturbance from builders renovating the room next to the meeting room.

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

The Austro Hungarian Empire (a) – Talking History with Farnham U3A

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 8 a

in the Austro Hungarian Empire (a) Jo Huddleston tells us about the early years of the Empire. He tells us that there were Prime Ministers in both Austria and Hungary. He discusses the stress this caused and the need for the Emperor to keep tight control.

We hear about the suicide of Franz Joseph’s son and how Franz Ferdinand became the heir apparent.

We also learn about the international weakness of the Austro Hungarian Empire (a) and the threats from other nations.

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

The Austro Hungarian Empire (b) – Talking History with Farnham U3A

Season 2018 / 2019 – Talk 8 b

The Austro Hungarian Empire (b) continues Jo’s talk. Jo picks up the story in the 1880s, and tells us about the period to the Empire’s dissolution in 1918.

We hear about the lack of democratic government and the stress caused by the differences between Austria and Hungary. Franz Joseph was the Emperor from 1867 to 1916. He governed for much of the time with just a few ministers and a small Civil Service.

Jo also talks about the institutional antisemitism, particularly in Vienna. This had a major effect on an aspiring, but relatively unsuccessful, artist living in Vienna at the time.

Jo tells us how the visit by Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand to Sarajevo went ahead even though the threat level was known. As we know, this led to World War 1.

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 (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