Bare and Fair

Episode 9 – Bare and Fair

Welcome to Bare and Fair, a podcast made as part of the Surrey’s Greener Future initiative.

February 2020

I meet Mel, a driving force behind Bare & Fair, on a cold, wet, February day in Woking, because of this we retreat to the Café at Christ Church in the town centre for a coffee and interview.

Mel explains how she and her family started trying to be more environmentally friendly. Their first action was to reduce waste and, because of their efforts. they reduced the amount in their bin by 50% in 6 months.

Next – Bare and Fair. A market stall in Woking market every Saturday selling environmentally friendly products. Much of what they sell are environmentally friendly cleansing products. They couple this with a policy of refilling cleaned, used, containers because this further reduces the environmental impact.

We finish the interview by looking into the future, a future then severely impacted by 2020!

Post lockdown, now reopened

I ‘phone Mel once they’ve been open for a few weeks post lockdown.

We talk about how the pandemic has changed the business.

During lockdown the market stall was closed and so they started deliveries to customers.

Mel tells me how things are going now and, because of the growth in home deliveries, they’ve appointed a delivery company. The products are delivered by pedal bicycle – good exercise as the orders can be heavy.

We talk about the extra cleaning requirements required today, Mel says they have now become second nature.

I ask whether there are are any issues with reused containers being refilled. Mel tells me that there has been some research into this. Properly cleaned there isn’t an issue.

SESI – supplier to Bare and Fair

The final part of the podcast I talk to Rina and Paul at SESI, a supplier to Bare and Fair. They tell me about the products that they supply and how they supply them to stockists. We discuss their environmental credentials. I find that some of the products that they sell are both natural and very traditional.

Please note: in some places there are issues with the sound quality from the mobile ‘phone and you will need to listen carefully!

Contact information:

Bare and Fair:

  • Bare and Fair’s website is here.
  • Their online shop for deliveries in the Woking area is here.
  • The contact form for Bare and Fair is  here.


  • Their website is here.

To contact the SESI team please email – you’ll need to copy this into your email client.

Find out more about Surrey’s Greener Future:

To find out more follow this link.

The ‘Surrey’s Greener Future’ podcasts:

Join us for the next podcast in this series which will be published soon.

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 Amazon Music, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Perfect Circle for use as the theme and for use as incidental music in this episode.

The photographs used in this podcast are used with the permission of Mel Hemmings.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

The San Joaquins

The San Joaquins – US Rail Journeys Series 2 Episode 20

Thruway service from LA to Bakersfield:

The San Joaquins starts with my arrival back in LA Union Station on Saturday morning. I go to the Thruway bus terminal at the side of the station for the journey to Bakersfield.

There are two Thruway busses waiting for the Bakersfield passengers. We hear the announcement for the northbound Coast Starlight as we wait. Once my luggage is loaded on to the bus we set off.


We arrive in good time. The Amtrak California train is in the station waiting for us. Once the crew are ready we board the train and have the options of Airline or table seating.

The Thruway bus depot at Bakersfield is quite large because busses go to various parts of LA as well as Palm Springs, San Bernardino and Las Vegas.

Bakersfield is a significant city, the ninth most populous in California and the 52nd in the United States.

Our train leaves 3 minutes late.

Travelling north across central California:

There are a number of stops along the route because this is a regional train rather than a long distance train. A large number of commuters use this service on weekdays. We stop at:

  • Wasco – our first stop is 24 miles northwest of Bakersfield.
  • Allensworth – a special stop missed on my journey.
  • Corcoran – the station is known for its Spanish Revival architecture.
  • Hanford – the original station, built in 1897, survives.
  • Fresno – Mission Revival station from 1897.
  • Madera – platform with a shelter.
  • Merced – for connections to Yosemite.
  • Turlock-Denair – platform with shelter with 4 trains each way per day.
  • Modesto – a modern station (1999) with waiting room.
  • Stockton San Joaquin – Mission Revival station from 1900, restored and reopened in 2003.

West to the coast, then South:

  • Antioch-Pittsburg – an unstaffed station.
  • Martinez – a busy station because it hosts Amtrak’s California Zephyr, Coast Starlight and Capital Corridor trains in addition to the San Joaquins.
  • Richmond – journey’s end (for me) because I’m using the BART system to take me to my hotel. The station is described as ‘post-modern’.

For completeness, the last two stops for the train are:

  • Emeryville – the first new station in northern California in over 60 years.
  • Oakland – in Jack London Square, the heart of the port area.

More about those stations in the next episode!

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 time when I travel from Emeryville to Los Angeles on the stunning Coast Starlight route.


To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

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


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

Storyblocks has licensed Easy Ride by William L Newman for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019 – 2020

Exhibition of Paintings (3)

Exhibition of Paintings (3)

Welcome to the Exhibition of Paintings (3) brought to you by the Farnham u3a Painting 1 group.

As it was pre-Covid 1
The group at the start of the project.

This is the third online Exhibition by the members of the Farnham u3a Painting Groups. The exhibition is of project work by Painting 1 over the past year. Painting 1 is the only group in this exhibition because this project only involves their members.

Pre Covid 2
Reviewing progress

In the podcast (at the top) Gloria Stock describes the three phases of the project. The pictures in the gallery (below) show you the results of the group’s work towards the three phases.

Socially distanced
Social distancing on the return to the Maltings

The Artists hope that you enjoy the pictures that they have painted. Although the project started in September 2019 many of these pictures have been painted since the end of March. We hope that you’ll find the three different phases of the project very interesting.

Post Lockdown 2
Self review is all we can do!

The Farnham U3A has three painting groups, because they are self led, with members who have a variety of skills, the members benefit from the skills of each other.

The three groups welcome new members, no matter their ability, and normally meet every two weeks. At the current time physical meetings, at the Maltings, are suspended.

You can find full details and contact information for the groups on the Farnham u3a website by clicking here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the art gallery:

About this post:

You can find the Farnham u3a site here.

There are over 70 different groups, some are academic (literature, languages and history) and  others (painting, photography and computing) have a practical or creative focus. Others that are sporty, purely recreational or social; there is something for everyone.

Farnham u3a has  members with a rich pool of knowledge and talent who, in keeping with the ethos of the Third Age Trust, are willing to contribute their time.

Posted by The MrT Podcast Studio for the Farnham u3a Painting Groups.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a Painting Groups – 2020

Message in a Bottle (13)

Message in a Bottle (13)

Welcome to Message in a Bottle (13), the a store for the material in the thirteenth 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 editor:

Into Autumn….

Our u3a groups have a great deal to offer this Autumn and, although the ‘Rule of Six’ is reducing our physical meetings the Zoom option is being embraced by many of us. This enables us to take part in meetings from the comfort of our own homes, no wet weather, hard chairs or carpark worries! I’ve Zoomed to meetings with over 50 participants that have worked extremely well so it really is an option that we all should be trying.

As our chair, Mike Love, commented ‘our lockdown survey showed that two thirds of members found u3a interests and friends a bonus during lockdown, and 60% of those living alone actually coped better than expected’.

If there are any groups that want to give it a go our Mr Groups, Malcolm Ellis on, will gladly put you in touch with an experienced Zoom host.

Editorial upheaval

Flo, the inspiration behind much of the fun in this newsletter, has left our editorial team. She’s succumbed to ‘lockdown love’ and recently got married. So, as she sails ‘a Wey’ to work on other projects we wish her well. The office seems so quiet now with only an empty chair to talk to…….

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!

Some may not like postal votes, but our AGM trumps the old way

Zoom allowed this year’s AGM to be held on-line. In previous years perhaps 50 members attended a physical AGM, our 2020 digital version attracted 203 votes from the membership. This demonstrates that despite the Covid restrictions and potential technical challenges, the membership is both willing and able to engage with u3a, perhaps now more than ever. Age is no barrier to change!

Your committee

The AGM means that there have been some changes on your committee. This year the new faces are Cynthia Barnett as Membership Secretary and Ian Lapworth as Vice Chairman. We also say farewell to Anne Connolly as she is returning to family in the north.  A set of ‘mugshots’ for your committee members can be found here.

Website update

In the last issue we told you that a great deal of work is taking place to bring you a new, refreshed website. During the last month rigorous testing has been taking place to discover and squash the bugs. This is all part of the work that needs to take place before it can be released, which we hope will be later this month.

A new look for u3a

Nationally u3a has updated how it presents itself to members and potential members.  A refreshed logo was updated at their recent AGM. You can find out more by clicking on this link or take a look at the website here.

Groups on the Go

Discovering Music

The group is running monthly music quizzes for members whilst they work on the programme for 2021. Here is a recent one:

  1. What connects a guitar with fish.
  2. Name a composer who is permanently housed.
  3. Why is 1685 a significant date (3 please)
  4. Which composer was born 250 years ago.
  5. Who started the Promenade Concerts? (The Proms).
  6. An underwater success from a group of insects?
  7. What do these have in common? A composer of film music and a guitarist?
  8. Which red headed singer lives in Suffolk
  9. What is significant about the number 48 for keyboard players?
  10. Who ‘rules the waves”?  Name and sing 3 folk songs.

Done the quiz? Then try to find some music that connects with your answers. There is plenty of variety here to choose from. Members will receive quizzes with listening suggestions each month until January. If you’re interested in getting involved contact Ann Vickers at

Grumpy Old People

These two groups are continuing to ‘meet’ with both regular ‘keep in touch’ update emails and Zoom meetings once a month on Tuesday afternoons.

We’re a discussion group, although we try not to look at politics, religion and Brexit – the three Current Affairs groups do all that really well. We look at things like the service in post offices, the state of the roads, the lack of policemen, places that feel safe to visit amongst other things.

Despite the name we’re a happy group and take every opportunity to have a good laugh. At the end of our meetings we decide on the for the next one, so there is plenty of time to get our thoughts together and have a jolly good grumble.

If you feel you would like to grumble with us, just let us know and we will be happy to try to accommodate you, please contact me Michael A’Bear on


The group has been hard at work over the summer and is planning two on-line exhibitions to show the work they’ve done. We’ll give you more details in the next issue of F&J for ‘Project Work’ which is an exhibition by members of Painting Group 1, under the tuition of Gloria Stock. They’ve undertaken two projects since the beginning of 2020, Simple composition – advanced acrylic technique and Simple landscape – skyscapes. They’re keen to show us the results.

If you’d like to revisit their previous exhibitions, or maybe didn’t see them, follow this link for the first exhibition and this link for the second exhibition .

Wine for Fun

The ‘Rule of Six’ has stopped these groups meeting in person. They’ll be continuing with joint sessions on Zoom with themed tastings to help members widen their appreciation of the world’s wines.

Jane Moberley, leader of Wine for Fun 2, has published Sips and Tips 6. You can read this here.

Group Leaders

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

Monthly Meetings

Monday 12th October – The Art and Architecture of The Silk Roads – Alan Freeland

In this talk Alan will highlight the art, design and architectural motifs that travelled along the Silk Roads. It’s like taking a magic carpet ride from China to Iberia, looking for attractive artefacts, entertainment and fascination, rather than a camel ride with a merchant caravan looking for knowledge and profit.

Monday 9th November – Air Traffic Control – Peter Tomlinson

Our lives depend on them as we fly through the air – so how does Air Traffic Control work? And what do the Controllers do?

To join a monthly meeting via Zoom

Please send an email with the subject line “Monthly Meeting” to the Events team at No other message is required. The link, with the meeting ID and passcode, will be sent to you. First come, first served.

u3a radio – podcasts

u3a radio launched recently. The national office learning team have worked with members  skilled in broadcasting to create this new series of podcasts. The pilot features interviews and features from across the movement themed around looking forward. If you have an interesting story to tell – get in touch – please email us at

Find the podcast here.

Culture and more

Farnham Maltings

During the lockdown the Maltings was a key part of the support effort in our community with help given to people stuck in their homes, the lending library of games books and toys, and much more.

This rendition of Food, glorious food is by the FAOS and can be found here.

The New Ashgate Gallery

The gallery has frequent exhibitions of arts and crafts and, like the Maltings, Farnham Pottery and the University of the Creative Arts, is a key part of Farnham’s creative landscape recognised by Farnham becoming a World Craft City. Their current exhibitions include:

  • Painting in Farnham
  • Crafts with the Local Heart – Autumn Craft Collection
  • CHICKPEA by Harriet Grist – a Festival of Crafts winner
  • Celebrating 45 years of the Designer Jewellers Group
  • Craft Town Public Art Commission – The Farnham Sculpture by David Mayne

Find out more here.

The London Transport Museum

Joe visited the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden last week to see the effect of Covid 19 on an interactive space. You’ve got to book in advance so that they can control the number of visitors. They’ll ask you for contact details for Track and Trace and you have to follow a set path.

The exhibits are as before although some of the interactive exhibits have restrictions, for example you can’t sit in the old carriages because the spray needed for C-19 would damage the fabric. However, Joe found that he was competent to drive a Thameslink train without crashing it. You’ll find more details here and if you want to book please use this link to find a slot.

More from the scammers

Our thanks to Which? magazine.

Government Grant phishing email scams

With new coronavirus advice being announced regularly it’s no surprise that a fake email purporting to be from HMRC is circulating, telling people they’re eligible for a ‘government grant’. Emails like this are especially dangerous when they manage to make it past spam filters.

You can find more information here.

British Gas phishing email

An email purporting to be from British Gas was sent to one of our readers informing him that he owed £2.01 on his gas bill. It attempts to extort the recipient’s account details by urging them to click a link to log in and pay.

Follow this link to avoid it.

Pension savers are hot targets

More than £30m has been lost to pension scammers since 2017, with pots worth from £1,000 to £500,000 being targeted. This is usually down to savers not knowing how much is in their pension pots and people unable to spot the signs of a scam. Find out more here.

Norton LifeLock advice

The internet security company has published some information and tips about tech support scams.

There are three main ways this scam is executed – cold calls, pop-up messages on the computer and incorrect search engine results.

You can find out more, and how to avoid being scammed here.

Our thanks to Norton LifeLock and Which? Magazine for the information provided here. Be Wary and Keep safe!

completely different.

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!

Computer access is now available at Farnham Library. They’re available between 10.00 a.m. and 3.45 p.m. Scanning facilities are not currently available.

Please note that there is no walk up service – you must pre-book your session either on-line or by telephone. Find out more here and scroll down to find the Guidelines for Computer Usage.

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!

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 Sunset Limited (8)

The Sunset Limited (8) – US Rail Journeys Series 2 Episode 19

Ontario, CA, next stop:

The Sunset Limited (8) starts with us running some hours late through southern California. Our next stop is Ontario. We are well into the outskirts of Los Angeles.

On our approach we pass large marshalling yards with complicated track arrangements. We pass a lumber yard followed by an industrial gases site. A wide range of different industries.

I talk to a music teacher who is on his Spring break. He hates flying and loves the way that you see the country unfold when on a train.

On to Pomona:

It is only a few miles from Ontario to Pomona, the journey takes around 10 minutes! We pass yet more freight yards. It is difficult to see the scenery as my view is blocked by trains with containers double stacked.

Next stop – Union Station, LA:

We’re told we’ll be in LA in 30 minutes, I wonder… There is a lot of graffiti, its everywhere I look. Painted on trains, walls and bridges. We pass a team cleaning it off. I wonder – is it worth it? Someone will come back to the cleaned space tonight.

The conductor announces that the Thruway bus to Bakersfield is being held until we arrive and special arrangements are being made for passengers to join the Coast Starlight which left earlier. We hear details for the other services that passengers are joining.

At Union Station:

Back where I started eight days ago! Its been an adventure. I’ve met some fantastic people and seen some amazing places. Tomorrow I start on the next section of my adventures.

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 time when I travel by Thruway bus to Bakersfield and travel on the San Joaquins to the bay area.


To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

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


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

Storyblocks has licensed California Sun by Bobby Cole for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019 – 2020