T 19 20 T28 Owen Jones

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 28 – Owen Jones

Owen Jones is a talk  by Alan Freeland about this versatile Victorian architect and designer. He helps pioneer modern colour theory. Owen Jones is responsible for the interior decoration and arrangement of the exhibits in the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery.

Early years:

Alan tells us that Owen Jones is an English born Welsh architect. He is born in the City of London. His father is a successful furrier and  a Welsh antiquarian.

The family speaks Welsh at home because of his father’s heritage. His father is a principal founder of the Gwyneddigion Society which encourages Welsh studies and literature.

The Grand Tour:

Jones completes his studies at the Royal Academy Schools. He has an apprenticeship with Lewis Vulliamy and, because Vulliamy agrees, he gains experience as a surveyor.

Following his training he embarks on a Grand Tour in 1832. He travels to Italy, then on to Greece where he meets Jules Goury. They then travel to Cairo to study the Islamic architecture of Cairo and also the ancient sites. Following this they continue on to Constantinople .

They finally arrive in Granada and start their studies of the Islamic art of the Alhambra. For more information on the Alhambra please listen to Nigel Marriott’s talk on the Alhambra and Alan Freeland’s talk Islamic Spain’s History through Art and Architecture.

The Alhambra is pivotal to Jones’ development of his theories on flat pattern, geometry and polychromy. Goury dies of cholera whilst they at the Alhambra and Jones returns to London and publishes the results of their studies.

Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra:

At this time colour printing is basic. Jones decides that it is not adequate for his needs and because of this researches the new process of chromolithography.

He works with chemists and printers and prints the book in 12 parts over nearly 10 years.

To make money Jones uses his press to produce other colour books.

The rest of the story:

By now Jones is well known; listen to Alan’s talk to hear the whole story.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk on Zoom. In a few places there were network issues and there are a few extraneous noises.

It has not been possible to use all the graphics from the original talk because of copyright issues. Substitutes are used where they are available.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

TH 19 20 T27 The Talented and Tormented T E Lawrence part 2

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 27 – The Talented and Tormented T E Lawrence – part 2

The Talented and Tormented T E Lawrence – part 2 is the second of two talks  by Adrian Martin about this fascinating and complex person.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery.

The end of World War 1 in the Middle East:

Adrian begins the talk by telling us about the end of the war in the Middle East. Because he discusses the importance of the Arab Revolt we learn that a number of different forces, including the Navy, took part.

The Paris Peace Conference:

This conference results in the Treaty of Versailles. Faisal attends with a group of aides, including Lawrence. The Conference does not deliver on the promises made to Faisal. The middle East has been divided up by other interests.

Find out more about the conference by listening to David Simpson’s talk The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles.

Cairo Peace Conference:

Lawrence attends this Conference. It’s a series of meetings by British officials examining and discussing Middle Eastern problems in order to frame a common policy. This secret conference creates the blueprint for British control of both Iraq and Transjordan.

Churchill feels that the Conference fulfils the spirit, if not the actual letter, of Britain’s wartime promises to the Arabs because the sons of the Sharif of the Mecca receive nominal leadership of the two regions.

The later years……

Lawrence is best known for book the ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’ although he writes a number of others over the years.

He knows a large number of people, many famous and quite a few literary. We hear of a number of these platonic relationships. It is obvious, however, that he is not happy.

He joins the RAF as an Aircraftman, and has success in developments for fast rescue boats. He leaves the RAF in March 1935 because his enlistment period ends.

Lawrence receives fatal injures in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle close to his cottage Clouds Hill, in Dorset. It is two months after leaving military service.

He doesn’t see two boys on their bicycles because a dip in the road obstructs his view of. He swerves to avoid them, loses control, and is thrown over the handlebars.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

TH 19 20 Talk 26 The Talented and Tormented T E Lawrence – part 1

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 26 – The Talented and Tormented T E Lawrence – part 1

The Talented and Tormented T E Lawrence – part 1 is the first of two talks  by Adrian Martin about this fascinating person.

Adrian tells us that this is not a ‘one sided Boys Own Paper tale of  derring do’. He gives us analysis, balance and objectivity in his talk about the fascinating life of T E Lawrence. We hear about the enigmas and contradictions in his character because there is much more to him than the ‘Matinee Idol’ image. An image enhanced by the film Lawrence in Arabia.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery.

Childhood:

Adrian begins the talk by telling us about Lawrence’s unusual personal circumstances, his character and how the two interacted.

We learn that his parents weren’t married. His mother, Sarah, a Governess, and his father, Sir Thomas Chapman, an Anglo-Irish nobleman. However they live together as husband and wife and have 5 children. They call themselves Lawrence because this is possibly the name of Sarah’s real father.

The family moves to Oxford in 1896 and Thomas (T E) goes to school at the City of Oxford High School for Boys.

Studies in History at Jesus College, Oxford, follow where he gains a First. Between 1910 and 1914 he works as an archaeologist for the British Museum. Much of his time is spent at Carchemish in Syria.

World War 1:

When war breaks out in 1914 Lawrence volunteers for the British army. He joins the Arab Unit, part of the intelligence operation in Egypt, because of his knowledge.

In 1916 he travels to Mesopotamia and Arabia and becomes involved in the Arab Revolt as a liaison officer to the Arab forces.

The Arab revolt:

The Arab Revolt begins in June 1916. There is initial success but it becomes bogged down, leading to fears that the Ottoman forces will advance along the Red Sea coast.

Lawrence interviews Sharif Hussein’s sons and concludes that Faisal is the one to lead the revolt. Lawrence and Faisal work on a plan based on guerrilla warfare to tie the Ottoman forces down. Attack but don’t destroy.

The Talent and Torment:

It is obvious that Lawrence has great talent. He is very good at building relationships and trust and because of this Faisal trusts him. Lawrence reciprocates this trust with his belief in promises for an Arab nation.

The failure to deliver on the promises leads to the ‘Torment’. We need to view the geo-political context of the Arab Revolt in both the worlds of 1918 and today.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

TH 19 20 T 25 Islamic Spain’s History through Art and Architecture

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 25 – Islamic Spain’s History through Art and Architecture

Islamic Spain’s History through Art and Architecture is a talk by Alan Freedland. He splits his talk into 5 sections.

Alan uses many illustrations in the talk. Where copyright allows I use the original illustrations, however where the images are copyright I try to find substitutes. Where there are substitutes I have included those however, because I am unable find non copyright images in some cases, some are omitted.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery.

Historic context:

In the first part of the talk Alan tells us about the historical context and looks at Islamic Toledo.

By the year 750 the Kingdom of Asturias, in Northern Spain, is the only part of Spain not under Islamic rule. Because of this the Christian campaign to retake Spain starts from here.

Islamic Emirate and Caliphate:

The second part of the talk is about the Islamic Emirate and Caliphate with reference to Cordoba.

In this period of Muslim rule Christian and Jewish citizens are important members of society because they bring different skills.

Muslim Art in the Christian cities:

Alan tells us about Seville in the third part of talk. We look at the Alcazar in great detail, we spend time looking at the different parts during the period between 1200 and 1390.

The end of Islamic rule:

We travel to Granada to learn about the end of Islamic rule in Spain and, above all, look at the importance of the Alhambra.

Post 1614:

Finally, in the years and centuries following the end of Islamic rule we learn about the Moorish Revival and how it affects Spanish Art and Architecture.

You can hear about all of this and much more by listening to the full podcast.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

TH 19 20 T24 Profumo

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 24 – Profumo

In the talk Profumo Adrian Martin gives us a cocktail of drugs, lust politics and power. To these ingredients he adds spies, lies, corruption, hypocrisy  and revenge thus creating a heady mix for us to listen to.

Photographs of the key players are subject to copyright and therefore cannot be included here.

John Profumo:

Profumo first enters Parliament in 1940 aged 25. In the 1945 General election he loses his Kettering seat and so in 1950 returns to Parliament as member for Stratford-on-Avon.

Valerie Hobson, a well known film actress, marries Profumo in 1954. He successfully works his way through various junior ministerial positions and so in 1960 he is promoted to Secretary of State for War.

The scandal leads to his resignation from Parliament. He works for many years at the Toynbee Hall charity in London and becomes its chief fundraiser.

He receives an OBE for his charity work in 1975. Twenty years later he is attends Margaret Thatcher’s 70th Birthday dinner.

Christine Keeler:

She aspires to be a model and, at the age of 16, Tit Bits magazine photographs her. By the age of 17 she is working as a topless waitress in a club in Soho. According to Keeler the clientele ‘could look but not touch’.

She meets Stephen Ward and then moves into his flat. She describes the relationship as ‘like brother and sister’. A few months later she moves on to become the mistress of the notorious slum landlord Peter Rachman.

She spends weekends at Ward’s riverside cottage in the grounds of Cliveden. Lord Astor is a patient of Ward and so allows him to rent the cottage.

Mandy Rice-Davies:

At the age of 15 Mandy takes a Saturday job and becomes a clothes model at the Marshall and Snelgrove store in Birmingham. At the age of 16 she goes to London as Miss Austin at the Earls Court Motor Show. She also becomes a dancer at the club in Soho where Keeler works.

She is questioned in court, Lord Astor denies he has ever met her and she says ‘Well he would, wouldn’t he’.

Stephen Ward:

He qualified as an osteopath in the US. After the Second World War he gains a distinguished client list. These connections and his charm result in social success. One of his patients is Lord Astor.

As the Profumo Scandal deepens Ward’s life unravels and because of this, whilst on trial, he commits suicide.

Lord Astor:

The owner of the Cliveden Estate. A patient of Stephen Ward. The host of a party with the John and Valerie Profumo whilst Keeler is staying at Spring Cottage.

Yevgeny Ivanov:

Officially the Naval Attaché at the Soviet Embassy in London, however it is known that he is a spy. He has an affair with Christine Keeler. As she has a relationship with Profumo, the Minister of War, this is heady stuff!

Cliveden:

The catalyst that brings the main players together during the weekend of 8th / 9th July 1961. There are two parties, one where Lord Astor is the host and the other with Ward as the host.

The parties mingle at the swimming pool where Keeler swims naked. Profumo is attracted to Keeler and promises to be in touch ……

The others:

Harold MacMillan, Harold Wilson and his ally George Wigg, Lord Beaverbrook, ‘Lucky’ Gordon, Johnny Edgecombe, MI5, the police and many more. All have a part in story.

You can hear about all of this and much more by listening to the full podcast.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

TH 19-20 T23 Colours in History

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 23 – Colours in History

In the talk Colours in History Jo Watson explains many of the reasons why specific colours have their specific associations.

The talk has many illustrations therefore you will find it interesting to view the picture gallery whilst listening to the talk.

Pictures:

Please click here to open the gallery. When the gallery opens please click on the first image.

Purple:

Jo tells us that the first recipe for purple dye goes back over 3,500 years. It requires vast quantities of sea snails. You then mix in wood ash and urine and ferment it.

Prisoner categories:

The Nazi camps used coloured triangles, sewn on to clothing, to designate between the different prisoner categories. The designations included political, criminal, homosexual, asocial and religious.

Colours in politics and national identity:

Throughout history colours have played a part in government and politics and we see an example from an election in 1754. The Tories are represented by a blue flag and the Whigs by a buff one. These colours form the basis of those in use today.

Jo tells us about other uses of colour in politics over the years. We also see the importance of colour in flags.

Colours in signals:

We learn that red lights can be seen from further away than green ones so explaining ‘red for stop’ and ‘green for go’.

You can hear about all of this and much more by listening to the full podcast.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

TH 19-20 T22 Spanish Medieval History

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 22 – Spanish Medieval History as illustrated by the Church of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo

In the talk Spanish Medieval History illustrated by the Church of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo Peter Duffy takes us on a journey through the Iberian Peninsula between the fifth and fifteenth centuries.

Pictures

The talk  has pictures and diagrams to illustrate Peter’s words. Please click here to open the gallery. When the gallery opens please click on the first image.

Toledo, Spain

Peter suggests that we should take a break in Spain and catch a train to Toledo. The journey lasts about 45 minutes.  We then climb the steep hill to the town and see the immense fortress, known as the Alcazar, and the great Gothic cathedral.

Peter then tells us about another building in Toledo, hidden away from the usual tourist sites. The medieval monastery of San Juan de los Reyes is small and beautiful, and has played a key role in Spanish history.  To help us understand its importance Peter tells us the story of its building. We learn of the role of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon.

A small diversion into Iberian history

Before he describes the building, he takes a small diversion into the history of the Iberian Peninsula so that we understand the context.

After the Fall of the Roman Empire, Iberia was eventually conquered by the Visigoths in the 5th century. The Visigoths made Toledo their capital. The Visigoths were defeated by the Muslim invaders in the 8th century.  They overran the whole of Iberia, except for the wet, chilly, mountain kingdom of Asturias in the north-west corner.

The Reconquista

From there, because of a vision of the Virgin, in a cave at Covadonga, the Christians began the Reconquista, the reconquest of Iberia.  This was virtually complete by the early 15th century. Listen to Peter for the rest of the story.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

Thomas Cochrane – u3a Theme 01

National Treasures – Thomas Cochrane

In Thomas Cochrane Richard Thomas takes us on a journey across the world following the adventures of Thomas Cochrane. He was one of Nelson’s most successful Captains, he became an Admiral and a Lord. His exploits have inspired the writers of novels that many of us will have read.

Listen to Richard tell the full story!

Pictures and maps illustrate the talk. Please click on an icon below to open the gallery.

A childhood in Culross, Fife

Thomas is born in December 1775. He is listed as part of the crew of four Royal Navy ships by the age of five. ‘False muster’ enables him to gain seniority without going to sea even though it is illegal.

His father secures him a commission in the army, however Thomas prefers the Navy, joining as a Midshipman in 1793 aged 17, at the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars.

In 1795 he receives a promotion to Acting Lieutenant. He passes his exams a year later and becomes a full Lieutenant.

He becomes a Commander and is appointed to HMS Speedy where he has success against the French. They give him the name ‘Sea Wolf’ because of his successes.

Member of Parliament

Cochrane stands for election in Honiton in 1806. He is not elected, however he is successful in 1807 when he stands in Westminster. He allies himself with the Radicals and because he is critical of the conduct of the Napoleonic War, becomes unpopular with the Government.

The Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814

A biased court finds him guilty of fraud, because of this he is expelled from Parliament and removed from the Navy List. His constituents re-elect him!

He receives a pardon in 1832 and returns to the Navy List with the rank of Rear Admiral.

Chile and Peru

A great deal of Cochrane’s fame comes from his leadership of the Chilean Navy during the struggle for independence from Spain. To this day he is a hero of the independence struggles in South America.

Return to Europe

We hear of Cochrane’s part in the Greek struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Richard then tells us about his becoming the 10th Earl of DunDonald in 1831 because his father died.

We learn that he spent much of his fortune on inventions, some of great practical use and of his appreciation of the importance of steamships.

He is restored to the Order of the Bath in 1848 and dies two years later in 1850 aged 75.

The talk ends by telling us about the effect of his exploits on the adventures Hornblower, Aubrey & Maturin, Sharpe and Flashman!

Listen to this podcast for the full story.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given in the series National Treasures to the Farnham u3a.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl.

AKM Music has licensed See you as you are for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a 2018 – 2021

TH 19-20 T21 Poverty by Lorna Thomas

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 21 – Poverty

In Poverty Lorna Thomas takes us on a journey through the centuries from the middle ages to the early twentieth century.

The talk is illustrated with pictures and diagrams which illustrate Lorna’s words. Please click on an icon below to open the gallery.

In Feudal times….

We learn about the stratification of society in Feudal times. We find, above all the layers the Pope and Church, and then see the layers within a country’s society. There are five distinct layers from Monarch to Serf.

We also learn of the ‘Three Field’ system of crop rotation which includes fallow land. There are also forests, commons, meadows and rivers to consider.

At this time even the poorest in the community were able to grow crops and raise stock to provide food.

The Black Death

In June 1348 the plague entered England, reportedly through the port of Melcombe Regis. It had already devastated parts of Europe. By October it reaches London and when it starts to fade in 1351 it is estimated that up to 50% of the population across Europe has died.

The Peasants Revolt

An enormous change occurs in society following the Black Death. The Feudal system is dying and the aristocracy pass laws to keep the peasants in their place.

A ‘poll tax’ is the final straw, and Wat Tyler and his band of Kentish men march on London.

Agriculture changes…

We learn of the advances in farming, the growth of yeoman farmers and the effect of enclosures. All of the make the traditional small holding of the peasant farmer untenable and we start to see real poverty.

The Industrial Revolution and the growth of cities

The new farms rely on fewer farm workers and so people gravitate towards the cities where new, mechanised, industries need large numbers of low paid people. These cities generate large slums for the poor. Those who cannot work go hungry.

New roads, the building of canals and, later, the railways aid the industrialisation. These make it easier to transport the new goods over long distances. The railways make it possible for the rapid transport of food to all parts of the country.

The workhouse

Many, at this time, see poverty as a ‘disease’ that people have brought upon themselves.

The workhouse is intended to be the last resort, somewhere so unpleasant that people will do anything to avoid it.

The beginnings of social reform

We learn of the reformers of Victorian times. The realisation during the Boer War that an undernourished population leaves the nation vulnerable.

Lorna ends with the reforms of the Liberal Government elected in 1906.

Listen to this podcast for the full story of poverty through ages.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

T19 20 Talk 20 Are all inventions necessary?

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 20 – Are all inventions necessary

In Are all inventions necessary Joanne Watson introduces us to a great number of inventions that, for some, make one wonder about the sanity of the inventors. For others, we must wonder about the users!

To fully appreciate Joanne’s talk you should follow her presentation, accessed below. The images really do bring the talk to life!

Please Click Here

The gallery opens in a new tab. If you wish to enlarge an picture please  click on the at the top right hand corner of the image.

Three serious inventions

We start with the wheel. Possibly one of the most important inventions ever. It certainly makes driving a car more comfortable!

Joanne then moves on to the Autocannon devised by James Puckle in 1716 and the Gatling Gun. Dr Richard Jordan Gatling firmly believed his gun would help stop the bloodshed on the world’s battlefields!

Then we move to the strange….

A mechanism to help you pull on your boots. Then a ventilated Top Hat that stops the misery of the build up of steam.

Other ideas might have a scientific use

An apparatus to define the height of clouds may well be of meteorological importance. Designs for a family fire escape may be important., if you’re at the right window…..

Then we learn about mechanical leeches, an anti garrotting cravat and a corset with expanding busts. We marvel at the ingenuity of the inventors of yester year!

Then we look at the dangerous…

Joanne tells us about the expansion of crinolines. Harmless you may think …. but stand too close to a fire! But then who’d follow a fashion that requires you to use radio active makeup?

Of course the safety regulations were much less in days gone by. Cocaine in your cough pastilles and toothache drops was seen as  normal.

Then inventions that ‘helped’ the world

The first Traffic Lights in Westminster, sadly resulting in a gas explosion. Then something called the telephone, a device described as ‘too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication’ whilst the Post Office said ‘the Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not.  We have plenty of messenger boys’.

In case we think Joanne is getting serious

We learn of an animal trap that relies on a revolver, a lamp that also acts as a vending machine that could be easily defrauded and a mass shaving apparatus in America.

Listen to the full story of these and many more inventions in this podcast.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

TH 19 20 Talk 19 Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 19 – The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles

In The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles David Simpson tells us about the delegates and the decisions taken. This talk follows on from David’s talk  on the end of the First World War which you can listen to here.

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The Big Four

Clemenceau, Lloyd George Orlando and Wilson are known at the conference as the Big Four because they are responsible for the major decisions. In reality Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Wilson are the leaders as they all speak English. Orlando needs an interpreter whereas the Italian Foreign minister is fluent in English as his mother was Welsh!

There are many others at the conference

Over 30 countries send representatives to the conference, however, the losers are not represented.

Sergei Sazonov, the Tsarist Foreign Minister from 1910 to 1916, represents Russia, because there is a civil war in Russia and the Communist government isn’t invited.

T E Lawrence is there to argue in vain for the Arab cause whilst the Japanese seek equal rights and territories. Even Ho Chi Minh is there!

These minor powers attend a weekly plenary session and they have 52 committees. They discuss issues such as prisoners of war, international aviation, undersea cables and the responsibility for the war.

The Peace Treaties

We have all heard of the Treaty of Versailles. The conference results in five different treaties because there is one for each loser!

  • Versailles with Germany signed on 28th June 1919.
  • St Germain with Austria signed on 10th September 1919
  • Neuilly with Bulgaria signed on 27th November 1919
  • Trianon with Hungary signed on 4th June 1920
  • Sevres with Turkey signed on 10th August 1920
What does the conference deliver?
  • The establishment of the League of Nations.
  • The five peace treaties with the defeated nations.
  • The awarding of German and Ottoman possessions as mandates.
  • Reparations and the war guilt clause imposed on Germany.
  • Drawing of new national boundaries attempting to reflect the forces of nationalism.

Listen to the full story in this podcast.

Please note: there are parts where the sound is of variable quality because of line issues.

Copyright and the graphics accompanying this podcast

Unfortunately it has not been possible to include some of the graphics that accompanied the original talk because of copyright issues.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

T18 19-20 The End of World War 1

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 18 – The End of World War 1

In The End of World War 1 David Simpson introduces us to the key people and events of 1918.

To view the pictures accompanying this talk:

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The Road to Peace

The war continued until 11 a.m. because the Allied armies wanted to make sure that they were in a position of strength. They fear that the German army might restart hostilities.

That morning, at a minute to 11, Sergeant Henry N Gunter of the US Army was one of the last people to die. David tells us of the story of his single handed action.

From retreat to victory

The spring offensive of 1918 was a success for the German army. They gained ground and, because of this, Ferdinand Foch and Douglas Haig, the Allied generals, retaliated with the ‘100 day’ offensive. The battlefield mathematics now strongly favour the Allies because of the arrival of the American army.

The 8th August 1918 is ‘the black day in the history of the German Army’ according to Erich Ludendorff, General der Infanterie, because of the advances made by the Allies.

The Fourteen Points

We learn of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points for Peace. ‘The World must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon…political liberty’ – April 1917.

Step by step the Allies gain ground

We hear of the collapse of Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. The collapse of these countries isolates the German Empire and its people.

Germany becomes a republic

We hear of the mutiny in the fleet at Wilhelmshaven, the activities of Communist agitators, the collapse of the monarchy and, following this, the declaration of a republic.

Armistice

David tells us about the Armistice, taking effect at the ‘Eleventh hour of the Eleventh day of the Eleventh month’. One side feels that ‘the terms …offered were breath-taking in their brutality’, however, US General Pershing says ‘what I dread is that Germany will not know that she is licked’.

Listen to the full story in this podcast.

Please note: there are parts where the sound quality is l

Copyright and the graphics accompanying this podcast

Unfortunately it has not been possible to include some of the graphics that accompanied the original talk because of copyright issues.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

The perplexing history of colour

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 17 – The perplexing history of colour

In The perplexing history of colour as prompted by Gladstone’s analysis of Homer, to give the talk its full title, Alan Freeland tells us about how colours have been described through the ages.

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The use of colour words in English

Alan starts with four  examples – White, Red, Black, and Blue. Pedantsmight often question if we were using the right colour words.

Purely on colour grounds then shouldn’t:

  • White wine  be yellow wine?
  • Red Cabbage be  mauve or purple cabbage?
  • Black Cherries be Red Cherries?
  • And the British sky is often grey rather than blue..

Alan warns us to be aware of the way we name the colour of things because it often isn’t as straight forward  as it  would first appear!

Colour naming survey

Before this talk members were sent a colour spectrum  and asked to answer some questions from their perspective. The answers were varied but there was a distinct difference between the ladies and gentlemen.

Gladstone and Homer

In 1858, aged 49, Gladstone had already been Chancellor of the Exchequer, but not yet Prime Minister. He was the an opposition MP representing Oxford University which, until 1950, sent two MPs to parliament.

He researched and wrote a three volume, 700 page book on Homer and the Homeric Age. Alan admits to us that he has not read Gladstone’s book. He hasn’t even started it. Apparently few who start to read the book ever get beyond volume 1.

Tucked away in Volume 3 is a chapter called Homer’s perception and  use of colour.  Some people must have read this far, because this chapter has caused 150 years of heated academic debate and division.

This talk is about this story.

Gladstone thoroughly analysed Homer’s work from many angles. He notes  very little use of colour in Homer’s writings. The use  implies a very different perception of the world compared to today. He argues that Homer and the ancient Greeks saw a world much closer to black and white than our full colour view of the world.

Listen to the full story in this podcast.

Copyright and the graphics accompanying this podcast

Unfortunately it has not been possible to include some of the graphics that accompanied the original talk. Where possible similar substitutes have been included, however Berlin and Kay’s Basic Colour terms graphics are under copyright.

Follow these links are for material that cannot be published here:

  • The crayola-fication of the world: How we gave colo(u)rs names, and it messed with our brains can be found here.

  • Linguistic relativity and the colour naming debate can be found here.
  • Colo(u)r Naming Across Languages – original paper – click here.
  • World Colo(u)r Survey colour naming reveals universal motifs and their within-language diversity – click here.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl.

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

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021

Britain post 1945

Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 16 – Britain post 1945

In Britain post 1945 Michael A’Bear tells us about the how Britain evolved in the period between 1945 and the late 1960s. The talk focuses on the changing political landscape and its results.

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Beveridge and the Labour Landslide

Britain post 1945 starts with the report published by William Beveridge in November 1942. The foundations of the Welfare State stem from this report. The post-war Labour government implemented many of the proposals.

Although Britain was virtually bankrupt after the war and rationing expanded, the Labour government brought in social reforms including the National Health Service. They also nationalised industries including the mines and the railways.

Attlee’s administration also started to give independence to parts of the Empire although the partition of the Indian sub-continent resulted in a great deal of violence.

Attlee returned with a reduced majority in the 1950 election.

Churchill returns

Winston Churchill led the Conservative party to victory in the 1951 General Election. Michael tells us that Anthony Eden expected to take over early in the administration but Churchill seemed reluctant to step down.

Eden became Prime Minister in April 1955 and was victorious in the May 1955 election.

Suez

The leader of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal in 1956. The British and French governments misread the signals from the US and invaded the area around the canal. Eden snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and this led to Harold Macmillan replacing him.

You’ve never had it so good

Harold Macmillan moved into 10 Downing Street in January 1957. Macmillan created an image of calm and style. The cartoonist Vicky, in the Evening Standard, dubbed him Supermac. Intended as mockery it backfired and Macmillan relished the image.

Macmillan was skilled in foreign relations and was a supporter of decolonisation. He spent much of his time of international issues.

Macmillan won the 1959 General Election with an increase in his majority. This was possibly the high point of his administration.

The economy declined and the balance of payments were in a dire state and Macmillan was losing popularity. Because of this Macmillan fired eight ministers, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his 1962 reshuffle. It is known as the knight of the long knives; because of this the Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe said ‘greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his friends for his life’.

The beginning of the end for Supermac.

Out with the old, in with the new

Michael then takes us through the Conservative leadership contest in 1963. Macmillan resigned as he had been diagnosed with prostrate cancer. The grandees of the party selected Alec Douglas Home as his successor. There was a year until the next Election.

Harold Wilson and the Labour party won the election of October 1964 with a small majority.

The 1960s – if you remember them you weren’t there

The talk concludes with a discussion of the Wilson administrations. These took place in a rapidly changing environment with youth coming to the fore. We end in 1968, one of the most revolutionary years since 1848. There was even violence in Grosvenor Square!

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 2021

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