Lives in a Landscape
Summary: Alan Dein presents documentaries about modern Britain. BBC Radio 4’s critically acclaimed series in which award-winning presenter Alan Dein goes in search of original stories from around the country – featuring people and places which are usually overlooked by the news.
Alan Dein meets the fishermen of the Fal who still dredge oysters from sailing or rowing boats. Always precarious their, livelihoods now face a new threat - E coli in the water.
What do the Women's Institute and the gay club scene in 1980's New York have in common? Julie Gatenby meets people preparing for Liverpool's legendary Vogue Ball.
Alan Dein visits an old mariners' home on the banks of the River Mersey. These Merchant Navy sailors - and their widows - reflect on their seafaring lives.
Bradford's Holme Wood estate boasts many dozens of horses. The council wants the animals removed. Alan Dein meets the animal owners and explores their battle with the council.
Gerry Marshall was one of the most famous racing drivers of his generation; a larger-than-life character with big appetites, who eventually died of heart failure behind the wheel at Silverstone in 2005. His son, Gregor, always wanted to follow in his father's footsteps, but Gerry discouraged him, saying "what's the point, you'll never be as good as me". But Gregor hasn't given up on his dream of racing. He has bought a vintage car, similar to the one his father raced, and is restoring it, with the help of two of his father's old friends - fellow ex-racer Denis, and car salesman Brian. They plan to get the car ready for Gregor to race in the summer season. Meanwhile, Gregor is trying to get in some track time, using a friend's borrowed car. But it's not all straightforward, as the car breaks down on its first outing ...
In February 2014, the worst storms in a generation hit the south Devon coast. Among those affected were the owners of five beach chalets at Branscombe. The sea took away much of the beach and eroded the earth banks on which the chalets stood, exposing the foundations and making some of them uninhabitable. Before the storm, the chalets were worth up to Â£250,000 each but now they are virtually unsaleable. The owners would like to rebuild them, and move shingle back up the beach to protect them from future storms. But there's a problem: Branscombe beach is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and falls under the control of Natural England. Natural England won't let the owners move shingle, partly because the upper shoreline is home to the very rare scaly cricket. They also adhere to a "Shoreline Management Plan", which says that there should be "no active intervention" to protect the beach from erosion.
Alan Dein meets doulas in Lewes in Sussex, who are companions to the dying. We listen in on a Death Cafe they are hosting, where strangers gather to talk about death.
Alan Dein follows the fast-moving story of a squatter who takes over a pub in Luton - he says for the benefit of the local community.
74 year old Myf Barker is turning her enormous home into a wedding venue in the hope that it will make money. Kate Lamble meets the family and uncovers memories amid the chaos.
Alan Dein follows Gareth Pugh, a young wrestler touring the circuit. Known by the Welsh name Caden Lay (Spirit of Battle), Gareth is breaking into the big time having just turned professional. Alan takes a wild ride from the booming ringside along endless motorways into changing rooms and training gyms to Gareth's village in mid-Wales.
Sangita Myska takes a trip into the world of nails and unwanted hair in Jade’s London beauty parlour.
Alan Dein follows husband and wife singing duo Pat & Hayley Mallon around the pubs of Bath. The show must go on - as Pat prepares for major surgery on an aneurysm. Producer: Laurence Grissell
It's Friday night in Hornsea, a small village in East Yorkshire;the air is cold and the stars seem to go on forever. Just off the High Street, a small accountancy firm is closing up; Andy, a man who loves the challenges of VAT, has finished the filing, and is having a cup of tea. Suddenly a siren blasts out. It's coming from a mobile phone, connected directly to the ambulance service. Andy is not a paramedic; he is a Community First Responder - trained in life saving techniques and the actions he takes over the next few minutes could mean the difference between life and death. First Responders come from every walk of life, and are all highly trained volunteers. But it's a huge commitment, and responsibility, and over Christmas and New Year, a busy one. So what motivates someone to take on such a role? Good Samaritans on the surface, but is it the adrenalin rush many say they feel that makes them addicted to saving lives? Presenter:Julie Gatenby Producer: Sara Jane Hall
Alan Dein joins the 'Turkey & Tinsel' celebrations at the Sandringham Hotel in Weston super Mare where three coachloads of revellers have come to celebrate Christmas - in November. Producer: Laurence Grissell
In the Sheffield auction room they see it all, from miners' welfare centres, to country manors and repossessed bowling alleys,and whatever state the buildings are in there's nearly always some-one willing to bid for them. The process is largely overseen by Adrian Little, whose own father was a livestock auctioneer.His right hand man is Mohammed Mahroof,whose father came from Pakistan to work in the steel works and had no intention of staying in his rented accommodation where he slept twelve to a room. Over a four week period viewings take place on a welfare centre in Grimethorpe, a council library in Sheffield and homes in various states of disrepair.That doesn't seem to deter.Scores of people come and dream about the type of home they can make for themselves in this desirable area of the city.Others don't view at all preferring to turn up at the auction room to snap up anything which can provide them with a rental income or a conversion possibility. Producer: Sue Mitchell