Episode 2 The One Show - Best of Britain

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It is another chance to see some of Nothing says Best of Britain more


than the Peninsular in South Wales, home to some of the most stunning


beaches our shorelines have to offer, including the beach behind


us which has been voted one of the best. But despite five blue flag


for its stunning beaches, it remains a shy, laid-back kind of


place. You won't find any donkeys on the sand here, just 90 miles of


glorious, untouched coast line. is one of Britain's best kept


secrets. But what is a holiday if you cannot share it?


In the 1950s when I was a little boy, this is where I used to come


for my summer holidays, the Isle of Wight. It is good to be back.


Whenever I go on holiday, I like to send a postcard home. I am looking


for something a bit perkier than that. This is more like it! Saucy


seaside postcards by the masterful stop Donald McGill. -- by the


master. Cheeky postcards have been a seaside tradition since before


the First World War, and Donald McGill sold 200 million of them


between 1904 and the 1960s. Sorry I cannot lending a hand, I have


enough on my plate as it is. This enthusiast has a modest collection.


Last year, he bought 120,000 originals in mint condition. How


come you have got thousands of cards here? The whole purpose is we


are paying a much to him in this museum, and if you look at the


ceiling about 3,000 cards are up there, just a percentage of what he


did. He did over 13,000 illustrations. I think he is time


this, humour is time this. His cards are fantastic. -- she met his


But he was a corrupter of morals, wasn't he? I don't think so,


because, let's face it, the art of the double entendre is only if your


mind knows what to see that it is an offensive card. All of these


cards are in a police van. Why is that? We are recreating a scene


where, in 1953, five shops were raided by the police not for


illicit contraband but for postcards. Postcards? Harmless


seaside postcards. In 1954, thanks to ball office saw seized postcards,


he ended up in court, prosecuted for obscenity. -- thanks to four of


his saucy est postcards. He was fined �50, but tens of thousands of


Dr Dave Allen is a media historian. How did seaside sauce almost lead


to prison cell porridge? I think what happened in the early 50s is


we returned to a Conservative government and a conservative


society and there were local dignitaries and good people,


whatever you might call them, who decided to interfere in all of this


and look after everybody else's morals. Eventually he ended up in


court and was made an example of. I am intrigued by the notion it


happened in the month that Elvis Presley made his first record. The


world was about to change. It was the Freudian century. He reminds us


of repressions under the surface and brings them out, visually as


well as in-jokes. You would never believe the liberties men take down


here... He takes sex to the seaside? Yes, he does. When I came


to the Isle of Wight, I didn't realise it was seething! You had to


be a certain age to spot it. I was quite a late developer! Donald


McGill had the last life -- the last laugh. After his prosecution,


he directed his humour and his prosecutors. He carried on drawing


until his death in 1962. It is obvious what the Isle of Wight


needs. I will slip one in while no one is looking.


Very saucy! But a friendly message from a faraway place always puts a


smile on my face. What is this? Deal Mike and Anita, wishing you


were there, lots of love, Matt Baker and Alex Jones. I know they


are on their holidays, but it gets no better than this. South Wales


has it all, sun, sea, sand, skied. But there are plenty of perils to


be aware of when you are on a beach holiday, such as... Seagulls eating


your chips, sunburn, your ice-cream melting. I was thinking more along


the lines of drowning, being swept out to sea, because it might look


calm, but the sea can be cruel. Take this, all that is left of a


timber carrying cargo ship that was caught in a gale on its way to


Swansea harbour back in 1887. It has become a bit of a landmark year,


that you can only see it when the tide is that. Not all of the


shipwrecks were accidents. There was plenty of booty to be gained


from shipwrecks, and there was a bunch of Nedda Wells to put lights


across the hills on to the rocks -- Tallulah the ships on to their


rocks and to their do. Nowadays, us Brits are more hospitable to


visiting seafarers, but if they come a cropper, they now help is at


hand. The fishing community lies on the


frigate Northumberland coastline and its unpredictable waters have


claimed many lives over the centuries. Its claim to fame is


that this lifeboat station here, which dates back to 1851, is the


oldest operational life boat house in Britain. But it is also famous


for its formidable women. More about them later. Richard Martin's


family have been involved with the lifeboats for more than 100 years.


How did it start? It started in 1851 following a fishing disaster


that year. 10 fishermen lost their lives. They paid for this, the


current lifeboat station. This is the exact boat house that was built


in 18 did to one. And the life boat driver -- I and the lifeboat driver,


but am also responsible for getting the life boat into the sea. What


did they used to do this in the old days? The women would turn out to


to launch the life boat. It seems that along the Northumbrian coast,


the launching of live birds was often done by women as the men were


either at sea or fighting in the war. Mary and Alan the remember


their mothers working in the fisheries and launching lifeboats


during emergencies. I grew up a few yards from here. When I was young,


it was where they used to pull them up, where the activity went on. The


women came out in the morning with lines, and they were launched from


there. I have some footage I want to show you. Wives and sweethearts


help to bring them to shore. Rosy- cheeked women... That is my mum, I


think. It is a case of all hands when the boats come down. The hands


of the women and children speeding their return. The procession goes


to the village. It looks like hard work. The boats were bad enough,


but when it was a life boat, very, very hard. Women's work is never


done, and now they are busy preparing the food. That is what my


mum used to do. Why was it so important the women were involved?


Because the men were at sea most of the time, and the women were in the


houses, so when the life boat had to be launched, they needed the


women to pull the life boat into the sea, because they did not have


tractors then. The women of the town received several awards for


bravery. They can be seen collecting awards in 1927. They


were again recognised for their efforts during the rescue of crew


from a boat. The life boat had set out and had to come back because


the sea was very rough. Then, the women had to poll the life boat


about half a mile. They then launched it, and they rescued all


of the crew. They were each awarded two and 6p, which is now 12.5 pence.


This town can be proud of its fishing heritage as well as its


famous daughters. And although so many aspects of life have changed


it, the tradition of life-saving is still going strong today, meaning


help is never far away. Some inspiring women there. I think


you could launch a lifeboat. It is good you have that much faith in


me! I have enough strength, Show Me the Way to the coast! The coast is


all along here, miles of golden beach, brilliant for wildlife for


two reasons, it is quiet and unspoilt. That makes it better for


animals and birds. There is a seagull. That is a jackdaw. That is


a seagull. That is a crow. There is a seagull. No, that is a white


plate. But it is not just the beach, look at the would land, the river,


the coastal marshes, the sea. All of these habitats make it superb


for lots of different species. can hear a lot of birds at the


moment. What is that? That is a cow. It was, I swear! Anyway, talking


about bird-watching, last year I went to North Wales to see birds


from a different perspective. Thus thes around our coastline are


home to some of the biggest and best seabird population in the


world. Toff birds living on rocks seas and gliding effortlessly on


strong winds. They are not the only ones facing our weather. Energy


companies want to put more wind turbines out to sea to cash in on


our climate. But as this is where birds live and feed, it could cause


problems. Conservation groups have been doing some blue-sky thinking


and have teamed up with energy companies to survey the sea birds


and find locations where there is minimal bird activity. Seabirds


tend to congregate around good feeding sites and nesting grounds.


It's a wind farm was built at one of these hot spots, it could


devastate the population. The surveyors are looking for hot spots


and clear spots. Mike is an ornithologist and has been taking


to the air. We use airplanes because it lets us cover a large


area in a short time, so we can get a good snap shot in one day. It


also allows us to get into areas of shallow water which boats and


people on land may not see. Bearing in mind how fast planes fly, you


have to be sharp in your identification? We have about five


seconds to identify the birds, so we have to identify them, count how


many there are, and work out how many -- how far from the plane they


are. At that speed, this will be all to mad bird watching. But I am


up for that challenge. -- this will be also met bird-watching. All


systems go, ready for take-off. The average survey covers 1,200 square


kilometres a day. We are heading for the north coast of Wales. I am


used to driving along the A55, but I have never had this view before.


It is a fabulous bird's-eye view. Most sea birds fly close to the sea,


soaring on the up draft from the waves, looking for fish. The


trouble is, these planes don't go slower than 100 miles an hour, or


lower than 75 metres, so this really is Speed's twitching, but


Kittiwakes flying in A. With less than five seconds to glimpse a bird,


there is no time to write anything down. It all goes on the tape-


recorder. Flying in A. Hawk flying in BE. You're using the bird name


and then letters. What does that mean? We tried to record how far


away from the plane they are. We put them into four distance bands.


Is right beneath the plane. B is 400 metres away. It goes up to a


massive one kilometre, although he can still identify them. One flying


in A. We've got a gannet! Flying away in A. They are big travellers,


flying up to 200 miles from one hot spot to another in search of fish.


Part of the survey is to identify the routes and add them to a vital


list of no-go areas for turbines. A really rich area for seabirds,


fantastic. Not a place for turbines. Oh, flying on B. I'm getting the


hang of this now! When the ornithologists find a clear spot,


they continue to check it to make sure it is safe. So far, five wind


farms have been put up in places that he is happy will cause minimal


disturbance. For now, I think I may have found my new favourite way to


spot birds. Gannets, hawks, goals. All from 250 foot, flying at 100


miles an hour. It has to be one of That was brilliant. You were


absolutely knew what aliment. a ball. I was flying with the birds.


Usually I am looking up, this time I was lucky right down. It was


literally a bird's-eye view. What about this? We have moved further


west along the coast. It's spectacular. The castle itself was


originally built in the 12th century by the first Earl of


Warwick. But the limestone and sandstone we see today is probably


the work of the family that took over ownership in the 13th century


and rebuilt it. What is great about the ruins is that you can still


make out all of the elements. The turrets, the base of what was once


a tower and the magnificent wall that went around it. There would


have been a small village near by as well, all perched in a dramatic


location overlooking the bay. Although it seemed the perfect


place for a castle, nobody foresaw the power of Mother Nature. That's


right. It seems huge drifts of sand, blown by massive coastal wind,


smothered entire fields and houses and impoverished the people. That


includes the church that was right alongside the castle. There are


churches dotted the whole way along the Peninsula. I wonder if any of


them had a rector that was famed for out thinking none other than


Understanding the fundamental laws of nature has challenged some of


the greatest minds in history. Aristotle first proposed that sound


travel through the air. But accurately measuring its speed


proved to be difficult. Isaac Newton miscalculated it in 1667 by


as much as 15%. It would take a country Rector, William Dereham,


too accurately measure it from St Lawrence is in Essex. The church


Local physics teacher Esther McCall contacted The One Show because she


was fascinated by his experiments. 300 years ago his desire to crack


the calculation was inspired by a daily -- daily occurrence. He could


hear the sound of the naval ships as they went past Greenwich. They


would sound their salute. He thought of himself, I wonder how


long it takes the sound to get from Greenwich to Upminster.


She invited us today because she wanted to recreate the experience


with some of her pupils. Before we can measure anything, I have to


check the signals on another church roof. In 17,005, he arranged for


muskets to be fired from the top of this very church. They could be


seen a way over here in St Lawrence's. He measured the


difference between the church tops as just over two miles. We've got


additional problem that he didn't have. That is the M25, which runs


huge and noisily between us. That is why we are going to have to send


up an enormous rocket to make a huge bang so that we have a vast


arsenal of fireworks, rockets, mortars and all sorts of shells.


The pyrotechnics had been rigged by experts and they are now ready to


fire. We just need to get up the tower at St Lawrence's to observe


the results. The best view is from a shutter that he cut in the spire.


I'll be attached by a harness while the People's Watch on 80 Dom


monitor -- on a TV monitor below. We will stop timing when we hear it.


The pupils are going to use an arsenal of timing devices from


across the centuries to get the Right, I got 9.5 seconds. Let's see


what they got down stairs. 9.6. reckon we should do that a couple


9.5 seconds. 9.5 seconds. Nine So, how close will we get to his


results? On average what we found is that it takes 9.4 seconds. OK?


To work out the speed of sound you need to take a distance and divide


it by the time. That gives you a figure of 343 metres per second. If


you go to a textbook and look up the value for the speed of sound at


the particular temperature we act is a value of 340 metres per second.


It means that we have managed to work out the speed of sound to


within a 1% accuracy. That is fantastic. I'm very impressed. The


he wasn't the only one to be making measurements of the speed of sound.


But he was the only one to be doing it in a rigorous, accurate and


release scientific way. For me, at least, what he represents is the


beginnings of modern experimental I can officially confirmed that


there will be no cannons fired here. The tranquillity is one of the main


reasons why so many people visit this gorgeous spot. You know, I


could get used to this. The sound of the waves, the noise of the wind


rustling through what remains of my head. Let's not forget beautiful


bird song. # I do like to be beside the


For some people, getting away from it all has nothing to do with the


beach. Given half a chance they would head to the bottom of the


garden. John Sergeant investigates. There is something peculiarly


British about garden sheds. Born in five of us have got one. It seems


that can add up to 5% on the value of a property. But it's got to be


in good Nick. But the style is changing, they have become


fashionable, must-have accessories. I'm going to see two of the sheds


that designers drool over. That's very nice. What is that doing?


is the chimney, it is powered by the fire. Really? There was a


firing here? Yes, come and have a That's all very satisfactory. Why


did you want to have a barbecue in a shed? Well, it's a space that we


can use 365 days of the year. We have our friends in here, family,


I've had some great girls' nights. We have a curry night, a Mexican


night. I made that! It's a lovely place to come and get away from the


television, the phone, sit around and trapped. Do you mind if I ask


how much it cost? �14,500. Is it worth it? Money well spent.


Absolutely. Forget the conservatory, build a shed. Or an igloo, as we


like to call it. Where did the idea come from? Our good friends


designed it, Rick and serrate year. We went travelling a few years ago


in the Arctic Circle. We went in to ATP. We wanted to create the same


campfire feel inside. But there it was minus 30. In this country you


get bad weather, as you can see from this summer. The building is


loosely designed around that. It's a sociable area, sitting around a


campfire. Is not really a shared, is it? It is, sort of. It is a posh


shed, a shed for seasons. They tell me I've got to go, but why should I


By last shared, I'm told, is one to dream about. -- shared. Wouldn't?


Yes. In the garden? Yes. But you never seen anything like this. This


is the ultimate shed. A shed and a It's fine! As long as you don't


It very Knightsbridge. Thank you. It's extraordinary, the garden can


be more dramatic. Let's go and have a good time. Oh, yes. This is not


what you would expect. What do you do here? I like to relax, chill-out,


read. It's very nice and quiet. It's tied up with the whole


atmosphere of the health spa. It's about well-being, this philosophy,


the quiet atmosphere. It's a wonderful place to escape.


perfect woman shed? You could say that, yes. But there is a lot of


money here, how much did it cost? About �35,000. Wow, that his prime


shared. It's a different kind of The essence is still there, of its


day? And that's the most wonderful thing, we need it nowadays. A place


to escape. An escape indeed. I've seen an amazing selection, from the


wonderfully traditional to the gloriously girly, to the borderline


Barney. What I have learned is that sheds can fulfil a vital need. Not


necessarily a practical one. If you sometimes have a strong desire to


escape, my advice would be, don't There he goes, John Nott on his


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