Barry Island The One Show - Best of Britain

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from Gujarat. For me, the UK meant London or Manchester or Birmingham.


That is all I knew about Britain. I didn't know that something like


Pontypool existed. On arrival they often found it was very difficult


and pretty impossible to get posts in prestigious areas, and so would


end up where the job vacancies were, which were often in general


practice in deprived rural areas. It is a culture shock because


things were totally different. People lived differently and talked


differently. Were there any words that you particularly struggled


with? There is a place near here that was very difficult for me to


pronounce and even spell - Pontnewynydd. It was not unbearably


cold, but what struck me first was how grey it was. There was no


sunshine, as back in India everything has plenty of light and


houses of all colours. I grew up as a vegetarian and the only


vegetarian food I got in hospital was a couple of lettuce leaves,


couple of tomatoes, and a little bit of cheese. But the differences


went much deeper than the food and the weather. This heavily


industrialised region had some of the poorest health in the country


and the doctors were faced with a range of diseases they had rarely


encountered before. When I worked in India, in those days it was


mostly infectious diseases. Diseases from malnutrition. We came


across smallpox, TB, typhoid, malaria. Here it was all chest


diseases, heart disease and high blood pressure and even some


cancers which were very rare back in India. I had to learn all those


things all over again, and then start treating them as I went along.


And some of the local people still remember their first encounter with


an Indian doctor. Well, I suppose it was exciting in one way because


it was somebody different. Everybody was a bit nosy and wanted


to meet him. People started coming to see you, telling you of their


dark secrets. Then you knew that they were treating you as someone


whom they trusted. And who they felt would give them the right


advice. That is when I felt that I had arrived. These doctors from


India really contributed in a very significant way to the development


of the NHS. I think it is quite fair to say that the NHS would not


be what it is today without the contribution. Do you consider


yourself to be Indian or Welsh? associate with my friends here, I


am completely Welsh. I certainly don't consider myself Indian as


such, though of course you never lose the feeling. When I am in


India I am an Indian but when I am Surely this is the best way to


travel? It is absolutely beautiful out here. I love it. 40 minutes


west of Barry, and you know what? There is nobody else around. This


must be one of Britain's best kept secrets. Not for long. We have


blown it now. Yes, we have let the cat out of the bag. Very much so.


Time to head north to a more crowded beach, Blackpool in fact,


with the story of how thousands of airmen ended up there. Here is Dan


This is Blackpool international airport. Our launching pad for


holidaymakers but in the past a vital part of the nation's defences.


70 years ago this would have been a very different scene. Runways and


hangers would have been teeming with military aircraft because this


was an RAF base, and one that played a crucial role in World War


II. In fact, the whole town was transformed by war. Holidaymakers


still came, but shared the beach with thousands of trainee aircrew.


This famous resort was turned into RAF Blackpool, a vital centre for


training the airmen that were taking the war to Hitler. Russell


Brown is an aircraft archaeologist with a particular fascination for


Blackpool's largely forgotten role in the war. Blackpool turned out to


be the biggest RAF train station throughout the Second World War.


Three quarters of a million blokes do their basic training in


Blackpool. What would Blackpool have looked and sounded like in


those years? It would have been absolutely heaving with airmen.


Where would they have stayed during their training? Boarding houses,


guest houses, hotels all over Blackpool. Wartime planners chose


Blackpool to be the biggest RAF training centre because there was


plenty of comfortable accommodation. But there were still dangers. These


archives contain the story of a terrible accident when two RAF


aeroplanes collided directly over the heads of thousands of


holidaymakers, on one of the busiest days of the year. The best


way to get a clear picture of what actually happened is from the air.


We need to head straight to Blackpool's busiest area. The


aeroplanes collided close to the seafront and some of its main


attractions, then as now, the central pier and the tower. What


happened in August 1941, three fighter trainers flying in close


formation and at the end of the exercise they broke up to head back


to base. Unfortunately, a reconnaissance aeroplane was flying


underneath them. What happened next was captured by a seafront


photographer. As one of the fighters went into a dive, it hit


the reconnaissance plane and both aircraft crashed to the ground. The


fighter demolished a house in the centre of Blackpool. The crew were


killed, but the occupants were lucky and survived. One of the


training aircraft smashed the tail off the buffer, and the tail


crashed into the sea here. The main part of the aircraft hurtled to


earth and plunged into the ground right there, where that car park is,


next to the tower. The problem is that back then it was not a car


park, it was Blackpool station and it was crowded with thousands of


people, many of them holidaymakers coming to escape the horrors of war


in the rest of the UK. Eight-year- old Percy Featherstone was one of


those holidaymakers. He was in the station ticket hall with his mother


when the aeroplane crashed into it. The sound was horrendous. As it


ripped through the roof, the metal tearing, it hits the ground,


exploded, and blasted aviation fuel all over the place. That ignited


and there was a sheet of flame all round us. I couldn't feel the blast.


It is amazing how vividly you seem to remember it. It is something I


could never forget. I can bring back the feelings, the smells, in


my own mind, any time at all. Some things fade away, but things like


that, they just stay with you for ever. Altogether, 18 people were


killed including the aircrew and 39 were injured. There is very little


left to reveal that this accident ever happened, and where once there


were platforms is now car park. Where the ticket office once stood,


is an amusement arcade. Blackpool's vital role in the war, and the toll


it took, are now largely forgotten. Thank you, Dan. If you are thinking


to yourself, I am having a terrible sense of deja vu, that is because


this is Marco's cafe. Yes, Marco's cafe where Stacey Shipman worked in


Gavin And Stacey. Have I mentioned Yes, sir, can I help you? I'd like


some drinks, please. Lots of cans, and a smooch, full smooch and a


cuddle. She doesn't work here any more, but Marco from Marco's cafe


does. And he is here. This is the actual market. What was it like


when the spaceship that is Gavin And Stacey descended on you here in


Barry Island? It was bizarre. It was absolutely bizarre. When they


arrived on Barry Island, I knew this would be big. I knew it would


be big for Barry Island, and Barry, and put Barry Island on the global


map. Everybody knows where Barry Island is now. Were you prepared to


become known as Marco all over the world? No. I wasn't. You quite like


it? I love it, actually! Being modest! Where do you come from?


Where is your family from? Marco was not a typically Welsh name.


family originate in a little market town in Italy in the province of


Parma, famous for Parmesan cheese and prosciutto. There is a massive,


massive Italian Welsh community from that area of Italy. Yes, there


is. Could you imagine, God forbid, if the Italians had never come to


Wales? What would it be like? would be an ice cream desert here.


You have to have an talian involved in manufacturing ice cream in my


opinion. You do. We have some of your cakes here. Only one set of


cakes is a Welsh cake. I would like you to work out which one it is.


it the one with the strawberry on it? I am afraid you have got it


wrong. If I am not mistaken, this is a Welsh cake. That is. While we


enjoy these, please enjoy the film I made about a secret cake club,


which starts now. Somewhere near Leeds, Mike Wallace is not just


baking a cake. He is getting ready for the latest meeting of the


secret society. We'll make cakes and we try not to make the same one


as other people. But to find out where the event is being held is


quite cool. It is that secretive, planned as an aspect of it. -- clan


this time. This mild-mannered systems administrator is an


unlikely candidate for a double life. But I have followed in to the


latest secret cake Club gathering. Location? Upstairs, art gallery,


restaurant area. And there they are. It is a simple idea. You bake a


cake, you bring it along, you eat other people's cakes, and then you


take some home. It is spreading like butter cream on a warm night.


There is even a branch in Barcelona. And as if cake is not exciting


enough, there is the added attraction of secret locations.


This has got an element of hidden secret things. It makes it just


that little bit more edgy. Lynn Hill founded the first cake club a


year ago and has changed is the venue each time to keep the club


from going stale. I like to have the mystique from hidden places,


and I usually tell the guests and bakers read the event is just a few


hours beforehand. It could be a few days beforehand. It are about fun.


It is all about meeting people. Cake bakers across the UK soon


wanted a slice of the action and the advice on how to set up their


own clubs. There are now 30 clubs in the country and new members


simply register on their website to hot up with their local branch.


Cake people are friendly people. They go out of their way to spend


hours making something to share with other people. Like any good


spy ring, this cake rain has stricter rules. No tarts, Brownies,


cupcakes, pies or muffins. Just proper, big, cake. What would you


do if I walked in here with a tart? No. That is not allowed. It has to


be all about cake. What about a repeat offender who carried on


bringing in pies? If somebody did turn up with pies, because we are a


friendly community, I would welcome them with open arms. We would have


tasted, and we would convert them. Now, it's time for the slightly


subversive baking circle to pack up and blend back in with the rest of


the population. See, secret cake societies - if I hadn't brought


them to your attention you'd never know. Don't worry, I'm monitoring


the situation very closely. Great film. It had to happen sooner or


later. Time for some vital statistics about Barry. Such as,


did you know it has a tidal range of 15 metres, the second highest in


the world? Whitmore Bay here has almost exactly the same dimensions


as Bondi in Sydney Australia and the climate's virtually the same.


Enough. Our competitive bird man, Mike, is bursting to tell you all


about his bittern. It's the best of bittern. Spring - it's the time of


year when the birds are at their noisiest. Which is the loudest bird


of all? The reed beds here in Suffolk hold the answer. Just


before dawn, the males begin their mating call, which sounds something


like this. It's the bittern. Once you've heard one booming you'll


never forget it. It's a bird so rare and secretive that people


agonise to see it. That's why these shots are just so special. In a TV


first we've caught something unique, something not even David


Attenborough has seen. For that, you'll have to wait. The bittern


became very close to being extinct in Britain recently? That's right.


In the early 1990s only eleven here. What did you do to turn it around?


There was a recognition that the reed beds were drying out and they


were becoming less favourable, so there's been a lot of work to make


reed beds wetter and the population's turned around as a


consequence. There are now known to be 82 booming males nationally. Ten


here at Minsmere. It's an elusive one? It is. It tends to skulk away


and very hard to see. Basically, that plumage is designed to help


camouflage them in the reed bed. it's difficult for us to see one,


then it's likely other bitterns can't see it either and that's the


reason for the boom. That's to let females far and wide know where it


is. We had one deep, booming bird that was here for many years that


got the nickname Barry White. He was king. Reed bed basically.


are more Barry White than Bee Gee. Absolutely. There is the low


frequency that helps the sound to cary through the beds, so you can


hear it up to three miles away. You've been here for how long?


Five-and-a-half years and I've not been unfortunate enough to witness


one booming. All this talk of booming bitterns is making me


hungry to hear one. The best time for that is at dawn. It's just one


of the most amazing noises in the natural world. That's not hyperbole,


is it? There's nothing quite like it. You won't hear a sound like


that from another bird in Britain. We are so close, maybe 50 metres,


you can hear it starting off. What is going on? We are not entirely


sure in terms of how they boom, but it's always referred to as gulping


to give out the deep sound. It's called infrasound and it's also


used by lions and elephants to communicate across the African


plains. Now, for our TV first. These are our cameraman's


extraordinary images of how the bittern booms. Booming marvellous!


That's worse than best of bittern. I think it's better. Watch your


step. I am. The stones were supposedly laid because a love-


stricken girl couldn't reach her paramour on this side. Lovely and


Roman take, but if they were that keen on each other it's quite


shallow. She could have waded across and got her feet wet.


However, Gavin, now he lived in Essex and he had to get all the way


around the M25, South Mimms can be murder. That is love. Yes. But that


wasn't the 13th century, pre M4 corridor. Here's some more amazing


sounds from the One Show Box. Wildlife sound recordist, Chris


Watson, is a world leader in his field, providing extraordinary


sounds for some of the best-loved nature programmes. It's tricky


stuff and one of his more challenging tasks has been to find


sounds to match the increasingly close shots captured by today's


cameras. Just listen to Chris's recordings of these vul tours in


Africa. -- vul tours in Africa. The way he works was pioneered in his


garden here. What are you up to here? I have the carcass of a


chicken. I am fixing two microphones in the hope it will


attract down the birds. Our first customer to the carcass is a black


bird. Blackbird. The sound as he's peeking at the carcass. Duff, Duff,


that's on the bone. We all love the sound of the seaside crashing waves,


boat horns and children playing with buckets and spades, but what


does it sound like inside a rock pool? How will reregard the sounds?


-- record the sounds? I have some special underwater microphones


which can explore all the nooks and crannies and maybe follow something.


There's so much there. Incredible. This is constant chattering and


chirping and scraping. It's almost like it's a little coffee morning


going on. There is a sort of a raspy sound. Limpets snoring, I've


never recorded that. Oh, wow! was that? I think that's a shrimp.


There is one very close by. It's got a birdsong call to it.


Fascinated by that. It's a fantastic tree. It's like something


out of Lord of the Rings. What are you hoping to get from this? It's


an old oak and we can hear the birdsong in and around, but I'm


interested in getting inside the tree and hear the secret sounds


from within. How will we hear the insects? I can't hear anything.


It's full of activity and life and I've got the special contact


microphones, which pick up sound in a different way by picking up the


vibrations. That makes my skin crawl. It's like lots of insects


walking all over you. You have some on the outside too? Yeah. From what


we are hearing from within the dead wood, it would be interesting to


put some on the bark of the tree, on the outside, just to see what's


happening there. It sounds just like a raging torrent. If you


listen very carefully through the am beeient noise of the tree,


you'll here -- ambient noise of the tree, you'll here a popping sound.


That is the sound of the sap It's been drawn out of the ground. It's


the sound of the life of the tree. It's you, in here. Yes. You know


what it is? It's Stacey's mate Nessa's change booth. What do you


want? �5 worth of pennies Yes. -- pennies? Yes. What do you want that


for? It's Giles, he's run out again. Oophs, you've caught me at it.


Naughty, but nice! Where did the What The Butler Saw machine come


from, and as if you didn't know, what was its appeal? This machine


is called a muet scope. The technique was invected over -- mute


scope. The technique was invented over 100 years ago. The business


was almost killed off by the dawn of early cinema. What saved it?


Sauce, of course. Some bright spark realised the public would go on


paying if they can see something in the machine they didn't dare show


in the cinema. The favourite was cheeky films of scantily dressed


women. This fuelled such a boom in peep shows in the 1920s they become


a regular end-of-the-pier attraction for the next 40 years.


They were based on the simple idea of a butler peeking through a


keyhole. If you want to see one today you'll have to come to a


penny arcade museum, like this one on Brighton's seafront. It's owned


by Gerry. He's a collector. This is a lovely looking machine. How old


is it? About 110 years old. It would have been made somewhere


between 1898 and 1901. How exactly does it work? It works on the flick


book principle, where the pictures were arranged around a reel like


this. When the reel is inside the machine, the player turns the


handle and it will revolve like that. Wonderful. There are how many


of these pictures here? About 850. Individual shots. Rather like the


stills from a film. The early films are innocent. You have to remember,


this was late Victorian era, so even the sight of an ankle would


have been risque. Turn crank to the right. OK. Oh, this is quite


exciting. Oh, oh,. This is a him and her one. Oh, oh, oh. The Dance


of the Seven Veils. This is it. Well, actually it's about nine at


the moment. And that's it? That's all you get? You only paid a penny!


Maybe there's something better on the other side! In the 1960s


newfangled fruit machines finally elbowed What The Butler Saw off the


pier, but still they hold their fascination. Gentlemen, I have


entertainment to offer you. Are you intrigued? This will make your hat


lift off. Will it get any ruder? Interesting thing is, this lady is


actually your great grandmother! Grandma! Now I know how it works


and what the audience is after, I'm going to make a What The Butler Saw


film of my own. All I need is a video camera and roladex and an


And that's entertainment! Thank you Giles. That's it. That's what's


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