Episode 2 History Hunt


Episode 2

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I'm Joe Crowley and this is History Hunt,

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where children like YOU investigate exciting stuff from the past.

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'Big stuff...'

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-Incredible, isn't it?

-It's massive!

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..surprising stuff...

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clever stuff.

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The clues are everywhere if you know where to look.

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And finding them is fun.

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On this episode of History Hunt, our team of four curious kids

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go right to the heart of government to find out about one brave person

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who fought for women to be given the right to vote.

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Today, I'm in Hastings - a historic town on the south coast of England.

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And this is The Crescent, one of the most beautiful streets in the town,

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and once home to a woman called Muriel Matters.

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But just who was she?

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This is Alice, Alex, Eve and Henry. They're today's History Hunters.

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Together, we're going to search for clues that will help us work out

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who Muriel Matters was, and what she did.

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Muriel, who was also known by her married name of Porter,

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was born in Australia and lived in this street for 20 years.

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So, who's going to read out what it says there?

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"First woman to 'speak' in the House of Commons."

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Why has it got those inverted commas round? Any ideas?

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Maybe it's not quite how it seems.

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So, how can we find out more? Where could we go to look?

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To the archive?

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I reckon we should start at Hastings archives and see what you can find.

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-Everyone ready?

-Yeah, yep.

-Right, let's go.

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Like all archives, Hastings has a collection of historical documents.

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I asked Eve and Henry, though, to look for clues online.

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Alex and Alice, meanwhile,

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look at actually physical documents held by the archives.

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In the local newspaper,

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they find a report on a suffragette meeting held in Hastings in 1908.

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At that time, women weren't allowed to vote in elections,

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and the suffragettes believed this was wrong.

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Muriel was in charge of the meeting.

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She was being criticised by men who said women didn't deserve the vote

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because they didn't do jobs that were as important

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as those done by the men.

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BOTH: "Grace Dar...ling

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"and Florence Nightingale had done as good work as any soldier."

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In those days, ladies weren't allowed to do much stuff,

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but she stuck up for herself.

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In an online newspaper search, Eve and Henry discover Muriel

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soon moved on from holding meetings, to a more extreme way of protesting.

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A report in The Times shows she chained herself to a grill

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in the House of Commons, and had to be removed by force.

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The Times writer wasn't impressed.

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"The interruption by women is regarded by members

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"as a childish exhibition."

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The Times are not really for women's rights.

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I don't think they're thinking...

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I think, probably, most people who write at The Times are men.

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A follow-up article reveals Muriel had actually been sent to prison.

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Alice and Alex, meanwhile, discover Muriel had tried

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to get into the House of Commons in the normal way.

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In 1924, she stood for election as a Member of Parliament.

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Remember back at the plaque, it said she was the first woman

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to speak in the House of Commons?

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-Oh, yeah.

-If she's spoken there, maybe she won it.

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There isn't a paper copy of the election result,

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so Alice and Alex have to look on something called microfiche -

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a type of film for storing documents -

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for the copy of the Hastings Observer

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which contains the details they're looking for.

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"Conservatives, 9,000 majority."

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Percy's got more votes than she has.

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Time to compare notes.

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Guys, what do you know she got up to?

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She must have been a hard girl, because when she was at a meeting,

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she got shouted abuse, saying, "Oh, what?

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"So now women can be policemen, soldiers and sailors?"

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She was sticking up for what she believes in.

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-What's she after at these meetings?

-Votes for women.

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What else is going on?

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She chained herself to the grills in the House of Commons.

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-Right, in Parliament?

-Yeah.

-So, Eve, how did they get them out?

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They had to cut them out,

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and the officers who took them away also brought the grill with them.

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The team also tell me about the fact that she stood for Parliament

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but failed to win the election.

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'So how was it, then, that she was the first woman to "speak"

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'in the House of Commons?'

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How do we find out more about this?

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-She wants political rights for women...

-Go to Parliament.

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..she tries to be an MP... What was that?

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-Go to Parliament?

-Right. That would make sense, wouldn't it?

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-That's at the heart of all this.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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-Parliament's the place to look next?

-Yep.

-Yeah.

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-We're going to London!

-If we want to find out...

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-# We're going to London... #

-Calm down.

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So, it's off to London to find out more about Muriel Matters.

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We visit Parliament, which is where Members of Parliament, called MPs,

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from all over the country meet to hold debates and make new laws.

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Here we are!

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The very grand Westminster Hall, here in the Palaces of Westminster.

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So, I want you guys to speak to your local MP.

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I want you to interview her and find out a little bit more

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about Muriel Matters and why she was so important.

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OK, you guys, I've arranged for you to meet an archivist

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in the Parliamentary Archives to help find some really good,

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interesting bits of history. Right?

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As Eve and Henry settle down to work in the Parliamentary Archives,

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Alice and Alex are able to grille Amber Rudd, their local MP.

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Here, I've got a picture of Muriel Matters,

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talking to this big crowd of people in Hastings.

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She must've been very brave to make her point

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in front of so many people.

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Do you agree with her tying herself to the grill?

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I do agree with it, even though, as a Member of Parliament,

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I generally disagree with people doing illegal things.

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But I do look back and think that it must have been so frustrating

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for women who wanted to vote to be told they couldn't,

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that I think that sort of dramatic action was exactly what was needed.

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And it's only because the suffragettes did so much

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and they risked so much that women then got the vote,

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and women like me are now able to be Members of Parliament.

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If it was still in the Victorian Age,

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would you be a part of the suffragettes?

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Yes, I would be. I would definitely be a suffragette.

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-Would you?

-Yes.

-Excellent.

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In the Archives, Eve and Henry are shown something very rare -

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a banner that Muriel took on her protest to the House of Commons.

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This is a banner that was unfurled from the Ladies' Gallery

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by Muriel Matters and Helen Fox, the suffragettes there that day.

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-Yeah, you can really see it's really old, can't you?

-Yes.

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-Can you read it all?

-"Women's Freedom League..."

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"..calls upon the Government to remove the sex disability

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"which deprives qualified women of their just right of voting

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"in the parliamentary elections."

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That's really nice to have something that Muriel has done.

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All of the stuff we've seen, it's just records of what has happened.

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There hasn't actually been something from when it did happen.

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The archivist also shows the team the cover of a magazine

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published at the time.

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"When the grill is in place,

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"the ladies behind it are not technically within the House,

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"but so soon as the grill is removed, they are in the House.

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"Thus, the two suffragettes in question were actually placed

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"in the House by the attendants of the House."

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Alice and Alex go to one of the most important places in the country -

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the Victoria Tower in the Palace of Westminster -

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which is where original Acts of Parliament,

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going back hundreds of years, are kept.

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They meet up with a lawyer and campaigner for women's rights

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to find out about how women finally got the vote.

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The problem that they had was that the people who voted were all men,

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so Parliament had no real reason to cater to women

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and grant them the vote.

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So, without that breaking of the law,

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Parliament could've continued to ignore them.

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When and why did women get the vote?

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Women were first given the vote in 1918,

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and that was just at the end of the First World War.

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The men had all been off fighting,

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and the women had to do a lot of the jobs that men had done.

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And so, at that point, people started to say,

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"Actually, yes, women should be given the vote."

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Now, we've got all this information,

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we understand about votes for women, we understand about the suffragettes

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and the stunts that took place, so what do you think of Muriel?

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I think she was a really brave woman to do everything she did.

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Some people must've thought she was weird, but she wasn't.

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She stood for what she wanted.

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She used to live in Australia - she could've gone back there.

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So, out of more than 1,000 towns, she chose Hastings.

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Do you like, now, your local history?

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-Does it make you want to learn more...?

-ALL: Yes.

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We still have the mystery of what the blue plaque means when it says

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she was the "First woman to 'speak' in the House of Commons."

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One of the documents from the archives explains this.

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You guys discovered this, didn't you?

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Technically, because this grill was removed,

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she was actually part of Parliament,

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and therefore, on a technicality, she "spoke" in Parliament. Yeah.

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So, finally, then,

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do we think she was right to break the law in the way she did?

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ALL: Yes.

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And actually, if all this hadn't happened, your future, Alice,

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and your future, Eve, would be different from these two.

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And today, hopefully, it's much more similar. Yeah?

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Guys, I'm pleased you've learned so much. Done an excellent job.

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I would say that is first class history hunting.

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One of the most fascinating areas of history

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is looking at the individuals who were prepared to fight and improve

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rights for certain groups of people.

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Now, some believe you should obey the law no matter what.

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Others were prepared to go to prison for their beliefs.

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Muriel Matters was one such person.

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Her name stuck started out as just some writing on a blue plaque

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for our History Hunters, but from coming all the way here

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to the Houses of Parliament, they now know she was willing

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to sacrifice a lot.

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Even her own freedom to win votes for women. And that's her story.

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Muriel Matters was born in Australia and came to Britain in 1905, age 25.

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She came to perform on the London stage,

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but soon joined one of the biggest political protest movements

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in history - the suffragettes.

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The suffragettes wanted the vote for women,

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and they came from the suffrag-ist movement.

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The suffragists had been going since 1870 or so,

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and they'd been asking very nicely if they could have the vote,

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but the suffragettes said,

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"We've asked nicely for ages and haven't got anywhere,

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"so it's about time we started taking some direct action."

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In 1908, Muriel and her fellow suffragette chained themselves

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to a grill in the Ladies' Viewing Gallery at the House of Commons,

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and lowered a banner into the debating chamber.

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The only way to take her away was to remove the grill.

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Some people believe that because the grill had gone, technically,

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she was in the House of Commons,

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and therefore, her shouts of "Votes for Women!"

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meant that she was the first woman to speak in the House.

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Muriel was ejected from Parliament

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and then joined another demonstration outside.

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She was arrested and sent to prison.

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Eventually, the campaign was successful.

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The Representation of the People Act became law in February 1918.

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There was a bit of a catch.

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The age for men was 21, but for women,

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you had to be 30 to vote and you had to be a property owner.

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It was 1928 that women finally got the vote on the same terms as men.

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Muriel stood for Parliament in Hastings in 1924, but lost.

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She later settled in the town and lived there until her death in 1969.

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Our History Hunters found out loads of useful stuff on Muriel Matters

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by looking at old newspapers.

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Here's a guide on how to do this kind of research.

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There are many different ways to track down newspapers

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which could be of use to us.

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Perhaps the easiest is by searching online.

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Conveniently, some sites allow you to search a number of newspapers

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at the same time.

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It's no different from doing a normal internet search,

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although you may have to register with the site first.

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Just type in the subject you're looking for,

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and the site's search engine will call up stories that are relevant.

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Sometimes, you can go direct to a newspaper itself.

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When you find stories in the papers, you may notice different newspapers

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treat them in different ways.

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Some might criticise people,

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while others praise them for doing exactly the same thing.

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And that's the same nowadays -

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newspaper journalists have always had their own slant on stories,

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so you have to think about what their angle is

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and why they might be saying what they're saying.

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There are other ways of looking at newspapers too.

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Archives are places or online websites

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where information is collected and stored.

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Local archives often keep copies of their own local papers.

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These can go back many years.

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Sometimes, they're available on something called microfiche.

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The archive will have special microfiche readers,

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and you can look at pages on a screen.

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Other times, you'll be looking through original newspapers.

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Using them can be much harder than looking online,

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because sometimes you can't search by name.

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You'll just have to look at the copies of actual newspapers

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themselves around the dates which you believe are relevant.

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That can take a lot of time, BUT it can be really exciting

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when you find the information you need.

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(Thomas Andrews, yes!)

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National and local newspapers can be a great way of finding out

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what people thought about something at the time it happened.

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But you have to be careful.

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They can be biased, and they can even be wrong, because sometimes,

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they were printed before the full facts were known.

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But as long as you realise that, looking at old newspapers

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can be very rewarding, and can also be great fun.

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I'm Joe Crowley and this is History Hunt,

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where children like you investigate exciting stuff from the past.

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'Big stuff.'

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-Incredible, isn't it?

-Wow.

-It's massive.

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Surprising stuff.

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Clever stuff.

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The clues are everywhere, if you know where to look.

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And finding them is fun.

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'Today's History Hunters are on the trail of a local link

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'to one of the world's biggest ever sea disasters.

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'The sinking of Titanic was a tragedy, but was this man to blame?'

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This is Comber, a small town near Belfast in Northern Ireland.

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And this is Thomas Andrews Memorial Hall.

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But just who was Thomas Andrews?

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'This is Craig, Natalia, Courtney and Joshua.

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'They're here to help me on today's History Hunt.

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'We're going to search for clues that will help us

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'to reveal the full story of Thomas Andrews and his life.'

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I've done a bit of research and found this blue plaque.

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D'you want to read that out for me, Natalia?

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"Thomas Andrews, 1873-1912, designer of the Titanic, lived here."

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We all know what the Titanic was, right?

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-A ship?

-Exactly. And what did people say about that ship?

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-They said it was unsinkable.

-What actually happened to the ship?

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-It sank.

-It sank, right.

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So, d'you think Thomas Andrews could have been to blame

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if he was the designer?

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He was probably the one who said it was unsinkable.

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Right. Where could we find out more about him?

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Television, yeah. News? Yeah, newspapers, yeah?

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So, what I think we should do is head

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to the archives in Belfast, right. And why Belfast?

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-Cos Titanic was built in Belfast.

-Everyone happy?

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-ALL: Yeah.

-Right, come on then. Let's go.

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'Archives are places where historical records are kept.

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'Belfast archives are full of Titanic material.

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'It's one of the most famous stories in history,

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'and it started in this city, where the ship was built.

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'The children already know a lot about Titanic.

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'Her launch in 1912 and the tragedy of the sinking

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'when she hit an iceberg are world famous.

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'The big story has been told many times.

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'But their job is to dig deeper and find out about the connections

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'with a man who came from their own town.

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'The first job is to find a picture of Thomas Andrews.'

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Thomas Andrews, Thomas Andrews. Oh, yes.

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BOTH: "Mr Thomas Andrews.

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"Managing Director of Messrs Harland & Wolff,

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"a victim of the Titanic disaster, April 1912."

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The girls then find casualty figures...

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No, look. "Total passengers and crew.

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"Men that were carried, 1,662."

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..And an obituary of Thomas Andrews,

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which revealed he worked hard, and had a kind heart.

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BOTH: "This man could find time every night

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"to telephone his mother."

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He's a hard-working man, and he still remembers about other people, and...

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He finds time to ring his mum.

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I think he sounds like a nice man, yeah.

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The girls also discovered pictures of Titanic,

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which showed what a huge ship it was.

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While they make copies for me to look at, I give the boys their task.

0:17:420:17:48

Back then, people could go to the cinema and watch newsreels.

0:17:480:17:50

I think there's an archive online.

0:17:500:17:52

Search through them, have a look

0:17:520:17:54

and see if you can find any moving images, OK?

0:17:540:17:56

OK. Titanic...

0:17:560:17:58

There's plenty of general footage,

0:17:580:18:00

but nothing specific on Thomas Andrews.

0:18:000:18:03

BOTH: "The Titanic leaving Belfast Lough for Southampton."

0:18:030:18:06

-Oh, Captain J Smith.

-On the bridge. He looks worried.

0:18:060:18:10

-"Sole survivors of the Titanic's crew."

-Not that many.

0:18:100:18:14

BOTH: "Reporters interviewing survivors."

0:18:140:18:17

I don't see why the survivors want to talk about it.

0:18:170:18:19

Imagine how quickly it would have spread.

0:18:190:18:21

It's been an interesting and exciting morning.

0:18:230:18:26

I meet up with the teams again

0:18:260:18:28

at part of Belfast's historical heritage,

0:18:280:18:31

the Dry Dock, where Titanic had her propellers fitted.

0:18:310:18:34

Boys, from looking at that footage, what did you find out?

0:18:340:18:37

It was huge, and all the people were that size compared to the Titanic.

0:18:370:18:41

-What did you find out from the documents?

-2,206 people

0:18:410:18:45

-were on board Titanic.

-How many survived?

-703 survived.

0:18:450:18:49

I've also done a bit of research. This is a survey of the ship itself,

0:18:490:18:53

and down here it says,

0:18:530:18:54

"Lifesaving appliances." What d'you think "lifesaving appliances" are?

0:18:540:18:58

-Lifeboats?

-Exactly.

0:18:580:19:00

Now, if you add up these numbers, you get to a grand total of 1,178.

0:19:000:19:05

-So, what's clear from that?

-There wasn't enough lifeboats.

-Yeah, OK.

0:19:050:19:10

So now I think we need to find out a bit more about Thomas Andrews

0:19:100:19:13

and the design of the ship. Was the design dangerous?

0:19:130:19:16

-Who could we speak to?

-People who make them?

0:19:160:19:18

Yeah. What were you going to say?

0:19:180:19:20

-Safety inspectors?

-Safety inspectors.

0:19:200:19:22

I want you to meet the relative

0:19:220:19:23

of someone who actually worked on the Titanic,

0:19:230:19:26

who helped build the ship right here in Belfast.

0:19:260:19:28

And guys, I want you to meet a ship designer,

0:19:280:19:31

and I want you to get his impression of the design

0:19:310:19:34

and whether it was dangerous or not, OK?

0:19:340:19:36

-Everyone clear on what they're doing?

-ALL: Yeah.

0:19:360:19:39

The girls meet with Susie Millar.

0:19:410:19:43

Her great-grandfather helped build Titanic.

0:19:430:19:47

His name was Tommy Millar and in 1912, he was 33.

0:19:470:19:51

He worked here and helped put the engines into Titanic,

0:19:510:19:56

and then he decided that he was going to sail on the ship,

0:19:560:19:58

so he was actually one of the crew of Titanic.

0:19:580:20:01

-So, did he survive on the Titanic?

-I'm afraid to tell you that he died.

0:20:010:20:06

Being one of the crew, he would have had to stay at his post

0:20:060:20:10

until the bitter end.

0:20:100:20:11

That's a picture of him there. We only have two pictures of him,

0:20:110:20:14

but that's one and there's the other one.

0:20:140:20:17

He was working 11-hour days.

0:20:170:20:20

He started at half past six in the morning.

0:20:200:20:23

Did your great-grandfather have any kids on board?

0:20:230:20:25

He left his two boys behind.

0:20:250:20:27

My grandfather was only five in 1912,

0:20:270:20:30

and he actually said goodbye to them here, where we're standing now.

0:20:300:20:35

And he thought he would see them again in a few months' time,

0:20:350:20:38

they were going to follow him out to America.

0:20:380:20:40

And when he was saying goodbye to them, he said,

0:20:400:20:42

"I want you both to have two pennies," just like these,

0:20:420:20:47

"and I don't want you to spend those until we're all together again."

0:20:470:20:50

And he never did. He kept them all of his life.

0:20:500:20:54

The girls find out that Susie's grandfather knew Thomas Andrews,

0:20:540:20:57

who actually recommended him for a job

0:20:570:21:00

with the company that owned the ship.

0:21:000:21:02

So he actually got him the job on Titanic.

0:21:020:21:05

Did people like Thomas Andrews and was he hard-working?

0:21:050:21:08

I think Thomas Andrews worked even harder than my great-grandfather,

0:21:080:21:12

because if he started at half past six,

0:21:120:21:14

Thomas Andrews was reported to be in from four o'clock in the morning.

0:21:140:21:17

He knew he had to get this project right, it was his first big project.

0:21:170:21:20

But everybody says that he was a very fair man.

0:21:200:21:23

There's a picture of him with his daughter

0:21:230:21:25

and she was just 16 months old when her father sailed away.

0:21:250:21:29

-And that's his wife, Nelly.

-How did the Titanic affect your family?

0:21:290:21:33

It's still something we look back on and we're a bit sad about

0:21:330:21:36

and, you know, I go to the Titanic Memorial sometimes

0:21:360:21:40

and look up at his name and think about how

0:21:400:21:42

the course of all our lives changed because of what happened to Titanic.

0:21:420:21:47

Meanwhile, the boys are at the old offices of Harland & Wolff,

0:21:470:21:51

the firm that built Titanic.

0:21:510:21:53

They're with David Livingstone.

0:21:530:21:55

He's a naval architect who's an expert on Titanic.

0:21:550:21:58

He explains the ship was designed to withstand a lot of damage.

0:21:580:22:02

They had a double bottom.

0:22:020:22:04

They had an inner skin here so that, if it got holes on the bottom,

0:22:040:22:08

it wouldn't flood.

0:22:080:22:10

The ship was also split into compartments,

0:22:100:22:12

using watertight walls called bulkheads.

0:22:120:22:15

Titanic was designed to cope

0:22:150:22:17

with two of these bulkheads being damaged.

0:22:170:22:19

When the ship scraped along the side of the iceberg,

0:22:190:22:24

it had one, two, three, four and maybe five compartments damaged.

0:22:240:22:30

And as soon as she got that type of damage, she was going to sink.

0:22:300:22:33

No naval architect ever said the ship was unsinkable. Who said it?

0:22:330:22:38

-Was it the newspapers?

-Yes.

0:22:380:22:41

They were the ones who said it was unsinkable.

0:22:410:22:44

David also explains why there weren't enough lifeboats

0:22:440:22:47

for everyone onboard.

0:22:470:22:49

At that time, they were developing a theory that it would be better

0:22:490:22:54

if they made the ship to be its own lifeboat,

0:22:540:22:58

that the ship would survive a certain degree of damage

0:22:580:23:02

and the number of lifeboats were more than what was required

0:23:020:23:06

by the regulations,

0:23:060:23:07

so they believed that they didn't need lifeboats for everyone.

0:23:070:23:12

However, they were wrong.

0:23:120:23:14

Does Thomas Andrews deserve to have his own memorial hall in Comber?

0:23:140:23:17

He didn't do anything wrong, so yes, as an engineer and as a man,

0:23:170:23:22

he deserves his recognition.

0:23:220:23:24

When the ship was damaged, he refused to leave the ship.

0:23:240:23:28

So, he went down with the ship.

0:23:280:23:30

Our teams now have a real sense of the scale of the disaster,

0:23:320:23:36

the way families were affected and, above all, of Thomas Andrews

0:23:360:23:40

and how well-respected he was as a ship designer.

0:23:400:23:44

Was it an unsafe design?

0:23:440:23:45

No, it wasn't, because he put more bulkheads.

0:23:450:23:50

It could still float if water got in.

0:23:500:23:52

-D'you think it's fair to blame Thomas Andrews?

-No, not now.

0:23:520:23:56

I thought it would be Thomas Andrews' fault, but no, not now.

0:23:560:24:02

And finally, everyone says, "The Titanic, the unsinkable ship."

0:24:020:24:06

Did Thomas Andrews call it unsinkable?

0:24:060:24:08

-No, it was the newspapers and the media.

-Just shows, doesn't it?

0:24:080:24:13

If you scratch under the surface, you can show that it was a myth.

0:24:130:24:16

First-class history hunting. Well done.

0:24:160:24:18

You'd think Thomas Andrews would be the villain of the piece,

0:24:180:24:21

the man who designed the unsinkable ship that sank and yet,

0:24:210:24:25

there's far more to this story, as our History Hunters have found out.

0:24:250:24:29

He was a brilliant shipbuilder, in charge of the biggest project

0:24:290:24:32

of the day, quite possibly designed right here

0:24:320:24:35

in Harland & Wolff's old drawing offices.

0:24:350:24:37

The ship didn't sink because of his mistakes,

0:24:370:24:40

yet he took responsibility by going down with the vessel.

0:24:400:24:44

So it's no surprise then, his name is still honoured in Comber,

0:24:440:24:49

and this is his story.

0:24:490:24:50

Thomas Andrews came from a well-known and distinguished family

0:24:540:24:57

in Comber, close to Belfast in Northern Ireland.

0:24:570:25:01

He was fascinated by boats

0:25:010:25:02

and apprentice to the shipbuilders Harland & Wolff at the age of 16.

0:25:020:25:07

He worked his way up through the company,

0:25:070:25:09

and by his early 20s, he was Harland & Wolff's managing director.

0:25:090:25:12

In 1907, he was given the biggest job of his career,

0:25:120:25:16

to design the largest ships ever built,

0:25:160:25:19

Titanic, Olympic and Britannic.

0:25:190:25:22

It was a massive task.

0:25:220:25:24

These were huge ships,

0:25:240:25:26

and it was something the whole of Belfast was proud of.

0:25:260:25:29

When my grandfather saw the ship, he described it as "a wall of steel."

0:25:290:25:34

Andrews designed as safe a ship as he could,

0:25:340:25:36

based on a study of previous sinkings.

0:25:360:25:39

Titanic and her sister ships were divided into compartments.

0:25:390:25:43

They could cope with two compartments being flooded.

0:25:430:25:46

Any more, and they'd sink.

0:25:460:25:47

Thomas Andrews never actually claimed they were unsinkable.

0:25:470:25:51

There weren't enough lifeboats for every passenger,

0:25:510:25:53

but more than the legal requirements.

0:25:530:25:56

Many people saw lifeboats as unsafe.

0:25:560:25:58

The priority was to make the ship itself safe.

0:25:580:26:02

Naval architects had recognised that putting people into lifeboats

0:26:020:26:06

was very dangerous, and still is today.

0:26:060:26:09

However, on her maiden voyage in 1912, Titanic hit an iceberg

0:26:090:26:13

and sustained damage she couldn't cope with.

0:26:130:26:16

Up to five compartments were flooded. The ship sank.

0:26:160:26:20

Of more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board,

0:26:200:26:24

over 1,500 lost their lives.

0:26:240:26:27

Thomas Andrews went down with the mighty ship he designed.

0:26:270:26:31

Thomas Andrews is fondly remembered in Comber,

0:26:310:26:34

and the Memorial Hall is a well-loved tribute to him.

0:26:340:26:38

The children who researched Titanic

0:26:420:26:45

and Thomas Andrews made real breakthroughs

0:26:450:26:47

when they interviewed people who really knew about this story.

0:26:470:26:51

Here's a guide on how to get the best out of people

0:26:510:26:53

when asking them questions.

0:26:530:26:55

Family members or friends of figures from history often have photographs

0:26:550:26:59

or objects that used to belong to the people you're investigating.

0:26:590:27:02

Ask them to bring anything like this along to a meeting,

0:27:020:27:06

or if you're going to see THEM,

0:27:060:27:07

tell them to have a good look for anything that could be useful.

0:27:070:27:10

It's best to ask them in advance,

0:27:100:27:12

as then they'll have time to get things ready for you.

0:27:120:27:15

And if you can, take copies in some way,

0:27:150:27:17

then you can look at them in detail afterwards.

0:27:170:27:20

It's not just what you ask, it's HOW you ask it that's important too.

0:27:200:27:24

Good interviewers use open questions.

0:27:240:27:27

Things like, "Tell me what your grandfather was like,"

0:27:270:27:29

or, "How did he invent that?"

0:27:290:27:32

Poor interviewers use closed questions.

0:27:320:27:34

Things that just call for a yes or no answer.

0:27:340:27:37

Ask these type of questions and you won't find out much.

0:27:370:27:40

How did the Titanic sink and how did it affect your family?

0:27:400:27:43

It's also vitally important that you listen carefully.

0:27:430:27:46

They might tell you something you didn't expect,

0:27:460:27:49

so you can ask a follow-up question that will get you more information.

0:27:490:27:52

So, tell me a bit more about the photograph.

0:27:520:27:54

This photograph showed, really, what the structure of the DNA was.

0:27:540:27:59

And always remember that people are often biased

0:27:590:28:01

when they're talking about friends or relatives.

0:28:010:28:03

They might exaggerate their importance or hide their faults.

0:28:030:28:07

But what happened was, somebody showed it to Crick and Watson,

0:28:070:28:11

and that's what they used to do their discovering.

0:28:110:28:14

It's up to you as historians to work out what you need to check up on,

0:28:140:28:17

by using methods such as talking to other people

0:28:170:28:19

or looking at documents in archives.

0:28:190:28:22

If we bear all that in mind,

0:28:220:28:23

speaking to people who knew historical figures

0:28:230:28:26

can be a great way of finding out things

0:28:260:28:28

that are otherwise really hard to discover.

0:28:280:28:30

And they can provide photos and details that give us

0:28:300:28:33

an insight into what a person was really like.

0:28:330:28:36

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