Carlisle Songs of Praise


Carlisle

David Grant travels along the Settle to Carlisle Railway and hears the story of the workers who risked their lives to build the remarkable Ribblehead Viaduct.


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Transcript


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It's all aboard this week on Songs Of Praise

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as I step back in time to the age of steam

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and journey along the famous Carlisle-Settle line.

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TRAIN WHISTLE

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We're here at Carlisle, heading south. I'm getting onboard.

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Come on, lets go!

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My route today takes me across the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct,

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and I'll be finding out about the workers

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who risked their lives to build this remarkable bridge.

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Also on today's programme,

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Kate Bottley meets a mother determined to make sure

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the tragic loss of her son due to a gambling addiction wasn't in vain.

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All I want to do is to prevent other people going through the same hell,

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because it was hell, as we did.

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And Richard Taylor is on Pendle Hill,

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looking for the birthplace of the Quakers.

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TRAIN WHISTLE

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I'm in travelling in style on one of the most beautiful

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railway journeys in the world.

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From the Cumbrian hills, the line slices through the Yorkshire Dales.

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It really makes you marvel at God's creation.

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In fact, it makes me want to sing out loud,

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except that I don't want to get thrown off the train.

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The Settle-Carlisle line opened in 1876.

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Along the 72 miles of track are 15 tunnels and 24 viaducts.

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Today, people have travelled far and wide

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to ride on this historic railway.

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It's the most beautiful, scenic route.

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I mean, there's countryside here none of us have ever seen.

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And it is truly spectacular.

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I love riding this line. It's my favourite railway line.

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Steam locomotives, they excite all the senses.

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They're beautiful to look at,

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beautiful to listen to and even the smell is just wonderful.

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And this is the moment all the passengers and sightseers

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have been waiting for, crossing the famous Ribblehead Viaduct.

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At a quarter-of-a-mile long, with 24 arches,

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some up to 165 ft high,

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it's astonishing to think that this viaduct was built

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using mostly manual labour.

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Before joining the train, I took a closer look at this magnificent

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example of Victorian engineering with railway historian Bryan Gray.

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-Hello, Bryan. Lovely to meet you.

-Good to see you.

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Bryan, this is spectacular. How was it built?

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It was built by navvies.

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Navvies were the navigators of the Canal Age.

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Navigator was shortened to navvy.

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So the railway navvies built this viaduct and this railway.

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They came from all over England and Scotland and Ireland

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and they moved from project to project.

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Probably 2,000 people were involved in total

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in building this railway line,

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so they had to establish, really, a small town here,

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in which they lived for six years.

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Where we're standing, they built a town?

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-It was actually a set of nine individual communities.

-Yeah.

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And they gave them names.

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So we had Jericho and Jerusalem,

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because they had rudimentary Bible knowledge.

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Up on the hill behind us, in a slightly posher area, was Belgravia.

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On average, there were seven people living in a hut,

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and there were a lot of children.

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So about 100 children under 10 lived on this site.

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When you're over 10, you started working, of course.

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What did they do for schools?

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The railway companies built schools, they built shops,

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they built a church and a rudimentary hospital.

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You said they built a church.

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I mean, who looked after their spiritual wellbeing?

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When I say a church, it wasn't a church with a spire, it was a wooden hut.

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-A wooden hut.

-Used as a church.

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Well, um...this was the Victorian Age, when people,

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I think the great managers and entrepreneurs of the day

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did care, actually, about the spiritual wellbeing of the workers.

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And, of course, they thought that people who were looked after

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would work harder, as well.

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The railway company paid for two ministers, who would talk to them.

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Preaching to them and being there for them.

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Particularly sitting with their...

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On their sickbeds, for example, when they were ill,

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and just giving them encouragement when they were perhaps

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depressed at living in such a wild place.

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It was a tough life for workers and their families

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and an outbreak of smallpox in 1870 made things worse,

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with the disease claiming many victims.

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In this local church in Chapel-le-Dale,

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the number of funerals went up from two a year to 60.

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David, this is a plaque that the railway company erected

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to commemorate all the navvies and their families

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who lost their lives during the construction of the railway.

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Around 200 of them, including children,

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are buried in the churchyard.

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They couldn't afford proper graves and memorials,

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so this is one large, mass grave.

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It is really difficult to believe that these people

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gave up their lives for a railway

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that is just a short distance from where we stand today.

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At least the viaduct still stands as a memorial to all they gave.

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We're travelling through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales

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and it's glorious.

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Just to the southwest of us, across the moors, Richard Taylor

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has been following in the footsteps of a radical Christian trailblazer.

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In the summer of 1652, just after the end of the English Civil War,

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a young man called George Fox climbed here,

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Pendle Hill in Lancashire.

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When he reached the summit,

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he would experience a vision which would change the world.

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George Fox was a seeker.

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Brought up in Leicestershire, in his late teens,

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he felt an inner voice calling him to leave home

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and search out spiritual truth.

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Fox's searches led him to some startling conclusions.

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God could be found not in churches and in rituals,

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but in the open fields and in the day to day.

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Christians should be guided not by priests,

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but by the light of God within their hearts.

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And since God dwelt in the hearts of all believers,

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so all believers were equal.

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Labourers, servants,

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even women could know and teach the ways of the Lord.

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In his early 20s, Fox started to preach his new ideas.

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He attracted a small group of followers,

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who came to call themselves the Friends of the Truth,

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or simply, the Friends.

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In his biography, Fox described what happened here.

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He said, "As we travelled,

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"we came near a great hill called Pendle,

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"and I was moved by the Lord to climb to the top of it,

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"which I did with great difficulty, it being so very steep and high".

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Yeah, tell me about that!

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"And I could see the sea bordering upon Lancashire.

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"And the Lord showed me in what places he had

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"a great people to be gathered in."

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Fox's radical ideas were not well received by the authorities

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and he was regularly arrested and imprisoned.

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Once, Fox told a prosecuting magistrate that he should

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tremble before the Lord.

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And when the magistrate mocked him for quaking before God,

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the movement got a new name, the Quakers.

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Many thousand were attracted to this vision

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of what it meant to be a Christian.

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And in time, they would build little meeting houses,

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like this one, Farfield, in Yorkshire.

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There's a tranquillity to this place. A calm.

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Quaker worship was fundamentally different.

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There's no altar here.

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There's no pulpit or books or priests.

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Chris, what would worship have been like in a place like this?

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You would have found a group of people

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sitting on these benches for perhaps...

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I don't know, two, three hours on a Sunday.

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Nothing apparently going on, but all waiting.

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And then someone would have stood up in their place,

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um...and given a message.

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A message that they believed had been given them by God.

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And to come into a place where you can just sit,

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no-one is asking any more of you than that,

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um...is...is healing, I think.

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Mm. It's from here to the present day.

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Yeah. That's right.

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You know, we meet the Quakers probably more often than we realise.

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With their reputation for honest dealings,

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they made excellent businesspeople.

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And Lloyds Bank, Barclays Bank, Rowntree's, Terry's,

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Fry's chocolate, Bryant and May matches,

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Clarks shoes, all have Quaker roots.

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But it's their spirituality that today seems more relevant than ever.

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Their bravery, their quietude

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and their unwavering commitment

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to peace and truth and love.

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TRAIN WHISTLE

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Our journey along the Carlisle-Settle railway

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has brought me to Appleby station, where the train takes on water.

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It's an opportunity for me to speak to Steve, our driver.

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-Steve, hello, mate.

-Hi.

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So, what is it like driving one of these things?

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Well, it's a real privilege because it's old-school train driving.

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There's no safety systems as such.

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You have control of the whole machine

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and if you don't control it correctly, it'll come back and bite you.

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Our next piece of music carries on our train theme.

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Ruby Turner caught the Birmingham New Street commuters by surprise

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with this gospel classic on BBC Music Day last year.

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# You see the train

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# In the yard

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# It is ready to make a model start

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# Oh, just as soon as

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# The conductor

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# He says, all aboard

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# This train is a clean train Everybody riding in Jesus' name

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# This train has left the station Whoo, this train

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# I said, this train has left the station, whoo, this train

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# I said, this train has left the station

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# This train takes on every nation

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# It's the prettiest train I ever did see, this train

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# Get onboard

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# It's the prettiest train I ever did see, this train

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# Who's getting onboard?

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# It's the prettiest train I ever did see

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# If you want to ride it You better get redeemed

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# Better get onboard

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# This train is bound for glory This train

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# You'd better get onboard

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# This train is bound for glory I said, this train

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# Who's getting onboard?

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# I said, this train is bound for glory

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# Everybody riding her must be holy

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# You'd better get onboard

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# Yeah

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# Get onboard

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# Yeah, yeah, yeah

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# Get onboard

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# Get onboard

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# You'd better get onboard

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# All aboard, all aboard, all aboard

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# This train don't take no jokers This train

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# You'd better get onboard

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# This train don't take no jokers This train

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# Who's getting onboard?

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# I said, this train don't take no jokers

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# No tobacco-chewers or cigar-smokers

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# You'd better get onboard

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# You'd better get onboard

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# This train is a clean train You know, this train

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# You'd better get onboard. #

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APPLAUSE

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Up and down the country, betting shops are a familiar sight.

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And according to the Gambling Commission,

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48% of us had a bet on something last year.

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For most, it's a bit of innocent fun, but as Kate Bottley

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has been finding out, for some, it can lead to tragedy.

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Alan Lockhart was just 40 years old when he took his own life in 2010.

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As a teenager, he'd become hooked on slot machines.

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It started an addiction to gambling that he'd never shake off.

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Alan was a lovely boy. Loved his sports.

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He went everywhere with us, and one of his favourite occupations

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was to go on the slot machines while Mum and Dad had a cup of coffee.

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And it all seemed very, very harmless and...and OK.

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But his childhood fascination with slot machines

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led to an addiction to all forms of gambling.

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Money kept going through his fingers like water.

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And, er...when he became in debt to a very large amount,

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we thought, well, yes, he is in big trouble.

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But you do what any parent does,

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you protect your children at all costs

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and you do all you can for them,

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so we kept helping him out when he needed money.

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Then, all of a sudden, Alan took himself off,

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left home and didn't come back.

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Two years later, I heard that Alan had hung himself in his house.

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It was... I don't know, like being down a dark hole.

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-Those must have been really dark days.

-Very dark days, terrible.

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I have a strong faith and that helped me through that.

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How did that help?

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I think praying about your problems helps to off-load

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a little bit of the weight,

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and there was always a reason.

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Maybe this was what it was all about.

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And for Anne, that means spreading the word about the risks of gambling

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to young people and to the gambling industry.

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Graham Weir is head of player protection for high-street

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betting chain, Ladbrokes Coral.

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Alan died in 2010. How have things changed since then?

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The industry has, I guess, awoken to our responsibilities,

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probably in the last five or six years.

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In shop, we have messages for customers that play on machines,

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for example, that tell them how long they've been gambling for,

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how much they've been spending.

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And we've also retrained all of our colleagues

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to spot the signs of problem gambling.

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Some people still say an industry that earns £12 billion per year

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should be doing more to protect their customers.

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What we are looking to do is understand

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probably the next generation of gamblers.

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We just need people to understand that gambling should be fun,

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and when it stops being fun, that's the time to seek help.

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I think gambling can become their life,

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but gambling can also take life.

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And it can become the only thing worth living for.

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And if the means to gamble has gone,

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um...there's not really a very easy way out.

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So, do you think what your doing now to raise awareness of this,

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do you think this is your mission from God,

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-this is what you're supposed to be doing?

-Yes.

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All I want to do is to prevent other people going through the same,

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um...hell, because it was hell, as we did.

0:23:230:23:27

The Settle-Carlisle line weaves its way through the Eden Valley,

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which is home to the Knock Christian Centre.

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It's a place where Christian groups can come and enjoy the great outdoors.

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But when it started back in 1979,

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this disused radar station looked very different.

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Was it like this when you got it?

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Oh, no, nothing like this at all. It was just like a prison.

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So, have you been involved in doing all the work here?

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Well, many friends and helpers, and I've done my little bit.

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Tell us about that tower.

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It was such a nuisance, it was ugly and everything.

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We did think about demolishing it and then the idea came up

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that we could use it for a climbing wall.

0:27:340:27:36

Ken was a surgeon in Blackpool when he and his brother

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bought the centre for their church group.

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Here, where all the kitchen stuff is,

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this is where the fuel boilers were.

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Who got rid of it all?

0:27:480:27:51

-Er...friends and myself.

-How fantastic!

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-And then you turned it into this kitchen, this huge kitchen.

-Yes.

0:27:540:27:58

-Now, listen, that was 1978, yeah? '79?

-Yes.

0:27:580:28:03

Um...if you don't mind me asking, how old are you now?

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-90.

-90?

-Yes.

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-And you're still doing all this stuff?

-I'm not doing anything.

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-I just walk around and talk these days.

-Oh, what an inspiration.

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We play outside and we have fun.

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And it's just a feeling of, like...friendship and stuff.

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I can switch off mentally and relax and I can connect with God so easily

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because that's what this place means to me.

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Ken's a complete star.

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And at 91, still to have the energy and the vision

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and the passion to keep it going, it's just remarkable.

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That is what I've come here to see.

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It's that hill, it's the peacefulness of it all.

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It's just beautiful.

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-And also, there's not such a good mobile phone coverage.

-Yeah.

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And there's no Wi-Fi, which is fantastic!

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We go down to the chapel sometimes

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and have, like, a little church in there and things.

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Learn about Christianity.

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Two forward and one to the left.

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My own emphasis is to welcome everyone.

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And we get good reports and have a very happy time.

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Not only in fun and games and things,

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but in learning of the Christian faith.

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And, er...there's many a child or a youngster been transformed,

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as it were, through this centre.

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So that's marvellous, isn't it?

0:29:200:29:22

Well, that's almost it for this week. I hope you've enjoyed it.

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Next week, Aled Jones visits the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire,

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where it's all things bright and beautiful

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at their first-ever annual flower show.

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This week, we end on a big hymn from the Salvation Army.

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David Grant travels along the Settle to Carlisle Railway, taking in the spectacular views and hearing the story of the workers who risked their lives to build the remarkable Ribblehead Viaduct.

Music:

Go, Tell It on the Mountains/Glory Glory Hallelujah! from St Aidan's Church, Leeds God Who Knows Our Darkest Moments from Morriston Tabernacle Chapel, Swansea Dear Lord and Father of Mankind from St Ninian's Cathedral, Perth This Train by Ruby Turner Holy Overshadowing from All Saints, Ecclesall God Is Love, His the Care from St James The Greater, Leicester Saviour Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise from Salvation Army, Sale.


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