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We discover Kent's most extraordinary island. It is a great
world. It is full of bones. Whaler, there will be the bones of people.
You must make sure that you feel that you can take that. OK, thank
you for the warning! The problems on Southern rail caused
by the strikes or the franchise? There aren't actually any strikes
planned for today at all, so this is, you know, a good day.
And football for females over 50. Most of all, I would say, it is
going to be exciting and thrilling to walk out onto the pitch and play.
I'm Natalie Graham McDowell installed Tories I'm Natalie Graham,
with untold stories closer to home. This is all inside out.
Hello and welcome to the programme, which this week comes to you from
the Isle of Sheppey. We start tonight with an extraordinary story,
one which could come from the pages of a Gothic horror novel. In this
part of Kent, if you speak to certain people, you will hear tales
of a mysterious island nearby. Stories which will send a shiver
down your spine. But could those stories possibly be true? Some
people may find parts of this film disturbing.
I've heard stories about this eerie island off the coast of Sheppey.
So I've had to come here for myself to find out whether the truth
I'm going to the small harbour town of Queenborough,
which sits just across the water from this mysterious island.
When I stopped at the hostelry for the night, I was told that
Others who were curious about the strange tales from the island.
They'd heard the story about the hound.
Yes, the hound with the red death staring eyes.
They had heard this story that there were bodies
And people said that the hound had eaten the skulls, you see.
And they were rowing away into the darkness and the fog.
And they suddenly hear the sound and they look,
This talk of supernatural devil dogs is obviously just myth.
But at the end of the day, can you disprove it?
But there is a more serious claim about the island.
That it is littered with human remains.
You want to make sure you are up to it.
It is a graveyard, it is full of bones.
Where you look will be bones of people who actually lived.
And because it's a bone yard, it will have an atmosphere.
You must make sure that you feel that you can take that.
An island solely populated by the dead.
Its story seems to have been handed down from generation to generation.
And the name of this macabre place is Deadman's Island.
The locals were keen to prove there was more
So keen that the very next morning, the Queenborough rowing
club agreed to take me to Deadman's Island themselves.
The island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest,
It's out of bounds for visitors due to the birds that make
it their home at certain times of the year.
But we've received permission for a special visit.
I've arrived at Deadman's Island at what's known
What I saw will stay with me forever.
This island was covered with human remains.
That's definitely a piece of a coffin.
And that...there are two bones there.
There's the coffin, Natalie, that's just broken away.
So you think this has all come from a recent...
There's rather a large ? it looks like it could be
A thigh bone and are they some ribs there?
I hadn't seen everything this island had to offer just yet.
So here we have, clearly, two pairs of human legs in a wooden box,
and the rest of the bodies could be under this mud.
It's exactly what they said we'd find,
human remains buried 200 years ago now being exposed to the elements
as nature takes its course over the mud, and this
is a really strange sight, there can't be anywhere, I'd
Well, over two centuries ago, the waters around here were a very
They were home to floating prisons, known as the Prison Hulks.
They were dark, they looked pretty forbidding, they were meant to.
The Prison Hulks were former warships stripped of their masts,
Their gun ports were covered with bars and they were given
fitting names, like Justitia, Retribution and Captivity.
A lot of crimes carried the death penalty, but as a way
of being humane and also to inhabit the colonies, it was decided it
would be a good idea to transport convicts.
Also, there wasn't much space in prisons, but -
and this I think has some effect on the inhabitants
of Deadman's Island - you tended to find that if people
were not considered healthy enough to take the voyage to Australia,
I was going to ask about the kind of crimes
There were people who picked pockets, including 10-year-olds,
who'd been sentenced to 15 years' transportation for picking
So we weren't talking about mass murderers off the cost of Sheppey?
These were the people who were suffering from the draconian
And when those prisoners died, they were buried in unmarked graves
An island which is slowly eroding away.
Once you start looking, you start to see what might
This bit of mud, for example, is it me or does that
I would say that that's a coffin and another next to it that
This is where you can see the depth of where they were buried.
Yeah, six feet, pretty much, isn't it?
They were buried properly and deeply.
The major problem really was you had a lot of men together or a lot
of boys together and therefore if an epidemic began to occur then
it would spread and this was particularly important
in the early 1830s when Retribution was here, because there
was the cholera epidemic, and I suspect a lot of the people
I was joined on my trip by archaeologist Dr Paul Wilkinson,
who could help me find out more about these remains.
It's a human pelvic bone of a young male and obviously died from some
disease ? that's why he's buried here.
Can you tell that ? we're surmising because of the circumstances?
Yeah, and I can tell by the bone itself.
What makes you think that's diseased, the holes in it?
Probably the holes in it, but also, this particular island was retained
for the people that died of contagious diseases
and so the policy was to actually bury them all here so that disease
couldn't then erupt through the prison ships
Isn't it extraordinary to think that 200 years ago,
they were six feet under and now these poor souls are about to be
They're about to be exposed to the open air, they're
about to have their bones and their skulls washed
If there were any skulls, there have been skulls,
they will go last and they will roll into the water like footballs.
We've certainly seen some of Deadman's Island's secrets,
but the longer you spend here looking out across the mud,
the more you start thinking about the hundreds of other people
lying beneath the surface who will no doubt be exposed
over the years to come, and you start wondering as well,
what kind of society dumped them all here with no name,
It would be more right if there was a proper memorial to these poor
souls. These have nothing. They just have an island named
after them, Deadman's Island. The tide began to rise faster
than expected, so we had to leave. It seemed as if the island
didn't want to give up too Well, that was an extraordinary
place we visited today. It wasn't quite the way some people
described it for me - it wasn't particularly frightening,
or didn't seem to be a place For me, it was incredibly
still and actually quite magical. And I wonder if those myths
and legends that have grown up over the years have done the inhabitants
of Deadman's Island a favour, by warning the rest of us away
and allowing them to rest in peace. And that is certainly a journey I'll
Out... It's in the back of the net Out... It's in the back of the net
for the older ladies of Crawley Town.
Never thought it was going to be me. Very emotional. A few tears. Never
done anything like lead a football team ever. Feeling very, very proud.
Now, the strikes as Southern rail have caused passengers nearly a year
of misery. So why have they gone on so long? Could it all to one days of
paperRachel Royce reports. It's 8am and rush hour in this
west Sussex village. Over 750 pupils at St Philip Howard
catholic school arrive by train. Over 750 pupils at St Philip Howard
Catholic school arrive by train. The school's site was especially
chosen because it's close Latecomers can expect a ticking off,
but for many pupils, being late is becoming
a regular event. OK, make sure tomorrow
you're on time. I joined a class of year elevens
studying for their GCSES. So, first question is, how
many of you get the train to school? How many of you had problems
on strike days getting to school? And how many of you have
problems getting to school I'm showing a reduction
in the quality of my school work, because not only do I arrive
five minutes late and have missed some of the lesson,
but I might get home, it's been an hour and half,
I'm freezing and I'm just not Obviously, people have been focusing
on the strikes, and they have caused chaos, but there are -- is there
more to the problems at Southern? We're going to be looking
at the franchise. Well, I'm glad you asked that,
because it's a bit complicated. It used to be that the government
owned the railway, They thought that could make it more
competitive and cheaper. Different train operating companies
competed by a bidding process for the right to operate the trains
in different areas. It is sealed by a contract on these
of paper. Usually they make their profit by
collecting fares from passsengers. If they sell more tickets
than expected, then If it sells less tickets,
then it makes less they take a risk. When the government decided
to offer up the franchise When the government decided
to offer up the franchise that included Southern,
they knew it would be Thee were problems of congestion
in the south est and on top of that, Thee were problems of congestion in
the south east and on top of that, there was an upcoming ?6.5 billion
upgrade of London Bridge. Imagine you're living in your house
and you have it reroofed, new electrics, new plumbing
new carpets and have the whole place redecorated while you still live
in it and you get a sense of what the railway had
to do in London Bridge. While all this was going on,
it would make it very difficult to attract a railway operator
who was looking for a profit. So the government decided not
to offer a normal franchise. Instead, they offered
a different deal, and it went to Govia ThamesLink railway,
the parent company of Southern. Instead of Govia getting the fares
from the passengers, the government gets the fares
from the pasengers and the government pays
Govia to run the service, so the difference this makes is,
unlike normal franchises, Govia isn't taking the risk of not
selling enough tickets. Regardless of how much money comes
in, Southern would be paid the same 3% margin, or somewhere around
there, regardless. So all Southern had to do with it
their defined targets, and they would get their money. But their
train service became the worst performing in the country, and that
was before the strikes even started. It's been a nightmare year
for commuters, and there have been calls for Govia to be stripped
of its franchise. David Boyle is a journalist
and blogger who ha a written a book They need to get the new
franchising. They have obviously failed, and need someone else.
The Department for Transport told us it has no plans to strip
The strikes came about because Southern is introducing
driver-only operated doors on trains, a job that is usually
done by conductors. The change has upset the unions.
The strikes have been going on since April.
Miss, why is the strike going on so long?
Well, there's probably more than one reason but some say that special
franchise we talked about is one of the main reasons
That's because the company gets paid whether the trains run or not.
Some people say this has now become a battle not just between the unions
on one side and the train operating company on the other,
but say the government is involved, because basically,
But Nigel says it's not Southern who's forced this battle
The introduction of driver-operated-only doors
was insisted upon by the government as part of the franchise
because they wanted to modernise the railways.
This has not been a desire by Southern, who stood up
one morning and said, "I know, let's introduce driver
"operation and drive it through regardless because we'll
that and that's what the trains with government that they had to do
It was a term of the contract with government that they had to do this.
Every day for many months at Barnham station, there has been huge
uncertainly ? will trains be delayed or even cancelled?
There aren't actually any strikes planned for today, so this is a good
day. She doesn't like sending me
on my own and she gets a bit The fact that
driver-only-operated doors was a clause in the franchise
agreement is not a secret. But it doesn't seem
to be widely known. The government has not been straight
about the fact it is involved, because it's a concession which
it drew up and signed with Southern, who are trying
to meet their requirements. We asked the Department
for Transport whether the special franchise has played its part
in prolonging the strike. To the pupils and staff here,
the politics don't matter. What counts is getting
the trains back on track. I don't really mind what the outcome
is any more. They just have to sort it out. They
are both being stubborn. They are acting like schoolchildren.
Rachel Royce reporting. As you get older, you tend to get fewer chances
to take part in competitive sport, but over in Crawley, one group of
women have not let their age or their gender stop them.
A lot of women like to go to Zumba, they like to do dance classes,
The ideal thing for me is to have a kickabout.
I've spent a lot of time on the side line supporting my husband,
supporting my son, supporting my daughter, never had the chance
myself ? but now it's my time, my time to play football.
I think it was never thought of us older women doing football.
I'm 57, it's something that I would positively encourage.
Carol Bates has been a long-time fan of Crawley Town Football Club.
One day she saw a tweet from the club's community foundation.
They were encouraging female footballers to get involved
The tweet had a hashtag, #ThisGirlCan.
I thought, OK, this girl can, let me try.
So I asked what the maximum age was and they said 25.
Which meant that Carol was 23 years too old to play.
But instead of leaving it there and going back to the ironing,
I was a bit disappointed, put one of those emoji sad faces
and said maybe I can start a group myself.
Crawley Town Football Club agreed to help if Carol could find
other women like herself who would take part.
So she put the word round that there would be a new group at Crawley
for women over 25... Well over 25.
Carol got some funding from the English Football League Trust
And they called themselves... The Crawley Old Girls.
When we first started, there were 10 of us and it really was...
We couldn't kick a ball, and then as the weeks progressed,
other people heard about it, more people came, so a year down
the line, it's slightly different, in that we're not just coming
for a bit of fun, we're actually learning things and we're
Crawley Town became the first football league club
And teaching them to play football is their head coach Marcus Doyle.
They won't mind me saying so, they were quite daunted
They'd just come along to have a kick around, really,
and I noticed initially there were within this group
of sort of mad women, there was the potential to see some
talent there and after a couple of weeks, we sort of ratcheted it up
a little bit and started to take it a little bit more seriously.
You have got the talent and the quality. Drive into that space. We
know we have got the touch. Today, women's football
is a massively growing sport. And it's not uncommon to see
young girls playing the game. But when the Crawley Old Girls
were young girls, they missed out. I'm of a generation that
missed out on playing football. And to actually get the chance
to pull on a shirt, go out there, kick a ball around is the best thing
that's happened to me, best thing. And now it's their head coach
Marcus Doyle who is facing the challenge of bringing the lost
generation up to scratch. Do that one for about six or seven
seconds. Come on, reset! I don't want to say too much
about him because his head might get But since he's come along,
he has changed us all. He believes in us, he calls us
footballers, you are not just, you know, just women playing
football, you are footballers is what he keeps telling us,
believe in yourself, Don't say too much, cos he will,
he'll get too big-headed. In just under a week's time,
the Crawley Old Girls face their local rivals
the Lewes Ladies Veterans. OK, so you will be getting changed
in the first team changing room, all right? The first-team will not be in
there! It will be their first match
at the Checkatrade Stadium, the home of Crawley Town
Football Club. To walk out of that tunnel tonight
with my Crawley shirt on, it's just going to be
a dream come true. It's the last training session
before the big game, and Marcus is about to announce
the team's new captain. Yeah, shocked to start with,
very emotional, a few tears, never done anything like lead
a football team ever. Once you get them into that
competitive situation, We will meet at the players'
entrance. Meet there, OK? Tee where is the players' entrance?
Once you get them into that competitive situation,
they want to come along and they want to have fun
and want to enjoy themselves, have a little bit of a giggle
and what-have-you, but they want to win.
I don't see them then as women who have come along for a laugh,
I see them as players that want to win a match.
Some of the team take the training for the big match very seriously,
as the rest discovered when they met up for lunch to discuss some
Me and my friend Sandra popped in for our daily bacon sandwich.
Hello! Hello! You all right? Three Bacon signees, please. No.
Jane, who's our captain, refused to serve us
It wasn't a very healthy lunch, they wanted a bacon sandwich
and I refused them purely because we've got a very
And then Dermot, the manager of Crawley Town, walks in,
Can I have a bacon sandwich, please? There you go.
..sidles past us and gets himself a bacon sandwich.
A little bit disappointed, I must say, but then,
Jane's got our interests at heart, I suppose.
Last time these two teams met, Lewes won.
So how do the COGs feel about tonight's Sussex derby?
We will obviously be going out to win, but it's
It's about camaraderie at this age, but there's still a little bit
To put that Crawley Town shirt on and go out,
us COGs all together, is an absolutely fantastic feeling.
I think there's going to be a bit of anxiety, but most of all,
I would say it is going to be excitement and thrilling to walk out
I'm incredibly proud of what they've achieved.
The game flies by and there are goals aplenty.
So how did the COGS do in their big derby match?
The final score was Crawley Old Girls, 1,
Lewes Ladies Veterans... 4.
But after such a crushing defeat, the mood is still high.
Good stuff, well done. Go and have a glass of wine.
I don't even care, the fact that all these women are playing
Brilliant, I couldn't ask any more of our girls.
Win, lose or draw as a COG, we're a team, we're a family,
we enjoy it, it's the best thing we ever do, and I don't
And it isn't just for young women either.
Brilliant! Where do I sign? Now, for more information about the
programme, go to our live pages on the BBC News website, and you can
watch the show again on iPlayer. Coming up next week... Whatever
happens to high-tech health care in the home? It is a disaster that
family. Someone now needs to step up and take ownership of this, and say,
I'm really sorry it's gone wrong, but we will sort it out.
And why winter is a great time to find your way around the
countryside. Winter is actually quite a fun time
to do it. There are fewer leaves on the trees, so we can look at things
we can see in summer. That's it for tonight from us. Thank
you for watching. See you next week. Hello, I'm Riz Lateef
with your 90-second update. Protests in Downing Street tonight
against Donald Trump's travel ban More than 1.4 million have now
signed a petition calling for his state visit to Britain
to be cancelled. There have also been
protests in the States. President Trump insisted little more
than a 100 travellers were affected over the weekend and blamed
protestors for the A mosque in Canada has been
subjected to a terrorist attack. Six worshippers were killed,
five critically injured, Guilty - banker Lynden Scourfield
was bribed by David Mills to provide Money was lavished on holidays,
prostitutes and cars. The corruption cost Halifax Bank
of Scotland hundreds of millions. Jennie Platt didn't
like spikes put down to deter the homeless in Manchester,
so she and her children put down