23/01/2017 Inside Out South West


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It's had a rebrand, but is it racist?


Tonight, the townspeople who black up For Mummer's Day,


the Cornish tradition that some celebrate, and others condemn.


I'd never dream of being racist, we're all equal.


we join Nick Baker for a water wildlife watch.


We have a pod of common dolphins, right underneath the bow.


And as the weather bites, I go in search of snow,


but are we seeing less and less of the white stuff?


We dig into the archives, and even mine our memories to discover


Hello, I'm Jemma Woodman, and welcome to Inside Out South West.


Different places have different traditions -


Bog-snorkling, nettle eating - but blacking up?


Can it ever really be acceptable today's society?


The winter festival Mummer's Day, was once called Darkie Day,


but some locals in Padstow argue that isn't offensive,


We sent Artha Ahmad to investigate one of Britain's


It's Mummers Day in this Cornish seaside town. My day job's reporting


for the BBC's Asian Network. This is the first time I've worked in


Cornwall, and it's turning out to be quite an experience.


Hello, can I ask you a few questions?


No, you can't, at all. On Boxing Day and New Year's Day,


some locals here paint their faces black and parade through the


for more than 100 years. Some say for more than 100 years. Some say


goes back to pagan times. I'm hoping to find out all about Padstow and


its tradition blacking up - is it just a harmless old custom or


is it too offensive to survive without major changes being made?


Blacking up doesn't just happen in Cornwall, there's a handful of folk


groups across the country who like to slap on the paint.


Good chance to dress up in crazy clothes and go out, happy dance, and


a couple of beers afterwards your friends.


What you think? I think it also generates


mysterious, pagan energies that infuse the atmosphere. If you test


that scientifically, you may have trouble finding evidence.


Not everybody appreciates it. The man on the left is having a go at a


group of Morris dancers in Birmingham.


Blacktop reformers have some high-profile fans, including a then


Prime Minister, and the community -- Communities Secretary Sajid Javid,


who said he was proud of the Morris dancers involved in the Birmingham


confrontation. Back in Padstow, the party's in full swing. For eight


outsider like me, it feels a bit surreal. This is not something


usually see in London, in I am surprised to see yet actually, in


2017. I was exciting people to be blacktop, but didn't expect them to


be blacked up in entirety. That's quite surprising to see. Some of the


songs are also pretty surprising. The original lyrics of this one


includes the N-word. Thankfully, there's been a bit of a rewrite.


So, they're singing a song in there, but they've changed the lyrics and


replaced a racist term it, so now it says, where do the good Mummers go?


I really want to talk to the people here, but feels like they've been


gagged. Can I ask you a few questions?


I'm not glad to say nothing, sorry. A few people ask us not a film,


which is a bit strange seeing how anyone can come and watch. One man,


not one of the Mummers themselves, told me if I didn't like it, I


should go back to my own country. I'm not the only one who has


questions. We asked them, and asked them what


it was for, and they said it was my great secrets and wouldn't tell us.


They said it wasn't racist. But other than that...


What were your first thoughts when you've saw it?


That it was. You thought it was racist? You're


seen you're from Watford? Do think something like this could ever


happen of there? No! You wouldn't get away with that.


Maybe this man can tell us? What is it about?


Gordon, due to tell us what it's about?


No. This is what we get as a response.


Everyone we took two sees it differently.


I don't want to make of it, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I'm


sure that anybody that came here visiting with probably find it quite


offensive. I wasn't sure if it was a racial


thing or what the intent of it was. Certainly, in the United States, it


wouldn't be acceptable. I don't find it offensive, I'm part


of it. I've lived in Cornwall 12 years...


And we love you! I've been doing it for many years. I


don't find it offensive. Just let it be.


One idea that keeps coming up is that it all goes back to be slaving


days. Darkie Day and the ship came into


the harbour and they let the slaves off the ship and they ran around


town, are currently left a few black babies behind.


You can see it's not racist. There were coloured people, they came off


the boats, there are also autumn colours around. They landed the


boats here, went out on the streets, they celebrated the fact they were


on land and getting fresh air and have a party.


The story goes that people in Padstow partied with slaves who


arrived on these shores were stopped and even helped them to escape. But


is any of that drew? Defined, we've come to meet Merv Davey, the grand


Bard of Cornwall, a title direct lasers were preserving Cornish


culture. He thinks the slave boat story is a bit of harmless for


Clara. When people are asked why they


dressed like this, are you mocking people, no. The story that was


went past oriented Padstow, and they went past oriented Padstow, and they


dressed up to rescue the slaves. It made sense to them, it made sense of


the story, and no way it's quite nice thing, because we can


demonstrate as far as the history books go, no slavers went anywhere


near Padstow, but the story's not nice, and it makes sense to the


people. And what about the parade's all


blame, Darkie Day? Merv reckons that has an innocent explanation too.


Document get on just meant disguising yourself in Cornish. I


was privileged to take part of it, went down, blacking my face


at no part in the proceedings did I at no part in the proceedings did I


find it from ugly racist or demeaning of anybody.


There are more close to the parade's history and copies of the local


paper. It turns out the tradition almost died out and was revised in


the 1960s as a children's event. There's her letter for one of the


people credited with reviving the event. She wrote a letter thanking


the darkies. This editor was quite a job to back-up all the faces, but


job done. job done.


Cilla Black face paint was brought Cilla Black face paint was brought


back for the kids, and since then the event has evolved into some kind


of musical pub crawl. But is a time for some other change two Merv


thinks yes, but may be the Mummers could bring a dash of white into the


black and celebrate the Cornish flag.


The problem is for everyone you find who is offended another person finds


it enormous fun. If I was from Padstow, I would put a white cross


across the black faces, but it's not for me to say that. In most places


so easy to paint your face. I've so easy to paint your face. I've


been somewhere with the paint is read, it is so easy to change that.


It's about the skies, not just blackface.


Back in Padstow, we've had a breakthrough, some of the Mummers


broken ranks and are up for a chat. It's everything to us. It's


tradition. Christmas means nothing to me, the


only thing I look forward to is Boxing Day and New Year's Day. It's


the only thing I look forward to. I think because so many people take


it as read says, the older people are Padstow do it. I think, why


should we talk about it if we're went to become racist.


I wouldn't dream of being racist, I'm a carer, skin colour's nothing


to me. , can I talk to you?


We've change the words... Suddenly, it's all over. The Mummers


are keeping mum again. I couldn't help but notice that some of the


younger people were less blacktop than the older ones. Maybe that's


just this year's style, what we can say is that some see this as a


tradition that should die out, others would take to see at last. I


certainly won't be forgetting about it sooner.


Coming up, Nick Baker will be all let's see having a whale


When you see dolphins you know there is still hope in the world.


These animals need a reasonably healthy ecosystem in order


Is anywhere more beautiful than Dartmoor in the snow? And a light


dusting at least is pretty much guaranteed up here come winter. But


if you think you remember a time when he only had to walk out your


front door to the knee-deep interests, then you're probably not


alone. The older you are, the more likely you are to say, we don't get


snow likely used it. But is that drew? Or just faded memories,


wrapped up in nostalgia. -- is that true? Time to dip into the archives


to find out. In 1963, the South West bore the brunt of a series of mighty


blizzards. ARCHIVE: Dartmoor was like Siberia,


a large-scale rescue operation. The one good train on Dartmoor got


completely buried. Two other engines were rescued were snowploughs, they


got buried too. This Devon farmer and his mother


remember it's like yesterday. Within is go to school for three


weeks! That was short lived. On the farms


were rapidly pressed into service as extra farm labourers. Nobody could


get their milk out to the factory. It was all churns. We had to take


the churns to our neighbours, they couldn't get there. We hadn't seen


anything like it before. And we haven't had it as bad sense, really.


But in 2010, the same thing happened again. This time, it was McTaggart


getting stuck on the roads in what proved to be the coldest winter in


30 years. -- milk tankers getting stuck in roads. To not get caught


out again, there was a salt spreading scheme.


This is this year's delivery, we're hopefully well-prepared should we


need it. need it.


But your salt spread hasn't seen much action since 2010?


No, it hasn't. One or two goes, but nowhere near the amount of snow that


we had in 2010 and 2011. And he has the mountains of salt


stocks to prove it. Actually, the footage shows that


cold or snow. But there is one went cold or snow. But there is one went


to McDonald's, and it happened 70 years ago. -- winter that does, and


it happened. We had to go way back it happened. We had to go way back


into the archives, before many of you were born, and regional TV


didn't exist. Mike at the film and television archive has had a good


look. I've to good look, there's very


little of 1947, but think I've find you a little gem.


Hope Cove, looking more like Antarctica and the usually clement


south coast. This, lifeboat brings food supplies to the ruined


villagers. In 1947, January the villagers. In 1947, January the


22nd, the snow started to fall, and fell every day, somewhere in the UK,


for over 70 days. That's even more than 1963. The bitter cold was


compounded by fuel and food shortages in post-war Britain. But


the spirit of the blades sought some keep smiling through. Surely yet


more proof that we don't get snow like we used to. -- the spirit of


the Blitz. So, will today's owners of the Cottage Hotel, seen in that


footage, have any memory of the big snow of 1947? Is this the right


place? This is deathly the right place,


that is the hotel. Come to the right place, let's see


if anyone remember is 1947? But it's not the winter of 47 that


this former hotelier remembers. Does this look familiar to you?


It does look familiar, but wasn't here at this time.


Have you seen a winter like it? It was pretty bad in 78-79, not much


difference, I would think. It's true, something I did see


buckets of snow. We were worried, we do know how long


the snow would go on for. We had 75 people, plus the staff to feed and


look after. That was a worry. There were 15-foot deep drifts everywhere.


Parts of the South West were left without electricity or running water


for three days. Supplies of food and what a retro look at it in, and once


again, many didn't have milk for breakfast. -- helicoptered in. I


remembered as the very worst winter we ever had, but then I was only


five. Time to head to the Met office and find out whether they can tell


us if we don't get snow like we used to.


When we look back through records of snow, meteorological records, you do


see these big spikes. They result from a particular weather pattern


that crops up every so often. It's not regular. It doesn't follow every


so many years that we will get this. But this particular pattern dries


excess of in the UK. Adam's data shows that in the last exteriors,


the worst winter for snow was in fact 1963, then 2010, then 1979. And


these spikes are down to free weather patterns. But is climate


change impacting on our snowfall? Before we answer that, time to one


up with Doris, Joan and John from Salcombe, who remember the snow of


1947, radiating official Met Office records. Was it like that?


Yes, it was! The snow was that the?


It was absolutely unbelievable. I looked at the window, and father


said, yes, there is no. I couldn't believe it! We'd never seen snow in


Salcombe before, not to that extent. I'd actually just left school, I was


just 14. I started work. But John was the lucky one, he was still at


nearly three weeks. He'll Terry nearly three weeks. He'll Terry


about that! He had three weeks of school!


Three whole weeks off. My father was a labourer for the


Council, and all I remember is that he was out dead as the tiny digging


roads. Alongside the council workers,


POW camp in Salcombe. It was all POW camp in Salcombe. It was all


hands on deck during the big White out of 47.


I recall this large snowman it being built outside the shop it.


Did you feel sorry for them in the show?


I did, yes. I did, yes.


That was quite incredible, people were on skis.


Skiing? A must have been like being in the


It was, yeah. We don't get snow like It was, yeah. We don't get snow like


that any more, but don't critically want it!


Is that the case? Back to the Met Office to find out.


An interesting thing to think about is, if the winds and weather


patterns are exactly the same today as they were 19 623, which we have


as much snow. The answer is, we wouldn't. -- as they were in 1963,


so with milder wins in this area, we're not likely to see the same


crippling snow conditions. Still, as long as you can do this!


Good shot! You might think that this


is the worst time of Surely all the animals


hunker down and hibernate? But as Nick Baker discovers,


head out onto the water It's a bright and crisp autumnal


morning, and we're in Falmouth, we're going whale watching.


When it catching a ride with Falmouth-based skipper Keith, and


joining me is marine biologist, Dr Simon Ingram. You might think it's a


crazy idea to be going out to look for whales at this time of year, but


given the right weather conditions and sea conditions, as can be a much


more fruitful time to see whales, dolphins and porpoises.


My interest in taking this trip out to sea was sparked by the dead fin


whale which washed up on the beach in dollars this autumn. The


conclusion was that this whale most likely died at sea of natural


causes. Think people's response when they


hear about a dead animal washing up on the beach is, this is awful. But


actually, there is a more positive side to the story, because it could


be an indication that the reason be an indication that the reason


these and other turning up on the beaches is because there's more of


them alive at their in the waters. Which is good news.


How easy is it to actually see these elusive creatures in the wild?


About is tracking out from the shoreline, all these icons, all


these marks on the screen are at this year's sightings. This year has


been absolutely remarkable. We have, been absolutely remarkable. We have,


to date, recorded some 5250 individual animals.


For Keith, that's an all-time record, 40% up on his annual


average. This is being fed back to build a national sightings database.


These animals face lots of different threats and our waters. Fishery


interactions, noise, disturbance, ship strikes. We have to think about


all these things together and manage them properly together in order to


create a sustainable population size.


Fin whales are regular visitors to the waters of Ireland. Simon


believes that this may be why they're being seen in increasing


numbers off the coast of Devon and Cornwall.


Gannets, out to the west of us. There is excitement on the boat at


the moment is, because Captain Keith has spotted, about a mile away, a


large group of feeding gannets. Where there's gannets, there's face,


where there's face, hopefully, there's dolphins, whales breathe and


paupers. 2016 saw an abundance of herring and mackerel. This created a


feeding frenzy for gannets like these. These streamlined dive


bombers make short work of the fish below. Like many birds, -- unlike


many birds, they can see down grooves in their bill, and judge the


distance to their fish prey with deadly accuracy. Definitely got some


paupers milling around underneath where the birds are. -- poor boys.


Try and see we can get a shot at them, but they are only one metre


long, and in this chop it's bit of a challenge. I wasn't wrong. It's like


watching lightning, you can point lightning out, but by macro the time


you turn, it's gone. We got one more you turn, it's gone. We got one more


fleeting glints of the board poses, but then they were gone. -- of the


porpoises. Just when we think our luck might be running out and we are


going to head back down the coast, the crew sports more activity.


Suddenly, there's a mad scramble in the boat. Dolphins!


This is what it's all about! We have a port of common dolphin, right


underneath the bowel. Wildlife watching doesn't get any better than


this. I could talk for hours about the


ecology and what they symbolise for the health of the ocean, but at this


of going, yes, dolphins! You can of going, yes, dolphins! You can


shout and weep and holler for joy, because it doesn't scare them off,


they don't mind. For boys is spent a lot of their


time feeding, so they really are on a bit of a knife edge, always try to


find enough food, whereas dolphins are that much more efficient, top


predators, able to spend some time socialising rather than just


feeding. When you see dolphins, you know


there's still hope in the world. These are top and predators. These


animals need a reasonably healthy ecosystem in order to support all


that energy. Then go, they're still here! Oh, so beautiful. I know it's


not cool to be that enthusiastic about wildlife, but I couldn't help


myself. I'm feeling a little embarrassed, but wow, wasn't that


great? Dolphins are those creatures that we ship quite a lot with.


right on the surface, they come up right on the surface, they come up


and meet us. They fell us with jolly, that's what the dolphins


symbolises to many people. -- fill us with joy.


Well it's good these albums are returning, we are starting with a


depleted state. Let's hope we have things back on track for a recovery


in arena systems. When you see dolphins and whales it


fills you with hope, hope that there's and off left here to


protect. So while the Wales may have eluded us today, seeing dolphins


isn't half bad. And that's all for now,


but next week we drop in on the school but thinks it's


cracked the formula for success. Meet the maths geniuses


hoping to take the UK When you actually get it


and get the answer right, So brush up on your algebra


for next Monday at 7:30pm. Hello, I'm Riz Lateef


with your 90 second update. The Government says national


security means it won't confirm


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