17/02/2014 Inside Out South


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Hello from Hambledon in Hampshire. Just one of many places in the South


thoroughly exhausted by the floods. Here's what's coming up tonight.


As the RSPCA steps in to rescue animals stranded in the floods, we


will be meeting some of the people fighting to save their homes.


There's nobody much left down here now.


We are on the Isle of Wight to find out more about a zoo once called the


worst in Britain. Oh, my goodness me. And opening the door on a few


surprises hidden in the South's village halls. I'm John Cuthill and


this is Inside Out for the South of England.


First tonight, the rain keeps coming and the floodwaters keep rising. For


Hambledon, this has become a way of life. They've had it for more than


40 days. Other parts of the South are just coming to terms with it.


Tonight, we are visiting the region badly affected by flooding. And


finding out how people are coping. And this is what we're having to


cope with. Homes across the South of England flooded on a scale rarely


seen before. In Berkshire and Surrey, some people have said the


RSPCA's special water rescue unit was the first emergency service on


the scene. Before Fire and Rescue, and certainly before the military.


Here to save animals, but like all emergency services here, helping


anyone who needs it. This is my garden. Trina has her four cats and


two rabbits to look after so she's staying put. It is not very tidy.


This is actually gone down from yesterday. The whole of the floor is


flooded but it is coming up through the floor. It is only going to come


back. I've felt isolated. I can't get to work. So I can't get paid. I


feel sorry for the cat out there but he won't come in. He's not mine,


he's been left. RSPCA inspector Rosie Russon is finding calls to


help stranded animals are leading her to people who have chosen not to


evacuate and now need a hand. People just are nowhere to turn for help.


It's OK, it is weighed a ball but it isn't safe. It is lifting manhole


covers. `` you can wade through it but it isn't safe. It is not safe


and it is not recommended to walk through it. I've got no problems to


help the lady. There is nobody much left down there now. I wanted to see


people. What number are you at it? Just around the corner families have


had no choice but to leave their homes. The water came in through the


front door. There was no sandbags, no electricity, nothing. The plugs


weren't working, the lights were going on and off. We couldn't eat.


We made a good choice by leaving. There is a storm coming, apparently.


The tree branches falling off. It's apparently waist level now but we


have to get back to the house and see the condition of it. With so


many houses empty, thieves are already targeting the area. A couple


of houses got down apparently. And it is going on elsewhere. What do


you do? To bowl someone's house in a situation like this isn't fair. It


is so unfair. That's why we have to leave our house, if things get


stolen, it is going to worry everybody more. And it's not just


valuables being stolen, it's the stuff desperately needed to protect


people's homes. They had a sandbag delivery. At about 7am. And the


vehicle was hijacked en route. 20 minutes from the village. All the


sandbags got stolen. And there still aren't enough sandbags to go round,


leaving houses without protection. They said to me two weeks ago when


the water fits your door, we will send you some sandbags. Probably


three. That was two weeks ago. I rang them three times on the day,


they said they would send sandbags. They sent them to the top of the


road and everybody loaded them up and disappeared with them. In


Winchester, it's the overloaded River Itchen that's causing


problems. And in an attempt to stop the flooding spreading, the


Environment Agency has taken drastic action, making a dam upstream near


the village of Easton. Meaning the fields of Duncan Gray's farm are to


be sacrificed. We expect when we wake up tomorrow morning to see this


whole area as far as you can see, maybe two or three feet deep in


water. It depends on the flow and with the rain coming down now,


things are going to get worse before they get better. And you've had to


move livestock, get everything out of this area before the water


comes? Yes, we were told this was going to happen yesterday. And we


moved all our sheep and pigs to higher ground, and horses off the


side. There are no animals hit at all, they are all safely on higher


ground. Do you get any say in the matter or did you just get told it's


happening? We got told, but it makes sense. If you're going to flood


fields, it is better than having flooded houses. This is the


Environment Agency doing the right thing. These are fields that were a


flood plain at one time, so it is as well they go back to their older


usage, underwater. But it'll go away. Across the South, water levels


have been rising. 21 inches still to go. I am a bit wet. I don't care how


far it is, as long as it is the right way. I'm not going anywhere! I


wrap my take round my knee. I put the shoe in.


Our intrepid RSPCA team has now waded a mile along the A320 and is


organising rescue swapsies with Surrey Fire service in order to


reach seven stranded cats. They are going to drive our team in the


vehicle to the house we want to go to, get our cats, bring us back to


our boat that will be waiting for us to use. We are trading re`sources


but it makes perfect sense. The specialist RSPCA rescue team has


been sent to Berkshire and Surrey because for now that's where they


think the need is greatest. Lots of flooded homes means lots of pets in


need of help and often there's nowhere for them to go. Animal


sanctuaries are full to the brim. It's stressful. The Rangers tread.


We thought we were OK. `` view rain is dreadful. It is the rain at the


back. We will put them in the fire engine at the minute. Then we will


work out where to take them. As well as these cats, in the past week,


around the village of Wraysbury, the RSPCA team has rescued nearly 500


animals, including 30 koi carp and a 45`year`old tortoise called Sidney.


He's fine, he's lovely. We don't want him to wake up. The south coast


has taken another battering over the weekend, creating these dramatic


scenes at Milford on C`130 people were rescued after huge pebbles from


the beach smashed through restaurant windows and sea water came in. On


the Isle of Wight, homes were evacuated from the undercooked


because of landslips, also a problem on the Dorset coast. As the clear up


continues, the rain may have eased but the problems have not gone away.


Next, it was once described as the worst zoo in England. I've been to


the Isle of Wight to see how that has changed.


Good boy. I'm told that when I was really little, I was put into a


playpen with tiger cubs. I don't actually recall that but I believe


it to be true. I grew up with bears and tigers, lions and leopards


living in the house. Trying to get downstairs in the morning, with my


slippers on... With a leopard guarding the stairway, and they'd


always go for your ankles first thing in the morning. My friends


told me it wasn't that normal but to me it was totally the way we lived.


Six years ago, Charlotte Corney took on running the family zoo. And her


life has been a roller`coaster ever since. I think the word struggle


hits the nail on the head. It is a struggle, a constant challenge, and


it is one that we have to meet head on because we can't fail.


Charlie! Health check time. How are you?


Charlie is coming up to 15 years old, he will be 15 this month. He is


a friendly lion. He likes to meet people as well. But not all of the


cats are feeling as sociable. One of Charlotte's tigers has a problem


with a tooth and the dentist has been called in. We are going to be


knocking out one of our female tigress is, she's 14, sushi is not a


spring chicken. But she's had a fractured tooth for someone I'll and


she's been on the waiting list to see the dentist. So we hope to have


her not exactly on the dentist's chair but on the table within the


next hour also. She needs lots of attention this morning. Lots of


attention. She is my baby. We don't look the same, but she's been with


me since she was three months old. I am her mother for all intents and


purposes and I have a very deep bond with her. They lived with me for six


months. In a caravan at the time. So all of their lives, I've been in


their lives, so very precious animal to me personally.


Beer good Tiger. I know, come on. Sedating a tiger can prove tricky.


The vet needs to carefully give Ayshea just the right amount of


anaesthetic. Good girl. Even though it may look like the drugs are


working, the team need to be careful they're not caught out by a bit of


acting. It can be deceptive, sometimes. They look like they are


under, but we had the tail test. We always used to think it was the ears


that were the most sensitive so used to test their ears and if they were


OK, we would think, all right, get going. But we did it once and found


out that, actually, that ears weren't the final thing, it was the


tail. So now we use the tail test, we pinch the tail.


Once the team's happy Ayshea's asleep, she needs to get to the


operating room as quickly as possible. It definitely worries me.


It is a stressful night's sleep. Just the process of sedating and


anaesthetising a tiger just with us, they're always going to be some


risks. `` there are always going to be some risks so we always take the


cautions. `` we will always take precautions. We would rather they


were up and about. I'd be much happier if she had her tooth fixed.


And up and about. Big cats have proved a big draw for the Isle of


Wight for decades, ever since the zoo first opened nearly 60 years


ago. At the time, Sandown was a bustling resort where you would have


been hard pushed to find a room in a B anywhere on the island. So, at


the time, it was the perfect place for a businessman called Ronald


Bateman to set up shop. You haven't been back for a while. Not since the


70s. Has it changed? Incredibly. I was on the beach down there.


Margaret Honeybourne was here on the day the zoo opened. What can you


remember of the actual day? Lots of people. Really excited to see the


stars who came and opened it, George can stay out who used to do lots of


television programmes. It was very good. You are clutching your


autograph book. I got his autograph! There we are. That is him. Barbara


Kelly and Bernard Braden. He has his own programme. She used to appear on


a programme as well. That was at the time. At the time, this area was


very much bustling. Very busy. There were lots of visitors and not many


places to visit. So, you know, this would have been a great attraction.


Raj was a household pet. Now on the Isle of Wight, he keeps one


civilised habit he picked up by taking a daily bath. For a while,


the zoo thrived. Ronald Bateman, the owner, even appeared on television


in a publicity stunt. But, by 1970, a combination of low visiting


figures and a surge in the price of animal feed meant the zoo was in


trouble. And in September of that year, Ronald found himself at the


centre of unwanted media attention. The Sunday Times was running a story


on the worst zoos in Britain and Sandown was on top of the list. The


first I knew about it was a phone call from London that told me that


two chaps had been down, they had a list of allegations, and would I be


prepared to give an answer. I wasn't over the phone. And they wanted to


write to me. A few days later, I received a list of these


allegations. Then a third phone call, asking me to reply. I said I


would not because I thought this was just a media story which I didn't


like the look of. The headlines were damming. The paper dubbed it one of


the worst zoos in Great Britain. Ronald decided to sell up. But the


failing zoo was to be given one final chance. From an unlikely


source. Charlotte's dad. He had no zoological background, no formal


training. But he had an insane passion for wildlife that he


couldn't suppress. We saw the suit up for sale in the newspaper. And


the headline was slums it with Britain. It was sink or swim for the


zoo. `` the headline was slums sue of Britain. He put a bid in. He


bought it. I was tiny at the time, my mother was pulling her hair out


but supportive. I think his vision was that he would run his


construction firm and commute and this would be a hobby. Of course,


that was never going to work. It soon took over his life. Charlotte's


dad soon became well known across the Island. Partly down to the fact


that he exercised the tigers on the beach. What was it like? I can't


imagine someone wandering along the beach with tigers! It was really


exciting and it was really exciting for us although we did keep well


away. Terrifying! Cos you always think a tiger's going to kill you.


Meanwhile, the operation is over for Ayshea and she needs to be back in


her enclosure. We do it quickly because she will have very little


sedative left in her system and she will be off the anaesthetic. So we


need to get back her down quickly in the vehicle, get in, get in behind


her legs, get the tube out and then give her the reversal.


Hello! Ayshea`pops! She's woken up quite slowly. So she's just trying


to come to terms with her experience, I think.


It's OK. Good girl. I know! She still wants to come and be friendly,


even when she's recuperating. I know! Oh, sweetie. They are not


living museum pieces. These are our friends and family and we love them


in a way that maybe is a little bit hard for people to understand. I


don't know. People have dogs, cats and pets. It's a similar


relationship but in a way, it goes deeper than that because obviously


there are constraints on you know, for people in terms of how they are


working with the animals here. Even myself included, now, because I


don't go in with the big cats. So the way you communicate and the


relationship that you develop with them has to be more sophisticated,


in a sense. And the way that you are looking after them from a medical


point of view, you know, we can't always be feeling them and we have


to be really, really in tune with them. So there is a very deep bond


there. Charlotte says she doesn't like seeing animals in cages but


believes that to engage people in conservation, zoos have an important


part to play. Seeing animals on the TV and so forth, it's interesting


but you are not going to have an emotional reaction in the way that


you do when you are close to them, you hear them, you smell them. Maybe


even get to touch them. And that's when this kind of electrical


reaction occurs, I think. And people go home and something has changed in


their brains and in their hearts. That is priceless.


And don't forget, you can find us on Twitter...


Now, here in Hambledon they've turned their village hall into an


emergency control centre and halls right across the south are


much`loved and cherished buildings. And if you look close enough, some


have a remarkable story to tell. Moreton in Dorset. It's the Annual


Harvest Social. An evening of food and drink, old friends and memories


of the hall. This is one of my husband's relatives. So what event


is this? This is some pantomime they did. I was rector here for 11 years.


This was my farewell and they gave me a bike. They decided the bike I


used to ride around all the villages was a bit ancient and decrepit. I've


still got it and I still use it! We used to have live music. A band


would come over and a lot of the soldiers used to come here as well.


There has been a lot of dancing in this hall over the years? Very much


so, yes. Old time dancing, square dancing. A lot of fun! But this year


things are different. This could be the final get together because


Moreton's historic hall is crumbling. This may be one of the


last village gatherings in this hall. I know it sounds dramatic but


tonight, we thought forget the fund`raising, let's just have a


social evening. We are not selling anything... Oh, apart from the


raffle tickets! After 100 years, Moreton's beloved wooden village


hall is about to finally give up. The surveyors have told us that if


we get a lot of snow, the weight of it would collapse. We thought we had


enough money put away to build a new roof but then when we looked at the


building and the roof, they said the walls are rotten as well so you


would have to replace the walls because they will not stand the


weight of a new roof. Oh, look! Oh, it's... There is movement there. I


don't know how many years ago, probably 40 years ago, they put in a


brace inside to hold the walls in. Together? Yeah. Those have rotted


away so the brace is not doing anything. So we're not sure why it's


standing, quite honestly. It shouldn't be. She really is on her


last legs, isn't she? I am afraid so. Really is on her last legs. And


it's no surprise. Moreton's historic Village Hall originally began life a


few miles down the road at Bovington Army Camp. It's formed out of two of


the many huts which housed troops as they prepared to fight in World War


I. After the war, surplus to requirements, it was given to the


village. My dad worked on the farm all his life and as a youngster, he


was involved in going to Bovington and bringing this hall back to here.


He and most of the farmers in the village provided transport to bring


this hall back, in sections, to here. And that would be in, well,


1920. So a horse and cart job? Horse and cart job. Definitely a horse and


cart job! There was no lorries or vehicles of that nature at that


time! Despite its history, the only option left


is to try and find the money to replace the entire hall. What would


happen, do you think, to Moreton if it lost its village hall? We would


all jump in our cars and go off in opposite directions and we wouldn't


know each other. That's what this has done. We've got to know our


neighbours. We get together. You know, we're not just relying on the


car to shoot off to toddler group in one village and... You know, it's


about knowing each other and meeting each other. I think that's what it


does for us. Moreton's not the only village struggling to hang on to its


historic hall. In Farringdon in Hampshire, their hall is part of


Massey's Folley. It took the eccentric Reverand


Thomas Massey 40 years to build. Rocketing maintenance costs have


left it with an uncertain future. But elsewhere in the South, it's a


different story altogether. The tiny village of Rotherwick has an


absolute gem. Its impressive village hall was


donated by a wealthy American in the 1930s, in memory of his son. Henry


De Forest created this Arts and Crafts masterpiece, which includes a


fully sprung dance floor... Wow, that's fantastic! ..handbuilt by a


team of Italian craftsmen. No expense spared. The wow factor,


isn't it? You saw it yourself. You come through that door and you see


this and you're not expecting it. Especially in a village the size


because, I mean, even today, it's more than enough for the size of the


village. And then there are the halls which keep their secrets


hidden. From the outside, Woodgreen looks like your typical 1930s


village hall. But it's only when you go inside that you realise why it's


quite so special. Every inch of the village hall is


covered by an 80`year`old mural painted by two students from the


Royal College of Art ` Robert Baker and Edward Payne. Oh, my goodness.


Look at this! Hello. Hello. This is Woodgreen Village Hall. It certainly


is. Look at this! The artists created a snapshot of a


year in the life of the village. They were volunteered to spend seven


months living in the village with a grant of ?100 each to pay for their


lodgings and everything they did. And then they worked out a scheme to


decorate every wall in the hall. They are everybody that was living


in the village in that couple of years. And you can recognise


everybody here? Oh, yes. And some of them are still alive. Gosh! Put down


your broom, I want a tour. This is too good to miss! The 360 degree


mural tells the story of the seasons and depicts everyday life. We start


in the spring. Some of the trees have their leaves, others haven't


yet got them. And the two chaps sitting there and planning their


night's occupation. OK, they don't look entirely innocent. I have to


say. No. No, they're not. Poaching? Poaching, yeah. And that view,


though, is that a view that you can still see today? You can still see


it today. Castle Hill. Yes, it is the view from Castle Hill with the


river winding its way across the water meadows. Beautiful.


Remarkably, the artists' original sketches and plans survive. Yes,


there is the fruit picker from the other wall. With all the details and


the notes. Notes for colouring and so on. That is the design of the


stage, by the looks of it. The measurements and door heights?


That's right. Oh, one of the artists. And looking down on the


village hall is a permanent reminder of the men behind Woodgreen's Grade


II listed masterpiece. It's so wonderful to have this picture of


the village as it was in the early 1930s. None of them are my


favourites. They are all my favourites. And I feel privileged to


look after them. This proves, hopefully, that you


should never just think of village halls as well, village halls. They


are fantastic slices of our heritage, which we all too often


take for granted. Back in Moreton, it's the end of the night and the


end of an era. As one village hall closes its doors, the locals already


have plans for a brand new community centre nearby. The dawn of a new


chapter and I am sure it is going to be as colourful and as fantastic as


the last 100 years. I am certain of that because it is these people,


young and old, who will make it. And buildings are great. As an


architect, I love buildings. But it's people that really matter and


these people will follow the show across the road.


And great news, Moreton successfully won a big lottery grant and building


work on their new hall starts later this year. Right, that's all we've


got time for this week. I'll see you next time. Next week on inside out,


we meet two women from Worthing determined to change their lives for


the better. I've got a sweet tooth, I like to eat... I'd rather actually


eat a chocolate cake than sit down and eat a chicken dinner.


And find out how Boscombe came to be called the drugs capital of the


South. Hello, I'm Sam Naz with your 90


second update. An independent Scotland can keep the


pound. That's the message from First Minister Alex Salmond who insists


it's better for UK business. He accused Westminster parties of


bullying for ruling out a shared currency. Full story at Ten.


Ten million pounds is being promised by the PM to help small business hit


by recent storms. Severe flood warnings on the Thames have been


downgraded, but experts say water levels could rise again.


A co-pilot from Ethiopian Airlines has hijacked his own plane. He took


control when the other pilot went to the toilet. He asked for asylum


after landing in Switzerland. He's set to become Italy's


youngest-ever prime minister. 39-year-old Matteo Renzi is




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