Alastair McKee visits the Occupy Bristol protest camp to determine how the campaigners are faring. And Paul Potts reveals the story behind an Ivor Novello wartime recruitment song.
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Hello. Tonight, we are at the occupied Bristol protest camp right
next to the city's Anglican cathedral. The protesters are into
their fourth week of living in tents now. So, how long are they
planning to stay? What do they hope to achieve?
are not here to pack up and go home. We are here for the long haul and
until we effect a change. Also, we meet the new homeowners near
Swindon who say they're living in what amounts to a ghost town.
Sometimes you feel a bit deserted, as though you're out in a field
somewhere. I would like there to be a shop here now and a doctors.
Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts uncovers the moving story
behind a wartime recruitment song. # And when the seas are free again-
# I'm Alastair McKey and this is Inside Out West.
It started in New York. Now there are protests camps springing up
across the world. Here in Bristol, they've been here since about mid-
October. Protesters insist they won't be moving on any time soon.
So what is it all about? And what can they really hope to achieve?
It's breakfast time on College Green. I'm hoping I might be
offered a cup of tea. But I'm in for a real treat. Smells very good.
Gorgeous. I'll be honest. It's not bad. What is it? Eggs, tomatoes,
garlic, chives. Does it have a # I'm not giving in
# Today... # I've come here to see myself what the occupy movement
looks like up close. I want to find out why they're here, what they
hope to achieve and how long they plan to stay.
But first, back to that breakfast. How do you decide who does the
cooking and the cleaning? We have a cooking rota up over there. I'm on
with one of the young ones on site at the moment exme and her's doing
dinner tonight. What would you be doing if you weren't here? Probably
chilling out at home watching TV. I would be now because one of my
programmes are probably on about now. Are you recording them? Not at
the moment. You weren't expecting to be here for quite so long?
honest, no, it was more a case of find out what's going on and just
ended up being here ever since. I'm just basically staying.
It's been nearly two months since the occupy movement started in New
York. Their message, we are 99%, refers to the proportion of people
who aren't wealthy. The first protest in this country outside St
Paul's Cathedral ignited a row within the Church of England.
Bristol pitched its first tent on College Green on the 15th October
and has been growing ever since. After breakfast, the mammoth job of
washing up. Not easy when your work top is a snooker table and the
nearest tap is 100 metres away. Why are you here, in your mind?
There are signs up around the camp, but if there's an element of
protest to it, what are you protesting against and what's the
message that you are trying to tell? The thing is, it's not even
about having to spread a message, it's unlocking people's heads, they
know the message, they know it's a fundamental message. The Oxford
figure of 13 billion to feed the entire world for a year was what
was spent on military spending in eight days. There's something
fundamentally backward about this system. Sitting around the camp
fire, I meet the camp's youngest member, nine-year-old Tala. What
would be your advice to your friends? What will you tell them
when you go back to school on Tuesday about Occupy Bristol?
should go there. Come along too? Yes. If you had a chance to bring
your class along, for a class visit, would you go for that? Yes.
would Tala's class mates really understand what this is all about?
I'm still struggling. One of the criticisms that I've heard is that
the message that you have doesn't have a clarity to it. It's a jumble
of lots of different messages and that as a means to protest, it's
not the best starting point? argue it's not a protest, it's a
democracy installation. Or a social experiment. OK, but people see this
occupation and it's a very visual thing and they look for a message
behind it. They look for something that you are communicating? People
are used to a protest being about like Trident, if you ban it we'll
be happy but that's not what this is, but it doesn't mean it's not
something interesting and real and useful. The situation about banking,
corporate companies, government, people are fed up.
While I'm on site, preparations are being made for an occupy Bristol
open day, a small marquee is being erected to host a public debate and
two truck loads of pal tlets have arrived in an effort to combat the
growing mud problem -- pallets. While all that's happening, I leave
the camp and talk to some of those walking past it.
They have made their point and they've don it quietly, but I think
it's time they moved on and let the Bristolians enjoy what belongs to
them. I've already seen the people and can understand why they're
fighting against capitalism because what really they should be doing is
getting right at the top, you know,, right at the top of the world, put
things in place here and help others be more civilised from
bottom. I've no idea what they are trying to achieve. I don't know
what their objectives are apart from making a mess and ruining a
public space. Would you consider wandering in there and sitting down
by the fire? No, I don't think so. That in a way gives support to the
occupation and I wouldn't want to do that. I just don't have time to
go to hear their talks and things. I would quite like to have time to
go and sits in a field but I don't. At the heart of this protest is the
very symbolic action of occupying land that isn't theirs. What do you
think about the movement, officer, tueng it's just? At the end of the
day, you're in the service industry and you are being affected, won't
you -- do you think It's not really my place to have an opinion is it.
It is because you are a person. while in uniform. Does it trouble
you? I can speak for myself on that, it doesn't trouble me. It doesn't
trouble me in the slightest, you know. We have issues that we need
to deal with and we need to get those issues out to the public as
quickly and as best as we can. If that means occupying, it means
occupying. As things stand, the church has politely asked the
protesters to leave, but is not planning any action to enforce this.
I'm interested to know what the tipping point would be. I'm clear
in my own mind that peaceful protest is very important. I'm
clear that there would be certain events that would trigger a
different response. It's been a peaceful protest, I'm sure it will
stay that way. If it ceases to be that, we'd have to take a different
view. Where would it lead? How far would you go? What action would you
be prepared to take? Hard to answer that because it's a rather
hypothetical case. We are not talking about eviction at the
moment. If they damaged what is a stunningly beautiful and important
building, if they threatened the cathedral staff, if they were at
risk themselves or were putting the public at risk in Bristol, then we
would have to think differently. They have said they don't want you
to stay, they have said they want you to leave. They have, yes.
Through the council they've asked us to leave. We've politely
declined that offer, you know. Like I said, we are not here to pack up
and go home, we are here for the long haul, until we effect a change.
If they do come in heavy handed and move us on, we'll just move
somewhere else, simple as that. the afternoon draws on, new faces
appear on site, perhaps attracted by the warm fire and hot stew.
are going to start the General Assembly over there under the arch
the other side of the fountains right now basically. To round up
the day's events, a small meeting takes place under the arches of the
council building next door. Whatever you think about the rights
or wrongs of this protest, it's clearly provoking a debate about
social inequality and injustice. What's less clear is when the
occupation will end. If you've got views on the protest camp, why not
join the conversation on Twitter. Later in the programme: The men who
never came home. Paul Potts remembers Bristol's own.
Next, the homeowners who say they're living in what amounts to a
ghost town. When developers published their glossy brochure, it
promised to be a brand-new community with lots of facilities.
But it didn't quite turn out that way. This is WitchEllestow on the
edge of Swindon. By now, it was supposed to be a thriving new
community. -- Wichel Stow. Things haven't gone to plan. There are
roads, signs and street furniture, but none of it seems to go anywhere.
It feels very strange here. It kind of seems like it's all just been
abandoned. Today, less than a tenth of the 4,500 homes planned for this
massive site have been built. generally quite quiet. Sometimes
you feel a bit deserted, it's probably the only way you can say,
you feel as though you are out in a field somewhere really. Sarah watts
lives here with her children in east Witchell, the only part of the
development which has houses. Hello, I'm Alastair. Come in.
Thank you. So, two-and-a-half years after you've moved here, how normal
is life here? It's normal as in it's a normal home, it's a lovely
home to live in, probably if I could pick the home up and put it
somewhere where there was more to do, you just feel, you know, it's
normal within the house, but when you go out, there isn't anything
for them to do because there's no play areas, no park, nothing where
they can just burn energy. story of Sarah's home began back in
2005 when planning permission was granted. The vision included
schools, shops, bars and restaurants, all up and running by
2015. It was all going so well, then Swindon, along with the rest
of the West felt the bite of the recession. If people struggle to
get mortgages, they are struggling to buy houses. How do you get
things moving? We need to notice things have changed and the
developers, the landowners, the borough council, it's all about
people coming together and saying, if we can't do what we originally
planned and if we can't extend things the way we wanted to, what
can we do and working together is the way that people find solutions.
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 144 seconds
Today, only 500 homes are complete Who is to blame for stagnation? To
residents the water appears muddied. Who do you understand should be
finding solutions? I wish I knew. It would be nice if the information
was given to us in the first place. I am worried that the nice new town
is going to be ruined before it is done. The original partners were
Swindon council and the housebuilder Taylor Wimpey. In 2008
the recession bit and the partnership faltered. Taylor Wimpey
had to pay compensation to pull out of the deal. It agreed to continue
building. Swindon council faced a decision. What should it do with
the rest of the town and the pay- off. It is using the cash to pay
interest on a loan for roads and drainage. It argues that this will
make middle and West which will more attractive to buyers. None of
this eases the concerns of the families now. You get a sense that
some of them feel a bit stranded and forgotten. It is a question for
the developers and the landowners. The council is neither of those. I
cannot speak on their behalf. It is not the developers fault. You have
to realise that because of the state of the economy and the
downturn in the housing market, not as many houses are being sold. It
is up to the developers and the landowners to provide the
facilities, not the local authority. As I pressed the council over the
role in helping residents, he asked for the interview to be halted by a
be carried on filming. Do you know what councils do? I am not a
councillor and I do not run councils. Why are you asking dumb
ask questions? Queue. You are starting to offend me. You are
banging on about something you know nothing about and which has nothing
to do with the council. We did not stuff up the economy. Get it right.
What I am doing is repeating some of the concerns that some of the
people we have spoken to have about the estate there they moved into.
Have you put that to Taylor Wimpey? What is their response? It is not
the council's job to provide shops and doctors' surgeries. Get that
into your head. The counsellor later risk -- apologised to his
reaction. Taylor Wimpey later Development is now on hold. There
are no dates for any building work. A supermarket has apparently shown
interest. For residents, the progress cannot come soon enough.
You could be in for a long wait. seems that way. The children will
probably have left home by the time it is finished. Council leaders are
convinced that the town will be a success. Even this road will
eventually lead somewhere, even if that somewhere takes another
If there is something you would like us to investigate then send us
Do you remember the moment when Paul pops up 1 at the TV show,
His performance turned him into an international superstar. Tonight he
is back in his home city of Bristol to tell us the amazing story of a
recently discovered piece of music. I am on my way to have a look at a
remarkable discovery. Hidden away in the archives of the Bristol
Record Office, they found a piece of music were there really are
moving story behind it. I am meeting an author and social
historian who stumbled across the music. It is a piece of sheet music
written in 1914. It was written for fund raising and for recruiting a
song for the new Bristol Battalion. The music was by Ivor Novello and
Up to Fred Weatherly, the prolific son -- songwriter from Porter 8th -
- Portishead. But here were Bristol's own? I want to find out
more. Of course I want to know what How many were there in Bristol's
own? How many people did it managed to recruit? It was formed in early
September 1914, just a month after the war broke out. There were
around 1,300 and the Italian. -- in the battalion. I am almost too
scared to ask this question because I am aware that so many lives were
lost in the First World War, but how many in the end returned?
Regrettably very few. By the end of the war, Bristol's own had lost 800
of its original members. What I find really poignant is that these
men have stepped forward of their own free will. I decide to visit
the spot near by. The recruits of Bristol's own were put through
their paces here. Walking here along the banks of the River Avon,
it is hard to imagine how nearly 100 years ago, more than 1000 young
volunteers came here to Ashton Meadows in order to train before
being sent to France to surf king and country. Brothers, cousins,
friends and workmates -- surf king and country. They had all come here
to form a special friend battalion. They spent eight months preparing
for battle and the Western Front. They were physical drills, musket
practice, trench digging. Then they moved up from a Temple Meads
station, never to return again. The unit was disbanded just two weeks
before the end of the war. I find it really sad that Bristol's own
had no proper will come home and that their bravery and sacrifice
appeared to have largely gone unsung. The song which spurred them
into action has been surprisingly overlooked, especially considering
it is by Ivor Novello. We team up on our next quest to find out about
what could have been the last big public performance of the song. It
was just after the war at a special ceremony held at Colston Hall to
recognise Bristols its soldiers who had been recognised for gallantry.
The performance starts at 2:30pm. You are requested to take your feet
at 2:15pm. I had the privilege of performing here if you times, but
it must have been quite an event all those years ago. This would
have been absolutely packed. It would have been full of the great
and good of Bristol. And there were all of the flags of the Allies. As
far as we know, it was the last time Bravo Bristol was ever son to
an audience of this size. To mark the end of the war, Fred Weatherly
rewrote the words of the last chorus to one-all the Bristol men
who had fought for their country. - - to honour all. Colston Hall could
well have been when the revised Bravo Bristol was finely performed.
Amazingly, it appears there are no recordings of Bardo -- Bravo
Bristol, but we were about to put that right. In the area wearer was
born, 50 members of St George sinners are ready to revise the
song -- singers. We will remember Ladies and gentlemen, it is a real
pleasure to welcome to Mike Paul Potts, who has been sat listening
to a rehearsal and he has very kindly said he will sing this song
with us. Paul Potts. Thank you very much indeed. Can we make a way
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 144 seconds
PAUL SINGS. It is great that Bravo Bristol have been performed again.
It is a fitting tribute to those brave men, and I can't help feeling
a little emotional about it. I hope it goes some way to short --
towards showing that the sacrifices of the boys of Bristol's own have
That is where we end tonight's programme. If you'd like to see the
Alastair McKee visits the 'Occupy Bristol' protest camp to test the resolve of the campaigners as they begin their fourth week of living in tents.
Plus an investigation into the lack of community facilities at a new housing estate on the edge of Swindon. Residents complain they're living in what amounts to a ghost town.
And 'Britain's Got Talent' winner Paul Potts tells the moving story behind a rediscovered wartime recruitment song. Ivor Novello's 'Bravo Bristol' encouraged men to come forward to fight in the First World War. Most of them never came home.