30/01/2012 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


30/01/2012

Sarah Sturdey goes in search of the people producing illegal alcohol and learns of the oftentimes dire consequences for those who consume it.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello, welcome to Inside Out from the Humber Bridge.

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This week, we investigate the potentially lethal trade in illegal

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alcohol. Five men died in an explosion while producing fake

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vodka, but what are the dangers for those drinking this illegal booze?

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My vision goes blurred, I have black blotches. Also tonight, the

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birth of an icon. We celebrate the start of work on the Humber Bridge

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40 years ago. Everybody would be looking a power that. A beautiful

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day. The wind was howling through. And, a good listener. The man who

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has trekked to the east -- the North Pole and South Pole to record

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An explosion which killed five men at an industrial unit in

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Lincolnshire put bootleg booze firmly on the map. The men died

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where fake vodka was being produced. So, what potentially lethal

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concoction could you be drinking? Sarah Sturdey investigates.

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Five men have been killed in Boston... How does a lot today?

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Police take prevents us from going around the corner...

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The explosion revealed the secret world of bootleg booze. Inside the

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charred unit, fake vodka was manufactured. It looked just like

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this, the genuine article. It opened to public's eyes to this

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dangerous Gamp. It is often really hard to tell the difference between

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a fake like this, seized at a Leicestershire bit like factory,

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and this, the real thing. Drinking the wrong one could prove fatal.

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The fake brands disguise a lethal blend of chemicals. They do not

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care for anybody, they only care about lining their pockets.

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criminal gangs cost the taxpayer �1 billion a year by failing to pay

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alcohol duty. Walker is the easiest spirit to copy, you can make it on

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a Monday and sell it on a Tuesday - - vodka. But it's the drinkers who

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pay the highest price, sometimes with their eyesight. I feel lucky

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to be alive, I did not think of would be able to get out of bed

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ever again. Hidden in a remote corner of Leicestershire, one

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organised gang of bootleggers went undetected until undercover customs

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officers finally tracked them down to a rented unit. They were making

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fake vodka at a place already known as Moscow Farm. It was a wonderful

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feeling to know we had cracked it. He is wearing a beige top and blue

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jeans, messing around with the pilots. They are not paying any

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attention to us. We are just going nice and steady, and when we have

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completed, we will be on our way back. During the raid, 70 customs

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officers found a makeshift factory producing illegal vodka on a

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massive scale. The unit had the capacity to produce a bottle every

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five seconds. There was enough methylated spirit to produce

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100,000 bottles of fake vodka. had a stainless-steel tank which

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held the finished product, before dropping it on to the bottling line,

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and then they have a commercial capping machine, to put the caps on

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the bottles. Then it passed down the conveyor belt to a labelling

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machine, which starred the labels on. I have visited thousands of

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bottling plants, and I have never seen anything like this. It is

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horrendous. It could have been a disaster in the making. Ed Binsted

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is a spirits industry safety expert. His evidence in the trial of the

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convicted bootleggers revealed how a simple spark could ignite alcohol

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vapours, triggering a major explosion. This was a time bomb.

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Look at what happened at Boston, and these places popping up all

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over the place. If anybody had been walking along this footpath, with a

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horse or anything, they would have been involved. I come past a few

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times a week, and when we found out, it was unbelievable. You cannot

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understand how that could go on in a place like this. It is quite

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frightening and shocking. The gang of six has been sentenced to a

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total of more than 20 years in jail. The mastermind, who was never seen

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at Moscow Farm, was Kevin Eddishaw. His right-hand man was John

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Humphries. Counterfeit alcohol is now being seized across the country

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daily. The chemist was this man, from Poland. The counterfeiters

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have done a very good job of forging the bottles and the labels.

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The bottles were sourced from the buyer, and the labels were sourced

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from Poland. The product look like the real thing. The finished

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product was stored near East Bridgford, 5000 litres was seized

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in Blackpool. It was found on sale in small independent off-licences

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across the country. John Humphrys left the client in the car-park

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while he went away to get the vodka from a store nearby. Counterfeit

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alcohol is now being seized across the country daily. It's a top

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priority for Trading Standards. have seized these from all parts of

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the county. These are the products you want to keep out of harm's way,

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cleaning fluids, paint strippers, methylated spirits, not something

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you would want to be drinking. We are aware that somebody in Scotland

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died from drinking counterfeit alcohol. The person running this

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off-licence has just been convicted of having four different fake

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brands. Mostly containing the chemical used for industrial

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cleaning. One contained Paul reform. -- chloroform. Students are on the

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lookout for cheap vodka. Lauren Platts from Derbyshire bought what

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she now knows to be a bogus brand for �5.99. The man in the off-

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licence near her Sheffield digs joked it would blind her. Two

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months on, he wasn't far wrong. was throwing up for two days. There

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could not get out of bed. -- I could not. On the second day, I

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thought, am I ever going to feel better? Could not see very well, my

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vision goes blurred, I have black blotches, I lose my peripheral

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vision quite a lot. Even cross the road, it can be difficult. It is

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really scary. When you cannot see anything, if you are driving, even

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walking down the street, trying to cross the road. Casualty

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departments are starting to see more patients who think they've

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drunk vodka, but it's really industrial alcohol. They are

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drinking the same amount of alcohol as normal, but they are getting

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more intense symptoms, they think they might have had their drink

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spiked. Their symptoms are more severe abdominal pain, staggering,

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feeling tortious, intense vomiting, and visual problems, which you do

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not see what ordinary alcohol. The methanol attacks the optic nerve,

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de-nerved that runs from behind the eye, and if that gets Swarland, it

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can cause permanent blindness. at Great Dalby, near Moscow Farm,

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the pub landlady is shocked at the ticking time bomb which was on

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their doorstep. But can she tell the difference between a fake from

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the factory and the real bottle? everything is exactly the same.

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you amazed? I am shocked! There's one simple error - the forgers got

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the bottle's units wrong. Much of the Moscow Farm fake could still be

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out there, along with thousands of other dangerous bogus brands. The

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vodka distillers are well aware of the threat the bootleggers pose.

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The experience industry has to stay ahead of the bootleggers, not just

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to protect their brand, but to protect the public. But it's

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customs officers who face the challenge of seeking out these

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highly-organised criminals. It is crucial that we find these places

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and we dismantle them, so they cannot be used ever again. The UK's

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consumption of real vodka has risen considerably over the past ten

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years. As drinkers seek out cheap booze, the bootleggers are leaving

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a lethal legacy. It is shocking, really, that somebody is sullied

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that two people. They do not care. If it is still happening now, the

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problems with my fishing, I assume it is here for good, and this is

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all from just one might -- problems with my vision.

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Coming up, the sound of nature. The man who travels to the ends of the

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earth in search of a most As the bridge enters its middle-age,

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our reporter has been taking a look. It was the moment many people

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thought they'd never see and plenty hoped they wouldn't. Heavy

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machinery begins to assemble. newly discovered images of work on

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both banks of the Humber capture a unique moment in our history - the

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birth and growing pains of one of the most expensive and

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controversial civic projects in Modern Britain. The building of the

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Humber Bridge. As one of the world's longest suspension bridges,

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the Humber Bridge has become one of the region's most photogenic

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tourist attractions. But 40 years ago, the landscape both physical

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and cultural was completely different. One man determined to

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capture this sea change in relations between North and South

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bank was amateur filmmaker William Prestell. He spent every spare hour

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over a decade painstakingly recording each stage of its

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construction. Brady thing he cut the passion for it? He was a man

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they liked a challenge. -- Where do you think he got the passion.

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don't see many bridges built on your doorstep. He used to get in

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contact up with the contractors, especially the project manager, and

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he used to ask them to film him when certain things were going on.

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Then he would go down there at 8pm with his sandwiches and drinks and

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he would stay all day. He just wanted to get the film that he

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wanted. That's what he used to do. On 21st February 1977, if five

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millimetre diameter of steel rope was laid between the two banks. The

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north and south banks of the River Humber were finally linked.

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admire him for going down there. The only means of transport and

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equipment is by this cable car. Working at this height is extremely

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difficult. It is the unique thing, the building of the Humber Bridge.

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It is history in the making and is therefore to see in the future.

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while watching the bridge take shape was an entertaining hobby for

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some, for those who actually built it, it was arguably the hardest job

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of their careers. For the men who helped design and build it, even 40

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years on, the bridge still provokes bittersweet memories. I have bought

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a cake to help celebrate. It must bring back a lot of them is for you.

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This occasion does bring back a lot of memories, no doubt about it.

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Some good, some bad. The most satisfying day was when the first

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box was lifted. People couldn't really seem much progress for many

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months, and then suddenly the box was there. The bridge were starting

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to take shape. The multi-million pound project became infamous for

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slipped deadlines and spiralling costs, and today some of the key

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staff are back to lay a few ghosts to rest. What with the unique

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problems in building the bridge? There was the weather, inflation

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and industrial climate in the country. All these three things

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reflected the eventual costs of the structure. There was a time of road

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rubble, the three-day week and all the other aspects which influenced

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the climate here. Work was hampered by some bitterly cold winters.

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was absolutely freezing up there in the wintertime. They had runners

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coming up and down the bridge to bring coffee. And the howling North

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Sea wind also helped blow things off course. We were completely

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exposed. 30 miles per hour, absolute top speed that we could

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cope with, you just wouldn't be conscious of it. It was quite a bad

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press because everybody would be looking up saying, why are they not

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working? Beautiful day, and the wind was just howling. To put

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things in reality, a �is not the way to measure the value of the

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bridge, it have the benefit for the community. -- a �1 fee. The bridge

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meant a new dawn for many. For others, it heralded the end of an

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era. Arthur Harvey is thought to be one of the last surviving Humber

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Ferry captains. He worked on crossings for 25 years before the

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bridge put him and his colleagues out of business. I did miss the

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daily contact I had with passengers. You need a lot of people in

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different professions. Some of them became good friends of mine. During

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this are, we used to do this trip down to Grimsby down -- brims be

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dance night. In eight years, it was something about 5 million people.

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And amid all those millions of passengers, one truly stood out.

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certain lady would not get out of the car, as per instructions. I

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went down there and I said, I will not shift Until you get out of that

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car. By then, one of our local passengers put pressure on them,

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saying, get out! That culminated in our marriage eventually! Today, the

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bridge acts as a vital lifeline for thousands of families, who rely on

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it for work or it regularly to keep in touch. Annette Hutchinson and

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her family from Scunthorpe have a special reason for being able to

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get across quickly by car. It is awe-inspiring, when you approach it.

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It is very important to keep in touch with family and to access the

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east coast. Without the bridge, a family crisis involving her brother,

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who lives on the opposite bank in Hull, might have been a whole lot

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worse. About two years ago, I had a stroke at work, and it was in

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hospital for seven or eight days. With the bridge being open, and it

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was able to get over and see me. They came regularly to see that a

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was all right. Was it -- it was a relief. It is �6 for a round trip.

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Plans which could see that hole cut in half by yet to be resolved.

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bridges much more convenient for crossing the Humber. It took a good

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bridge to put us out of work. Growing up, you never know what

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path your life will take. For one man, he was led to the corners of

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the Earth recording the sounds of nature. Wherever you find David

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Attenborough in the world, there is a good chance you will find Chris

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Watson there as well. To my ears, it is full of sound. It is amazing,

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what I heard. The insect life inside this oak tree. I have been

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passionate about working with sound for a long time. There are lots of

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devices and equipment, such as this, for getting sound on location. What

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will really interests me is getting microphones into places where we

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wouldn't normally want to put our ears. It sounds great. You really

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get that sense of power of the ocean. A lot of my work on Frozen

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Planet was to investigate the sounds. The songs of the seals can

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be heard over 15 miles away. This beautiful, haunting voice, which

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reflected the reality of their lives. There's very little

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visibility below the surface so they will deliver the sound. Chris

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has been working alongside David Attenborough for 15 years. This is

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the most southerly nesting of all penguins. And like the polar bear,

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are up in the north, their lives are dependent on the sea life.

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arrival in Antarctica, the Frozen Planet crew attracted a welcoming

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party. About 200 penguins came out of the sea and ran across to our

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helicopter and stood in a group. They set up this semi-circle and

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just sat and stared at our helicopters. The wildlife came to

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us. It's a career you can trace back to his childhood. My parents

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bought my tape-recorder when I was 11. You could see the birds through

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the kitchen window, but you couldn't hear them, so I took my

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little tape-recorder outside, put the microphone on the bird table.

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What I really learned about recording in this way and that you

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start to hear the world in quite a new and exciting way. One of the

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best ways to do that is to close And what works in your back garden

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This is the hugely scaled up version of a garden experiment.

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These are vultures in Kenya. Chris was playing with sound in the heady

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days of the experimental electronic music scene. He was a founder

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member of Sheffield's Cabaret There were three of us and I played

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keyboards and tape-recorder, and synthesiser, and so we worked in

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the studio creating music and we toured and troubled lot. It was

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just great. -- travelled a lot. mix of art and sound still appeals.

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He was commissioned by the National Gallery to create a soundtrack to

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one of its masterpieces to hold visitors' attention. The average

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time people spend in front of one of those great paintings is four

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seconds. I went and chose this painting, and it just created the

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sound of the few that John Constable had created. -- the view.

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In the middle of the 19th century, Suffolk is not placed -- played by

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-- plagued by noise pollution. I'm on the Ross Island in Antarctica.

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The quietness is almost below the threshold of this equipment. Why

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don't been there is any other place on earth as quiet as this, and

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there is certainly no noise pollution here. I think the heart

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down below, it is interesting to think this sounds they would have

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heard were much the same as we can hear today. The sound of silence

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above ground enables Chris to record the actual noise of the

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planet itself. You really get the sense that this isn't some inert,

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silent world. It is heaving with life, literally straining and

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groaning to make this ferries slow journey across the rocks into the

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sea. -- very slow. The sound is actually inaudible to the human ear,

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just as the movement of the glacier is invisible to the eye - but speed

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them both up, and they come alive. Nobody is prepared for what happens

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next. Three or four enormous or could just surfaced vertically to

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breathe, carrying about -- towering above us. They made eye-contact

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with us and slid below the surface. Quite been moving moment to get

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that proximity to such wild animals. Frozen Planet took more than two

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years to film, so the crew inevitably needed lots of stories

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to keep each other entertained. Chris has extraordinarily

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discriminating ears. For example, he maintains that he can tell the

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difference between the sound of waves in the Pacific and waste in

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the Atlantic. The factors that we don't know if he is joking or not.

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-- the fact is. Like David Attenborough, Chris Watson has been

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just about everywhere, and is one of the few people ever to have

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stood at both poles. I'm very lucky and privileged to travel the world

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making sound recordings, but it is a great leveller and relief and

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sense of relaxation for me. Coming home to places like this and

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walking out border collie, listening to the sounds that are

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If you want to contact us about any of the stories into night's

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programme, you count took our -- you can to our face but page. Make

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sure you join us for next week's programme. We will be investigating

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the threat posed by Peter Biles, police and online grimmest to our

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Sarah Sturdey goes on the trail of the people producing illegal alcohol and finds out the sometimes dire consequences for those who drink it.


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