Toby Foster investigates the man who claims he talks to the dead. Asha Tanna meets the cockneys who moved north. And Lucy Hester discovers the Peak District's most famous rescue.
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Lay good evening and welcome to Inside Out. Here is what is on
tonight's show. A man who is touring the North who says he
really can speak to the dead. We put his claims to the test.
And could move in people north be the answer to a housing shortage?
It was tried more than a decade ago but did it work? It was a bit weird
when I first moved up because I thought they had just invented the
wheel. London is a bit faster than what Lincoln is. Also tonight:
Remembering that caving tragedy that gripped the nation as rescue
teams battled to save a young student. The doctor is passing
oxygen? Yes, they pass and it all the time. Is he conjures? I do not
First tonight, to the man who claims he has a phone link to the
spirit world and can talk to the dead. Stephen Holbrook tours across
the North of England and thousands of people think he is a genuine
medium but can he really hear voices or is he using traditional
entertainer's skills to convince his audience? We put his techniques
This is a story of spirits, bereavement and tricks. In central
Leeds, a member of the Inside Out team wearing a secret camera is on
their way to film a man who says he This is Stephen Holbrook and that
is his stiff left hand. It is like wood. Sometimes it turns blue. It
is a sign that Archie, Stephen's dead spirit guide, is on the phone.
Stephen says he channels messages just like a phone. But he reverses
the charges and his audience pays premium rates. Activists from the
Newcastle and Merseyside Skeptics Societies, fresh from checking out
Stephen's performance. They are not impressed. He does not speak to the
deceased. He is as clairvoyant as a teapot. I would say he is not
psychic. So who is right? Stephen Holbrook who says he genuinely can
hear the spirits, and who claims his powers prove there is life
after death? Or the sceptics, who say that he is an entertainment
performer using the magician's tricks? It is important because if
Stephen's phone carries nuisance calls and Archie and the spirit on
a real, there is a problem with the law. If a trader gives false
information or misleading information to consumers, and that
causes people to do some think they would not otherwise have done, such
as buy a ticket or travel to an event, they could potentially be a
criminal offence. Some people say the performance is for
entertainment purposes only. Is that sufficient? If if he is saying
and an entertainer, I am a magician, Allende's and cold reading
techniques and I cannot speak to the spirit world, that is what he
needs to say. But Stephen never says it is just for entertainment.
Singh, audience members are in tears as he relays messages from
the spirits of dead babies, children's, mums and dads. It's one
thing if they are receiving messages from the spirits but if
they are repeatedly paying to be manipulated by psychological tricks,
there is a danger they could get stuck in their grief and suffer
real damage. I think this is a type of exploitation of the worst sort.
It is manipulating people at a terrible time in their lives. One
of the worst consequences for people who are very vulnerable is
they can end up stuck in that early stage of grieving and will never be
able to relinquish it or move on from it. Back in Leeds, a large
part of the performance consists of Stephen asking questions. Sometimes
Stephen performs all over the north, doing more than 20 shows a month,
nine months a year. His website is full of testimonials from satisfied
customers. Thank you so much for the wonderful message you gave to
us in Middlesbrough. At Bolton Masonic Hall, I was in shock.
confirmed that my dad knew he was going to die. But he also has his
critics. I thought that the advert was nonsensical, laughable, and
then I got quite cross about it. I think it is disgraceful. He would
say why is there very important you? I was staggered at that kind
of question. February could be important for any number of reasons.
Ellis told Stephen about a dead boyfriend. Stephen told Ellis what
his spirit was saying. He spoke about the funeral, he said the
funeral rock and thank you for the flowers. He also spoke about that
my boyfriend loved a and he cared for me. But Ellis's dead boyfriend
never existed. My boyfriend is not dead and none of my boyfriends in
the past have died. Now we get three experts, all psychic
entertainers or magicians to analyse Stephen's performance. They
all say he is using traditional magician's techniques. To her by
throwing out around and date, he will get a strong sense of a hit
with at least one person in the room. Random pieces of information
which people will latch on to which he will then embellish. It is
taking a little bit of information, scattering it around to a big group
of people and finding that one person who seems to give something
of. They say Stephen is practising cold reading, an entertainer's way
of finding a personal details through clever questioning.
look at someone and you read their micro reflections and statistically
workout what is likely for that person. Like inheriting jury. --
jewellery. Now Kennedy shows how easily it is done. He asks people
to write down the name of somebody they have not seen for a long time.
Kennedy will tell them the name using classic magician's tricks but
he will also tell them their personal details using cold reading.
Is that person younger than you? The best. Is it a son type figure?
Yes. Has your son passed on. Yes. do not want you to get upset. Is
there a piece of jewellery that is significant? Yes. Is it a ring?
That is interesting. I knew those things. It is scary. This is the
person with the dark hair? Yes. About this sort of length? Yes.
is she saying about the dogs? This will make sense to you rather than
me? Something about dogs. That is creepy. What happened. A where I
used to work. I sometimes used to get puppies in who we were training.
Is it Doreen Orde Dorian? Who is she? Doreen. That is my ex-boss.
She died about four years ago. not psychic, but I am able to work
out things by your responses and the way you react. Batters all I am
doing. So they all think Stephen is putting on an act. For Stephen, for
such a good talker, he turned remarkably quiet. He gave us a
statement which said he would never succumb to cold reading. His
questions are for clarification of the factors. And our experts are
not in the least be qualified to judge has worked. He also said he
did not advertise his shows as entertainment shows because they
were genuine. But while he was telling us that, he changed his
website to say they were for entertainment only. He would not
explain that contradiction. Stranger still wear the messages he
received on the psychic phone from Ennis's fictional dead boyfriend.
Remember, the one she made up. His statement said that was an
appalling example of theft because the spirit's message was real and
meant for another person. Ennis had stolen it. Stephen would not
explain why the spirit did not just say, no, that is not my ex-
girlfriend. We have presented evidence suggesting Stephen
Holbrook is not the real thing. He uses techniques employed by
entertainers. He now admits on his website that he is an entertainer.
For years, Stephen made a lot of money exploiting people's grief.
Some may get comfort from what he does but they need to consider the
tricks of the trade we have shown Still to come: The tragic legacy of
a caving rescue here in the Peak District. When I got there, it did
Now, when a London council recently suggested people move north to help
with their housing shortage, it was a concept which drew a lot of
negative headlines but it is not a new idea. Over a decade ago lot of
Cockneys moved up here for a fresh start in a new home. How did they
take to life in the north and could London councils may be moving
people to area where rents are cheaper like the north of England
and it has caused uproar. It is wrong, inappropriate and
potentially against the law. here in Huddersfield it did not
seem like a ridiculous idea because they have done it 12 years ago. It
is not the most obvious of places to look for a solution to the
capital's housing crisis but Huddersfield was for a short while
the destination of choice for Cockneys looking to move out of
time. I said anything near Halifax is wonderful. It cannot be that bad.
It was a Mini exodus, hundreds of Londoners making new lives in this
land of rolling hills and empty spaces and at the time, a load of
empty council houses. Some of these houses were houses we sold to
London people who came for a look around. Back in 1999, this man's
job was to find new tenants to fill 1,000 of those homes. In those days
I used to get up early at 5:30am and watch breakfast television.
Tony Blair has talked about the scandal of people living rough on
the streets. At that time they were doing interviews for people in
London who were homeless people. I thought, even if we could get some
of our properties in Kirklees for these homeless people, that would
be really good to get half a dozen people out of London into a nice
house. He took his idea around councils in inner-city London and
persuaded them to send prospective This is one of our three-bedroom
houses. New PVC windows. I was very cautious to tell them that it was
going to be easy to come out of London into Kirklees because if
they were not sure, it would be a difficult way to get back. Some
people were able to resist the delights of Huddersfield and headed
straight back to London but many others took up the offer. The
questionnaires, did it ever become home? -- the question it is. This
moved up with a extended family from the East End. I built this
about eight years ago. Joyce has won prizes for the way she has
looked after the properties. They become homes. My daughter moved up
here first. She found a scheme that was moving people up north and they
were now living here on the same street. They said, why don't you
get one, up mum? I said, they are never going to get me a property.
The chances of me getting one in London were nothing. Within the
first couple of weeks, they offered me a flat around the corner. We
didn't even know we with different. Sometimes it was fun. The words
they say different live. But, you know, we didn't have too much
problem. This seemed to work with us. Up to 1,000 people moved out of
London in a two-year period. were the pioneers and people from
Newcastle, Hull, anywhere with lots and lots of properties. The new
tenants were happy, too. A BBC film crew caught up with a family who
had moved to an estate in Lincoln in 2001. I was shocked when people
would say excuse me, thank you, good morning. I am not used to
that! We used to have to go out in the morning and make sure there was
no syringes and broken glass before we took them to school. This is
Colin today and running a volunteer group on the same estate and
cooking up a full English for friends and neighbours every Friday.
I have done lots of gardening, lots of decorating, lots of clearing the
snow, a lot of shopping for all Dave pension has been they could
not get out. We have done a lot. Many of their friends and
neighbours are also Londoners in exile. There are people near us now
who only lived a few miles away from where we used to live, which
is strange. It was a bit weird when I first moved. I thought they had
just invented the wheel. Obviously London is a bit faster than what
Lincoln is. It is the best thing we've done. I have two kids. The
16-year-old stayed on at school, the 14-year-old is deciding what he
wants to do but they would not have got that choice in London. Spurred
on by the success in places like Huddersfield and Lincoln, the out
of London project was extended and became part of a national scheme.
Council tenants could now relocate anywhere in the country. We had
many thousands of very happy tenants moving, often to be closer
to their families, and it was very successful and actually very cost-
effective. In 2004, the government of the day decided it wanted to
test out the value of the scheme and it therefore gave the contract
to another organisation to run the national scheme.
But computer software problems stopped it dead. No-one was moving
anywhere, and it was haemorrhaging money. The programme was so badly
delayed that with �10 million already spent, the government axed
the contract and suspended all house move schemes. London councils
stepped in but the momentum was already lost. There is no longer a
mobility scheme, but there are still tenants who want to get out
of London. I've recently suffered a couple of family bereavements. I
have got health problems, disabilities, and I don't have any
family in London any more so it is really important for me, when I
lost my family members, to be able to move back up the north.
The only option for people like Kirstein who need to stay in social
housing is to find a house swap. But they have to do this for
themselves, not through the council. And it's not guaranteed they will
find someone in the right place who wants to move. I knew there well
various websites that did have them and I found somebody surprisingly
if we wanted to move to London, and this part of London, from
Chesterfield. They had the same size house as me and everything and
I could not believe my luck. Kirstein is now ready to move out.
We started the process or 20th August and we signed the final
paperwork yesterday! -- on 28th August. It doesn't necessarily
always go as swiftly as you would like. London councils are now being
forced to look outside the capital for emergency housing but it seems
the supplier of vacant homes has dried up. We contacted housing
providers across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and ask them if they
would be willing to take the London tenants. Out of 49 who responded,
only four would even consider this. So there is unlikely to be another
exodus to Kirklees or anywhere near here anytime soon. Thousands of
people needs homes but there seems no political will to turn back the
clocks. Some things are out of our control in life, whether it is
health and other issues. It is kind of nice to have control over where
you want to live. Now, in 1959 a young student became
trapped in one of the caves that criss-crossed the landscape up here
in the Peak District. Mountain rescue was still in its infancy and
the mission to save him gripped the This is one of the most beautiful
places in the country - the Derbyshire Peak District. These
limestone hills are hollow, full of caves and underground passages. For
decades, cavers have been lured to discover the secrets of its depths.
But beneath the beauty, it can be a place of danger. For 60 years,
Derbyshire Cave Rescue has saved hundreds of people in trouble
underground. Regular training means they are prepared for anything. But
just seven years after it was formed, an incident arose which
tested the fledgling organisation to its limits. This is Peak Cavern
where in 1959 the world watched, gripped, while one of the most
dramatic cave rescue bids in history took place. You could hear
his heart beating, you could hear him making noises. But at about two,
it went quiet. If you'd seen it, it looked
absolutely suicidal to go down there.
On 22nd of March 1959, a group of cavers entered Peak Cavern near
Castleton in Derbyshire with the intention of exploring a newly
discovered shaft. Their route would take them a kilometre underground,
eventually ending at a large chamber.
Among the party was Neil Moss, a young man from Oxford University, a
philosophy student with a passion for caving, eager to discover the
hidden depths of this enormous cave system. He was 6 ft 3, fit. The
journey was a challenge, taking in water, long crawls and tight
squeezes, but Neil was an experienced caver.
An hour and a half later, the party had arrived at the chamber. Neil
volunteered to go down first, into a passage which was no more than a
narrow tube. Ten minutes later, and 40 feet down, he was in trouble.
The problem was caused by the fact he was so tall. When he got to the
narrow bit, he couldn't bend his legs to set foot on the ladder.
That's when he shouted he was stuck. The rest of the party tried pulling
him out, but the ladder had got stuck. They got ropes round him,
but one after another broke. He was starting to lose consciousness
because of the foul air. One of the party made the long
journey to the surface to raise the alarm. Volunteer cavers made their
way to the chamber. Some went down the shaft several times, but each
time were driven back by the lack of oxygen.
It was clear the situation was desperate. Neil's parents were
informed, and the rescue was stepped up.
Before long, this quiet village became the centre of a massive
rescue operation. Hundreds of people turned out to offer to help
in whatever way they could. It was just like a fairground. Lama will
vehicles of all descriptions. Ambulances, but National Coal Board.
At that time, we had no idea what was happening. Lorry-loads of
oxygen arrived, doctors from the nearby RAF base called in, and the
BBC transmitted regular bulletins. A rope has been put around the
injured student and they've managed to move him about two feet.
there a doctor passing him oxygen? Yes. Is this Judean conscious?
don't think so far. -- is the student conscious? The rescue had
now gone into its second day. About this time a young caver called
Ralph Johnson turned up to offer his help. He was only 17, small and
perfect for the job. I was overwhelmed. I had never done
anything like that before. When I got there, it didn't look good. I
looked down the hall and there was a ladder down, and oxygen line to
Neil. I went down with a safety line and an oxygen line to me. You
can imagine what it was like with all of these pipes.
By now doctors were working in shifts to attend Neil should they
manage to get him out. Geoffrey Willis was a young GP from Buxton.
We were there for hours, pumping oxygen and listening to the
breathing. It would very. Sometimes it was quite regular, sometimes it
would fade away. Then they would pump more oxygen down. We hoped we
were going to do something. It was frantic, the efforts to try and
help him. By now, the story had gone global.
Telegrams were arriving from France, Germany, America, suggesting ways
of helping Neil. Castleton resident Pat Dale remembers. I was in the
post office when the telegrams were coming in. Bearing in mind they had
the minimal amount of words on a telegram to try to get the
explanation across as to how they could get this young man out of the
cave. It was quite distressing listening to the people trying to
explain by telegram what to do. Rubber night, conditions had
worsened. -- throughout the night. The idea was that I would go down
and attach a rope to him. By this time they had put an iron hook on
the end of the rope and the idea was to get it under his armpits.
But to be honest, I didn't know where he was. All I could do was
feel him. Before I went down, I thought it
didn't seem possible they wouldn't get him out, but when I went down,
it became obvious it was a lost cause. Despite the best efforts of
the rescuers, nothing more could be done. Neil was close to death.
He was making noises, very weak, like someone asleep. Just making
sounds. Sadly... The last sound he made was at 2am. The eye was
standing on his shoulders. But I couldn't actually see him. I knew I
was standing on somebody because it was soft. That was it. I had to
come out. Neil Moss died early in the morning
on Tuesday 24th March, 36 hours after entering the shaft. The
rescue was abandoned and everyone made their way out.
Neil's father had kept vigil through the long hours. As Geoffrey
Willis left the cave, he noticed him nearby. One sad, sad thing.
Neil Moss's father was standing apart on his own. I wish I had gone
and spoken to him but I felt I would leave him to his own grief
really. His parents made it clear we
weren't to risk anyone else. Neil was dead and nothing would bring
him back. If we could have got the body out, it would have been nice
but we were not to take any risks. Several attempts were made to
remove Neil's body but they've proved fruitless so it was decided
it should be his final resting place. The shaft was blocked up and
his body is still there today. The people of Castleton will never
forget what happened over those days in 1959. It was a very sad
affair and of course it lingers on. We all know that Neil Moss's body
is there and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Nobody
will ever go down again. Many lessons were learned from the
Neil Moss tragedy and Derbyshire Cave Rescue was completely
reorganised as a result of it. are often asked if the same thing
happened today, what would be the result? It is difficult to say.
Things have moved on unbelievably in those 50 years but it would
That is all from us in the Peak District. Remember if you have got
Toby Foster investigates the man who claims he can talk to the dead. Also Asha Tanna catches up with the cockneys who moved north for a new life more than a decade ago. And Lucy Hester discovers the tragedy behind one of the Peak District's most famous rescue mission.