Chris Jackson meets the woman who survived a fall from a North Sea ferry. Keeley Donovan reports on the efforts to improve the fortunes of a heritage railway.
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Welcome to a new series of Inside Out. Tonight we are in Sheffield.
Good evening. Welcome to Inside Out. Tonight as the New Year opens up the
borders to immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania, we sent a pellet to
Sheffield, where people are struggling to get on with their
neighbours. The way things are, they are dumping rubbish and it makes you
almost not want to say that you live here.
Also tonight, we hear the extraordinary story of the woman who
fell from the North Sea ferry. And we jump aboard the steam railway
trying to stay in business. Since the start of the New Year,
Bulgarian and Romanian citizens have been unable to travel to the UK for
work. Immigration has caused tension in places like Boston in
Lincolnshire, close to where the poet lives. He has been meeting
people here in Sheffield where and influx of Roma people is causing
friction with the local population. Even if a Roma person has a tie made
of gold the Roma is a dirty gypsy and should go and get lost.
Six, seven, eight years ago we were winning Britain In Bloom awards...
Do you think we would? You look back and think; in
retrospect I probably wouldn't have said that.
When my parents arrived in Britain from the Caribbean s this is where
they first settled. It was number 22 Clun Street in the Burngreave area
of Sheffield. It's long since been knocked down. But for the fact my
mum got a job in the health service 90 miles away I'd have been born a
Yorkshireman and not a Brummie. More than half a century later I'm going
to see how some more recent immigrants are settling in less than
two miles away. This is Page Hall. Back to back
terraced houses packed closely together. It's become the focus for
a heated national debate on immigration. It's where Ivan Pokuta
and his wife Magdelena arrived with their four children Tatyana,
Patrick, Ivan Junior and four year old Lissier in 2007.
As a Roma family in Slovakia they say they faced hardship, poverty and
prejudice. Despite having qualifications I
couldn't live ` I had to go. We can be highly educated, it's pointless.
There is prejudice against Roma. For the past decade Roma Slovak
people have been coming to this area. It's reckoned as many as 2,000
could live in this small area. It's not always been easy...and then this
happened... If everything exploded and
everything went really wrong, the community would obviously be
devastated.. We saw this in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham.
In this radio interview David Blunkett gave a stark warning about
the rising tensions in the area. His words sparked a media frenzy and TV
cameras and the international press descended on Page Hall.
I am coming here for a better life. Disturbances, crowds, hanging around
everywhere. David Blunkett agreed to meet me and
give his first broadcast interview since those comments which some said
were unwise. You have been an MP in this area for
26 years and you have encountered the media all the time. Don't you
think you should have chosen your words that are?
If I had meant to say there would be riots, I would have used that word.
. I've always said things as I've seen them. Could I have foreseen
that somebody could have used it in this way? Probably... You look back
and say in retrospect I probably wouldn't have said that...but I did
mean that. I really do need to ensure that this community polls you
never `` pulls together and saying it as it is makes sure that people
listen. He visits some of the areas that the
Roma come from in Eastern Europe. We have a persecuted minority, living
on the edge. If the children go to school, they
don't go to the same school as other children. They don't have refuse
collection or inside toilets. They don't have that kind of experience.
They are also suspicious of authority. In Slovakia, Roma goat
stealing. It does happen ` they would have
done it for their children but it's not like the politicians ` they
steal money from people. Over there it's high unemployment.
I have been praying to get work and I thank God I have found work at a
hostage factory. The work injury now means I can can
no longer do manual Labour. He says he has earned the right to claim
state benefits that his family relies on.
When a man finds work, he automatically gets benefits for
children and it is quite normal. Helping families like this one to
integrate is the job of Julie. She's a community cohesion worker employed
part time with funding from the police crime commissioner.
The area we live in, as you see, the houses are back`to`back, very close
together. People feel as if they are living on top of each other so when
you get newcomers, it is very noticeable.
Julie normally patrols with a Slovak co`worker. Bert Outram, a local bus
driver has something to report to Julie.
There must have been 250 Roma on the street arguing and fighting. About
six cop cars on the street. Bert filmed this footage of a Roma
gathering in his street and says it's typical of what he and his
neighbours have to contend with. Have you personally lost your pride
of place? The way things are` the litter and
dumping of rubbish, it makes you almost not to want to say you live
in Page Hall. His complaints are all too common
and many feel their concerns are not being addressed. I've come to an
Islamic centre where a new residents association has been set up talk
about the issues surrounding the Roma and I'm going to see if they'll
let us film them. Thank you for coming on this cold
evening... The Roma issue is the only one on
the agenda tonight. Those assembled represent a pretty good cross
section of the established community here. Most do not wish to be filmed
but all feel their voices aren't being heard by the authorities.
After some discussion we're allowed to film the first part of the
meeting but then asked to switch off the camera.
They were really concerned about the way that the Roma people, in their
eyes, were taking over the street, playing loud music and littering.
They talked about young kids being left out late at night and one of
the things a lot of people talked about was house prices, which kind
of surprised me. They were told that has prices had dropped. Ivan's
17`year`old son Patrik prepares to go out for the evening to meet
friends. But he has to be in by 9:30pm. There are many who have no
such parental curfews and the noise they make causes anger.
Kids go out and they shout and no one is stopping them but they should
have some sense and respect. Roma people like to entertain themselves.
If there was a centre or a club where they could congregate and
someone could speak to them about what not to do.
Hayat Shah is registered blind. They'll be stood around in groups
and a lot of them will be drunk. You know there's also the arrogance
issue whereby if they're stood on the street corner it's theirs now
because they're occupying it. Nine times out of ten they won't move.
He's lived in the area for more than 30 years. His parents live next
door. But he would like to move out. I can't move due to the fact my mum
won't move. I'm an only child so I'm not going to leave my mum and my
dad's mentally incapacitated as well.
Another British born Asian man who didn't want to appear on camera,
told Inside Out he was moving out of the area because of the Roma and
would not rent his house to them. So I find it quite ironic that not so
long ago when Asian people were moving in white people were moving
out because of them. So what are the solutions? One suggestion is that
this area of waste ground could we developed to provide a building for
the Roma to congregate off the streets that money is tight.
It's big! It is deceiving from the outside.
Because of the size of it, it will take a lot of money and people
power. It is easy to say that there is no
quick fix for Page Hall. It's run down and it's tense. But it's been a
magnet for migrants for generations and will continue to be so.
As the British`born child of immigrant parents I have to laugh
when I hear my mother complaining about the number of Eastern European
people there are in the country now. I find this urge to gently remind
her that it wasn't that long ago when people were saying the same
thing about her. If you have any opinions on that
story or you think there is something we should the covering,
get in touch on Twitter or Facebook. Coming up: Heritage railway trying
to ensure it survival. Now, and incredible story about a
woman who fell from a Northsea ferry. Jeni Anderson fell overboard
with no life jacket and no idea if the boat would ever find her again.
This is her story. My first memory is seeing the ferry
and it being already a way away. And looking towards it and thinking,
what do I do now, kind of thing. I was scared of drowning, but the most
scary thing about it was that it was going to happen to me on my own.
A tiny dot in a vast sea ` there's no worse nightmare. Yet Jeni
Anderson lived to tell me her story. This is sister ship, but can you
work out where you were? Yeah I was on the other side, just
up there. I want to go up there and be able to walk back inside and be
fine. Jeni has been back to finish the
journey she started. The Princess Seaways operating from Newcastle to
Ijmuiden in the Netherlands. In September 2011, Jeni, who'd been a
student at Northumbria University, was on board with her friends. I'd
graduated in July that year so it was kind of a last celebration
myself and three friends decided to go to Amsterdam to celebrate
graduation. It was three hours into the crossing. I had been drinking, I
have never denied that. We just wanted to have a bit of an explore
and go out. We would have stood outside on deck. Talking amongst
ourselves. One of my friends got a phone call. She was on the phone
when it happened. I was not messing around. I remember being near the
barrier looking out at sea, looking down and I don't know whether I
leaned too far, or the ferry moved on was a gust of wind, but the next
thing I knew I was going over the barrier. I did actually managed to
hold on for a little while. Jeni had fallen 60 feet into the black of the
North Sea. Just the fall alone would've killed many a person. What
happens when you fall into the North sea? Well initially you get a
condition called cold shock. Involuntary gasping in of air. If it
goes into your lungs, you are going to be coughing and spluttering. It
can also cause a heart attack. But Jeni had survived the fall and the
cold shock. Now began the fight to stay alive. I remember shouting
after the ferry, asking for it to come back. Just the sheer terror of
what had happened. I was getting more and more hysterical, like,
begging it's a comeback. Bash dash`mac begging it's a comeback and
find me. When I heard that I expect that that we would not find anyone.
Four minutes from the time that she fell, the engine started turning
round. The captain alerted the Humber coastguard. My first thought
was we needed assistance from a helicopter. So that we had a chance
to see in the water. A search and rescue seeking from RAF Leconfield
was scrambled. We're talking about a person not equipped at all, going
into the water at night in cold seas, the drug dash`mac survival
times gone to be dramatically reduced in that situation.
The chances there are probably quite slim. It would take 30 minutes by
helicopter, 20 minutes to turn the ferry around, and every minute, it
came harder to stay alive. I remember that cold when going across
my face. Just trying to keep from going under. But it was getting more
and more difficult and I was spending more and more time just
being knocked under the water, and trying to pull myself back up again.
35 minutes had now passed. I definitely came to the realisation
that my time was up, but even then I don't think I ever gave up. In a
way, I felt quite calm. It was like, there is not a lot that I can do
about it. You feel a responsibility, and a.... Huge urge to find her, but
still you know you're looking for that needle in a haystack so it's a
mission impossible. He'd traced the ship back to where Jeni fell.
Passengers and crew gathered on deck to help the search. We realise that
we could actually see her screaming. A rescue lifeboat is launched. And
an off`duty ambulance crew ` on the ship as passengers ` offer
assistance. To our surprise, we saw a body lying in the boat. Pretty
motionless to be fair, we actually thought it was a dead body. Made
ourselves known to customer services, explained we were
ambulance crew and would they like any help. They did snatch our hand
off and we just flicked into work mode. When we first got her off the
lifeboat, she actually opened her eyes and looked at me. I don't
remember the point that I was rescued. I don't even remember being
pulled out of the water. I just remember not being in the water and
people around me and voices and noises and light. Despite the fall
and the time she'd spend in the water, Jeni had no injuries. The RAF
rescue crew had feared they'd come to retrieve a body. Instead it was a
routine pick up. Jeni was discharged from hospital in Scarborough just a
few hours later. I realise that it was all over the news and that I had
to tell my mum. If she hears about a 23`year`old from Herts has fallen
off the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam she might at least worry
that it's me. And it was me. You ok? Yeah. Two and a half years later,
she's ready to do something she never thought she'd be able to. When
I felt, I was facing the barrier, whereas right now I am side on. I
don't know if I can... It is a very strange feeling. But you have just
done that. Yes. Well, we made it to Amsterdam. What's left for you?
Well, finish my journey, see what's to be seen. It would mean a lot to
me, to meet the people who helped me that night. Captain Kristensen is
waiting back in England. I'm sorry I caused so much drama! That's OK! One
of your friends had been calling on a phone so we knew the exact time
you fell overboard. Normally, I would not expect it to end like
that. Thank you, for everything. It is such a cliche to say it, but life
really is so short. You do not have time to be unhappy and miserable
about anything. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the busiest
had heritage lines in the world, with steam trains taking passengers
from Pickering to Whitby. But now, it is struggling for money. Keeley
Donovan has been finding out about a new plan to keep it on track. It's
5:00am and a steam engine is being fired up. For 150 years, steam
trains have run across the North York Moors, and the people who work
on them have always had to get their hands dirty. By 8:00am, the engine's
almost ready. Soon it'll be full steam ahead! It has taken four hours
to get ready. Now the first train from Pickering to Whitby already to
go. 9:00am at Pickering station. Passengers like me are looking
forward to a day out in Whitby on a trip through some of Yorkshire's
loveliest countryside. And it's not just a railway ` we're taking a
journey back in time. It is going to take 90 minutes to get to Whitby.
Let's get on board. The North Yorkshire Moors railway employs 150
staff, helped by 850 volunteers. And they've all got a passion for the
railways. These engines talk to you, if you listen to them. They tell you
when they are going to sleep. You drive these with your ears. 40 years
ago, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was launched, after British
Rail's passenger service was axed. But the recession has brought the
biggest threat to the line's future since the days of the Beeching cuts.
This is a tourist attraction but it is a business as well, and it needs
to make money times have been tough for the last couple of years as for
many businesses. Tourism is some of those things that we do not have to
spend money on. If you are struck for cash you will spend it on
essentials, so we are affected like everybody else. How bad has it
been? We were carrying 350,000 passengers a year in 2010, and it
has dipped down to 320,000, but it is the busiest heritage railway in
the world, but the drop of 10% has had an effect. For years, there's
been a possible answer to the railway's problems. Run more steam
trains to the seaside. But it's not straightforward. The last seven
miles of the route, from Grosmont to Whitby, are operated by another
company, Network Rail. And they have to allow the Moors Railway to run
more trains. Times are hard for the tourist industry and it is not an
easy for the railways. One way to survive is to get more passengers.
For now, just three trains a day make the full 24`mile trip from
Pickering to Whitby. In this carriage, there seem to be more dogs
than people. Why did you choose to come by train? Just to go to Whitby
on holiday. He likes trains, so this was the perfect day out. These two
bearded collies, Molly and Duncan, are making their first`ever train
journey. How is she doing? She was a bit apprehensive to start with but
she has settled down quite well. I have never been to Whitby. I love
these trains. They are amazing. We pass through Levisham, Goathland
and Grosmont ` let's hope the weather stays good. You look like
you are expecting some sunshine at the seaside today. Yes, I always
expect sunshine estimation mark dash`mac!
It is not just about steam trains. Passengers bring money to local
businesses. How important is the railway to the local economy? The
turnover is about ?5,000 a year. We had work done by the Yorkshire
tourist board that indicated we were bringing about ?30 million into the
local economy and that figure will not have reduced much in recent
years. There was a lot of money at stake and a lot of jobs, but now the
railway is fighting back. It is striking a deal with network rail to
run twice as many trains into Whitby station. We want to open a second
that form, that would enable us to one more trains, and we're looking
to run about five trains, when there are three that return `` that one
currently. At Whitby Station, a platform first removed 30 years ago
would be restored at a cost of ?2 million. We believe there is market
for us to tap into if we can get to increase capacity so it is critical
for future sustainability. And we all know that, when you get to
Whitby, there's plenty to do. Even if the weather isn't what it could
be. Should have seen this coming. The minute we arrived, it starts to
rain. It is a wet day. How are you enjoying it? It is good, good. Good
choice of outfit? Well... OK, it's not exactly ice`cream weather. But
the dogs seem to be enjoying themselves. It is nice to see a
working fishing port with lots going on. Walking from the station to the
fish and chip shop. It's time to head home. For me, it's the best
part of the trip ` I'll be in the cab all the way back to Pickering.
It is warm in here. Paul that Labour, once. `` pull the lever.
It's a rural route, but the driver's got to be alert. There's always a
danger animals ` and people ` could get onto the railway. What are you
thinking about when you are in the cab? The pedestrians on this
crossing. Ian is looking out for his side, I am looking out for this
site. Once we are over the crossing began accelerate. I will give it
more steam. Like that. It's exciting, but it's hard work
too. It's a lot easier being a passenger. Now it's time to get my
hands dirty. I'm about to have a go at being a fireman. Hang on, this is
heavy. That's it. Don't let go of the shovel, just put it in there.
That is it. And another one. That is it. Write down the front. That's
it, there you are, you can do it. I tell you what, it is hard work. It
is hard work. You ought to try it in the summer. The railway's starting
work on the new platform in Whitby. It'll be open for the summer season,
and they're hoping it will be a financial lifeline. Somehow, I don't
think the age of steam is over just yet.
That is all from here in Sheffield. Make sure you join us next week. I
will be on the trail of the financial transactions made by
Arthur Scargill and the National union of Mineworkers from the 80s up
until the present day. The Welsh coast was among areas
hardest hit. Hello. I'm Amy Garcia with the latest from Look North. The
This week, Benjamin Zephaniah visits the Page Hall area of Sheffield which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, Chris Jackson meets a woman who miraculously survived a fall from a North Sea ferry and Keeley Donovan follows efforts to improve the fortunes of a heritage railway.