06/02/2017 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


A report on the process by which a man losing his voice as a result of motor neurone disease may reclaim it. And the efforts to help the red squirrel population.

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This week, we meet a man with motor neurone disease, who


is trying to preserve his voice for the future.


And find out how to help red squirrels prosper.


Welcome to Inside Out. I'm Paul Hudson.


Tonight, we'll meet Jason, who has motor neurone disease.


Find out how voice donors will help him speak with his own voice,


even when he is no longer able to talk.


I just don't want to be a programmed voice on a computer.


Also tonight, how putting grey squirrels on the pill


And later in the programme, the engineering company which helped


build everything from the Taj Mahal to the Sopwith Camel.


This was a time when Britain were engineers to the world.


Now, Jason Liversidge has motor neurone disease,


and it affects every aspect of his life, and he will


But a clinic in Scotland is using voice donors to try to help


create a voice for him, and the idea is that rather than him


sounding like a robot, his new computerised voice


will sound as close to him as possible, together


Three years ago, Jason Liversidge was diagnosed


In that time, it has caused his muscles to waste and to weaken.


Lily, what would you like? Broccoli!


Are you having broccoli for breakfast?


Some mornings can be quite chaotic, and because Jason obviously needs


help with everything, unfortunately, he has to wait till


last, because I've got to get up and get the girls ready and make


sure they're ready for school. It's better when the carer's here.


I try my hardest not to be rough with him,


but I have been known to drag him around a bit.


Being cared for is something Jason's had to get used to,


Each week can bring a new difficulty.


I mean, the whole thing is frustrating, but probably one


I think sometimes, Jason would rather struggle than ask


anybody to help him, because for him, it's


obviously about his pride and his dignity and,


you know, sometimes I know he's struggling, but I won't attempt


to help him until he asks me, because he doesn't always


Very early on, it was, Jason couldn't use his hands,


so he would find things like doing buttons incredibly difficult.


He then lost the ability to dress himself, and then he started


Then he was not able to walk unaided, and it is that constant


He is not even able to pick the girls up and give them a cuddle.


There are some things Jason has had to accept he may never do again.


And the disease means he will eventually be


There are no greater heights to aspire to them the stars.


There are no greater heights to aspire to than the stars.


Professor Stephen Hawking is perhaps the most famous sufferer


I think you will agree with me that it is absolutely fantastic.


This is Jason, giving a speech at his sister's wedding.


For those of you who aren't familiar, our father


passed away quite some time ago, and...


Jason will also have a computerised voice, but he wants


It has been left to me to give her away, I'd like to say


So when you talk, out of the computer, it will


There's a research clinic in Edinburgh that can help.


The Anne Rowling Clinic was set up by Harry Potter author JK


The Anne Rowling Clinic was set up by Harry Potter author


JK Rowling after her mother had multiple sclerosis.


It specialises in degenerative diseases.


It has a project trying to create personal synthetic voices.


Your voice is as identifiable to other people as your face is.


You know, and is very unique to you, so being able to preserve


that, I think, is very important for people.


There are already other personalised systems,


but they need to record the patient's voice


This University of Edinburgh project is different.


When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act


Previously, methods have needed to take maybe 8-10 hours of speech,


which is an awful lot for anybody, let alone if you have a condition


where you tire quite easily, or speech is starting to become


a problem, or what we can do is ill voices using as little as about 20


to become a problem, but what we can do is build voices


using as little as about 20 minutes' worth of speech.


And they aim to repair the flaws in a patient's voice using donors.


When Jason came to record his voice, it was still very clear,


you could still understand everything he was saying,


but you could hear it was starting to become a bit more effortful,


perhaps a little bit more slurred sounding,


so it may not sound exactly how he used to sound, and that's


where we would use more of those donor voices.


And one of the first volunteers is his best friend, Phil.


Jason and I went to school together from being, oh,


From being so active, skiing, driving, to go from that


lifestyle to this one, I just can't imagine.


So, how does he feel about donating his voice?


We're from the same area, we got a similar accident,


We're from the same area, we got a similar accent,


so yeah, it was just, of course I'm going to do it.


Is there anything in your head sort of strange about the idea


of your voice getting blended with Jason's?


I think, because it's blended, it's less of a problem.


I think if it was my voice and I was to ring him and speak


to me on the other end of the phone, then maybe that would be


So, when that writing turns red, if you can read it out for me,


Yeah. Here we go.


Ask her to bring these things with her from the store.


Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese,


and maybe a snack for her brother Bob.


The sentences do seem a bit strange, but they've been specially selected


so that we can capture all those speech sounds that we need


when we create this synthetic voice, so rather than trying to record


every single word in the dictionary, we capture all those sounds


so that we can use them in any other word in which they occur.


OK. Thank you.


Right, are you going to get in the van?


Getting all the donors will take months.


In the meantime, Jason and Liz work hard to keep


Jason is still able to drive and adapted vehicle,


Jason is still able to drive an adapted vehicle, and it means


a lot to him to do normal dad things, like take


It's really important for us that we try to get out


and about with the girls and make as many memories as possible.


We are trying to compile lots of video and photographs we've


taken of Jason and the girls together, so later on,


when Jason's no longer here, the girls will have


something to look back upon, something to remember him by.


It has been more than a year since Jason recorded his voice.


21 men from Yorkshire have become donors and read out


Now, Jason is back in Edinburgh to hear his blended and synthesised


voice for the first time. But will it sound like him?


Using eye movements, Jason selects letters


on his computer to type out what he wants to say.


It can be slow, but predictive text helps.


"This is the first time I have heard my new voice."


That's pretty good. Yeah, that is, yeah.


I would definitely recognise it as Jason.


Today is my birthday and we are staying at Edinburgh


tonight with no kids. Woo-hoo!


It doesn't have the same excitement, I don't think!


It may not be able to perfectly express emotion, but this melting


pot of his own and all the donor voices has given


"This is the first time I have heard my new voice."


And don't forget, if you've got any views on tonight's programme,


or you've got a story you think we might like to cover,


you can get in touch on Facebook or on Twitter.


The engineers to the world with a hand in everything


from the Taj Mahal to the Sopwith Camel.


Now, grey squirrels might look cute, and many of us, the only


Now, grey squirrels might look cute, and to many of us, the only


But they are considered a pest, and the only way to keep


Keeley Donovan has been finding out whether contraception is a more


humane weapon in the fight against the greys and to


But under the leafy canopy, deadly aliens are on the loose.


And the villain here, causing millions of pounds of damage,


and upsetting forest ecosystems, is an innocent looking


little woodland creature, the grey squirrel.


The grey squirrels very clever man will -- mammal, and it is basically


outsmarted man for decades. If we get one grey squirrel with


out our native reds. If we get one grey squirrel with


squirrel pox into this area, we can lose our entire population here.


Chemical controls, including contraceptives, have so far failed.


Culling remains the only viable method of keeping numbers down.


The chaps are out most mornings trying to shoot them.


But this could all be about to change.


Victorian aristocrats get the blame for introducing grey


bringing them in from America and releasing them into parks.


The animals adapted rather too well, and numbers swelled.


There are now around three million of them in the UK,


One of their first crimes was to squeeze out Britain's


There are now only about 15,000 left in England,


But there is one small corner of the Yorkshire Dales where red


Simon, this is a wonderful spot, isn't it?


Yeah, it's great. We are very lucky to have them here in this part of


Yorkshire, and people still don't realise that there are Red Square


roles in Yorkshire. Seeing this close is just


incredible, isn't it? Yes, they are very bold. They start


off very shy, but they soon work out this is their home, they are the


boss, and they will do anything they want. That is greedy! You have a


ready got one in there! If this was ever an icon of British wildlife,


this is it. If you ask people to draw a squirrel, this is usually


what they draw, despite that most people haven't seen one.


I can't believe how close we can get!


Simon has been photographing the squirrels for years. They are just


inspiring tins of our British wildlife.


Unfortunately, we need to carry out this work to reduce the number of


grey squirrels. That involves killing any grey


squirrel that comes near. If the Wensleydale reds came


in contact with a grey, they could pick up the fatal


squirrel pox virus. We knew that there were reds Upper


Dale, and we only seeing greys coming through here. We thought, if


we can control the greys, at least we are protecting those reds there.


Eventually, we controlled the greys, and we left it squirrel free for a


while, and then the reds started to come down.


squirrels? squirrels?


You have seen them, you have filmed them. They are to Lily wonderful


creatures, but apart from anything else, they are native. And I think


it is really important to protect and encourage as many of our native


healthy ecosystem, to live in the healthy ecosystem, to live in the


woods, and balance the whole population.


The grey squirrel is officially an alien invasive species.


It is legal to kill them in a humane way.


It's against the law to release one into the wild.


Some people argue that it's unrealistic to expect reds


So why not let reds and greys co-exist?


All animals are welcome at Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary,


They have special permission to take in grey squirrels.


We are licensed to keep and release them here, because we are nowhere


near red squirrels, and we have visits from Natural England, and


they are very happy with our facilities. We have your basic


regulations. You think grey squirrels get a bad


rap. Why is that? Out of all the tarmac killed, 53% of


those are killed on roads, and 2% by pox. Blaming beat grey swirls alone


for the red squirrels' decline, it is nothing in comparison to human


activity. I don't think killing greys is the answer.


There are two issues here ? it's not just the threat to reds,


grey squirrels are attacking our native woodland.


Not like this with chainsaws, but by chipping away at tree bark.


A nightmare for places like the Yorkshire Arboretum,


home to a priceless collection of tree species.


How much of a problem are squirrels here?


They are a terrible nuisance. They do some damage to the collection, to


the trees all round. And really they cause a lot of problems, killing


things, or just simply damaging them.


What exactly do they do? This is a classic example, how they


have stripped the bark in this section and indeed, up and down the


tree. This really now is a completely wrecked tree.


So the tree is missing its bark. It is not going to get its food and


drink? Absolutely. And how common is this


kind of damage in the Arboretum? Very frequent. These are invasive


species. There is a sycamore here, there are others over here which are


just wrecked. This sort of damages everywhere.


Squirrels have been wreaking woodland having fears.


In the 1950s, a despairing government organised a mass


Farmers were paid a shilling a tail to rid the countryside


The squirrels responded by breeding in bigger numbers.


They now cause an estimated ?17 million a year of damage,


and are threatening the future of our woodland.


We will have major changes in the UK in terms of our landscape if we do


not control grey squirrels. The damage that they are doing to trees


is immense. At the moment, landowners get grants


to keep squirrel numbers down. Most mornings, this time of year,


the chaps are out checking the traps or shooting.


It must be difficult for somebody who loves nature to have to kill a


species? Of course it is. We would prefer not


to. Some other form of control would be fantastic.


For years, scientists have been trying to perfect a less brutal way


of controlling the grey squirrel population without killing


A team at Sheffield University spent most of the 1990s working


We are reasonably optimistic and confident at the moment.


Once outside of the lab, it worked well on those


squirrels that picked up the contraceptive-laced nuts.


Unfortunately, half of them didn't take the bait,


Bearing in mind that it is very expensive now to do shooting and


trapping, we're talking about getting on for ?60 a squirrel, we


have to find some sort of game changer.


So they have charged another set of scientists,


at the government lab in North Yorkshire, to try again.


And they think they may this time have cracked a way of getting


It would be a paste. It would go in a dispenser, and the beauty is that


the grey squirrel would have to eat it, actually at the face, at the


dispenser. So because it is in this kind of


liquid form, they must eat it straightaway?


Exactly. Within the bay, we would make sure we have a UV marker, so


when the squirrel feeds on this, the market would get onto its whiskers,


and at the grey squirrel goes back into the woodland, we can actually


see where it is, and actually just how effective we have been with this


dispensing device. They hope these contraceptive


dispensers could be dotted through our woodlands


within five years. Just looking forward, how could this


potentially change the squirrel populations?


I think it could be massive. The modelling we have done shows that we


could actually reduce the breeding population of grey squirrels by


about 70%. What with that then do to the reds?


Well, what would happen is, actually, reds are very good at


coming into grey squirrel areas, and you would see a whole new range of


reds moving south into Yorkshire, and that is enormously exciting.


Here is a quiz question for you. What is the connection between the


Taj Mahal, the Ealing film studios, Grimsby fishing trawlers, and the


Sopwith Camel? Well, they are all powered by engines built by Rustons


and Horby, engineer to the world, a strike here in Lincoln. -- Rustons


and Hornby. A few years ago, a photographer


wandered into an old factory I was the last company full-time


photographer. We were in here to do a quick shoot. We walked into this


room and kind of stopped. When you realise what you have got here,


there were tracking and tracking and boxes and boxes of glass slides,


glass negatives. Cine films. The whole thing was just an Aladdin's


cave. He had come across one of the most


complete records of British industrial history, the archives of


engineering firm Ruston and Hornby. Behind me, this is their factory,


but at one time, this whole area was covered in engineering firms.


This is an old catalogue, about 1900. And it shows the variety, at


your Mendis variety of stuff they made.


Farmer's son Joseph Ruston started this empire by making


So maybe it's appropriate that I'm visiting a garden shed to learn


You wouldn't necessarily think of a big engineering plant coming from


Lincoln. Lincoln is thought by most people


who don't know it as an agricultural town. Being an agricultural town,


they needed agricultural implements. But then, the age of steam came. The


Industrial Revolution. This was a time when Britain were engineers to


the world. Ruston had both an eye for business


and for new inventions. Like steam powered diggers,


sold to the builders At that time, all can now is on


railways were adored by manual Irish Labour, -- all canals, and there


were so much work going on, that the price of their labour had


skyrocketed. They put in an order for 71 Ruston nappies, very good for


Ruston. -- navvies. You can chart the history of the


products they have developed over the last century and a half.


Certainly, the diesel engine, in conjunction with two three from


and oil engine invented by Herbert and oil engine invented by Herbert


Stuart Ackroyd was first made in Grantham by Richard Hornsby. History


shows that Rudolf diesel proved better at filing patents, but in its


day, the Hornsby- Ackroyd engine was used the world over, including in


the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, and the generator that


powered Marconi's first transatlantic wireless signal.


I think engineers by nature horde stuff, because they think that they


need to refer back to it, and of course, that is the beauty about the


archive. Yes, the archive, that stature


pictures and documents, telling Roston's history.


Photographer Phil had told friends at the University about the hoard


Coincidentally, Siemens were looking for a new home


But few places could take such a mass of material.


One of our key goals was to try and keep them intact, with the help of


Professor David slide from the University. We put together a plan


to try to keep them together. That plan was to place the whole lot


in the Lincolnshire Archive, and open it up to the public,


putting it online. We saw it on site down at First


Road, and had a slight panic! I am trained as a historian and an


activist, so this is quite alien to me. We needed help, both of


knowledge and of just hands doing a physical scanning.


It was time to call in the engineers ? volunteers with Ruston knowledge,


handy when identifying what was in all the boxes.


We would just collaborate between each other, and bounced ideas about,


and we have virtually seen everything from the early days of


the 1850s right up to modern day gas turbines.


I actually found a photograph of me in about 1970!


So I am actually in the archives! So I am actually in the archives!


It is Lincoln's history, and in no way should be destroyed or lost or


forgotten about. That history includes a few


missed opportunities, That man, Roberts, he was the first


engineer who was the brains behind the development of the engine, and


the track vehicles. There was a special stretch and Skegness beach


that was the equivalent of Daytona Sands in America, where they had


these things go through their trials.


The caterpillar is a huge American company now. -- caterpillar is.


Yes, because two three's failed to convince the army and they failed to


convince the farmers that the Americans -- but the Americans were


wiser. They paid ?4000 for the patents, and


a few years later, when World War I came about, we were paying them.


Definitely the one got away. Definitely.


At the end of World War I, the companies merged.


Hornsby's had an empty order book. But Rustons were flying high.


They'd spent the war making aeroplanes.


This factory behind me was where they built nearly


For the next 50 years, engines of every size and shape left


And the company kept up Joseph Ruston's knack


'In the precise language of the engineer, it's a gas turbine.


One of the marvels of the century marbles.


Ruston's wanted a part of the new jet technology developed


These then technical director was then sent to a -- to recruit the top


man to develop the gas turbine. Today, we are one of the major


industrial gas turbine manufacturers, where our products


are used on oil pipelines, offshore, so lots of the North Sea equipment,


and the same in the Middle East. The online archive's growing ?


they're uploading 2,000 images And that's only a fraction of what's


going to be made available. I hope people use of research, of


course. There are a lot of people who are still interested in the old


diesel engines. When you start reading into it and going through


stuff, it really is. There's a thriving community


of people restoring Not surprisingly, Ray Hooley


has been involved in One of his longest term projects


began in the late '70s, hauling a 1904 steam navvy out


of a flooded quarry. It took me two years


to assemble divers. Machinery, cranes, and so on, to


dismantle this machine underwater and then lift it out in pieces,


bring it back to Lincoln, and get it restored.


40 years and two museums later, the navvy is back in action at


In 1966, in a world of corporate takeovers,


Nowadays, you only see those names on old restored engines.


But the business is still here in Lincoln.


Several changes of owner later, as Siemens, it's still the city's


largest private employer, they're still making gas turbines,


and they're working with the University to provide


Something to be proud of. Lincoln always was an engineering


city, so it is something to keep it for future generations, I believe.


It is working. Keep it working. I think it is important that people


know it not just as Siemens, but how it started. It is our history, isn't


it? Our heritage. For Lincoln and for England.


APPLAUSE That is all from us here in Lincoln.


Make sure you join us next week. We will reveal how one leading


supermarket's special offers and what they seem, discovering


historical architectural gems in the Yorkshire waltz, and telling you how


to find gold in Scunthorpe.


Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire presented by Paul Hudson.

We meet Jason Liversidge who knows that he will soon lose his voice because of the progression of motor neurone disease. A clinic in Scotland is now using donor voices to try to produce a computerised voice which will sound just like his own. Also, we look at efforts to help the red squirrel population by controlling the number of greys. And we delve into an amazing archive of the Lincolnshire company who were engineers to the world.

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