On the 14th floor of Grenfell Tower, firefighters moved eight residents into flat 113. Only four would survive. Using evidence from stage 1 of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, Katie Razzall pieces together what went wrong that night in flat 113. The answer reveals a catalogue of errors which may help to explain the wider disaster.
The Turtle Dove Pilgrimage
Folk singer Sam Lee, along with William Parsons of the British Pilgrimage Trust, lead eleven pilgrims on a journey across Sussex tracing the origins of the iconic folk song The Turtle Dove.
Over a hundred years ago, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams travelled through Rusper, Sussex, collecting the stories and songs of the locals he encountered. He stopped at the Plough Inn, where he set up his Edwardian recording equipment to capture the songs of the pub’s landlord, whose crackled voice and haunting melodies can still be heard today. Vaughan Williams transformed one of the humble folk songs, The Turtle Dove, into a choral hit – extracting the song from Sussex and exporting it to the concert halls of London.
This Pilgrimage seeks to return the song to the land from which it was taken.
Moving through woods, churchyards and village halls, the pilgrims sing as they progress toward the Knepp rewilding estate, where they hope to sing The Turtle Dove to the last remaining colony of turtle doves in Sussex. Along the way, the pilgrims muse on the meaning of pilgrimage in a secular age and the contemporary relevance of this ancient song.
Presenter: Sam Lee
Producer: Claire Crofton
A TBI production for BBC Radio 4
Macpherson: What Happened Next
In April 1993, a black teenager, Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack in the London suburb of Eltham. The Metropolitan Police bungled the investigation into his killers. The Inquiry which followed by Sir William Macpherson produced one of the most damning documents ever to emerge from the heart of the British establishment. Most famously, he concluded the force was “institutionally racist” issuing wide ranging recommendations for reform. 20 years on, barrister and broadcaster Hashi Mohamed, examines what’s changed since the Macpherson report was published. What difference did it really make?
The programme includes the first broadcast interview with Sir William Macpherson for nearly 20 years.
Producer: Jim Frank
Barristers on the Brink
Journalist Afua Hirsch used to be a barrister, but after only two years advocating for some of the most vulnerable people in society she quit. For Afua, cuts to legal aid and burgeoning caseloads were making it impossible to do the job to the standard it deserved.
Now, a decade on, Afua reexamines her old profession and speaks to criminal barristers who say they're in the grip of a mental health crisis triggered by poor working conditions and a crushing caseload filled with disturbing evidence.
We hear about the unique stress of having to defend people accused of the most serious crimes and the resilience required to deal with people whose lives have been devastated.
Afua discovers that a huge rise in the number of cases of a sexual nature going to trial in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, among other high profile historical sex abuse cases, has left barristers facing a seemingly endless stream of disturbing evidence. Trials of a sexual and violent nature can have a serious impact on mental health and trigger what's known as "vicarious trauma" - and yet lawyers are offered next to no emotional and psychological support.
We hear from criminal lawyer Laurence Lee, who represented Jon Venables, one of the youthful killers of the two year old James Bulger. Lee explains that the trial left him with the symptoms of PTSD. Decades later, Lee still has nightmares in which he sees his own body, beaten and left straddling a set of railway tracks, a fate that mirrors that of James Bulger.
Finally, Afua meets the courageous barristers who are challenging the stigma surrounding mental health by founding support groups in a profession in which image is everything.
Presenter: Afua Hirsch
Producer: Max O'Brien
A TBI production for BBC Radio 4
What’s it like to be deported or forcibly removed from the UK? Recorded over the past year, these are the stories of three people sent to Nigeria, a country they left many years ago, and what happens to them once they arrive. Fola was training to be a nurse and married to a British citizen, but when the marriage broke down her right to remain was stopped. After thirteen years in the UK, she was removed to Nigeria. Is she able start a new business there after so many years away? Shams was born in Nigeria and came to the UK when he was ten years old to join his family. He went to school in England but, after serving a prison sentence, was deported to Lagos as a foreign national. Can Shams stay in contact with his young son and daughter in England and earn a living in an unfamiliar city where unemployment is high? Jessica came to the UK as a student and lived in Scotland. When she was unable to extend her visa, she was forcibly removed to Lagos after thirteen years living in the UK. With £10 cash on her when she arrived in Lagos, and all her belongings still in Glasgow, can Jessica, who has a serious health condition, build a new life in Nigeria?
Producer: Jo Wheeler
A Somethin’ Else production for BBC Radio 4