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Alan Dein travels to Nottingham to meet with the 4th & 5th generations of a family firm of Funeral Directors (with a 6th generation already on the horizon). When furniture maker and dealer Arthur William Lymn started 'undertaking' funerals with his son Harold Percy in 1907, their first premises were on Goosegate - next door to a man selling potions and lotions. Although Arthur and Harold could not match the subsequent success of their next-door-neighbours, the Boots Pure Drug Company Ltd, AW Lymn did have to move to larger premises in 1915. And in the hundred years since they have continued to grow, now operating out of 25 offices, employing 110 staff and conducting 3,500 funeral every year.
Last year a brain tumour forced Harold's grandson, Nigel Lymn Rose to hand over the reins of the company to his son Matthew while he underwent brain surgery and recuperated. This summer, fully recovered and back at work, this temporary arrangement was made permanent. As Matthew and Nigel work out the parameters of their new roles within the company (alongside Matthew's aunt, Jackie, and sister Chloe - all also involved in the family firm), Alan Dein goes behind the scenes with them to discover what goes on beyond the formal funeral attire of top hats and tails and Roll Royce hearses. With them he visits the hospital morgue to pick up recently deceased 'patients', enters the world of the firm's embalmers and observes them in the chapels of rest - to find out what it's like to deal with death on a daily basis.
Producer: Paul Kobrak.
Goodbye to Boleyn
The Boleyn Ground, Upton Park. Home to West Ham since 1904. No one would call the stadium, or indeed the streets that closely bind it in the borough of Newham, beautiful but it has echoed to one of football's oldest anthems 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' since the 1920's. Now that song and the stones & grass that have been an arena for legends like Hurst, Moore & Peters will not just fade and die but be demolished. Very soon the club will move from E13 to E20 & the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, no longer owners but tenants in a very different space. Match days around Green Street and the other roads that bind the stadium to the area will be like every other day. But for these last few months the pavements still reverberate to the returning tribes of Essex, their family ties strong in a place that has greatly changed since Bobby Moore and his other '66 immortals made West Ham a global name.
Amidst the throng on match day, Alan Dein weaves his way through the streets to chronicle lives enfolded by the stadium. On the corner of the ground stands Our Lady of Compassion, in fact it was the church that originally sold the ground to the club. Now their Saturday services are shaped by the footfall of match day. Directly opposite the stadium live two nuns with a new found affinity for the Claret & Blue. Standing on a step ladder, shouting to the arriving crowds a scary looking skinhead offers wise insight into the passing of time and place. Inside Queen's Market, flogging his apples and pears, Bradley is waiting until the clock hits 2.30 before he pulls on his replica shirt and dives out into the thickening crowds making their way towards the big match.
Producer: Mark Burman.
When pensioners Viv and Fred Morgan read about a teenager committing suicide clutching her teddy, they decided to act - turning their home into a school to help other bullied kids.
They took their Bed and Breakfast in Hatton, Warwickshire and turned rooms into classrooms and built recreation and therapy facilities in the grounds. Now they have 17 pupils attending, more than half of whom have tried to take their own lives in the past.
Children aged between 11 and 16 can be referred by their local authorities and most stay for about a year. At first they often struggle with the curriculum but gradually they join classes - with 22 full and part time teachers covering everything from Science and English through to Photography GCSE.
Fred was 90 when they founded Northleigh House School but even now, four years on, he has no interest in retiring and Viv agrees: "We're not people who sit back and do nothing. When we heard of the situation facing youngsters we just knew we should try and help."
Alan Dein meets pupils and also those who have successfully taken their GCSEs and moved back into mainstream for 6th form. Ruth was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when she was 12 and struggled so desperately with school that she wanted her life to end. When she eventually arrived at Northleigh it took her weeks to develop the trust and build up the energy needed to attend lessons. Now she has her sights set on applying to study law at University:
"When I first walked in here it was like being at a friend's house. I didn't know what to expect but I saw the fire in the grate and the welcoming feel of the place. It has been the best thing that has happened to me coming here and I wish others knew it existed and could help them as well."
Producer Susan Mitchell.
Care for Claire
Lives in a Landscape reports from Penistone, where Claire Throssell is being helped by her community after her sons were killed by their father in a house fire exactly a year ago.
As well as killing his sons and himself, Darren Sykes also destroyed much of the house, lighting fires throughout the terraced home and luring his boys into the loft with the promise of a new train set. He had cancelled the home insurance before the blaze and Claire faced both the devastating loss of her sons and also the terrible reminder in a home she couldn't sell because of such extensive fire damage.
Local people wanted to stand firm against such 'evil', according to a local singer and archivist, Dave Cherry, who has helped raise money. Teams of volunteers organised by Reverend David Hopkins at St John's Church and both the Rotary and 41 Clubs, have overseen the rebuilding of the home.
Whilst nothing will replace her loss, Claire tells Alan Dein that such community support has helped her focus on creating a legacy for her sons. Jack, who was 12 when he died, was a promising trumpet player and his younger brother, Paul, was only nine and already showing considerable athletic talent. She has set up awards in their name and wants to ensure that their lives are remembered.
The volunteer project manager is Ged Brearley, who has coordinated 480 plus volunteer hours and manages a core team of 40 through house clearance, stripping back the walls to complete rewiring, re-plastering and re-plumbing.
Dave Cherry was one of the first to offer to help: "That man destroyed everything. Her house, her kids and her life. If we don't do anything then he wins. If we can help this lass then we can stop him from winning."
Producer Susan Mitchell.
The Life of Reilly
For every stand-up comedian that's a household name, there are dozens of hard-working, funny, committed comedians who haven't quite broken through into the national consciousness.
Christian Reilly is a musical stand-up, a wandering minstrel, whose comedy material is delivered through song. He's a popular and successful act who's in great demand on the comedy-club circuit. His diary is packed: Some weeks he'll do two gigs in one night, in two different cities. It's an exhausting schedule. His year, along with so many others, reaches its peak at the Edinburgh festival in August.
In this week's Lives in a Landscape Alan Dein hears Christian's story and travels with him to gigs in Manchester, Liverpool and, ultimately, Edinburgh. From behind-the-scenes at comedy venues, to the share-house Christian rents for a month in Edinburgh with fellow comedians, Alan discovers what motivates Christian, what his ambitions are, and whether he believes he can achieve them.
Producer: Karen Gregor.