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Wednesday, 2nd of June BBC2, 1.00pm

SH Line Producer | 16:30 UK time, Wednesday, 2 June 2010

On today's programme we meet the Deaf Stoke folk who have helped shape both the history of The Potteries area where they live and the sign language that is unique to their community.

 

Stoke-on-Trent, in the heart of England, is considered to be the home of the pottery industry, which is why it is commonly known as The Potteries. Over the years it's been a popular source of employment for the 100,000 Deaf and hard of hearing people that live in the area.

 

Since the early 1700s, over 1,500 pottery firms have operated in the Stoke-on-Trent area, with world-renowned companies such as Royal Doulton, Dudson Ltd, Spode, Wedgwood and Minton all originating from the region.

Sadly over the years factory numbers have been in steady decline with only 350 ceramic-based businesses in North Staffordshire left today.

 

The majority of deaf children in Staffordshire used to attend the only Deaf school in the area, the MountSchool for the Deaf in Stoke-on-Trent, which opened in1897 and closed in 2003.

Working in the pottery factories was a career path typical for many Deaf school leavers in Stoke-on-Trent, and was often a job for life.

Many of the signs used by pupils from the MountSchool for the Deaf are still used by the Stoke Deaf community today keeping the unique dialect of The Potteries alive.

 

 

And we visit Wendy Garbett. She recently contacted the programme with her thoughts on hearing aids and what's hot and what's not when it comes to getting the best hearing aid.

See Hear decided to take up Wendy's challenge to find out what the difference is between what's available privately and what you can get via the NHS.

Is it always a case of you get what you pay for when it comes to hearing aids?  Are free NHS digital hearing aids of equal, if not better, quality than those from the private sector?

See Hear finds out....

 

Plus we visit a new recently established online company which has been set up recently. The online site claims to revolutionise the hearing aid market, which is worth 210 million a year, by under cutting high street prices and alleviating customer inconvenience.

 

 

f you want to find out more, please follow this link www.hearingdirect.com

 

 

  

We also raise a glass to English Wine Week with grape connoisseur, Jilly Goolden.

 

Memnos sets off to England's largest vineyard, Denbies, in Dorking, Surrey, to find out all about English wine from grape to bottle.

Helping him on his mission Jilly Goolden teaches Memnos how to smell and articulate the tastes and aromas of wine.

 

English Wine Week is a national campaign to promote the wines and vineyards of England and is held this year starting from Saturday 29th May until Sunday 6th June.

Over the course of the week special events, tastings, offers and other activities are taking place in vineyards across the country. It's an opportunity to show people round, give them tastings of wine and get them to see what vineyards are all about.

If you would like to find out more about English Wine Week, and for a full listing of events and activities, please follow this link

www.englishwineweek.co.uk.

 

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