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28 October 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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    Coming Up : Inside Out - East: Monday October 24, 2005

Denton Gypsies

Gypsies - sparking controversy in Norfolk

There are more travellers in the East of England than any other area of the country.

Conflicts between settled residents and gypsies on illegal encampments are a common story across East Anglia.

Two years ago three gypsy families bought a meadow in the South Norfolk Village of Denton.

It’s now home to 30 people. But they are living here without planning permission, and despite being told they must go, they're still here.

Claire Valori’s kitchen window is just a few feet away from the site.

She was terrified the day the gypsies moved in. She contacted the council to try to get something done.

In June 2005 the gypsies finally lost their appeal to stay on the site - but the council still has to find a suitable site for them to go to.

Both villagers and travellers are frustrated by the time it is taking to sort things out.

Although the villagers are clear they do not want the Gypsies in the village, a few of the women have put their differences on one side and are trying to work together to find a solution.

Claire Valori comments, "Part of the problem is there’s not a proper political solution for this, it’s not a popular thing in politics to solve this so it’s swept away".

Inside Out East investigates the issues and both sides of the story.

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Brave Men of Wells

Lifeboat reconstruction
Stormy seas - disaster in coastal waters

It is one of the worst lifeboat disasters in the history of the RNLI.

Saturday October 29 2005 marks the 125th anniversary of the Eliza Adams disaster

On that day in 1880, the Eliza Adams lifeboat was called out of Wells-Next the Sea in Norfolk in severe gales.

Firstly it was sent to help the Sharon’s Rose, saving seven crew, and then it was called to The Ocean Queen.

The Ocean Queen had been driven onto sands, but on reaching her, the lifeboat was unable to help and set sail to return to harbour.


It is 125 years since the capsize of the Wells Lifeboat Eliza Adams in 1880.

On 29 October 2005 11 roses, one for each crewman lost, will be laid from the current Wells Lifeboat Doris M Mann of Ampthill near the spot where the tragedy occurred.

There will also be a service at the Lifeboat Memorial near Wells Quay after this commemorative event.

In the evening of 29 October, there will be a re-enactment of the inquest into the disaster.

Members of the public are welcome to watch the launching of the lifeboat and to attend the memorial service. The evening re-enactment of the inquest will be for invited guests only.

Among those attending the commemoration will be families and descendants of those involved.

Wells Lifeboat Station wants to hear from anyone with a family connection to the disaster who they haven't been able to trace or contact to date.

Source: Wells Lifeboat

At this point a heavy sea broke over her and the lifeboat capsized.

Of the 13 crew, only two survived – leaving ten widows and 27 fatherless children.

Ironically, the crew of the Ocean Queen survived the storm and walked safely ashore when the tide ebbed.

On the 125th Anniversary of Elisa Adams disaster, David Whiteley re-tells the story.

Wearing replica cork lifejackets and rowing an authentic period lifeboat brought specially from the South Coast, the present day crew of the Wells Lifeboat re-live that fateful day.

William Bell was one of the two crew who survived.

His great grandson Allen Frary is a member of the current lifeboat crew:

"It must’ve been terrifying... but these were all experienced seamen. They had a job to do. Their job as lifeboat men was to save lives.

My great grandfather, as with the rest of them, wouldn’t have thought about the consequences."

And 125 years later there's an emotional meeting between two men united by the disaster.

Geoff Perkins' great grandfather was one of the lifeboatmen who died after rescuing Peter Frank’s great grandfather from the Ocean Queen.

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Women builders

Woman builder
Rock solid - female builders show their flair for bricklaying

Women Builders is Britain's only female building company.

Based in Milton Keynes, it’s the concrete realisation of the dream of former IT worker Janet Shelley to get women into construction.

Since launching the company in April 2004, she already employs 18 women on a full time basis - the largest female construction workforce in the UK.

At the moment there are very few women in the industry.

Janet believes it is inevitable that women will play a major part in the building industry in the future, especially as there is a shortage of tradespeople.

All the women are passionate about their new skills - and ably demonstrate they can do the job - from plumbing to bricklaying.

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