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A Shoebox of Snow

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 16 September 2011

Albert & Renie haven't left their flat in decades. They are cocooned by every object they have ever owned.
One pocket watch, one rule book, one cap. Railway issue.
One chiming clock, engraved '25 years service'.
One chiming clock, engraved '50 years service'.
But their lifetime of memories needs to be cleared from the Clover Block, as this model post war estate is now to be demolished.
Every edition of the Daily Mirror since 1941.
Every edition of the National Union Of Railwaymen newsletter since 1941
69 years of appointment diaries - notes about the weather to each date.

And Christopher an ex-DJ turned "council man" is tasked with persuading them to de-clutter and move out, before the flats are blown up and his baby is due.

Renie and Albert Grace keep their memories piled high, boxed and safe in their tower block flat, with no need for the outside world. Every object triggers a memory, a chapter in their lives together -
one roller skate left leg ,
one plaster cast right leg,
one snowstorm of Dreamland Margate

They claim it always snows for the good stuff, and they keep that too in A Shoebox of Snow. Not just to see it, but to hold it, smell it, feel the weight of it.

As Christopher's relationship with this couple deepens, he reflects on his own difficult relationship with pregnant girlfriend Janine- played by the writer Julie Mayhew.

But the date for demolition approaches and Christopher must find out -What are they saving it all for?
We have been asking the public, cast and crew "What are the stories behind the objects you save?" - some are featured in the programme and linked to on the Radio 4 website as the production airs.
We leave this afternoon play with Richard Briers and Edna Doré sharing objects they treasure.

Producer: Justine Potter
A Red Production for BBC Radio 4.

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