Coming Up:


Scotland’s Blackpool Romance: BBC Radio Scotland, Friday 23rd September at 1.30pm, repeated on Saturday 24th September at 11.30am. 

An affectionate look at why the Scots return to Blackpool for their annual holiday. Comedian and writer Jenny Eclair, who was brought up on the Fylde Coast, finds out why the Scottish love Blackpool so much. They began arriving in the town in the early 1820s when the first bus travelled directly from Glasgow to Blackpool. Generations later, Glaswegian families still fill the the town in July.

Producer: Geoff Bird 


A Casual Clearance: Radio 4, Monday 3rd October at 11am. 

Clare Jenkins reflects on the practical and emotional difficulties faced when clearing out a family home after the last parent dies. What do you keep, what do you throw away - and what secrets might you uncover during the process?


The Sigh: Radio 4, Monday 19th December at 8pm.

Why do we sigh? What does it mean - and how does it come across to other people? We learn about the history, psychology and science of the sigh, and its role and use in literature, art, music. 


Earlier in 2016...


Three-Sided Football: Radio 4, Wednesday 8th April, 11am

All over the world people are getting together to play a game that seems quite baffling - a version of football in which three sides take part at the same time on one pitch. 

In this action packed programme, poet Ian McMillan meets some of Britain's best teams, including Philosophy Football FC, the Deptford Three-Sided Football Club , the Strategic Optimists FC, Aesthetico Athletico, the New Cross Irregulars and the London-based Polish side, Hussaria.

Producer: Bob Dickinson


BBC Bitesize:

Producer Janet Graves recorded 30 poems with original soundscapes for the BBC Bitesize pages - http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zcsjmnb/revision

The poems are part of the current GCSE English Syllabus and were also animated with photographic images. You can click on each author to hear poems read by writers Simon Armitage, Imtiaz Dharker, and Beatrice Garland.

2015


The Incubator: Radio 4, Monday 30th November at 11am. Clare Jenkins presents a personal insight into the world of premature babies, visiting the neonatal ward at King's College Hospital in London.

 

The Northern Male - and his Mate, BBC Radio 4, Monday 10th August 11am. Stuart Maconie talks to, among others, Sheffield balladeer Richard Hawley, about northern male friendships. 

 

The Other Side of Adoption - Tim Whewell explores the challenges faced by some adoptive parents. BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 11th August, 8pm.


The Doctor's Dementia: BBC Radio 4, 24th June, 11am. 

A doctor's perspective on dementia - from the inside. Jennifer Bute was a highly successful GP in her late 50s when she realised she was forgetting things. At first, she attributed it to getting older. But when she forgot where her surgery was, and didn't recognise her colleagues, she resigned, and she and her husband moved into a care village. Now in her late 60s and widowed, she is an active campaigner for people with dementia, with her own website (www.gloriousopportunity.org) and much in demand as a conference speaker. Here, she tells her story.


What the reviewers say:

 

"A marvellous listen" - Gillian Reynolds, Sunday Telegraph

"one of the most life-affirming programmes I have ever heard" - Jane Anderson, Radio Times

"this inspiring documentary" - Stephanie Billen, The Observer

"This wonderful programme" - Catherine Nixey, The Times

"this fine, sometimes hopeful, programme" - Paul Donovan, Sunday Times

"a laudable piece of public service" - Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

"You have to hear The Doctor's Dementia," - David Hepworth, The Guardian. "It's about - no, it stars, Jennifer Bute... The fact that at no stage does she sound like a victim of anything... drives home the point that this could really happen to anyone..."

Also three stars in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, and pick of the day in all of the above, plus The Independent and Independent on Sunday


Recent programmes:


Teatime at Peggy's: BBC Radio 4, 15th May

The Alice in Wonderland world of the Anglo-Indians, a marginalised community in India, focussing around an extraordinary nonagenarian widow, Peggy Cantem. Over tea and seed cake, Clare Jenkins talks to "Auntie Peggy" at her home in Jhansi, an important railway town nearly 300 miles south of Dehi. She hears tales of moonlight picnics, pet mongeese, Mulligatawny soup - and Monsoon Toad Balls.

It's an endangered way of life - there are just around 30 Anglo-Indian families left in Jhansi, around 100,000 people throughout India. Many have emigrated to Australia, Canada, the UK. Before Partition in 1947, they were the mainstay of the Indian railways, postal and telecommunications services. Today, they are seen as a minority community and protected as such. And if Jhansi is their heartland, Peggy Cantem is at the heart of the heartland. 

Producer: Clare Jenkins

"Made me want to take tea with Peggy" - Radio Times

"Vividly evocative" - Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

"Catches something of the special atmosphere of a culture and way of life that are fast disappearing" - Daily Mail

"Another pure listening experience" - Kate Chisholm, The Spectator

Chosen for BBC Radio 4's Pick of the Week, and Pick of the Day in the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Independent, The Guardian, Sunday Telegraph, Observer





Children of the Scattered Homes: BBC Radio 4, 10th April

Clare Jenkins turned amateur historian to track down descendants of children who were taken away from the Sheffield workhouse under a pioneering scheme subsequently copied across England.

In  Victorian times, to be poor was  to be guilty of a moral failing. So in Sheffield in the late 1800s, a scheme was devised to adopt poor children over the age of three and take them away from their families –  to remove them from the evil influence of that poverty. 

The Sheffield Poor Law Union came up with a scheme where poor children could be adopted by a Board of Guardians. Some of the children had  parents living in desperate conditions in the workhouse, others were orphans and some were destitute – any child could be adopted if the guardians felt they needed protection. The aim was to ensure that no child over three ever entered the workhouse – and also to remove children from the ‘pauperising influence’ of unsuitable parents and relatives. It  was described as ‘Utopian and pioneering.’

But what happened to those children of the scattered homes .. and was it the successful experiment that the Sheffield Poor Law Union thought it was? With the help of Sheffield archivist Tim Knebel, Clare tracked down three women whose relatives had been brought up in these 'scattered homes'.

Producer: Janet Graves

Chosen for Radio 4's Pick of the Week

Pick of the day in the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Clare (centre) with her sisters Judith and Ruth, sorting through family memories.   

 

 Ian McMillan learning the arcane rules of three-sided football.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Maconie. Photo © BBC Photos

 

 

 

 Dr Jennifer Bute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Cantem

 

Captain Roy Abbott

 

 

 

 

Clare with Sheffield archivist Tim Knebel