To Winchester to interview Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Smith for our Jubilee Sailing Trust movie. Mike runs ‘Care for Casualties’, which looks after injured servicemen from The Rifles., who are always in the front line when things get rather loud and full of bangs. That also means they’ve had their full share of casualties. Mike’s organization looks after those who’ve taken a hit for us – and he’s helped a lot of injured guys go to sea with the Trust, including Kyle Baker (October 2nd blog.) Heaving with rain so we film inside the regimental museum at the barracks. Interesting, go visit if you’re down that way.
P.S. If you need the loo at the museum, you’re directed “through the First World War” (!) They mean their WWI display but just for a moment you think you might give nature’s call a miss!!
It may sound like a motorway, but in fact it’s a monitor – which, come to think of it, may in turn sound like an old-style school prefect! To avoid more confusion then, let’s call her what the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) call her: a ‘Coastal Bombardment Vessel’. This is HMS M33, in Portsmouth Dockyard, one of only two surviving warships from the First World War. Small ship, big guns – her role was to fire at enemy shore emplacements, often supporting the army. She’s doubly significant because she’s also the last warship left to have taken part in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915: Winston Churchill’s plan to attack Turkey from the Mediterranean, through the ‘Dardanelles’ narrows leading to the Black Sea. NMRN have big plans for M33 – and we might be involved. Watch this space…
Filming Day 5 for the Jubilee Sailing Trust. We’re with a guy who we all owe a lot to: a soldier called Kyle Baker, formerly of The Rifles, who saw service in Afghanistan – and like many of his colleagues, paid a very heavy price on our and the Afghan people’s behalf. He was shot in the back while on active duty, suffering severe injuries that he still lives with – and post-traumatic stress disorder too, with its effect of putting you right back where you were, feeling just what you felt on the day the bad things happened. But Kyle says that sailing in both the Trust’s ships has helped him get his life going again – even (maybe specially) the scary bit of going up the mast in a rough sea.
Here’s to The Rifles, and all our servicemen and women.
Day 4 of our Round Britain Tour for the Jubilee Sailing Trust…this time Maritime Films UK is in Plymouth to interview Johanna Sidey, who’s worked her way up to become a JST Watch Leader. This means she helps manage a Watch – crews with the JST are organized into teams called Watches, in classic seafaring style. Johanna got involved after a terrible car crash badly damaged her sight and mobility – but she’s won through to become a valued member of JST world. She told us how she was totally scared when she was waiting to go up one of the masts for the first time but once she got up into the heights she was exhilarated – along with her fellow mast climbers – and had stunning views of the fjord they’d sailed into. Call it the JST effect!
Day 2 of Maritime Films UK’s UK-wide tour – up to Staffordshire to interview James Whale, who’s just back from the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ship Lord Nelson. James has cerebral palsy which affects his movements and speech. But definitely not his brain or his thinking! (or his driving – he picks me up from Stafford station, half an hour away from his home.) Meet up there with his mum Elena and lively young spaniel Molly, who’s up for everything, including tug-of-war with a branch longer than she is. Interview James about his voyage out in the garden and he comes up with good insights into what being at sea for 3 months was like, his part in the epic 2-year voyage of the Nelson. Before that, Elena gives us a much-needed and lavish sandwich lunch. I was gasping, so thanks Elena!
Filming for our Jubilee Sailing Trust film all this week. First of all to Treloar’s College in Alton Hampshire (close by Alan Titchmarsh’s latest, immaculate garden!) to film with Jerry Cullum, head of the business centre at the college, who helped pupil Ryan to go to sea with the Trust. Treloar’s is a purpose-built college especially for disabled students. Very smart and new. That’s because the college made a smart move a while back, selling a former property at a good price and building the new college from the ground up. It’s spacious, light and airy. Jerry talks about how the voyage made big changes in Ryan, who lives with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Didn’t stop him sailing the world aboard Lord Nelson though! Thank you Lorna Woodcroft of Treloar’s, who set all this up with extraordinary speed and efficiency.
Rob is a TV producer, reporter and camera operator with 30 years’ experience at the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN, in news, factual and documentary production. He is a four times award winner, whose awards include a coveted Royal Television Society award for his work on Channel 4 News. His association with The Maritime Foundation goes back to 1995, when he won the first Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award for a series of reports that led to a major documentary on the loss of the bulk carrier Derbyshire.
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