Child drawing a policeman

Returning to Crays Hill Primary, the School Few People Want to Talk About

This week saw the publication of an extended project on a primary school in Essex. With its austere 1920s red brick design, outdoor playgrounds and dark wooden floor hall, It looks pretty much like any other school. What makes Crays Hill different is that nearly all of its pupils are from the travelling community. As […]

Morris group

What does the future hold for Morris dancing?

On Wednesday night I had the great honour of joining Chelmsford Morris (the men’s group) to find out what off-season folk dancing looked like. The blinding white suits and buckled waistcoats were nowhere to be seen. Instead, a friendly gaggle of men in jeans and polo shirts were there to greet me. My reason for […]

Bird control

Working out the public costs of bird control

A few months back I was leaving an inquest and noticed some guys putting up netting around a council building. They told me it was to stop pigeons roosting on the top and defecating downwards onto people like me. “But once you’ve done this job,” I asked, “won’t the pigeons just move over there?” “Yes,” […]

A place that matters, at least to me

Copley Woods in Halifax is fairly small, often in deep shade and pretty steep. To most eyes it probably isn’t particularly beautiful. But for me, nowhere in the world makes me feel more at home. I have a very personal history with these woods, which at the top are bordered by beautiful giant boulders which […]

View inside Regiie Kray's old cell 116

Inside Reggie Kray’s old prison cell at Blundeston

There are some places you never imagine you’ll end up. Take, for example, the prison cell which was once home to one of east London’s most notorious gangsters. Reggie Kray, to be precise. He was once at the now defunct HMP Blundeston near Lowestoft. I’m told by a former guard he never requested his personal […]

Justice project wins a Ruby Award

Delighted to report that my work on the creaking justice system from last September – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33634404 – scooped a Ruby Television Award and was nominated for the Online Media Awards. The project – which involved an enormous amount of data crunching – went out across television and radio news, current affairs television and online. My […]