Every day some 55 million people go about their lives across England. This is a snapshot of a nation across 24 hours.
Photographs will be added through the day, telling the everyday stories of the people who make up the nation.
‘I made Sir Alex laugh’
Rob Gregory is a train dispatcher at Manchester Piccadilly station, and earlier waved away the last service leaving the city for London.
The 35-year-old, from Cadishead, Salford, says he enjoys being around people and has met some famous faces in his work, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Eddie Izzard and Rita Ora.
“Sir Alex was in first class, and the food menu that day had dishes from around the world, including Australia. I made him laugh by doing an Aussie accent,” he says.
“People think we just use the whistle and baton, but there’s a lot more to the job than that. There’s a lot of helping people.
“It’s a clich but every day really is different. I’ve never been one to be cooped up in an office.”
‘Sometimes you’ve got trouble but we’ve got security at the door’
Murat Baser, 34, manages The Olive Tree takeaway in Norwich. Born in Ankara, Turkey, he moved to Norwich from Wales in 2011.
“I like Norwich, I like the university, the city centre and the historic castle,” he says.
He also likes the football team. “I used to support Ipswich but I support Norwich now.”
The shop doesn’t close until 04:00 and the hours can be hard but Murat is philosophical about it. “What can we do? I’ve got a pregnant wife.”
The shop is surrounded by bars and clubs but Murat doesn’t think Prince of Wales Road is as bad as some people think. “Sometimes you’ve got trouble but we’ve got security at the door and straight away he sorts it out,” he says.
‘It smells of being Victorian’
Shaun Phillimore, 47, works as a toll man at the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.
He’s proud to carry on a tradition dating back more than 150 years since Brunel’s famous bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge, was opened in 1864.
He says he has an “emotional attachment” to the structure.
“It’s like a museum that you work in. It smells of being Victorian. The atmosphere hasn’t changed,” he says.
And the toll men are still working to a Victorian shift pattern, Shaun says.
“The hours we work are based around pub opening times, so everyone gets a chance to go down the pub when the shift ends.”
‘West Pier should never be forgotten’
Rachel Clark is chief executive of the West Pier Trust in Brighton. She’s been in charge of heritage projects on the pier’s site for 25 years.
“Unfortunately arson attacks in 2003 meant that the structure is now completely beyond repair.
“But we’re conserving and celebrating the past, managing the present and planning for the future.
“We’re about to open a centre celebrating the history of the pier and are restoring an original kiosk.
“It’s so important that the West Pier should never be forgotten. The site is such an asset to the city and should be enjoyed by as wide a public as possible.”
‘Pakistani cricket team came in’
Talib Hussain is getting ready for a night’s work at Imran’s restaurant in Birmingham.
The city’s Balti Triangle is renowned for its array of Indian restaurants and Imran’s was among the first to arrive on Ladypool Road 40 years ago.
Now run by Imran Butt, whose father named the restaurant after him, it is not just a favourite among the Midlands’ curry fans.
“The Pakistani cricket team came in when they played at Edgbaston a few weeks ago,” he said.
Search for new talent
Millwall Community Trust runs football sessions, in conjunction with the Premier League and Fusion/City of London, on estates across Southwark and Lewisham with the aim of helping hard-to-reach youngsters and identify new talent.
Leyton Orient’s Josh Koroma, Deshane Dalling of Huddersfield, Norwich’s Diallang Jaiyesmi and Dejo Oshilaja of AFC Wimbledon are among those to have started their careers on ball courts like this one.
The Millwall Premier League Kicks programme reaches 1,900 people a year.
Coach Tariq Ibrahim says: “The sessions give kids an opportunity to play at a high level, keeps them out of trouble and allows them to talk freely about anything and everything.”
‘When you come to Redcar you have to have a Lemon Top’
Pacitto’s is well known on Teesside for the creation of a summertime favourite – the Lemon Top. Whipped vanilla ice cream with a lemon sorbet finish, you can’t move down the esplanade in Redcar without seeing someone tucking in to one.
The shop, opened by Marcus Pacitto’s great-grandfather Giacomo, has been a feature of the seaside town for more then 85 years.
Speaking about their most popular item, Marcus, 52, says: “I don’t know if it was my grandfather or if it was taken from elsewhere, but it just seems to have hit Redcar and it’s a ridiculously popular dish.
“It kind of makes me proud, in a strange way. It’s part of Redcar folklore now – in fact, it’s a law – when you come to Redcar you have to have a Lemon Top.”
‘It’s hard to pull myself away’
City archaeologist Scott Lomax spends much of his time below ground in Nottingham investigating long-lost man-made caves.
The caves, some dating back to the 9th Century, were once used as dungeons, bomb shelters, pub cellars and homes and Scott, 34, from Chesterfield, is determined to find and record every one.
“Caves are central to understanding the heritage of Nottingham,” he says.
“There’s so much archaeology and so many hundreds of caves it’s hard to pull myself away from Nottingham.”
‘All the colours are really bright’
As school ends for the day, 10-year-old Harriet Laycock is playing with a series of art installations at the Humber Street Gallery, Hull.
The State of Play exhibition contains a number of contemporary works by UK and international artists including a remote-controlled robot, an arcade slot machine containing porcelain and terracotta coins, a knitting lamp and a miniature city modelled from paper.
She is pictured with a row of large sensory plastic circular discs that light up different colours when blown on. “It was really cool and fun; it was amazing how they do it. All the colours are really bright,” she says.
‘I always enjoy the greenifying process’
Actress Willemijn Verkaik is playing the role of Elphaba in Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre.
“I always enjoy the greenifying process, as slowly Elphaba will come out,” she says.
The show is currently in its 11th year in the West End.
‘I hope my son will be the next’
Jake Radford, 41, is the third generation of his family to run donkey rides on Blackpool beach.
“My grandfather Sydney Clews started the business 80-odd years ago,” he says.
“They may have smartphones and tablets but children still like going for donkey rides on the beach. It’s part of the traditional seaside.
“In the winter I work in a warehouse but I love being outdoors. It’s been in the family three generations and I hope my son will be the next.”
‘Literally just had a baby’
Meet William Edwin, one of England’s newest people. He was born at 10:50 BST in the maternity unit of Ipswich Hospital.
Here he is after a feed with his mother Kirstie Elliott and father Tito Brela. He is yet to meet his older brother Oliver, who is 14 months old.
While Ms Elliott was with the BBC she had a telephone call on her mobile from a delivery driver.
Her reply was one of the best you will hear today.
“I am sorry,” she said to the caller. “I cannot really talk right now, I’ve literally just had a baby.”
‘People are pretty helpful’
University student Alex Hedley has an unusual job at The Open at Royal Birkdale in Lancashire.
The 21-year-old from Bourne, Lincolnshire, is part of a marketing feedback project run by Sheffield Hallam University.
“We do a lot of different events,” Alex says. “We did the Royal Regatta at Henley and we’re doing the Special Olympics in Sheffield next month.
“People are pretty helpful if you ask them questions when they’re having a sit down. But not so if they are up in the stands as really they’re trying to watch the golf.”
‘They were so calm’
Ian Lock, 42, is a critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance. He has been with the service since 2009 when he joined because he wanted a new challenge.
On his first mission he remembers going to a road accident in Coventry and recalls: “All the existing guys who’d been on for a while were so calm and I was a bit like a new boy with wide eyes thinking what on earth have I done, why am I here and how am I here and how I am going catch up with them?”
‘Things people don’t normally see’
Paul Dent is a fisherman working out of Blyth Harbour in Northumberland, whose family has been in the business for generations.
His catch depends on the season; prawns in winter and salmon during summer months. But today he’s not at sea because of weather and tidal conditions so he’s concentrating on maintenance on one of his boats.
The 47-year-old says being a fisherman is “the best job in the world”.
“It can be feast or famine when it comes to pay, but I love it. You see sunrises, wonderful cloud formations, dolphins, there’s just been some minke whales. Things people don’t normally see. I love getting out of bed every morning.”
‘Reduced impact living’
The Wheelhouse family live in their self-built straw bale roundhouse at their Karuna Insight Design project. It is in an 18 acre forest healing farm site in Picklescott, within the Shropshire Hills Area of Natural Beauty.
Janta Wheelhouse says: “We are running a forest garden demonstration site inspired by local pioneer Robert Hart.
“Our deepest concerns are to support develop and raise awareness of reduced impact living, true sustainability, community, natural building, organic food growing, wildlife conservation, healing and art.”
The family opens their home to the public through organized groups and tours, workshops and volunteer projects.
Turning around a ‘floating city’
At the Mayflower Cruise Terminal in Southampton port, P&O cruise ship Oriana has berthed. That’s when the clock starts ticking for terminal manager, John Garner, 69, and his team.
They have 10 hours to unload and restock the 1,880 passenger ship again for the next cruise.
“It’s all on a time factor,” he says. “It’s got to fall in line for the ship to go out again at the right time – it’s very challenging but it’s a pleasure to work here.”
Despite organising the smooth sailing of a countless number of the ships in his 49-year career, Mr Garner has an admission.
He’s only actually been on one cruise.
‘We’re like a family’
Liam Reid’s family has been selling fruit and vegetables on Leicester Market since World War One. The 32-year-old gets up every morning at 5am and works six days a week.
“There is a buzz [around the market],” he says. “Everyone is always having fun, there’s always loads of banter. We’re like a bit of a family down here.”
Mr Reid says the weather does make a difference though. “The winters are minging,” he adds. “They’re freezing and it’s not as busy – it’s hard work. But in the summer you can have your shorts on, the sun’s out and there’s soft fruit.”
The dawn patrol
As many people across the nation rise from their beds and perhaps perform a morning stretch, yoga teacher Stephen Harding, 58, is on dawn patrol for waves at Bigbury in Devon.
He’s also a co-founder of the Surf Hams Film Collective – a group of artists who ride waves and make films.
“There’s a synergy to surfing and yoga,” he says. “Yoga’s a great warm up and conditioner for the sport.”
‘We have more of a connection with the cows than people’
While most teenagers are asleep at 5am, 18-year-old twins Laura and Anna Callwood are milking cows near their home in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. The fifth generation farmers have overcome challenges to pursue their dream, as both are on the autistic spectrum.
“One teacher told us ‘there’s more to life than farming’,” said Anna, but the comment made the Worcestershire Young Farmers Club members more determined. Despite concerns they could struggle with its demands, both are studying for an agriculture diploma. “We have more of a connection with the cows than people,” said Laura. “They are used to us, they know us, and they love us.”
‘I see the sun rise every day’
Richard Parker is a third-generation milkman from Long Eaton in Derbyshire. Despite having to leave home at either 23:40 or 01:00, the 42-year-old loves his job and said it’s “fantastic to see the sun rise every day”.
He’s often called upon to help elderly customers help carry things, change light bulbs, and even set up Skype calls. “I really do like that side of the job,” he said. “You get that sense of being part of the community.” He said he has two sleeps – a few hours at about 09:00 and then a couple more before he starts work.
‘Every day is different’
Sarah Herbert, 38, has been a resource deployment officer at Devon and Cornwall Police’s control room for 17 years.
“Every day is different, you never know what’s going to come in and you leave with the feeling that you’ve helped someone positively.”
She is also trained to speak to suicidal people.
“We’ve had a lot of trees down tonight, we’ve had a couple of people in mental health crises, and a break-in – it’s been a steady night so far.”
‘I get paid to go out’
Teenager Lauren Sullivan started working in a bar as a Saturday job but enjoyed it so much she decided to take it up full time. “You get paid to go out,” she said. “It’s just like having your own family at work.”
The 19-year-old works late shifts at the Actress and Bishop bar in Birmingham, which is open until the early hours. At weekends she works till 05:30 and then works out. “I go to the gym because it helps me get to sleep. Everyone thinks I’m a bit insane.”
‘I try to avoid the drunks’
Taxi driver and part-time actor Shameer Madarbakus from Alvaston works for Derby firm Albatross Cars. The 39-year-old prefers working during the day because night shifts can mean dealing with drunken customers. “You have to do your best in difficult situations,” he said.
However, he loves chatting with friendly passengers: “You meet people from all walks of life. You experience all sorts of situations, some good some bad.”
Shameer has appeared in Casualty and Eastenders and likes the flexibility of the job as it helps with his acting work and means he’s able to spend time with his 17-month-old son.
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