Features

Coronavirus: The chaplains at the front line of end-of-life care

Coronavirus has radically altered the working life of hospitals. But it has not just affected the doctors, nurses and ancillary staff. While the main role…

Coronavirus: Southwold and Lowestoft

Lowestoft and Southwold sit just 14 miles apart on the eastern edge of England. As the coronavirus outbreak took hold, one was bustling with people,…

Music at the Margins: Creativity in the wake of Gang Violence

Ipswich, Suffolk. Two rival groups of boys and young men engage in a “turf war”, in this case J-Block versus Neno. They start trading insults…

Meeting the Historical Re-enactors

It turns out the world of historical re-enactment is far from a monolith of collectively-interested hobbyists. Re-enactment has its own sub-cultures, sea-shelves and side-streets. For…

Curious Places: The derelict Tudor fort

If only every assignment went like this: Hey Laurence, could you do a picture feature on an abandoned fort out on the Essex coast? Alas,…

Dead Ends: Life and work in the shadows of unsolved murders

Loose ends make a fertile breeding ground for rumour, suspicion and fear. And few loose ends linger in quite the same way as an unsolved…

‘Little America’: Where the Stars and Stripes fly high

Many years ago, when I worked in Suffolk, I had an idea for a feature about the peculiarly American feel of north west Suffolk. Yes,…

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…

Fertility and aphrodisiacs in the 17th Century

I’m a bit old fashioned. I grew up on letters rather than email and I can still remember the excitement of opening my first ever,…

De Beers myth: Do people spend a month’s salary on a diamond engagement ring?

Some say you should spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. Or perhaps two. Or maybe even one. Over the years these ring-wallet equations…

The ubiquity of the modern beep

We’re surrounded by beeps. From reversing vehicles to supermarket checkouts to trains, they punctuate our day. But what’s the story behind them? (the piece which…

Mods and rockers 50 years on since Clacton ‘invasion’

Fifty years ago, England was invaded. At least, that’s what the headlines claimed. The invaders? Fans of two-wheeled transport. They were the mods and the…

Data

Numbers of falsely accused teachers are of ‘considerable concern’, says union

Last year, I did a piece of work looking into the geography of, and reasons behind, teacher bans. In response, a source at the National…

Presumed Dead: The Torments of Those Left Behind

I first learned of the Presumption of Death act in researching a piece of work I did on unidentified bodies a few years ago. When…

Teaching bans: Gathering the numbers

Months ago, I sent a Freedom of Information request to the Department for Education asking for details of all teachers banned in the past five…

Crunching Data: The School Holiday Fines

A couple of weeks ago my piece of work on school holiday and truancy penalties was broadcast across telly, the wireless and t’internet. The online…

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…

Treasure finds in England

“Walking with a purpose.” What a great phrase! It came from a metal detectorist called Stuart Eldon while I was producing an Inside Out film…

Stories

Coronavirus: Inside the hospice caring for the most vulnerable of the vulnerable

They care for dying patients in their final days, but having to shut their charity shops and cancel fundraising events has put UK hospices in…

Elections, elections, elections: Canvey and Peterborough

Recently dispatched to Canvey Island and Peterborough to photograph the faces of the electorate voting in the European elections and the Peterborough by-elections, here are…

Numbers of falsely accused teachers are of ‘considerable concern’, says union

Last year, I did a piece of work looking into the geography of, and reasons behind, teacher bans. In response, a source at the National…

In the footsteps of Corrie McKeague

The last known images of Corrie Mckeague alive are grainy, monochrome pictures captured by a town centre CCTV system. The 23-year-old airman had been for…

Meeting the Historical Re-enactors

It turns out the world of historical re-enactment is far from a monolith of collectively-interested hobbyists. Re-enactment has its own sub-cultures, sea-shelves and side-streets. For…

Dead Ends: Life and work in the shadows of unsolved murders

Loose ends make a fertile breeding ground for rumour, suspicion and fear. And few loose ends linger in quite the same way as an unsolved…

Gosh, a woman with a comic shop

We were trying something a little new on the BBC news website a few weeks back. The idea – called ‘Slides’ – was to try…

Faith Spear: The Prison Monitor Who Spoke Out

I recently wrote a piece about a former prison monitor who had raised concerns about the state of prison monitoring. As a result of her…

‘Little America’: Where the Stars and Stripes fly high

Many years ago, when I worked in Suffolk, I had an idea for a feature about the peculiarly American feel of north west Suffolk. Yes,…

India Chipchase: Lured to sheet-covered home by a ‘meticulous’ killer

A seemingly kind passer-by stopped to help a distressed woman outside a nightclub. But far from being a helping hand, Edward Tenniswood was a calculated…

The Schoolboy Killer

First, a vulnerable man was found in a town centre park with more than 100 knife wounds. Second, a young Saudi woman was found stabbed…

Unidentified bodies, Cockley Cley and the people trying to give the unnamed dead a name

I couldn’t believe there were more than 1,000 people in the UK who were dead, unnamed and with nobody to mourn them. In this age…