Work experience: Day 2

You know how I said it rained on Monday?

It rained again on Tuesday.
…And I mean rain.
Torrential downpours, sideways, non-stop.

Waterproofed up and ready for the elements I set out a good deal earlier. I was just about on time and turning into Granada, when I got a text from Matt telling me he was already on the road to the Vigil for the murdered police women. This was due to begin at 10am and down at the Hattersley Estate. 
Tim the Tom-Tom (bless ‘I’m!) got re-told where to go and we were off. It was a pretty straight forward journey that led me to going round a round-a-bout twice (what’s new?) that then found me rolling past the street where the crime took place and into an abandoned pub car-park.

Police were everywhere. Vans, cars, walking officers…I had a scene from Billy Elliot in my head, only there was no picket line to be crossed and I was a little lost.
Rang up Matt, who was in the middle of scoffing a McDonald’s breakfast, when I decided I best use the restaurants amenities and grab a toilet stop and drink as didn’t want to run off, knocking on bungalow doors in the middle of a moment’s silence!

I only wanted a Tropicana!
The world’s press and policemen seemed to have gravitated towards that very McDonald’s just as I was in the loo and I found myself stuck in a queue…when I’d finally got back in my car I also went round another round-a-bout, saw the procession, panicked and left at the wrong exit! Luckily I was saved by my Sat Nav but couldn’t find anywhere to park in the torrential rain. There were just so many cars and I had kerbs and slippy wheels from never ending rain to think about…
Finally found a space what felt like miles away from it all, but at least I could get out.
It was all pretty much a race against time now. Rain still slamming it down. The procession making it’s way closer. Matt pushed me to the sport where they’d set up and we were literally ready just in the nick of time…

The rain eased a little.
I had another one of those “seeing things from the other side” moments. The cameras must irritate people, especially at times like this. But the cameras are needed. If they weren’t used, no one would know anything.
We hurried behind the procession and headed over to where the small stage was set up, There was an extremely steep hill that I’d be reluctant to tackle even in dry weather. A man attempted to help me down, but I slipped as my bag had fell in front of my wheels. He was trying way too hard to keep me in my chair and didn’t hear me say “My bag, I’m slipping because of my bag that’s tripping me up!” I managed to survive that moment of embarrassment and near tarmac mountaineering accident, to look to find that my lot had disappeared!

My confused face and position grabbed quite a bit of attention. Before I could get my bearings, two policemen were carrying me up some concrete steps and placing me in front of the police line, ready for the service.
The heavens opened, yet again!
I sat waiting for what felt like hours for something to begin. 
The picture of Fiona Bone fell over, the stage looked like it was about to give way and collapse any second…then as I turned to look at the line of police officers, I saw one of them faint.
The atmosphere, with a little help from the weather, was grim.
Elsie, a local resident said  a lovely piece to the crowd while the police officer said a few things that made me cringe and remember a fe whinges I’d learnt the day before, “contempt of court.”
All the while, I was becoming increasingly conscious of the looming camera lens straight across from me that was panning the crowd. This then made me even more conscious of my bright blue rain coat and green wheelchair that most certainly contrasts with the smart black uniform of the police…
I was right to be conscious.

I was apparently on sky news and ITN…great! Of all the times and places to end up on national TV, this most certainly wasn’t one that I was hoping for.

When people finally started moving, and I was quite contently acclimatised to the south pole, I managed to scramble through the crowd and follow Matt getting camera shots of the crowd and their reactions. Again, it can look and must feel intrusive, but it’s the news.
I got mistaken for a member of the local community yet again, but by Key103 this time.

As the crowds began to thin and we’d had a few interviews, my lightness of body weight yet again played to my advantage and i managed to dry off and keep a little warm while Matt hair dried his shoes in the van.
It was pretty cool to see how pictures get fed through to the newsroom and to other channels and vise versa.

I paddled to my car and headed back to the newsroom.
We grabbed some food and i saw how lunch bulletin package was put together and then had to head back to the Hattersly estate for Matt to do his “as live” piece to camera. In hindsight, it does seem crazy, the amount of running around to different locations that is done in order to create the 6pm news package. But at the same time you can see how it is needed to be presentable and pull the story together.
I parked down a hill in a slightly awkward place. Simply because the police had pretty much taken up the whole main road. My amazing skills of holding the brolly over the camera were…almost needed!

After that ten minute job for a ten second moment of TV and re-fill of petrol, it was back to Granada to put together the tea-time package!
It was around 4pm by now so traffic in the city centre was getting to the stage where it was sending my dysreflexic…

We were back in the newsroom by 5, the package was put together by 6 and I watched Granada Reports in the newsroom. Had a giggle at some of the tweets that get sent in…some of them really do make me question humanity!

Another full, soggy and sweetly productive day of work experience!


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