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OpenLearn Live: 8th October 2015

Updated Thursday, 8th October 2015

Poetry day - and two villages that aren't there. Then more free learning across the day.

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OpenLearn Live explores the links between the worlds we live in, and the worlds of learning and research. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Yesterday, we discovered how the work of the new Nobel Prize winners is leading to new approaches to beating cancer; explored the Glasgow Rent Strike and met some sporting siblings

See the full collection of OpenLearn Live


Today's posts


On iPlayer now: The Bottom Line

Last night's Bottom Line - now on iPlayer to listen to whenever you please - was a special on the VW crisis. Has deception scuppered one of the planet's biggest brands?

Listen to the programme now

More about The Bottom Line


The Conservative moment

The Conservatives are earning support in the polls, but nobody wants to join them. It's not really a problem, explains Mark Garnett:

Conservatives have always taken a relaxed attitude to membership figures. In one respect, this is consistent with their “Thatcherite” philosophy, which encourages individuals to avoid frivolous distractions and get on with the task of making money.

On this view, joining a political party is a deeply irrational decision: indeed, the party with the most rational supporters will attract the fewest members. True Conservatives will go about their lawful business, ignoring opinion pollsters and merely pausing for a few seconds to cast a sensible vote every five years. The only political party they will consider joining is Labour, in order to saddle it with an unelectable leader.

Read Should the Tories be worried?


National Poetry Day

It's National Poetry Day - why not dip into something poetic from OpenLearn?

You could try our poetry prescription, and pick a poem that fits your mood right now;

Listen to Michael Rosen explain how to write a poem;

or try our free course on poetry.

See our National Poetry Day collection


A week in Rutland: lost villages

This week, we're getting started each day by visiting parts of England's smallest county, Rutland. Yesterday, we heard about Cottesmore's military links. Today, we're visiting a couple of places where there's nobody to visit.

First, Nether Hambleton. Nether Hambleton is still there, sort-of, but you'd need some sort of diving equipment to call by. It was lost in the mid 70s when the Gwash Valley was dammed to create what is now known as Rutland Water, a huge reservoir supplying drinking water to the East of England. The reservoir is also a massive leisure facility - offering water sports, cycling and other activities. It also provides valuable widelife habitats, giving a home to, amongst others, nesting ospreys.

The osprey homes came at the cost of people's homes, though, and the worst-hit parish was Hambleton. Of the three Hambletons, Hambleton stood above the water line; some of Middle Hambleton escaped. But Nether Hambleton was lost as the waters rose. 100 people were relocated, but as  Bogumil Terminski, author of Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement, observes "the impact of dam construction on population resettlement [is] a marginal social issue in the United Kingdom". 

While Nether Hambleton was lost to progress, Martinsthorpe vanished through decline.

The last building standing in Martinsthorpe Creative commons image Icon Andrew Tatlow under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license The last, abandoned building in Martinsthorpe

Martinsthrope is a parish without people - there are seven other similarly deserted parishes in England. Why did the people leave the village behind? The Historical Assocation has explored the remains of the settlement, and archaeology and the trial of the local rector for not performing services in 1589 suggests the once-populated place had started to empty by the 16th century. Either a landlord with evil designs had acquired the property and chased out the residents; or perhaps the population was hit by plague; even, possibly, changes to farming practice had reduced the demand for people to toil in the fields and the locals simply moved away in search of work elsewhere.

The village's church was still standing - just - at the end of the Second World War, but now the only obvious trace is the building above - once a stable, then a house; now a ghost of the past.

Try our free course on surface water

Displacement and development

Understanding population data

 

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