sailing yachting showcase videos


The Classic Yacht Overlord

Here is a selection of sailing and yachting videos filmed in the Hebrides West Coast of Scotland, North Wales, on the River Hamble, the North Atlantic, and southern Brittany. They may be useful to support the RYA Day Skipper, RYA Coastal Skipper, or the RYA Yachtmaster courses.


Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Wild Boars Forest of Dean Gloucestershire England




Wild Boar Forest of Dean


If you go into the forest what will you see?

How do you feel when you sense the forest’s miasma, with its boggy swamps between its brooding dark trees, holding back the light?

Here is a refuge for wild boars.

Can you see their tracks in the dark hidden places?



Wild Boar Tracks Forest of Dean Gloucestershire England


Babbling brooks, hidden lakes and boggy swamps are their playgrounds.

What other creatures live here?

Frogs and toads.

Hooting owls, long-tailed tits.



Visitor in the Forest of Dean Searching For Wild Boars


As Greta Thunberg, the cult environmental teenage hero sails into the United Nations conference in Spain, we are yomping into the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England.

Here is a magnificent outdoor playground.

What histories does it hide?

Who toiled laboured here? Where are they now?

Where have the mines, quarries, and furnaces gone?



Deer Tracks In The Forest of Dean


What goes on during the witching hour in this mysterious dark place?

What eyes are watching you?

Which silent creatures lurk here?

Whose ears are listening for your approach?



Wild Boar Guide Forest of Dean Gloucestershire And Lydney Cricket Club Legend


Is your wind-blown scent alerting them?

Are the frogs and toads, screeching owls, and grunting boars, tormented by goblins, dwarfs, and faeries in the glooming?

Or is it the wild boars scavenging with sure-footed deer running from danger?


Wild Boar Video

Here is an experimental video edited in FCPX with audio mixed in Logic Pro. 






The Sheditor In The Forest of Dean Gloucestershire



Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Nuclear Families and the Extended Family



My reflections of a niece returning home to her birthplace and a family gathering.   




Last week thirty-two extended family members celebrated the return to the UK of one of its loved relations. Babies, great grandparents, proud parents, brothers, and sisters shared the jubilation and joy of seeing someone they love who emigrated to Queensland ten years ago. 

It was a poignant occasion. 


A mother, grandmother, aunty, and sister-in-law - The importance of family


Image - Cousins at family renuion

Everybody enjoyed the occasion.

They cared for these distant relatives. 

I think for many, it was a powerful and touching event. 

Families are important. 

After everyone left, I was left thinking, considering, and reviewing why people travelled hundreds and for some, tens of thousands of miles. 

During the darkness that night, I think I had a personal revelation, an epiphany, and redemption about the influence and power of blood ties and families. I may have neglected this in my earlier life. 

For some considerable time since urbanisation, the impact of work, careers, and jobs, lifestyle have disturbed and disrupted the concept of family. 

Roles and responsibilities have become more fluid. 

Yet, the nuclear family and through blood ties, the extended family still has significance.

Do you benefit from or support relations? 

A grand/great grandmother and mother on family relations.


Quote by a Mother, Grandmother, Aunty, and Sister-in-Law:

"I think family is very important. It is like the social glue that binds everybody together. I think the relationship you have with the different generations very important, especially as you get older it helps you stay young and in contact with new and up to date things. And I think when we have large family gatherings, it's good to see everybody that's related to you."

Are blood ties, across families important?



A grandson and lost grandfather


Learning Resource Videos


Here are free educational videos to support your lessons plans:


HD Education Vimeo Collections - Ad Free for Schools, Colleges, and home learning

Geography Portal Videos

Curriculum Learning Resources

School Assembly Videos


Education PR for Academies and Schools

Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Sailing from the Faroes to Scaloway Shetlands on a HR36 in midsummer



Approaching Scaloway two days out of Torshaven, Faroe Islands.






Twitter video via @newsverify



Land fall at #Scoloway #Shetland after sailing across the North #Atlantic #Ocean from the #Faroe Islands. from Eddy Jackson on Vimeo.



@newsverify Vimeo Sailing Album


Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Sailing to the Faroes across the North Atlantic from Orkney and then to Shetland

Here is a spoken narrative via SoundCloud about voyaging the North Atlantic Ocean. The trip involved a small sailing yachting.








At 62°00’N, the Faroe Islands lie midway between Norway and Iceland, about 4° south of the official boundary of the Arctic Circle.

There is an ongoing discussion about defining the boundaries of the Arctic — highly relevant for these islands, whose government just released an Arctic policy entitled: The Faroe Islands – a Nation in the Arctic. This self-governing region is part of the Nordic family of nations, but are these remote islands Arctic?

The islands are found at the heart of the Gulf Stream, delivering a cold oceanic climate, which means that the islands do not experience a long-lasting accumulation of snow.

The average temperature in July is an important environmental and biological indicator of ‘northernness’. An average temperature of 10º C closely corresponds to the treeline. If we use this indicator, large terrestrial areas of the Faroese archipelago mountains are indeed Arctic.

The harsh climatic conditions and the expected consequences of Arctic industrial development here lead me to conclude that the Faroe Islands will indeed be an important stakeholder in the Arctic’s future.

The latitude of the Arctic Circle is 66 degrees, 32 minutes. This is the latitude above which the sun never sets during the summer and never rises during the winter. North of this imaginary line, six months of daylight follow six months of night each year.


A nautical mile is a unit of measurement used on water by sailors and/or navigators in shipping and aviation. It is the average length of one minute of one degree along a great circle of the Earth. One nautical mile corresponds to one minute of latitude. Thus, degrees of latitude are 60 nautical miles apart.

Tórshavn is about 240 miles south of the Artic Circle.

The climate is classed as subpolar oceanic climate with areas having a tundra climate, especially in the mountains, although some coastal or low-lying areas can have very mild-winter versions of a tundra climate. The overall character of the islands' climate is influenced by the strong warming influence of the Atlantic Ocean, which produces the North Atlantic Current. This, together with the remoteness of any source of warm airflows, ensures that winters are mild (mean temperature 3.0 to 4.0 °C or 37 to 39 °F) while summers are cool (mean temperature 9.5 to 10.5 °C or 49 to 51 °F).

The islands are windy, cloudy, and cool throughout the year with an average of 210 rainy or snowy days per year. The islands lie in the path of depressions moving northeast, making high winds and heavy rain possible throughout the year. Sunny days are rare and overcast days are standard.

The climate varies over small distances, due to the altitude, ocean currents, topography, and winds. Precipitation varies throughout the archipelago. In some highland areas, snow cover can last for months with snowfalls possible for the greater part of the year (on the highest peaks, summer snowfall is by no means rare), while in some sheltered coastal locations, several years pass without any snowfall whatsoever. Tórshavn receives frosts more often than other areas just a short distance to the south. Snow is also seen at a much higher frequency than on outlying islands nearby.

Be prepared psychologically, mentally, and physically for the impact and effects of cold northerly winds. This sap and drain energy and life from your body. Together with driving rain, ocean spray, and the regular northerly swell, this is a hostile environment.

Wearing specialist protective clothing, with layers of breathable vests, Mariano wool long-johns, and Polartec mid-layers helped counter hyperthermia.

The weather and environment affected on all the crew. We quickly adapted two hours on, four hours off watch system.

For me, a highlight of the voyage and a personal saviour was lying in a four-season sleeping bag in the forepeak berth while hell and the maelstrom battered the boat.

The proud, stoical Faroese character has been forged from Viking blood, Christian piety, Scandinavian openness, and awe for the humbling nature that is all around. So even if the weather proves uncooperative, these islands are likely to surprise and delight even the most cynical traveller.

There are 18 islands in the Faroes group, and they all stand fully exposed to the fury of the North Atlantic. It is a windswept place, and not a destination your average yachts person cruises, so you need a bit of a pioneering spirit for these voyages, like ocean crossings. Stopping on the Faroe Islands is always special. At least two or three islands will be visited, depending on wind and weather.

Situated in the far north Atlantic, 200 miles north of Scotland, these wild and windswept volcanic islands are one of Europe’s best-kept secrets.

Like Iceland, the Faroes are unspoilt and untamed. The weather is a significant feature for visitors.

The weather and tides dictated where we sailed exploring the islands. Natural erosion has created deep sounds between the islands, many providing shelters from the rolling Atlantic swell and severe weather.

As they are located so far north, the Faroe Islands experience very few ‘dark’ hours, in the summer.

During the last few decades, the Faroese have built a system of tunnels through the mountains and under the ocean passages between islands to accommodate a system of roads that connect all the towns and even the small villages. Children will speak of how many “tunnels away” they live. One of the highlights of our stay in the Faroes was a four-tunnel bus ride.

For the cruising sailor, of course, the first issue is getting there. From Cape Wrath on the northwest tip of the Scottish mainland to the southernmost Faroe Island of Suduroy is about 180 nm. The passage from Shetland is only slightly shorter. The passage from the east coast of Iceland is about 230 miles.

Another issue is the tidal currents in the Faroes. Although the rise and fall is only a meter or less, the currents generated through the many narrow passages can be fierce, and the overfalls (breaking standing waves) near the entrances to these passages can be frightening and may be dangerous. A local publication with hourly diagrams called Tidal Current Around the Faroe Islands created by Fischer Heinesen is worth having aboard — but is presumably only available after you get there and is useless unless you have local knowledge of when high water occurs.

Then there is the weather. The Faroes lie right in the track of the North Atlantic lows that march across from Labrador, skirting the southern tip of Greenland and southern Iceland before slamming into Scotland and southern Norway. So, one can expect wind and rain in the Faroes from time to time throughout the sailing season. However, there are plenty of places to seek shelter once arrived in this island group.

The adventuresome sailor should not be deterred, for the Faroe Islands are truly spectacular. The people are very friendly, and all of them speak good English. Most of the fjords and inlets have towns with fabricated harbours in which it is usually possible to tie up, although Torshavn has a marina with pontoons large enough to accommodate a yacht of 40 feet or more. 

We sailed from Kirkwall in the Orkneys to the southern Faroe Island of Suduroy in less than 48 hours.

Until recently, all we knew of the Faroe Islands, were a craggy cluster of Volcanic islands somewhere between Iceland and Scotland.

In many ways, arriving with little to no knowledge of Faroese land or culture was brilliant, because it allowed us to see everything with fresh, unprejudiced eyes.

In summary, there's one thing that will underpin your entire trip right from the very start: the only thing predictable about the Faroe Islands’ weather patterns is that they are wildly unpredictable. In fact, there's a saying in the Faroe Islands that if you do not like the weather, wait five minutes - something we came to understand within the first few minutes of being there.

The reason for this huge weather variation is the Faroes position in the middle of the North Atlantic. Here, the warm waters of the Gulf Stream swirl around with the icy waters of the Arctic, creating the perfect melting pot for some pretty crazy weather concoctions.

You'll never really know what's in store for you each day - though grey skies, cloud, and wind are a pretty safe base level to work off - but once you've accepted that fact, the islands become a fascinating adventure through the weather. It does pay to have some flexibility in your planning, as ferries are cancelled in poor weather conditions and your plans may shuffle around.

In winter, temperatures average about 2-6° (not much cooler than London!), while summers are cool and breezy with an average temperature of 9°. It is not the destination to come if you are looking to work on that summer tan, but we promise the epic, rugged views make having to pack a few extra layers worthwhile!

It seems insane that such a windswept, isolated and seemingly harsh landscape could have been happily inhabited for thousands of years, and yet, since the sixth century the Faroe islands have been home to Irish hermit monks, Norwegian Viking settlers, and of course, lots of sheep. Much of their language, culture, and food evolve from old Norse traditions.

Today, the Faroese population numbers about 50,000, and the islands are home to a pretty diverse range of nationalities.


Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

VW Camper Van For Sale













































VW Camper Van Seller's Description

Reluctantly selling our lovely van as we're not getting much use from it due to demands of a young family and change of job. 4 berth 6 belted seats 2 front swivel captains seats Full width folding double bed Pop-up roof with bed board and additional thermal blackout screen Insulated and carpeted throughout Fiamma F45s side awning Tinted widows in rear with fitted blackout curtains 19" Range Rover alloys Dimmable LED lights in rear with additional lights for roof bed 12v leisure battery runs LEDs and usb ports 5 CD changer 212000 miles MOT to April 2020 Recently replaced oil sump with full oil service New battery In last 5 years has also had new cylinder head including cam, reconditioned injectors, water pump and new turbo.



Simon Nicholson



Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Historic Cabus Lancashire England

Historic Cabus Text #7

Parish Councillor Louise Jackson puts Cabus on the map



Historic Cabus Map #7

The Parish of Cabus doesn’t boast any of the usual features found in a rural area such as a church, a
pub or a village green.

Louise Jackson a councillor on Cabus Parish Council wanted to draw attention
to the rich and varied history of Cabus by creating an Historic Cabus walk.

A leaflet with an illustrated sketch map and explanations takes the walker along a scenic route pointing out various historical features and monuments e.g. Cabus Cross.

The leaflet can be down loaded from the Cabus Parish website at

or from Garstang Tourist Information Office or local venues.

Earlier work by Cabus Parish Council:


Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Homelessness Poverty Universal Credit Crisis Causes

Social housing tenant Universal Credit claimant Manchester writer Gary Knapton






Universal Credit | Increasing Poverty | Homelessness | Debt | Causing Poor Health | Early Death




  1. Higher housing costs.

  2. Social housing privatisation has impacted low-income families and pensioners.

  3. Poor quality jobs.

  4. Lack of social mobility.

  5. Cuts in families’ financial support.

  6. Debt.

  7. Poor health.

  8. Poverty catastrophically restricts people’s day-to-day lives and opportunities.

  9. Deterioration to physical and mental health, healthy life expectancy.

  10. Destitution and debt affect health and well being.


Source: Households Below Average Income (HBAI) and Family Resources Survey (FRS) 2016/17 (JRF Analysis)

Note: Subtotals may not sum to totals due to rounding except figures for persistent poverty which are taken from Persistent Poverty in the UK and EU: 2015 (2017) Office for National Statistics Available at: articles/persistentpovertyintheukandeu/2015



From Under A Cloud On Heartbreak Hill

A free social media book about the new British social underclass.


Here is a Manchester Universal Credit claimant and writer reporting the truth.


‘It strikes me that media effortlessly promote their version of the
type of people we are and what universal credit does for us. But no
one knows how it feels and tastes and smells, and what the sense
of hope and shame and despair, and how it really is to be on this
benefit. But people like me do.’ 


Extract - Father Shaun 

Immediately to the south Briar Hill - all but adjacent to the markets that serve the precinct is the Catholic church of St James. It was opened in October of 1975 and is also designed in the modernist style. St James was built to replace a church by the same name that was demolished in 1973 in the redevelopment of the local area. The predecessor had served the local community for nearly one hundred years - first opening its doors in 1875. The first priest there, Father Saffrenreuter, was also a priest to the Salford workhouse. Somewhere underneath the concrete and tarmac of Briar Hill and its surrounding buildings lay an intricate network of foundations of terraced streets - one of which was called Church Street. 

The church of today, if you look carefully, contains clues as to this history. The stain glass window and a collection of statues inside have survived the redevelopment and are now living links to the Victorian past. The house where the Father’s reside - and where I’ve often enjoyed a cup of tea and the offer of biscuits, even cake, is another piece of the continuation. Such a building is known as the Presbytery. We are left with a juxtaposition of architectural styles as is so often found in

British towns and cities - yet here is found within one building alone - as the old priest house connects inwardly by a corridor to a superb modernist chamber of worship. As Mass is due to begin, the Fathers emerge from the corridor into the left-hand nave, by the organ grinder and then swiftly walk across the front and up onto the chancel to commence the service. My favourite features of the church are its “bell” - which sounds authentic but is actually a loudspeaker on the roof playing an audiotape of a ringing bell and the Mater Dei shrine to the front end of the right-hand nave - another link to the past. The full name of the demolished church was actually Mother of God & St James - and Mater Dei is the Latin for “Mother of God”. The exposed brickwork on the interior generates a distinct modernist feel to the whole experience of taking Mass there. 

I am not Catholic. I was baptised in a Church of England church - and so if you are inclined to worship in a Catholic church without faking it, there are various processes and ceremonies built into the service as it unfolds, where you get to declare your authentic status. My mum, who is Catholic, has taught me over the years, by providing handy little pointers when I have fallen foul of the traditional rules. 

The most obvious ceremony would be conversion - by becoming a Catholic. This is called Confirmation. I refuse to “become” a Catholic in this way as it would demolish my past and my real story. It would entitle me to engage in Mass in a fully inclusive fashion as if I had been born a Catholic. This re-writing of history and papering over the contradictions of my behaviour in favour of a more pleasing personal presentation really offends my sense of authenticity and reeks faintly of image management. 

Yet by crossing my arms and by placing each hand on opposing shoulders when I queue up for a blessing, by forsaking the Holy water wash on entering the church and by being open and honest about my religious status, the church next door lovingly creates a space for me to join in its practices. 

I’ve attended Mass at quite a few Catholic churches over the years, but St James is uniquely noteworthy. It is usually busy with a lively mix of people from Briar Hill and the streets that fall away from it. All ages. All ethnicities. Exquisitely turned out families of Afro-Caribbean origin in their Sunday best. Strapping local lads covered in tattoos adorning closely shaven hairstyles and toying with their phones, having just clocked off a night shift. Children running around. Babies being held. Whole four-generation family chains commanding aisle to aisle benches. Young married couples leaning into each other to share a hymnbook. Polish, British, Spanish, Baltic, Jamaican,

Ghanaian. It’s pretty awesome. If you think churches in this country are on the slide - and they are

- here is one that creates quite the opposite impression. 

Father Shaun has been working in Salford for fifteen years and the vibe he has created in his church is probably the most noteworthy quality of all. There’s a tension in church gatherings - particularly Mass - between relaxed and formal. Between engaging and spectating. The urge to “be on your best behaviour” is a throwback to a disciplinarian and stricter, more rigid past - and although humility and reverence are obviously vital attributes, they can spill over into a fear or at least a discomfort that still runs through many people when they take their pew. In some churches I visit, this makes for a very wooden service where the sharp corners of ceremony drown out the gentle curves of personality and creative expression. A childish obedience is not what is required of churchgoers. More precisely, an adult emotional submission and intellectual engagement are required. 

There’s a practical necessity for quietness and order which runs up against the modern values of individuality and personal freedom. So, as church numbers are dwindling, how do you pull people into line without sending them packing? In a fast, noisy, always-on world of peak privilege and individual entitlement - how do you get people not just to be quiet for a short while but to genuinely listen to your sermon - not just to hear your words but somehow to muster up enough concentration and effort to intuit the message that lay beneath the words? The menu is not the meal,

after all.

Father Shaun always leaves me feeling deeply appreciative of all the obstacles he faces since he appears so effortlessly to overcome them. He will tell jokes, make people smile, referring to members of the congregation by name, mid-sermon. He will ad-lib and yet he will command an utmost respect from everyone in the house. Some parts of Mass are about citation and paying lip service to mantras, hymns and responses. But Shaun will always add colour to these parts of the programme by making key points in his own style. Using his own words and telling a very unique, personal story - calling on local tales for analogy and really making the point of why we are all gathered in his church. Bringing the Mass to life. 

Only somebody who has every facet of the more serious side of this art mastered can relax into informal, light-heartedness and good humour without losing reputation for their command of the more challenging parts of the work and this is Father Shaun indeed.

For me, nothing caps the sense of community here on Briar Hill, nothing brings it all together, quite like receiving the holy blessing from Father Shaun on a Sunday morning when I stand before him, head bowed, my posture indicating that I have no Catholic affiliations, while he gently places his hands upon my head and states “God bless you, child” and then swiftly mutters “Good to see you Gary, mate.” 

I am never urged or pressured to consider conversion - even when I am sat in his Presbytery drinking tea and putting the world to rights, blaspheming as I do with a healthy dose of “God knows” and Jesus! 

Father James

I first encountered Father James while working out on the free weights in my gym. I was on the smith machine. He was doing bench presses. 

James is in his twenties and as a young man of the church was still learning the ropes at that time. He’s a good soul. A deeply conscientious man who gave every second minute of the day to the higher cause. He really knows his stuff and his sermons at Mass when I attended were carefully prepared, articulated, inclusive and effective. He was great to listen to. Like Shaun in this respect, yet equally the individual.  

When our friend Richie died, James turned up at the funeral to lend a hand. He doesn’t drive and this was a little out of town but James made it all the same. If he wasn’t burying someone or marrying somebody he was doing Chaplain work at the University or deep in thought of how to make next week’s Mass the best it could be. He’d invite me round for tea and ask my advice on something he was involved in. One week he was counselling a sex addict. The next he was investigating measures for effectively getting people to turn off their phones in church - not by so bluntly as telling them, but by considering how changes to the order of the service, time slots or flow of traffic through the church and the way worshippers were greeted on entering the building might assist in the matter. James was forever thinking of how to make things better in non-confrontational ways. Often, in the middle of our discussions, he’d jump up, grab a pen and scribble something down into a large notepad if we’d broached a subject that he considered worthy of fuller research later. 

If he was giving a speech at some society he was unfamiliar with or working on a cornerstone event within the church calendar he would freely disclose how nervous he was. He made me laugh when, having delivered a very confident, smooth and charming talk or sermon he would turn up afterwards with no idea of how he had come across. 

“Was I alright?” he’d inquire. 

He was still learning his trade so his self-awareness was still formulating. But he was never alright.

He was always first class. He seemed destined for the calling. A natural. 

About eighteen months after we met, James took a parish in California, US, and these days I see him only occasionally when he pops back for a week or so. He’ll WhatsApp me ahead of the flight and should I see him in the street, we hug. 

Father Shaun and Father James are upstanding, decent, compassionate, dedicated, authentic men and I love them both dearly. 


Surviving Universal Credit | Check out Gary Knapton's Book

Articles and videos featuring From Under A Cloud On Heartbreak Hill:

#universalcredit #sanctions #universalcreditadvice #heartbreakhill #garyknapton #universalcreditsupport

Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Universal Credit Increasing UK Poverty



Universal Credit Increasing UK Poverty


1 in 5 of our UK population (22%) are in poverty.

14.3 million people in poverty.

8.2 million are working-age adults.

4.1 million are children.

1.9 million are pensioners.

8 million people live in poverty in families where at least one person is in work.

4 million workers are in poverty.

In-work poverty has been rising even faster than employment.

Due to increasing poverty among working parents.

Can you live on £1.34 a day? Hard working lone parent.



Universal Credit Increasing UK Poverty from Eddy Jackson on Vimeo.



Source: Households Below Average Income (HBAI) and Family Resources Survey (FRS) 2016/17 (JRF Analysis)

Note: Subtotals may not sum to totals due to rounding except figures for persistent poverty which are taken from Persistent Poverty in the UK and EU: 2015 (2017) Office for National Statistics Available at: articles/persistentpovertyintheukandeu/2015





From Under A Cloud On Heartbreak Hill

A free social media book about the new British social underclass.


Here is a Manchester Universal Credit claimant and writer reporting the truth.


‘It strikes me that media effortlessly promote their version of the
type of people we are and what universal credit does for us. But no
one knows how it feels and tastes and smells, and what the sense
of hope and shame and despair, and how it really is to be on this
benefit. But people like me do.’ 


Helen is highly qualified. Over cups of tea, she produces a blue binder of laminated course awards and I look at her BIIAB Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders, Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Management and a whole host of City & Guilds. Following these are a handful of personal testimonies and character references - some typed and some lovingly handwritten in flourishing penmanship - from key industry players and previous employers and clients. All confirm a range of much sought-after modern day business skills on my neighbour - communication, team building, creativity, business insight, vision, calmness under pressure.

But Helen has been diagnosed with an illness that has taken her temporarily away from the workplace and a combination of derisory welfare payments and haphazard sanctions seemingly for no good reason have left her, in the mid-term, with not enough money to even get by on a day to day basis in a manner that you and I would consider being the absolute minimum standards. Helen often has to queue up at the library for electricity coupons and like most of us on the block, she wraps up in gloves and hats and a duvet while sitting in the lounge just to keep warm in winter. 

Tracy is sofa surfing in Helen's lounge - just as Lee is sofa surfing at his dad's and as Lucy is at Olly's. It occurs to me that after two years on the block, half the people I have come to know as my neighbours are only worthy of the name in actuality. They are technically homeless. And living alongside them - literally right under their noses, I had no idea. So how could you? 


Surviving Universal Credit | Check out Gary Knapton's Book

Articles and videos featuring From Under A Cloud On Heartbreak Hill:

#universalcredit #sanctions #universalcreditadvice #heartbreakhill #garyknapton #universalcreditsupport


Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Journal Video Bibliothèque

Universal Credit Social Housing Without Social Safety Net



Social housing Universal Credit payments support Gary Knapton

Universal Credit Social Housing Without a Social Safety Net



From Under A Cloud At Heartbreak Hill  - A social media book telling the truth about the Universal Credit crisis


Stanley Tower is a first class example of a very modern dilemma that runs riot through the heart of social housing and the lives of its dependents without anybody on the outside having the first inclination that such an anomaly even exists. I speak of an administrative structural anomaly - not this time of bricks and mortar - but of bureaucratic process and systemic organisation. Something you can't even see with the naked eye.   

There used to be two types of rental housing; private landlords for tenants who could support themselves financially and pay the rent independently - and social housing for those who could not. Social housing was open to anyone needing it and you simply joined a list or a queue to have your application dealt with on a needs basis.   

Elements of this system still exist, but there is now a third type of housing which is like a "worst of both worlds' hybrid of the other two systems. Many social housing blocks were sold off to private landlords with covenants attached. But the covenants are riddled with loopholes. The upshot is places like Stanley Tower, where a private landlord owns the entity and collects the rent and seeks to maximise profit even though the building is still the only thing between a large group of vulnerable tenants and homelessness. Only 38% of Stanley Tower residents are in employment. Some are ex-convicts who get settled here after serving their term in prison. More are of the type that I made reference to earlier.   



Universal Credit Claimant Social Housing Tenant


My own story is that upon being made redundant in 2014 and losing another job when my employer shut down in 2015, I was served an eviction notice from my private landlord on a flat I had lived in for seven years two miles down the road in the posh waterfront part of town called Salford Quays. I had no savings and no family in the area so I made a round of applications to get on the housing lists until I found my feet once more. All these failed as there is, in fact, no obligation upon housing associations to take on new applicants - despite the commonly held view that there is, in fact, such an obligation. In the nick of time, I got a flat in Stanley Tower. I responded to an ad on the local rentals website.    

I am on a benefits payment called Universal Credit 

The point is that we are social housing tenants in all but name yet we have no social protection from an unscrupulous landlord. The next step is homelessness and in my two years here I have seen numerous neighbours turned onto the street. I have seen and heard them protesting outside the building at nightfall in the winter months, huddled on the benches in the park opposite and drinking alcohol to keep warm. Making a racket in a bid to try and get arrested and thereby get a roof over their heads for the night.   

Whereas social housing tenants enjoy protection from such a fate, we do not. I have had meetings at the local Citizens Advice Bureau and at the local housing office to get professional guidance on what would happen if I fell out of favour with my landlord or they decided to serve me notice on my one-month rolling contract. Beyond a token appeal against a Section 21 eviction notice, I am advised to find a friend with a couch and a kind heart should that day come to pass.   

Don't be under any delusions about some perverse rebellious choice fuelling the rise in doorway sleepers. Check out the brochure handed out on a visit to the ironically named Housing Office.  

The general public tends to believe that the social housing system is a safety net at the bottom of the housing crisis. It is not. There is a rung lower and it has no safety net at all.  I’ve a photograph of my copy of a document that my landlord’s managing agent, Stanley Lettings, submitted to a 2016 tribunal hearing. It's the kind of information they don't like airing. I have taken the liberty of red-inking the important bit, which amounts to my landlord's own admission that it bases its rent levels here in Stanley Tower on the private professional market and ignores, as it is well within its rights to, the Local Housing Authority guidelines. And there you have it. The worst of both worlds. Legal loopholes are like waiting rooms in dental surgeries. They built it. They’re gonna use it. 



Universal Credit Housing Advice by Gary Knapton



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