As Day 4 began, around 7:30, Chris Conder handed me the phone, saying that BBC Radio Lancashire just wanted to do a line test ahead of a live interview at 8:20. As I took the phone, a voice said “putting you through to the studio now” and, within seconds I was live on air.

Wray Institute

After that surprise, we headed off to Wray Village Institute for an intense morning of video and audio interviews with people from surrounding villages.

There were some incredible tales of the problems not being online has caused. in their lives, most of which they tell themselves in the videos that follow. But, one particular story stands out, that told by Ted Lester about his children who got detentions because they couldn’t do their online homework. There was a strong suggestion that the children did not want to admit not being able to get online at home as that would be a stigma among their friends.

Jan Forshaw

Nicholas Race, from Lancaster University, explaining the background to Wray Village as a Living Lab

Ted Lester

Mick and Tom

Keith, Margaret and Edward

Geoff Higgin

Rod Burgess

Carol Butcher

And an audio interview with Karen Denby


From Wray, it was on to the Westmorland Showground in Cumbria for another lively group discussion. This included a passionate rant by Jennet about her problems with getting any sort of broadband connection from BT and her frustrations with getting the situation redressed.

I was also able to get some background from County Broadband Plan Hub Co-ordinator Cath Davenport, on progress with the Plan in her part of Cumbria.

From there it was on to Garstang for a meeting of the CLA Lancashire Committee, and an opportunity to talk to some of those present about their involvement in broadband initiatives.

Past-President of the CLA, Rodney Swarbrick told me why it is important for the CLA to support the development of rural broadband.

Martin Harker, Manager of the Knowsley Estate, described how he has helped to bring fast fibre broadband to the estate

And, CLA North Director, Douglas Chalmers described some of the things the CLA is doing to support Rural Broadband initiatives

And then it was on to the Cyberbarn, the country’s first rural broadband demonstrator and training centre, in Warcop, Cumbria