What's it really like to be old? This programme is dedicated to conversations with the over 85s about the great turning points in their lives. Presenter Matthew Sweet describes his friends in their 80s and 90s as a "living archive". The "fourth generation" is not only a fast-growing feature of modern Britain, it's a portal to our collective past.
How does it feel to know about something that the culture has forgotten? What happens when your friends and family pass on and you are left? Matthew Sweet talks to people aged over 85 in a quest to find out not only about their lives but also how life has changed around them. We meet some of Britain's 14,000 centenarians - they are part of a growing trend, with demographers predicting that, by 2114, a million Britons alive will have received their telegram from the Queen.
And Matthew travels back to his home town of Hull where, as a six year old, he liked nothing more than spending time with his elderly neighbours. He meets one of these neighbours, who, unbeknown to Matthew at the time, is eminent political theorist Professor Bikhu Parekh, now Baron Parekh. Matthew also talks to Mary Urwin whose father knew Florence Nightingale, and Bridgette Paterson who once played with the von Hindenburg children in the German President's Palace.
Produced by Hermeet Chadha
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.