Stepping Stones

Rogan Taylor, Britain's leading football scholar, recalls his own getting of wisdom.

His story begins in an army jail and takes in his traveller's life in the East before he heads home to take his first proper job - at the age of 45.

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Stick By The Sea: A Childhood Tale2015081020151221 (R4)

Broadcaster Piers Plowright explores five sound-worlds - some from far back in his life and some more recent - which still resonate with him.

In this first episode, he returns to the small Welsh village he was evacuated to during the Second World War, to find the family that took him, his mother, and sister, into their house.

With four of the Thomas siblings, now all in the 80s, he explores their different, sometimes conflicting, memories of the years 1943 to 1945 and remembers and recreates the sounds that surrounded them.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

01The Big Lift19980307

Rogan Taylor, Britain's leading football scholar, recalls his own getting of wisdom.

His story begins in an army jail and takes in his traveller's life in the East before he heads home to take his first proper job - at the age of 45.Taylor leaves the army jail a free man and thumbs a ride from Belgrade to Baghdad.

02April Fools19980314

It is the mid-1960s, and Taylor's itchy feet are about to take him and travelling companion Jimmy from the New Chester Road to New Delhi for a decade of adventure.

02Wordplay: Theatre In The Open Air20150811

Broadcaster Piers Plowright explores five sound-worlds - some from far back in his life and some more recent - which still resonate with him.

In this second episode he revisits Stowe School where, in the 1950's, he fell in love with Shakespeare's language while acting his plays in the open air. Piers compares notes with present day 'Stoics', in the middle of rehearsing this year's Shakespeare productions, to find out what his language means to them.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

03Kali's Patch19980321

Rogan Taylor finds himself high on a Himalayan ridge - a world of gurus, mysterious colonels and flying squirrels.

03The Chuckler: A Short Ride In A Smart Machine20150812

03The Chuckler: A Short Ride In A Smart Machine2015081220151222 (R4)

Broadcaster Piers Plowright explores five sound-worlds - some from far back in his life and some more recent - which still resonate with him.

In this third episode, Piers goes for a drive with his two daughters in a Morris Minor, the same model and vintage as the one he owned between 1968 and 1990. As his only car, he discovers just what made it so special when the family was growing up.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

03The Chuckler: A Short Ride In A Smart Machine20150812

Broadcaster Piers Plowright explores five sound-worlds - some from far back in his life and some more recent - which still resonate with him.

In this third episode, Piers goes for a drive with his two daughters in a Morris Minor, the same model and vintage as the one he owned between 1968 and 1990. As his only car, he discovers just what made it so special when the family was growing up.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

04Splash: The Water in Winter20150813

04Splash: The Water In Winter2015081320151223 (R4)

Broadcaster Piers Plowright explores five sound-worlds - some from far back in his life and some more recent - which still resonate with him.

In this fourth episode, Piers goes for a winter swim in the Men's Pond on Hampstead Heath and discovers how special the sounds are - wild-life, swimmers, the distant hum of London - on a January morning.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

04Splash: The Water In Winter20150813

Broadcaster Piers Plowright explores five sound-worlds - some from far back in his life and some more recent - which still resonate with him.

In this fourth episode, Piers goes for a winter swim in the Men's Pond on Hampstead Heath and discovers how special the sounds are - wild-life, swimmers, the distant hum of London - on a January morning.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

04Two Scousers, Two Horses And A Dog19980328

Knowing nothing about horses, it was only natural that Taylor and his travelling companion Jim should decide to journey on horseback a thousand miles across Darjeeling.

05True Blues: A Cry From The Heart20150814

05True Blues: A Cry From The Heart20150814
05True Blues: A Cry From The Heart20150814

Broadcaster Piers Plowright explores five sound-worlds - some from far back in his life and some more recent - which still resonate with him.

In this last episode of the series, jazz pianist and teacher Louis Vause examines, with Piers, one of the great Blues performances of all time - New Orleans pianist James Booker's interpretation of True at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival.

This is a performance that has haunted Piers since he first heard it and has come to speak to him of all the longing and grief - and maybe hope - that the Blues express.

The programme includes an interview with Lily Keber who made the recent film about Booker, Bayou Maharajah.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LASTStepping Stones19980404

Leaving Liverpool is the making of Rogan Taylor.

After a decade of adventure he returns to a changed city and a new life he could never have dreamed of.

Who can tell where life's stepping stones will lead?