3 hrs 20 mins.
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A nostalgic look at three important regions of England using modern film and rare archive footage.
‘The City of London’: We journey around London, one of the oldest and most historic cities in the world, on a Thames boat, the underground and by car comparing modern day vistas with how they were over a hundred years ago. Using recent film as well as wonderfully fascinating film collected over the last century, we see how some places have remained untouched while others have seen huge changes. Marvel at how St Paul’s Cathedral survived wartime bombing. Compare the traffic-jammed roads of today with the equally busy streets at the turn of the century. See how leisure and pleasure craft as well as commercial activity on the Thames have changed and admire the incredible developments that have happened in the Docklands area.
‘The West Midlands’: Take a trip around the West Midlands, an area that is a mix of vibrant cities, thriving market towns, picturesque villages and stunning countryside. We start by visiting this area in the 1930s when Great Britain was still one of the world’s leading industrial powers and the West Midlands was at its centre. Our visit takes us to the Potteries and the Wedgwood Factory. But no visit to this area would be complete without a stop in Birmingham where we see the many changes that have taken place since the early 20th century, including fascinating film of the rebuilding of the Bull Ring in the 1960s. Though cars feature strongly in Birmingham’s industrial history we appreciate how the centre has had to become pedestrianised. Our final visit is to Stratford-upon-Avon.
‘The Heart of Yorkshire’: Archive footage as well as more recent film gives us a taste of this most interesting area of England with its historic cities, industrial valleys and heather-clad moors. Starting in the historic city of York, our first visit is to the Minster with its rich history. The Minster itself has changed little over time despite the disastrous fire of 1984. York also provides us with interesting glimpses of the Shambles where the roofs of the buildings almost touch in the middle. From here we travel to the Victorian spa town of Harrogate, famous for its healing waters, before we head to the industrial towns of Leeds and Bradford and see the difference in types of vehicle on the road then with horse trams, steam trams, electric trams, haulier carts and bicycles.
‘Vanishing Views’: In this ground breaking series architect Ptolemy Dean sketches great views that are threatened by dramatic change: from new developments, from the wrecking ball, and from over ambitious building schemes. In order to preserve some of these views Ptolemy will suspend himself off a builders’ crane, head out to sea on a perilously swaying boat and perch on half finished development sites. He will be armed with his drawing pad and pencil as he captures these extraordinary views for one last time. Including: Sheffield, Brighton, London, Edinburgh & Liverpool