Great British Railway Journeys Series2

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History Documentary hosted by Michael Portillo, published by BBC in 2011 - English narration

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Image: Great-British-Railway-Journeys-Series2-Cover.jpg

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Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. In a series of five epic journeys, Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

[edit] Brighton to Cromer

Ep 1. Brighton to Crystal Palace.
Michael finds out about Brighton's Victorian aquarium, the largest in the world at the time; explores the underground quarries of Godstone, and discovers the wonders of the Crystal Palace in suburban south London.

Ep 2. Waterloo to Canary Wharf.
Michael finds out about the Stiff's express, a funeral service running coffins from Waterloo to Brookwood cemetery. He discovers how London's west end became a great 19th century shopping destination and explores the changing fortunes of London's docks.

Ep 3. Enfield to Cambridge.
Michael visits the Government Arms Factory at Enfield, the largest machine shop in Europe in Bradshaw's day; discovers how the trains transformed Newmarket's races and finds out why Cambridge could be considered the birthplace of modern football.

Ep 4. Ely to King's Lynn.
Michael goes fishing with the last eel trapper on the Fens at Ely and visits one of the great triumphs of 19th century engineering, the Denver Sluice. He ends his journey in King's Lynn, where he uncovers an ambitious plan to reclaim the Wash in Bradshaw's day.

Ep 5. Dereham to Cromer.
Michael gets the rare chance to drive a heritage diesel train, finds out why Norfolk black turkeys appeared on the Christmas menu in Bradshaw's day, and samples some classic Cromer crab.

[edit] Ledbury to Holyhead

This journey follows the route of the Irish mail from Ledbury to Holyhead.

Ep 6. Ledbury to Shrewsbury.
Michael tastes the Victorian drink perry, a kind of pear cider, gets up close and personal with a pedigree Hereford bull and visits the grandfather of all skyscrapers, the world's first iron-framed building in Shrewsbury.

Ep 7. Telford to Wrexham.
Michael visits the world's first Iron bridge at Coalbrookdale, explores the historic Chirk castle and has a go at making traditional Cheshire cheese.

Ep 8. Chester to Conwy.
Michael takes a tour of Chester's Roman remains and discovers a secret World War II chemical weapons plant at Rhydmwyn. After spending the night in Llandudno, he goes mussel fishing on the beautiful Conwy estuary.

Ep 9. Llanwrst to Porthmadog.
Michael explores the Conwy valley, stopping at Britain's first artists' colony at Betwys-y-Coed, visiting the Victorian slate capital of Blaenau Ffestiniog and taking a steam train down to the harbour at Porthmadog.

Ep 10. Llanberis to Holyhead.
Michael takes the train to the top of Wales's highest peak, Mount Snowdon; witnesses the revival of Anglesey's sea salt industry; and discovers how the railways transformed the tiny port of Holyhead.

[edit] Newcastle to Melton Mowbray

This journey follows some of the earliest railways in the country from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray.

Ep 11. Newcastle to Chester-Le-Street.
Michael visits the first locomotive factory in the world opened by George Stephenson, searches for the lost pit village of Marsden in South Shields, and is entertained by a comic troupe of rapper sword dancers in Chester-le-Street.

Ep 12. Durham to Grosmont.
Michael visits the historic Durham Cathedral, sees one of the first locomotives in Darlington and takes a Dracula tour in Whitby, before ending his journey on a steam train across the North Yorkshire Moors.

Ep 13. York to Saltaire.
Michael takes a Turkish bath in the famous spa town of Harrogate, explores the exemplary Victorian village of Saltaire, and rubs noses with some friendly alpacas, whose fleeces made fortunes in Bradshaw's day.

Ep 14. Batley to Sheffield.
Michael finds out about shoddy, a successful 19th-century recycling industry in the textile town of Batley, discovers how the railways boosted Yorkshire's forced rhubarb trade, and meets the great-great-granddaughter of George Bradshaw himself.

Ep 15. Langley Mill to Melton Mowbray.
Michael learns the secrets of stilton cheese, finds out how trains transformed the traditional British sport of fox hunting and attempts to make an authentic Melton Mowbray pork pie.

[edit] London Bridge to Hastings

This journey goes through Kent, from London Bridge around the scenic south coast to Hastings.

Ep 16. London Bridge to Chatham.
Michael visits the Royal Observatory at Greenwich to see how the railways standardised time, takes a walk through the world's first underwater tunnel at Rotherhithe and explores the historic Dockyards at Chatham.

Ep 17. Aylesford to Tonbridge Wells.
Michael explores the life of Victorian hop pickers, finds out about Maidstone's revolutionary paper industry and discovers how the railways turned cricket into a national sport.

Ep 18. Canterbury to Margate.
Michael finds out how Canterbury Cathedral was saved during the Baedeker raids of World War II, goes whelk fishing in Whitstable and explores the origins of a seaside swim in Margate.

Ep 19. Sandwich to Folkestone.
Michael explores a secret port that ran the first train ferries to France carrying vital supplies during World War I, visits Walmer castle, the home of the Duke of Wellington and discovers how the Victorians initiated the building of the Channel tunnel.

Ep 20. Hythe to Hastings.
Michael discovers a hardy breed of sheep on the atmospheric Romney Marsh, explores Kent's new sparkling wine industry and finds out why the Victorians went mad for ferns in Hastings.

[edit] Ayr to Skye

This journey goes up the west coast of Scotland from Ayr to Skye.

Ep21. Ayr to Paisley.
Michael visits the hometown of Robbie Burns and finds out how to make haggis, discovers how the railways transformed the game of golf in Prestwick, and uncovers the story of the great Victorian tartan hoax in Paisley.

Ep22. Dumbarton to Tyndrum.
Michael explores the historic Dumbarton shipyards that built the Cutty Sark, visits one of Queen Victoria's favourite haunts, Loch Lomond, and goes hunting for gold in Scotland's mountains.

Ep23. Oban to Corrour.
Michael discovers how trains spread the word about Oban whisky, hears about the heroic struggle to build a railway across the desolate Rannoch Moor, and visits Corrour, one of the favourite shooting estates of the Victorian political elite.

Ep24. Roybridge to Glenfinnan.
Michael investigates one of the great geological mysteries of the 19th Century, the parallel roads of Glenroy. Plus, he finds out how the Victorians put a weather observatory on the top of Ben Nevis and takes a steam train across one of the most spectacular viaducts in Britain at Glenfinnan.

Ep25. Lochailort to Skye.
Michael discovers how the railways helped train the first generation of commandos at Lochailort in World War II, finds out why langoustines have replaced herrings as the top catch in the fishing port of Mallaig, and sails across the sea to Skye to explore the history of the highland crofters.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: Xvid
  • Video Bitrate: 1600 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.800:1
  • Video Resolution: 720x400
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps CBR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 29mins
  • Framerate: 25FPS
  • Number of Parts: 25
  • Part Size: 360 MB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Ripped by JungleBoy

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