The Worst Jobs in History: Series Two

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History Documentary hosted by Tony Robinson, published by Channel 4 in 2005 - English narration

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Image: The-Worst-Jobs-in-History-Series-Two-Cover.jpg

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Tea break over, it's back to work. Tony Robinson's nose gets firmly back to the historical grindstone in a second series of The Worst Jobs in History. British history has only happened because of a lot of people doing a lot of terrible jobs. Tony looks at some of the horrendous tasks behind some of the most important strands of British history. In five episodes he sees how the events, institutions, emblems and economics that have made us what we are have been brought about by an anonymous army of workers. Episodes cover Britain's Urban, Royal, Industrial, Maritime and Rural history. In each programme he tries his hand at a number of jobs and then decides which is the very worst of all - before doing it for real. Produced by Spire Films for Channel Four

[edit] Urban Jobs

This week we meet the water caddies who delivered water on their backs from wells to peoples' homes; fire-fighters who had only their own wetted beards to breathe through when they entered blazing buildings; the dockers and deal porters who, with no regard for health or safety issues, serviced the tall ships; brick makers; and crossing sweepers who shovelled the muck left by hundreds of horses and swept the streets keeping crossing places clean for the passing gentry.

[edit] Royal Jobs

This week we look at the worst royal jobs. As Tony takes on the work traditionally done at court we learn of the miserable lot of food tasters, whipping boys, falconers, and laundry women who beat Elizabethan laundry with paddles similar to cricket bats. Tony has a go at knitting chain mail; marvelling at the intricacies and tedium of fashioning one link, let alone a suit which used 200,000. Then there was the lance-makers with task of carving hundreds of lances for jousting tournaments, or the shining of shoes for Edwardian hunting parties. Armourers, fire-workers, grooms of the chamber, hall boys and royal messengers all had their moments of misery. But the most unpleasant job of all fell to the unfortunate lackeys who were responsible for the rich purple dye for the monarch's coronation robes. The purple maker created the royal colour by stomping up and down on rotting shellfish which had been soaking in human urine.

[edit] Industrial Jobs

In this episode intrepid Tony Robinson works directly in harms way as a bridge builder, legger, soap boiler, glass blower, knocker upper, bone cleaner, presser, matchmaker and at the terrible job children faced down the mines.

[edit] Maritime Jobs

Among the thankless tasks tackled by Tony this week are the work of the midshipman, lighthouse keeper, stoker and trimmer, the men of Britains first navy who survived on minimal rations, and the men who wore sacks on their heads on the luxury liners. Finally he experiences the dangerous occupation of the Victorian lifeboat man.

[edit] Rural Jobs

This week we take a close look at the worst rural jobs and remember those who risked their necks to maintain the heart of rural life, shifted excrement to produce enduring images of the countryside and saved souls in the villages by eating bread. Tony experiences life as a shepherd boy, nettle harvester, reddle man, thresher, chaff-box boy, sedge cutter, sin eater, pole man, lead-white maker and featherier. Then he tackles the most arduous job of all, that of the steeplejack when he climbs the highest spire in Oxfordshire.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 1153 kbps
Video Resolution: 640x352
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.818:1
Frames Per Second: 25.000
Audio Codec: 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 128kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 49 min
Number Of Parts: 5
Part Size: 450 MB
Ripped by: cocosservant

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