The full 6 part BBC series in which Fred Dibnah takes a nostalgic look at Britain’s Industrial Heritage. In this series he recounts Britain’s industrial history, bringing to life landmark events from the eighteenth century up to the early twentieth century in his typically anecdotal and engaging manner.
Episode One - Wind, Water & Steam
In this programme Fred examines the early use of wind and water power and traces the development of the steam engine. He visits a man who’s built a windmill in his back garden and searches out examples of early steam engines that are still working today.
Episode Two - Factories
Fred Dibnah traces the development of Britain’s textile industry from the Scottish countryside of New Lanark to the urban mill town of Burnley. On his travels he chats to ex-weavers to find out what life was like in the mills, and comes across a group of volunteers who have spent the last 30 years saving mill engines from the ‘scrapman’.
Episode Three - Iron & Steel
Fred Dibnah celebrates our nation’s rich industrial heritage, he begins with a look at the development of the iron and steel industries at Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire. On his travels he comes across a rolling mill which he remembers working in his home town of Bolton, tries his hand at chain making and drives the biggest steam rolling mill engine he’s ever seen.
Episode Four - Mining
In this programme Fred Dibnah takes a look at mining. His tour takes him from Cornwall to Scotland, exploring how tin, slate, lead and coal were all extracted from the ground. Along the way he visits old mine workings, drives winding engines and descends a mine shaft strapped to the top of the cage.
Episode Five - Railways
Fred recollects his early excitement as steam locomotives roared past his bedroom window. In this programme he traces the development of the railways from the first steam locomotive to the world record-breaking Mallard. Never one to miss a ride, he gets his hands dirty stoking the boiler of a Black Five as he speeds through the Welsh countryside.
Episode Six - Ships & EngineeringFred looks at the great age of shipbuilding and examines the skills of engineers who turned Britain into a great manufacturing nation. He takes a voyage along the West Coast of Scotland on the paddle steamer Waverley, and in Suffolk discovers the world’s first production line. Although he laments the decline of steam power, he comes across a new generation of steam enthusiasts restoring traction engines and steam rollers in Devon.