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The Victorian Slum

Episode 3: The 1880s

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

In the heart of the modern East End of London, a Victorian slum has been recreated and a group of 21st-century people are moving in. Michael Mosley joins them to tell the extraordinary story of how the Victorian East End changed our attitude to poverty forever.

The slum dwellers have moved into the 1880s - a turbulent decade for London's East End. Unemployment was sky high, living conditions intolerable - but still people came, desperate for work.

The pressures are immediately felt by the Howarth family, who find themselves employing new workers in their Victorian sweat shop. Their workforce would have been made up of newly arrived immigrants, and the Howarths' workers all have their own story to tell. But Mandy Howarth is moved to tears when she finds out that the sweated trades are part of her own family history.

The Potter family become street sellers, selling sheep's trotters and jellied eels in London's East End. But their newfound living is quickly curtailed, as it was in 1880s Bethnal Green. Fellow slum residents Andy Gardiner and John Barker come face to face with the harsh realities of working life in London's docks during the era when only one of them could have hoped to earn. Show less

Contributors

Presenter:
Michael Mosley
Expert:
Louise Raw
Expert:
Carl Chinn
Executive Producer:
Cate Hall
Series Producer:
Mark Ball
Series Producer:
Emma Frank
Director:
Emma Frank
Producer:
Leah Caffrey
Production Company:
Wall to Wall Media

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