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Reel History of Britain

Episode 7: Britain's National Disgrace

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Northern Ireland HD

Melvyn Bragg, accompanied by a vintage mobile cinema, travels across the country to show incredible footage preserved by the British Film Institute and other national and regional film archives, and tell the history of modern Britain.

This episode comes from Columbia Road in the East End of London and looks back to the 1930s, a time when millions of people across Britain lived in the squalor of urban slums.

Two cousins, Pat and Carole, come face to face with their grandfather, who was captured in a remarkable 1935 film of Stepney tenement slums. Childhood friends Roger Packer and Brian Davies talk about the sense of community which existed amongst the slum dwellers, and Stan Hardy shares his incredible story about his years in the workhouse as a young boy. Show less


Melvyn Bragg
Series Producer:
Dympna Jackson
Executive Producer:
Ruth Pitt

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