« Previous | Main | Next »

Wales and the History of the World

Post categories:

BBC Wales History BBC Wales History | 17:10 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Did you know that the wheel - well the spare wheel - was the invention of two brothers from Llanelli? Or that the first ever passenger railways train was Welsh?

A new four-part history documentary, Wales and the History of the World begins tomorrow, Wednesday 3 March, 7.30pm on BBC One Wales. Presented by Eddie Butler, the former Welsh international rugby player turned broadcaster, the programme tells some remarkable stories of how Welsh creativity and invention has transformed the world.

Eddie travels around Wales in search of objects that tell stories of the nation's influence on the world and the world's influence on Wales. In this episode called 'Firsts', Eddie fires up a replica of the first steam railway engine, as well as getting behind the wheel of Babs, the car which once held the world land speed record set on Pendine Sands in 1926.



Eddie Butler in a RIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) which was invented in Wales.

The four-part series is just one part of a year-long BBC-wide project A History of the World which stretches across BBC television, BBC Radio 4, CBBC and the World Service.

If you want to add a comment to the Wales History blog (or any BBC blog) you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have an account, you can register here to set up a BBC iD account. Read about BBC iD.


  • Comment number 1.

    Within this very interesting programme Pendine Sands were mentioned and how it was famous for racing cars, but I thought you may be interested in a little trivia about these sands,>During the 2nd world war my father was on leave in Pendine and met the very (then)famous boy actor SABU (the elephantboy) as he was actually filming one of his films on the beach.(It was the one where he finds a bottle on th beach on a genie appears)He sighned the inside of my Da's hat and took him with his pals up to the clubhouse and bought them a drink.It was a story I was told each time one of Sabu's films were on tv.Thought it was a really nice snippett of trivia for your history department may log and possibly investigate,surely eldely locals would the remember the visit. Thanking you ,would love to hear from you regarding these &to find if there is any more information.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Anita, thanks for getting in touch. What a lovely story. We welcome any suggestions for content for the Wales History site. We're having a look through the BBC archives now - hopefully we can dig up a clip relating to Sabu Dastagir. To find out more about the history of Welsh film go to BBC Wales Arts, as they have just launched their Welsh film history section.

  • Comment number 3.

    Have you published Wales and the History of the World on DVD? We missed one episode and I would love to obtain the series for my family for Christmas!

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello Julia,
    Unfortunately there aren't any plans to repeat Wales and the History of the World in the near future. However, you can view some clips from the series at this link: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rb2b4.
    Eddie Butler is currently working on a programme on the history of Welsh icons. This one-hour special will be broadcast around St David's Day, 2011.
    Wales History


More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.