BBC Television programmes  permalink

Locomotion with Dan Snow

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  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Whitespear (U15576225) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    Why wasn't Richard Trevithick mentioned on the programme, he had the first steam train running years before Stephenson.

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by notbraindead (U15528333) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    Because it had (cough) "military historian" Dan Snow on it treating us as though we all had teh intelligence and attention span of goldfish. Snow Jr hasn't done a decent show since Daddy stopped working with him.

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  • Message 3

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    Posted by Cat In Boots (U13672446) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    There are still another two episodes to go, so who knows the answer?

    smiley - blackcat

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Nan you are too old to go on Facebook said Tom 19 (U11041817) on Tuesday, 15th January 2013

    I enjoyed the programme, took me back more years than I care to remember to when I was doing economic history for my O levels. Which I did pass may I add.

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  • Message 5

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    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Although this subject is not new to BBC documentaries, I thought it was the best I have seen on the subject of the railways so far. Snow's academic background showed through because he avoided the "1066 And All That" interpretation of the Industrial Revolution that we usually get. Snow obviously understood that all the famous inventions were the result of expansionary economic pressures and not the cause of them.

    It was also the first time I have seen a proper account in a TV documentary of the engineering and political difficulties that faced the construction of the Liverpool-Manchester railway, exactly how Huskisson came to be killed on the first day, and so-on. smiley - smiley

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by stevied (U15519792) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Yet another disappointing programme about railways. Yet more of the BBC,s infatuation with helicopters. Why did Dan Snow have to wear all that health and safety clobber just to walk down a railway line? High vis maybe ,but not a hard hat and safety glasses. What was going to happen to him?
    The link piece which ran through the whole show seemed to have no other purpose than to wake us up. If you are going to employ a railway "Expert" to tell the story why didn't you get Christian Woolmer who wrote the definitive book "Fire and steam" which at least didn't bring the whole subject down to the level of a 12 year old to advise on it? Please, please BBC treat us like adults, especially on BBC2 after the watershed. Most of this subject has been covered before, and better by Fred Dibnah for one.
    Talking of double standards why was Mr Snow allowed to be aboard that boat without a life jacket and what did that have to do with railways anyway?
    I was really looking forward to this programme but I was very disappointed with it. We had barely got the Liverpool line open when the whole thing was hijacked to show how much Dan Snow could shovel into a wagon and off we went sidetracked by Navvies.
    As for a presenter how about Michael Portillo? He does a very good job on "Great British Railway Journeys".
    Let's face it BBC most of your target audience would only watch it for Mr Snow anyway, the very term "Railway" sending most running for the remote.

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I agree with Portly - a very interesting and informative documentary.
    Dan Snow really brought home the sheer physical effort required to build the railways; by telling us about the navvies he revealed a dimension of the story that I haven't seen covered properly before.

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by DragonFluff (U6879248) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Let's face it BBC most of your target audience would only watch it for Mr Snow anyway, the very term "Railway" sending most running for the remote. 

    Glad to know I'm not typical - the word "railway" attracts me to the programme but the words "Dan Snow" don't fill me with confidence. I shall give it a watch later on t't iPlayer and see how well I get on with it.

    Replying to the OP - if there is no mention of Richard Trevithick in the entire programme, I shall stare hard at the BBC over the top of my glasses.

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  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by swillott (U13835085) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I agree with Portly - a very interesting and informative documentary.
    Dan Snow really brought home the sheer physical effort required to build the railways; by telling us about the navvies he revealed a dimension of the story that I haven't seen covered properly before. 
    Sorry to differ, but we saw very little of the railways and a lot of the presenter. There is a working replica of Trevithick's locomotive which would have shown the origins of steam propulsion. We also saw more close-ups of bits of locomotives than the whole, and why was every scene separated from the next by out of focus grainy sepia images of meaningless machinery?

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  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Chris1049 (U15576506) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I too enjoyed the programme and will continue to watch. However, I wish Dan Snow's academic background had led to fuller information. For example, where is the bridge built to take the coal to Newcastle, where is the tunnel walked through by Dan Snow atmospherically waving his torch, why were the men digging and filling skips, where is the Rocket displayed and is it the original or a modern re-creation, what cutting was illustrated in the re-animated engraving? A few extra words or some script on the screen could have answered these questions without interrupting the flow. The information would have given what was an interesting and informed documentary, a bit more factual fibre.

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  • Message 11

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    Posted by Nickjhr (U8356357) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    When I was a kid I had a Ladybird Book-The Story of the Railways- it's a shame Dan did not use it. It's many decades since I have seen this book but the book covers Trevithick and the very important Surrey Iron Railway of 1803 from Wandsworth to Croydon ( some of the route is now used by the Croydon-Wimbledon tram). none of which Dan mentioned. The book highlighted Chat Moss and the problems that George Stephenson and his talented son Robert would have to conquer to build the world's first mainline railway from Manchester to Liverpool . It was sad to hear Dan spouting all today's jargon- "high speed link" and all those terms that make those that love railways cringe as the seminal words of this incredible industry are replaced by marketing mumbo jumbo. Anyway, that Ladybird book is available from Amazon for as little as a penny before postage which would have probably been the best penny ever spent if this book had been consulted. I did enjoy the programme but I cannot help but feel that key aspects which should have been included- not least Trevithick- were ignored which I find just a little baffling.

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  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by swillott (U13835085) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    The programme seems to have been about 'Rail travel', not about 'Railways' and was therefore badly described in the trails.

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  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by longmemoryintv (U15477482) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I too enjoyed the programme and will continue to watch. However, I wish Dan Snow's academic background had led to fuller information. For example, where is the bridge built to take the coal to Newcastle, where is the tunnel walked through by Dan Snow atmospherically waving his torch, why were the men digging and filling skips, where is the Rocket displayed and is it the original or a modern re-creation, what cutting was illustrated in the re-animated engraving? A few extra words or some script on the screen could have answered these questions without interrupting the flow. The information would have given what was an interesting and informed documentary, a bit more factual fibre.  I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued? Presumably we get sanitised and glamourised versions of history with handsome presenters (however well-connected and academically qualified) because the powers-that-be think that's all we're able to assimilate. These then get interspersed with 'real-life' programmes on BBC4 which used to be fillers at the cinema - 'Look at Life' and so on.

    Admittedly I am quite old and sometimes have personal knowledge of certain programmes, of which today's young 'researchers' have no knowledge and probably less interest; but it does make me sad when people come on here and say they had no idea of the contribution of manual workers to the infrastructure of the railways, canals, and indeed the Industrial Revolution.

    We used to be assumed to be intelligent enough to be able to watch 'Civilisation' or series by Bronowski, or AJP Taylor. People like Trevor Philpott or James Cameron were given the opportunity to make intelligent programmes. Indeed, (which is what prompted me to post this) in about 1962 or 1963 Philpott made at least one programme called 'Sons of the Navvy Man' linking the work of the original constructors with contemporary huge infrastructure projects. He wasn't very pretty, and he wasn't in every shot, but he certainly didn't regard his audience just as carbon copies of 'The Royle Family.' And under the DG's of the time he was able to do so.

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  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    The programme seems to have been about 'Rail travel', not about 'Railways' and was therefore badly described in the trails.  It's quite an important feature of railways that they enable people and goods to travel around. smiley - winkeye

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  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by zen humbug (U14877400) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Well, I had regretted that I needed to miss this in order to watch Death In Paradise - but after reading these comments I'm beginning to think it was lucky I didn't watch it.

    Really, the standard of BBC documentaries seems to be plunging below mediocrity into pointlessness.

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  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    zencat, I am amazed that you allow yourself to be put off from watching a programme as a result of bitchy comments on this messageboard! Would you consider them 100% reliable? smiley - laugh

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  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by germinator (U13411914) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    While I value your opinion Portly, I am waiting to see what ListerLad makes of it, when he gets fired up, and trundles out of the engine shed.

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  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by zen humbug (U14877400) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    zencat, I am amazed that you allow yourself to be put off from watching a programme as a result of bitchy comments on this messageboard! Would you consider them 100% reliable? smiley - laugh 
    Any commentary on the development of railways which fails to mention Chat Moss has already rendered itself irrelevant.

    I did actually briefly dip into it, and he was waffling on about something so pointless I've already forgotten what it was. I'm actually mad about trains and other forms of transport, and many people are fascinated by steam locomotives, and their almost animal qualities. I'm heartily sick of seeing celebs talk about everything which is trivial, while ignoring the vital and the insightful - especially on programmes which have been heavily trailed. The feeble "Psychology of Hitler" documentary being another recent example.

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  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued?  

    What's in the BBC Archive?

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio. That's equivalent to 600,000 hours of TV content and about 350,000 hours of radio. So we're getting very close now to a million hours of material. We also now have a New Media archive, which is keeping a record of the content that goes out on the BBC's websites. We also have large sheet-music collections, we have commercial music collections. We have press cuttings going back 40 years as well. So it's a very large-scale operation.

    The BBC Television Archive
    An interview with Adam Lee, BBC archive expert

    We haven't got copies of everything we've broadcast in the archive. Find out why we've got the items we've got and how the BBC tries to keep them safe in this interview with Adam Lee, BBC Television Archive expert.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    Take a trip through our collective past with the BBC archives and discover themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

    You can explore who we are, see how attitudes and broadcasting have changed and go behind the scenes to find out how the BBC archives are maintained.

    To get going, browse the collections we have released so far or visit our archive experts.

    You can also find more collections of archive television and radio programmes in the BBC Four Collections.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

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  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by moxey (U8154072) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Why wasn't Richard Trevithick mentioned on the programme, he had the first steam train running years before Stephenson.

     
    My thoughts as well To me RT was the father of the railways, sadly dying pennyless in Dartford (where I was took my apprenticeship) and his grave position is unknown. When Dan Snow was on the breakfast sofa that morning he was asked about the the gun he had in the opening sequence. He said it was a starting pistol used to indicate the 'start' of the railway revolution and he also remarked as to not knowing why 'they' chose to do it. Sums up the whole prog really

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  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    Zencat and other people in this discussion might be interested in this BBC Archive site!

    ====>


    In this collection of television and radio programmes we celebrate the craftsmanship inherent in steam trains and the beauty of the British countryside through which these locomotives have passed.

    For additional archive television programmes visit the BBC Four Steam Railways collection.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...


    Steam trains - and lots of them!

    smiley - smiley


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  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    smiley - sadface ..... here we go again ....... interesting subject, incompetent programme making.

    I got half-way through and couldn't bear the stupid 'filmic' affectations and excruciating long-winded diversions into multi-views of everything Big Dan mentions in passing. God knows how long it took to set up all the irrelevant shots ..... but we paid for them.

    Nowadays the big demand is for Innovation. Unfortunately that means we have to sit through interminable gimmickry and brief glimpses of bits and pieces of this and that you never see long enough to recognise or find out what it is ..... or it's Dan's wellies in close up or his MASSIVE HANDS or 'some people' or it's out of focus ..... whoa! .... I'm falling over - oh, no, it's just another ludicrous camera angle ....... what was he talking about the last two minutes?

    There is interesting stuff here but I just can't endure the rubbish that goes with it. All these programmes would be better, cheaper, shorter and effective if they just went for tight communication of information.

    Watching BBC 'factual' programmes now is like Charlie Brown taking his kick. Surely Lucy won't take the ball away THIS time? ..... but she does.

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  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Any commentary on the development of railways which fails to mention Chat Moss has already rendered itself irrelevant.  

    I rest my case! The programme devoted a great deal of time to the problem presented to George Stevenson by Chat Moss. This included a visit by Dan Snow to present-day Chat Moss. Dan squelched around in the company of a sphagnum moss expert.

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  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) ** on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued?  

    What's in the BBC Archive?

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio. That's equivalent to 600,000 hours of TV content and about 350,000 hours of radio. So we're getting very close now to a million hours of material. We also now have a New Media archive, which is keeping a record of the content that goes out on the BBC's websites. We also have large sheet-music collections, we have commercial music collections. We have press cuttings going back 40 years as well. So it's a very large-scale operation.

    The BBC Television Archive
    An interview with Adam Lee, BBC archive expert

    We haven't got copies of everything we've broadcast in the archive. Find out why we've got the items we've got and how the BBC tries to keep them safe in this interview with Adam Lee, BBC Television Archive expert.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    Take a trip through our collective past with the BBC archives and discover themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

    You can explore who we are, see how attitudes and broadcasting have changed and go behind the scenes to find out how the BBC archives are maintained.

    To get going, browse the collections we have released so far or visit our archive experts.

    You can also find more collections of archive television and radio programmes in the BBC Four Collections.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

     

    I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued?  

    To add to what Peta has said
    BBC Worldwide Motion Gallery has clips from BBC and other Broadcasters available for sale for use in TV Programmes and other tertiary uses.
    www.bbcmotiongallery...

    This is a very good business - and for instance the clips from a NHU Programme can net more than 10 times the income from selling the programme - all keeping the LF down ...!

    You can also see more about the BBC archives - and how the BBC will be dealing with them in the future (and shots of the new repository at Perivale)
    on thse BBC R&D blogs www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

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  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by zen humbug (U14877400) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    Zencat and other people in this discussion might be interested in this BBC Archive site!

    Steam trains - and lots of them!

    smiley - smiley 

    Thanks for the tip Peta. Alas, the film reports aren't available in my area, but the sound archives work OK.

    Choo! Choo!

    Chuffchuffchuffchuffchuff...

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  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by zen humbug (U14877400) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Any commentary on the development of railways which fails to mention Chat Moss has already rendered itself irrelevant.  

    I rest my case! The programme devoted a great deal of time to the problem presented to George Stevenson by Chat Moss.... 

    OK - I promise to watch the repeat. Thanks for the tip!

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  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by longmemoryintv (U15477482) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued?  

    What's in the BBC Archive?

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio. That's equivalent to 600,000 hours of TV content and about 350,000 hours of radio. So we're getting very close now to a million hours of material. We also now have a New Media archive, which is keeping a record of the content that goes out on the BBC's websites. We also have large sheet-music collections, we have commercial music collections. We have press cuttings going back 40 years as well. So it's a very large-scale operation.

    The BBC Television Archive
    An interview with Adam Lee, BBC archive expert

    We haven't got copies of everything we've broadcast in the archive. Find out why we've got the items we've got and how the BBC tries to keep them safe in this interview with Adam Lee, BBC Television Archive expert.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    Take a trip through our collective past with the BBC archives and discover themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

    You can explore who we are, see how attitudes and broadcasting have changed and go behind the scenes to find out how the BBC archives are maintained.

    To get going, browse the collections we have released so far or visit our archive experts.

    You can also find more collections of archive television and radio programmes in the BBC Four Collections.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

     
    Sorry Peta 'Not available in your area' - I live in France. Just the picture of the BBC Archive Expert with the 16mm Bolex in the background - introduced to the Tonight programme by the ex-Picture Post photographer Slim Hewitt and very much frowned upon at the time by the BBC people at Ealing.

    Perhaps someone could let me know how much of the original Tonight foreign archive is preserved - all people seem to see is Alan Whicker trying to find out door numbers.

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  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio.   Thanks for the heads-up. smiley - smiley
    Bit puzzled by the 'physical' bit - aren't they kind of virtual?

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  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio.   Thanks for the heads-up. smiley - smiley
    Bit puzzled by the 'physical' bit - aren't they kind of virtual? 

    They mean physical items - tapes and so on. smiley - ok

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  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued?  

    What's in the BBC Archive?

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio. That's equivalent to 600,000 hours of TV content and about 350,000 hours of radio. So we're getting very close now to a million hours of material. We also now have a New Media archive, which is keeping a record of the content that goes out on the BBC's websites. We also have large sheet-music collections, we have commercial music collections. We have press cuttings going back 40 years as well. So it's a very large-scale operation.

    The BBC Television Archive
    An interview with Adam Lee, BBC archive expert

    We haven't got copies of everything we've broadcast in the archive. Find out why we've got the items we've got and how the BBC tries to keep them safe in this interview with Adam Lee, BBC Television Archive expert.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    Take a trip through our collective past with the BBC archives and discover themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

    You can explore who we are, see how attitudes and broadcasting have changed and go behind the scenes to find out how the BBC archives are maintained.

    To get going, browse the collections we have released so far or visit our archive experts.

    You can also find more collections of archive television and radio programmes in the BBC Four Collections.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

     
    Sorry Peta 'Not available in your area' - I live in France. Just the picture of the BBC Archive Expert with the 16mm Bolex in the background - introduced to the Tonight programme by the ex-Picture Post photographer Slim Hewitt and very much frowned upon at the time by the BBC people at Ealing.

    Perhaps someone could let me know how much of the original Tonight foreign archive is preserved - all people seem to see is Alan Whicker trying to find out door numbers. 

    It's a shame that you can't see them longmemoryintv smiley - sadface

    All programmes that are available online are listed here

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    They include

    Tonight - Feminism After 50 Years of Suffrage
    Tonight - Rebecca West
    Tonight - Bernard Baruch
    Tonight - Equality at Cambridge University
    Tonight - Gretna Green
    Tonight - James Bond Car
    Tonight - John Wyndham
    Tonight - Pieter Menten's War
    Tonight - Railways

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  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Sarah Mac (U15037396) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Why is Trevithick always left out?

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  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by longmemoryintv (U15477482) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013


    I really don't know what the BBC's policy is regarding their own archive material. Have they sold it all? Is it properly catalogued?  

    What's in the BBC Archive?

    We've got about 4 million physical items for TV and radio. That's equivalent to 600,000 hours of TV content and about 350,000 hours of radio. So we're getting very close now to a million hours of material. We also now have a New Media archive, which is keeping a record of the content that goes out on the BBC's websites. We also have large sheet-music collections, we have commercial music collections. We have press cuttings going back 40 years as well. So it's a very large-scale operation.

    The BBC Television Archive
    An interview with Adam Lee, BBC archive expert

    We haven't got copies of everything we've broadcast in the archive. Find out why we've got the items we've got and how the BBC tries to keep them safe in this interview with Adam Lee, BBC Television Archive expert.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    Take a trip through our collective past with the BBC archives and discover themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

    You can explore who we are, see how attitudes and broadcasting have changed and go behind the scenes to find out how the BBC archives are maintained.

    To get going, browse the collections we have released so far or visit our archive experts.

    You can also find more collections of archive television and radio programmes in the BBC Four Collections.

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

     
    Sorry Peta 'Not available in your area' - I live in France. Just the picture of the BBC Archive Expert with the 16mm Bolex in the background - introduced to the Tonight programme by the ex-Picture Post photographer Slim Hewitt and very much frowned upon at the time by the BBC people at Ealing.

    Perhaps someone could let me know how much of the original Tonight foreign archive is preserved - all people seem to see is Alan Whicker trying to find out door numbers. 

    It's a shame that you can't see them longmemoryintv smiley - sadface

    All programmes that are available online are listed here

    www.bbc.co.uk/archiv...

    They include

    Tonight - Feminism After 50 Years of Suffrage
    Tonight - Rebecca West
    Tonight - Bernard Baruch
    Tonight - Equality at Cambridge University
    Tonight - Gretna Green
    Tonight - James Bond Car
    Tonight - John Wyndham
    Tonight - Pieter Menten's War
    Tonight - Railways 
    Thank you Peta. I'm talking about the original 'Tonight' programme. A long time ago. Doesn't matter - most of the people who worked on it are dead anyway.

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  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by yeatmc (U15576674) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Why wasn't Richard Trevithick mentioned on the programme, he had the first steam train running years before Stephenson.

     
    Completely agree. Any programme about the development of steam locomotion/railways lacks credibility if Trevithick is not given the credit he is due. Overall I was very disappointed by the program. Lots of pointless bits of film such as Dan wandering around Liverpool, visuting Lord Sefton(?) mansion etc.

    Discovery Turbo have shown far better, more informative programmes on the subject. I wonder if Brunel will get a mention!?

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  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Lots of pointless bits of film such as Dan wandering around Liverpool, visuting Lord Sefton(?) mansion etc.  

    I get the impression that many viewers were only interested in the technological and engineering aspects of the development of the railways, but the programme was looking at the railways in their economic and political setting. Lord Sefton was a particularly powerful opponent of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway, which is why a visit to Croxteth Hall made sense to indicate the role played by the landowning gentry who called the shots at that time.

    Croxteth Hall is nowadays owned by Liverpool City Council and is open to the public. www.croxteth.co.uk/...

    A stroll round the house conveys the strong impression that Lord Sefton's horizons were confined to huntin', shootin' and fishin'! smiley - biggrin

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  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by Close Hauled (U14667945) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    There's also a rather incongruous clip of a Czech Super City Pendolino train whilst Dan Snow talks about the British people wanting to "explore their country". (54.52 on iPlayer)

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  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by Grounded Griselda (U14326837) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I watched this last night as Mr G wanted to see it. I'm usually not keen on Dan Snow's presenting style, but this was less 'Blue Peter' than other programmes of his I have seen.

    Yes there was the unforgivable omission of Trevithick (not only was his engine the first steam locomotive engine in 1804 in Wales, but his whole life was quite amazing) and the ridiculous trolling about in hi-vis jacket, hard hat and goggles, but on the whole it was a big improvement on his previous efforts.

    Perhaps the 'elfin safety' stuff was imposed on him by BBC regulations - or to make a contrast between the almost total absence of safety considerations when the railways were developing and the sometimes excessive modern requirements.

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  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by Listerlad (U14802519) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    When I saw the trailer and saw the B & W film of an american loco, I had an idea this prog wouldn't be great. I have it recorded, but hearing that Trivithick is not given the importance he should have is worrying. It was Trevithick who made the first high pressure boiler, reducing the boiler while giving out more power making loco's possible. It was Stephenson who combined this with the multiflue boiler with a blastpipe to make the type of steam engine that lasted to the 1960's.

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  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Julian Colander (U4250360) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I believe that Dan shot past Trevithick when he dismissed early attempts at steam traction as "experiments".

    Reply to this message 38

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  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by zen humbug (U14877400) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Why is Trevithick always left out? 
    Because nobody can pronounce his name! smiley - smiley

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  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by TerryB (U14935646) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Pretty poor programme this! How can you have a history of the railways without a mention of Rainhill and the Rainhill Trials! Most of the locations he visited and original paintings and drawings were not mentioned by name so unless you were already familiar with railway history you wouldn't know where they were! The whole treatment of the programme appeared to have been done by someone straight out of media school with more attention played to arty shots or pointless exercises to show how things were done! The whole programme seemed rushed and with only 3 programmes in the series I think they are trying to cram too much in with the result that nothing gets sufficient attention.

    BBC - must do better!

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  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by yeatmc (U15576674) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Lots of pointless bits of film such as Dan wandering around Liverpool, visuting Lord Sefton(?) mansion etc.  

    I get the impression that many viewers were only interested in the technological and engineering aspects of the development of the railways, but the programme was looking at the railways in their economic and political setting. Lord Sefton was a particularly powerful opponent of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway, which is why a visit to Croxteth Hall made sense to indicate the role played by the landowning gentry who called the shots at that time.

    Croxteth Hall is nowadays owned by Liverpool City Council and is open to the public. www.croxteth.co.uk/...

    A stroll round the house conveys the strong impression that Lord Sefton's horizons were confined to huntin', shootin' and fishin'! smiley - biggrin 
    The point about the power of landowners would have been made far better by listing a few for them and pointing out that some of these people were already committed to canals. The actual visit to Croxteth Hall added absolutely nothing of value to the programme.

    My gut feel is to miss the rest of the series but I think I will be compelled to watch just to see which other very important and influential people fail to get a mention!

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  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by Symberta Ladygarden (U14259814) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013



    My gut feel is to miss the rest of the series but I think I will be compelled to watch just to see which other very important and influential people fail to get a mention! 


    ..........and don't forget to tell us what people failed to get a mention, you know how we hang on your every word.

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  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by arthur176 (U15576929) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I agree that the programme should have given detail regarding bridges, (Causey Arch - claimed to be the oldest surviving railway bridge in the world), tunnels,TREVITHICK, the Trials, etc and spent less time on the links.

    Why was there no mention of Shildon when referring to the first passenger railway in the world - the 1825 Stockton to Darlington?
    Why was there no mention of the fact that the line was set up to transport coal from the mines to the west and north of Shildon to the river Tees at Stockton? Why was there no mention of Timothy Hackworth and his engine - Sans Pareil - that took part in the Trials, a great railway engineer from the north east.
    Why was there no mention of the fact that horses were used before and even after the introduction of locos on this line?

    This first programme could have been much better; but I will watch the rest!!!

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  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by colonelblimp (U1705702) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I too enjoyed the programme and will continue to watch. However, I wish Dan Snow's academic background had led to fuller information. For example, where is the bridge built to take the coal to Newcastle, where is the tunnel walked through by Dan Snow atmospherically waving his torch, why were the men digging and filling skips, where is the Rocket displayed and is it the original or a modern re-creation, what cutting was illustrated in the re-animated engraving? A few extra words or some script on the screen could have answered these questions without interrupting the flow. The information would have given what was an interesting and informed documentary, a bit more factual fibre.  I agree with you, and at least I can answer your first question - it's Causey Arch, near Stanley.

    en.wikipedia.org/wik...

    As for the tunnel, I don't know for sure but I'ld guess at the Victoria Tunnel, built in 1842 to carry a waggonway from Castle Leazes in Newcastle to a staith on the Tyne, two and a half miles away at the mouth of the Ouseburn. It was in use until 1859 and then saw service as an air raid shelter in WW2 - it's still open from time to time, apparently (information courtesy of a book entitled "Coals from Newcastle", by Les Turnbull). You're right, it would have been nice to have been told.

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  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Kernow19 (U15577075) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    few would argue that Dan Snow is a serious historian. However he was very badly let down by the poor research evident on last night's programme 'Locomotion with Dan Snow'.

    Many years before George Stephenson even thought about it - a young Cornish mining engineer - a Richard Trevithick saw the steam boilers pumping the water out of deep tin mines and thought what would happen if you put a boiler on wheels ?

    So in 1800 he created Catch me you Can and ran it up and down Camborne Hill. Creating (yes you guessed it) the first ever self propelled vehicle - the FIRST EVER LOCOMOTIVE.

    Shame Dan didn't give it a passing mention.

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  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Weren't the ancient Greeks trundling around Athens on steam engines?

    Reply to this message 46

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  • Message 47

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    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    A Greek called Hero invented a primitive steam turbine but the idea was never put to practical use as far as I know.

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  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by the_cleaner (U3423083) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Weren't the ancient Greeks trundling around Athens on steam engines?  What have the Greeks ever done for us.smiley - erm


    Good Programme.

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  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by jakes60 (U15577113) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    I am a Cornish man and I am very proud of it, there has been so many inventions from Cornwall the best and the most important was the invention of the steam train. I thought Dan Snow’s programme was supposed to be factual if your going to do this sort of programme then get all your facts right first do your homework I would of thought that would have been the first thing his dad would of told him.

    This is what Wikipedia says}

    Richard Trevithick (13 April 1771 – 22 April 1833) was a British inventor and mining engineer from Cornwall. Born in the mining heartland of Cornwall, Trevithick was immersed in mining and engineering from a young age. The son of a mining captain, he performed poorly in school, but went on to be an early pioneer in steam-powered rail. His most significant contribution was to the development of the first high pressure steam engine, he also built the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive. On 21 February 1804 the world's first locomotive-hauled railway journey took place as Trevithick's unnamed steam locomotive hauled a train along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks, in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.

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  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by Kernow19 (U15577075) on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

    Why is Trevithick always left out? 
    Because nobody can pronounce his name! smiley - smiley 
    Because Dan Snow and the BBC is London centric - and see the world through only an English lens. There are other peoples in this UK and many of them (like Richard TRE-VITH-ICK) made major contributions to British life.

    Anyhow Dan's next series The History of Flight = number 1 (The Space Shuttle), then next year he is doing The History of Medicine = number 1 (Brain transplants).


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