A group of modern shopkeepers and their families are on the journey of a lifetime - they're taking over empty shops in a neglected market square in Shepton Mallet to see if they can turn back time for the British High Street. They'll live and trade through six key eras of history and in this episode they begin their journey in the 1870s, when the high street was born.
The shopkeepers make up the key trades; there's the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker and the grocer. Overseeing it all is an expert Chamber of Commerce, headed up by greengrocer and Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace.
The shopkeepers soon learn that Victorian trading means truly going back to basics. The bakers struggle with back-breaking work and baking through the night. The butcher must sell every bit of a giant pig, and the Ironmonger realises that there isn't much call for mangles and mole traps in 2010. Over at the grocer's, 21st-century customers must wait for coffee to be roasted, tea to be mixed and butter to be patted. While the town finds Victorian produce hard to stomach, all the shopkeepers struggle to keep their customers onside in the run-up to market day.