Wokingham to Bradford-on-Avon

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Duration: 29 minutes

Steered by his Victorian guidebook, Michael Portillo heads north from the south coast towards the West Midlands.

The third leg begins in Wokingham, where Bradshaw's reports the proprietor of The Times newspaper resided and where he was a great benefactor. Michael finds out how demand from a growing number of rail commuters fuelled the development of the modern printing press and learns how to print on an iron press. He then heads to Newbury, where he encounters a Tudor captain of industry, who manufactured cloth in enormous volumes.

Michael's next destination is Trowbridge, where Sir Isaac Pitman invented his famous shorthand. He ends this leg of the journey in Bradford on Avon, where he hears from a local manufacturer how his Victorian forebears were the first in Britain to be licensed to vulcanise rubber. They supplied springs, buffers and hoses for the locomotive industry and now make rubber suspensions systems for bicycles.

Credits

Presenter
Michael Portillo
Series Producer
Alison Kreps
Executive Producer
John Comerford

Broadcasts

Steam Railways Collection

Steam Train

A collection of programmes from the BBC archives on the beauty of steam locomotives.

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