Ilford to Rochester

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Duration: 29 minutes

Steered by his Bradshaw's, Michael Portillo heads along the Essex bank of the Thames before crossing the river into the Garden of England, Kent.

He begins this leg at Barkingside, where a Victorian philanthropist called Dr Thomas Barnardo made it his life's work to transform the lives of destitute children.

From Upminster, Michael takes the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway to Tilbury and finds out how the line and the old station transformed the town into one of the country's most important ports. At the docks, Michael tries his hand at loading a container onto a pocket wagon.

Over the river at Gravesend, Michael discovers how one of Queen Victoria's favourite army officers, General Gordon, left his mark on the town.

Michael's last destination on this leg is Rochester, where he encounters a host of familiar characters and explores the city, which was home to one of the Victorian era's greatest writers, Charles Dickens.


Michael Portillo
Series Producer
Alison Kreps
Executive Producer
John Comerford


Steam Railways Collection

Steam Train

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

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