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The Shopkeepers

The shopkeepers below, who are the modern-day counterparts to historic traders, are taking part in this exciting living history experiment - but as the history of the high street is told, the shopkeepers and the shop usage change.

The Grocers (featured in episodes 1 - 6)

Karl enjoys his new role behind the counter of the grocery store

Dad Karl (47) is a trained chef. Having run successful restaurants in the past he now leads the family in the running of their own deli, cookery school and restaurant. Food is his passion, and he's keen for the family to experience 100 years of different produce, recipes and ingredients, while mum Debbie (39) believes the personal touch has been lost in today's consumer society and wants to take customers back to a time where they were valued as individuals. They are joined by their daughter Saffron (13) and Karl's 22-year-old son Harry.

The Bakers (featured in episodes 1 - 5)

Caroline, Nigel and family outside Devlin's Bakers & Cake Shop

Caroline (50), Nigel (56) and their family escaped the London rat-race to turn Caroline's hobby into a successful and esteemed family business. They now run their own bakery business out of their home in Wales. As well as running the household, as the baker Caroline works nights and is the lynchpin of the business. Prior to taking early retirement, Nigel worked in sport and leisure management. He is now responsible for balancing the books and getting their home-baked produce to market. They are joined by children Jack (15), Raiff (13), Saffron (12) and Chloe (9).

The Butchers (featured in episodes 1 - 5)

Andrew Sharp and the staff of Sharp & Son Butchers

Andrew Sharp is a 47-year-old master butcher from a family with an 800-year butchery heritage. Having started his career in the meat trade at the age of 13, Andrew has worked in traditional butcher shops, market stalls and has run a large wholesale meat company. He is taking part in the series so that he can experience at first hand the life and work of his forebears; Andrew is joined by his 14-year-old teenage son Michael, so that he too can get a sense of the trade as it once was.

The Ironmonger (featured in episodes 1 - 4)

Simon at work at S. Grant-Jones & Co. Ironmongers

Simon (46) is a professional blacksmith who was trained as a journeyman by the renowned English Master Blacksmith, Paul Allen. Simon wants to teach a modern town the importance of craftsmanship and practical skills. As an expert in his field, he recently became National Champion Blacksmith for 2010. Simon can turn his hand to most things, and his expertise will be a crucial support to the other families. He'll be on hand to help them get to grips with the practical elements of this living history challenge.

The Dressmaker (featured in episodes 2 - 6)

Gill surrounded by period detail as she carries out her dressmaking

Gill (31) is a master craftswoman - she's a designer, dressmaker and corsetry specialist. She began her sewing career at the tender age of 6 and was sketching designs and fashioning garments by the time she was 10 years old. As part of her evolving portfolio, Gill has become an experienced stylist who works regularly with commercial photographers and respected hair salons on magazine photo-shoots and catwalk shows.

The Record Shop Owner (featured in episode 6)

David excitedly browses through vinyl records

David is a 66-year-old music enthusiast who established and ran Europe's biggest secondhand record shop. David wants to share his passion for music, album artwork and the tactility of vinyl, and would like to return to an era before the digital age when people had the time to browse and socialise while shopping.

The Convenience Store Owners (featured in episode 6)

Pam Sandher at work in the 1970s convenience store

Sunder (47) and Pam Sandher (44) spent the 1970s helping their first generation immigrant families at work and in the home. Sunder is the owner of an award-winning local shop, where Pam also works every day, and believes that the high street is an essential part of the community. They want to take their children - Karina (16) and Josh (12) - back to the 1970s to see how they cope without modern technology, and to show them the difficulties faced by their forebears when they arrived in Britain for the first time.

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