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Middlesbrough to Hexham

Michael Portillo continues his journey from Derby to Lindisfarne. In Middlesbrough, he visits one of the last cast-iron foundries in the city.

Following his Bradshaw's Handbook, Michael Portillo begins this leg of his journey from Derby to Lindisfarne in the Victorian ironopolis of Middlesbrough. He visits one of the last cast-iron foundries in the city and helps cast a carrot valve for a steam engine.

His next stop is Darlington, spiritual home of the railways, where he learns how the city profited from its fast connections to the capitals of England and Scotland by developing a newspaper industry. Michael meets the editor of the Northern Echo and finds out about the colourful history of one of his predecessors, WT Stead.

At Jarrow, Michael visits the monastery to learn about its famous monk, the father of English history, Bede. His last stop on this leg of his journey is Hexham, where he visits a historic ginger-beer emporium.

29 minutes


Role Contributor
Presenter Michael Portillo
Series Producer Alison Kreps
Executive Producer John Comerford
Production Company Boundless Productions


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Steam Railways

Steam Railways

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