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Segregation in wartime Britain

Helen Castor and her guests discuss the history stories that are alive today. Poet Sugar Brown hears about race in wartime, and what makes a good museum?

Helen Castor and her guests discuss the history stories that are alive today.

Seventy five years on from the first American bomber raid taking off from British soil to attack targets in Nazi-occupied Europe, poet Sugar Brown hears how the thousands of Yanks who arrived in the UK in 1942 were segregated by race - both when they were in uniform and when they were out on civvy street.

On the eve of the announcement of the Art Fund Museum of the Year, we hear from two retired ladies who, having completed a journey on every London bus route, are now visiting every museum in the capital. Iszi Lawrence asks them what makes a good museum.

Tom Holland meets with the author Peter Frankopan to hear how China's new Belt and Road initiative has its historical roots in the Silk Road which, for a millennium, connected the Korean peninsular and Japan to the Mediterranean Sea.

And as a new TGV line opens to Bordeaux we ask what's 'must-see' in that fabulous city for the historian.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes


Helen Castor is joined by Janet Dugdale, Director of Museum of Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum and Clive Webb, Professor Of Modern American History at the University of Sussex.

Black and White in Wartime Britain

Jeremiah 'Sugar J' Brown travelled to Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley to find out more about racial segregation in the American military during World War 2. He spoke to David Cain, the Project Manager of the Heritage Lottery Funded Eighth in the East and Professor Lucy Bland.

See also:

National WW2 Museum - New Orleans

The Daily Telegraph

BBC People's War

PBS America

Constitutional Rights Foundation


Helen Castor talked to ‘mixed-race’ baby Terry Harrison who has also told his story to his local radio station BBC Leicester.

The Ladies Who Bus Do Museums

In the week of the Art Fund Museum of the Year Awards Iszi Lawrence caught up with the Ladies Who Bus who, fresh from travelling on every bus route in London, are now busy visiting every museum. During a trip to the City of London Police Museum they explain what they look for in a museum.

A Taste of Bordeaux in Bristol

In the week that  French railways opens a new high speed service from Paris to Bordeaux Dr Olivette Otele  explored the shared histories of Bordeaux and its twin city Bristol.


See also:

Visit Bristol

Bristol Radical History Group

Bristol Archives

Bordeaux History

Railway Gazette