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Michael Portillo is in the steel city of Sheffield, where he discovers an enormous and beautifully preserved early 20th-century steam engine.

With his Edwardian railway guidebook tucked under his arm, Michael Portillo is in the steel city of Sheffield, where he discovers an enormous and beautifully preserved early 20th-century steam engine. At 400 tonnes and packing 12,000 horsepower, it produced armour plate for the most feared warship of the Royal Navy.

Heading south into Nottinghamshire, Michael reaches what was once the most successful coalfield in Europe. He follows his Bradshaw's guide to the former pit village of Eastwood, where he finds the birthplace of a man then called Bert, better known today as DH Lawrence. The author of Women in Love and Lady Chatterley's Lover opened the eyes of Edwardian society to the life of the working class and challenged their attitudes towards sexuality.

Michael changes gear at Langley Mill, where at the turn of the 20th century a forward-thinking entrepreneur founded a bicycle company which is still at the cutting edge of cycling today. Michael finishes with a dip in the briny at Nantwich.

29 minutes

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Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Michael Portillo
Series Producer Alison Kreps
Director Joseph Cunningham
Production Company FremantleMedia

Broadcasts

Steam Railways

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