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Blackburn to Manchester

Michael Portillo continues his journey through Britain’s industrial northwest, visiting Blackburn, Nelson and the renovated 19th-century Manchester Victoria station.

Michael Portillo continues his rail tour of Britain’s industrial northwest, steered by his early nineteenth century Bradshaw’s guide.
In Blackburn, he catches a rare glimpse of Edwardian life on celluloid and marvels at how factory workers and schoolchildren alike were drawn to seek fame on film.
Continuing east to Nelson, Michael braves the enemy camp to have a pint of tea with the socialist working classes in Britain’s last Clarion House. Way out of his comfort zone, he is heartened by their warm welcome.
Taking his rail campaign south, Michael reaches a magnificently renovated mid-19th century Manchester Victoria station, from where he heads to the Manchester Art Gallery to investigate reports of an outrage in 1913.
Michael discovers the former home, now a museum and women’s centre, of the radical family that advocated such outrages, the Pankhursts. He hears from the curator what motivated Emmeline and her daughters, Christabel and Sylvia and learns how they made themselves heard.

29 minutes


Role Contributor
Presenter Michael Portillo
Series Editor Alison Kreps
Director Anthony Holland


  • Tue 5 Feb 2019 18:30
  • Tue 21 May 2019 08:30

Steam Railways

Steam Railways

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