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Britain's Green and Pleasant Land

Reel History of Britain Episode 14 of 20

Melvyn Bragg, accompanied by a vintage mobile cinema, travels across the country to show incredible footage preserved by the British Film Institute and other national and regional film archives, and tell the history of modern Britain.

This episode comes from the Museum of Kent Life and looks back to the 1930s. This was a time when British farming was on the brink of mechanisation, a move which would change the face of the countryside forever.

Gerry Smith paints a vivid picture of the tough but satisfying life he led as a young farmworker in the 1930s and the sadness he felt when his beloved horses were replaced by machines. Jonathan Dimbleby explains what the arrival of machines meant for the countryside, and John Reeves-Vane shows Melvyn how unmechanised rural life in Britain used to be.

Release date:

29 minutes

Last on

Mon 27 Feb 2017 19:30


Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Series ProducerDympna Jackson
Executive ProducerRuth Pitt