Thursday 18 November 2010

Living History

I am greatly enjoying two BBC series at the minute– Turn Back Time – The High Street, and The Edwardian Farm


The first programme features a group of 21st Century shopkeepers experiencing the sort of life their forbears would have experienced, as they run the shops in the High Street of Shepton Mallett through different eras.

It is fascinating to watch them trying to accept the ‘rules’ of previous generations – some of those taking part are real characters. I admire their determination [although I think the rather emotional baker is close to a breakdown at times – poor woman doesn’t seem to be coping well!]

Living one week in Victoriana, and then another in Edwardian times, then into the 1930’s…constant change must be hard for these people [they’re not actors or TV presenters] to deal with. The children are doing a great job though [especially the butcher’s son!]

edwardian farm

In the other programme, archaeologists Alex and Peter and historian Ruth attempt to bring Morwellham Quay in Devon back to life as it was in its Edwardian heyday. Now these three are ‘professional re-enacters’ and I have loved their earlier series. They are great presenters and I love the way they explain things.

We visited Morwellham Quay a number of years ago, so it is especially lovely to be reminded of a great holiday.

Both programmes seem to encourage the Make Do And Mend philosophy of earlier generations, and I concur with that – but nonetheless I’m grateful for many of our 21st century luxuries.

Well done BBC – two lovely series ideal for cold wet autumn evenings!


  1. Turn Back Time – The High Street is fascinating, I'm pleased your enjoying it as well

  2. We watch both of these, with great interest, especially the farming one. Morwhellham Quay is a fascianting place and is often used for re-enactments.
    We do expect Greg in the other programme to bellow 'Shopkeeping just got tougher'! Shades of Masterchef!

  3. Quality television!!

  4. I love shows like these. I just finished watching "Pioneer House" and am now watching Victorian Farm via YouTube. So happy I can watch your shows via iTunes--thanks for the links!


  5. The baker drives me to distraction - I end up shouting at the telly - each week she has breadmaking disasters, she says she can't bake cakes and she's always having to apologise for an empty shop. Steve sits there sighing "She's not going to like this...." !


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