Reel History of Britain


Reel History of Britain

Presented by Melvyn Bragg, a social history of 20th-century Britain. Fascinating stories of how people worked and lived, via viewers' personal memories and rare film archive.


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Episodes List

Britain's Wartime Evacuees

1. Reel History of Britain: Britain's Wartime Evacuees

In Torquay, Melvyn Bragg looks back to the 1940s and wartime evacuation.

Britain's First Teenagers

2. Reel History of Britain: Britain's First Teenagers

Melvyn Bragg looks back at when Britain broke free of the burdens of World War II.

Soldier, Soldier

3. Reel History of Britain: Soldier, Soldier

In Preston, Melvyn Bragg looks back to the First World War.

Britain's Black Diamonds

4. Reel History of Britain: Britain's Black Diamonds

In south Wales, Melvyn Bragg looks back to the 1930s and salutes Britain's coal miners.

The Roaring Twenties

5. Reel History of Britain: The Roaring Twenties

At Cliveden House in Berkshire, Melvyn looks back to the Roaring Twenties.

Britain's Home Guard

6. Reel History of Britain: Britain's Home Guard

Melvyn visits the site of the first Home Guard training school in Osterley.

Britain's National Disgrace

7. Reel History of Britain: Britain's National Disgrace

A look back to the 1930s, when millions of Britons lived in the squalor of urban slums.

Britain On the Move

8. Reel History of Britain: Britain On the Move

Looking back to the eve of popular car ownership in the 60s.

The Glory Days of Fishing

9. Reel History of Britain: The Glory Days of Fishing

A look back to the 1920s and the heyday of British fishing.

Sun, Sea and Sangria

10. Reel History of Britain: Sun, Sea and Sangria

Charting the advent of the Mediterranean package holiday.

The Birth of the NHS

11. Reel History of Britain: The Birth of the NHS

Aneira Thomas shares her remarkable claim to fame, as the first baby born on the NHS.

Steel Ships and Iron Men

12. Reel History of Britain: Steel Ships and Iron Men

A look back to the 1930s when Britain's shipyards were fighting to survive.

A Right Royal Knees Up

13. Reel History of Britain: A Right Royal Knees Up

In 1977, a right royal knees-up was taking place in honour of the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

Britain's Green and Pleasant Land

14. Reel History of Britain: Britain's Green and Pleasant Land

A look back at the 1930s and how unmechanised rural life in Britain used to be.

Britain's Secondary Modern Schools

15. Reel History of Britain: Britain's Secondary Modern Schools

The 1960s was a time when the eleven-plus exam could map out a child's future.

Long to Reign Over Us

16. Reel History of Britain: Long to Reign Over Us

Melvyn Bragg looks back to the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Streets in the Sky

17. Reel History of Britain: Streets in the Sky

A look back to the 1960s, when high-rise housing promised a better way of living.

The End of the Line

18. Reel History of Britain: The End of the Line

A look back to when the Beeching Axe led to the closure of over 2,000 railway stations.

Dawn of a New Era

19. Reel History of Britain: Dawn of a New Era

A look back to the 1900s and the invention of the film camera.

Beside the Seaside

20. Reel History of Britain: Beside the Seaside

Melvyn Bragg looks back to the 1950s and the heyday of the British seaside holiday.