Modern England as we know it started in the industrial heart of Ironbridge in Shropshire- now a verdant gorge that once was black with smog, fire and slag heaps. Dan tries his hand at casting iron at one of the last working foundries in the country and gets the scoop on the scandals of Georgian high society with historian Catherine Curzon. The Regency period was a wild time of £15,000 pineapples, the marriage market and the tell-all memoir of a famous courtesan who named and shamed the Duke of Wellington. But the new wealth England experienced came at a price; Dan traces the dark history of Europe’s addiction to sugar and Britain’s slave trade, while actor Paterson Joseph recounts the powerful words of Black Georgians who spoke truth to Britain’s imperial power and fought for its abolition.
Dan goes back to the Victorian times at the Blists Hill Living Museum in Telford to discover just how gruelling work at the coalface of the industrial revolution was and how great ideas...and not so great ideas... changed the daily lives of Victorians with the help of Collections Curator Kate Cadman.
Produced by Mariana Des Forges. Edited and sound designed by Dougal Patmore and artwork by Teet Ottin.