Great British Railway Journeys 17 November 2021: Wednesday on BBC Four

Taunton to Salisbury Plain – Michael Portillo crosses the county line from Devon into Somerset on his rail exploration of the West Country steered by his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide.

He sees first-hand how willow farmers sought to overcome the challenge from the production of synthetic plastics during the 1930s. He hears how tourism for all budgets spread across the region, especially amongst the young, for whom youth hostels sprang up, with good wishes from none other than the prime minister of the day, Stanley Baldwin.

In the city of Bath, Michael visits the former home of a refugee emperor, whose country was invaded by the Italian dictator Mussolini, and in whose name a religious movement began, which now flourishes worldwide.

Travelling east into Wiltshire, Michael reaches the largest training area of the British Army, Salisbury Plain, where the Royal Tank Regiment, established in 1939, is on manoeuvres with its awesome Streetfighter tank.



About Great British Railway Journeys

Cartographer George Bradshaw produced the first comprehensive timetable and travel guide of Great Britain’s railway system in 1840. Armed with his Bradshaw’s Guide, presenter Michael Portillo travels around the country by train exploring the ways that society and industry have changed since the guide was first published during the Victorian era. In each destination Michael visits local landmarks, meets residents, enjoys local food, and tries his hand at local crafts and manufacture, and considers the legacy of the industrial revolution.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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