Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Turn back time - the High Street

The BBC have got a great programme on at the moment, Turn Back Time - The High Street.  Basically they've taken a group of shop-keeping families and transported them back to the birth of the high street in the 1870s, then they propel them through a century of change, right up to the modern era and the 1970s.  They've done this in Shepton Mallet and are trying to bring alive the High Street once more.

You've got a Butcher and his son; a Deli owner (now the Grocer) and his family; an artisan Baker and her family; an ironmonger, and then various others added each week.  We had 1870 a couple of weeks ago, it was fascinating watching modern day people trying to cope with shops back then.  The butcher had to sell a whole pig in the week (NOT appetizing).  I think the Baker had it the hardest as in reality it's her that is the baker, but back then women were not involved in business so her husband made all the bread and wouldn't listen to her - so the first lot of bread was inedible (men eh!).

Last week they fast forwarded to the Edwardian era and included the men getting called up to go to join the First World War.  The Baker(s) again seemed to fair worst, with the lady now being able to run their Tea Shop, but she couldn't make cakes!  They also added a Dressmaker who made a gorgeous corset for someone - oh to be able to go to a dressmaker.

Shepton Mallet is 'The High Street' in BBC1's Turn Back Time
picture from Shepton Mallet People

Tonight they're going into the 1930s (can't wait to watch it tomorrow) - the Baker won't be pleased as they'll be more cakes for her to make from the looks of it.

I can't recommend this programme enough for a glimpse of the UK High Street of the past.  Hopefully you'll be able to watch it either on the BBC website player or perhaps on the BBC channel in the US. x


  1. oh i would love! i have to check this out-perhaps I can find it on you tube? ;(

  2. sounds like a great show! i would totally watch it. i will check it out tonight and see if i can watch it on the computer (as we don't have cable). i love watching shows like this! when we did have cable we were watching a show about a group of people that were living like the pilgrams, it was really good and you learned a lot about what life was like back then.

    thanks for sharing!

    oh and thanks for the wonderful comments on my last two posts! i agree, to me friendship is the most important thing in a relationship :)


  3. Sounds like my kind of show! If only I had cable! Maybe I can watch it online...

  4. They do seem to have it on UTube, yay.

    I'm pleased you all like the sound of it, just had to share it :) x


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