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Portillo's Hidden History of Britain

Narrated by: Phillip Franks
Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: History, European
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Portillo's Hidden History of Britain presents a compelling and wonderfully evocative history of Britain through the stories of its 'lost' or abandoned buildings. The chapters will cover a variety of historical themes: Crime and Punishment, Health and Medicine, Defence and Warfare, Manufacturing Industry, Transport and Communication, and Entertainment and Leisure. Using a combination of his own investigations and archive research, plus memories and quotations from the contributors he interviewed for the series, Michael will explain what the buildings were used for and by whom, why they were abandoned and what they can tell us about our past. For example:

  • Learn what the ruins of London Road Fire and Police Station in Manchester reveal about the history of the emergency services in the last 100 years.
  • How Bradford's art deco Odeon cinema encapsulates a century of filmmaking and movie-going. 

The walls of all these buildings have ears, and Michael's mission is to find out what they heard. 

With evocative text that brings each location vividly to life, Michael describes the building and its activities in its heyday and compares this past life with its faded grandeur or melancholic abandonment seen today. Filled with fascinating insights and observations, his narrative provides a compelling and original perspective on Britain's social, military and industrial history. 

©2018 Michael Portillo (P)2018 Michael O'Mara

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Very good

An unusual way to look at history I had never considered buildings as a way of capturing history. Very well done. Brilliantly narrated.