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History of Britain - Changing Lives

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16.A Golden Age?
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1900 - 1914

The story of Edwardian Blackpool, and of the new opportunities on offer by the turn of the 20th century. (7 mins)

17.The Death of Industry
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iconChapter Breakdown

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1. For the holiday resort of Blackpool, the early years of the 20th century was a golden age.
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2. The explosion of opportunity in the late 19th century - explained, in part, by improvements in transport.
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3. The standard of living was on the rise - and "Wakes Week" was the result.
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4. Blackpool even now oozes memories of those glory days.
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5. Had things really got better? Problems of class and poverty remained.

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We filmed this module in Blackpool, which needs no introduction. It's a bit down at heel, and absurdly gaudy - but what a wonderful, evocative town it is. The spirit of Wakes Week lives on. Visit in the autumn to see the illuminations, which are magnificent and totally over-the-top.


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The middle sequence in the module was filmed in Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station - which is a bit of a historical howler, because trains to Blackpool left from Manchester Victoria. Ah well. We shot at Piccadilly because it's prettier - a lovely early Victorian arched terminus.

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