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Broadcaster John Sergeant follows in the footsteps of Victorian pioneer photographer Francis Frith who, in the 1860s embarked upon a monumental mission to attempt to document every city, town and village in Britain. John travels the country to discover more about this extraordinary man and his team and the unique record they left behind. John finds out what has changed, what has stayed the same and what has gone forever, and along the way he takes his own photographs inspired by the image taken by a Frith cameraman.

Genres: History
Station: BBC Two (UK)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Ended
Start: 2012-03-12

Britain's First Photo Album Season 1 Air Dates


S01E01 - Chelsea to Tower Bridge Air Date: 12 March 2012 18:30 -

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Today, this round-Britain trip begins in London, where John will meet the first ever lady Chelsea Pensioner, find out about the real Eliza Doolittles who inspired My Fair Lady and descend deep under Tower Bridge to witness Victorian engineering at its most impressive.


S01E02 - Gravesend to Broadstairs Air Date: 13 March 2012 18:30 -

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In this episode, John travels along the North Kent coast from Gravesend to Broadstairs and finds out how much it has changed since Frith was there over a century ago; he also takes his own modern-day photographs. He hitches a ride on a Thames sailing barge, finding out what people used to do in their leisure time in the 19th century, and drops in on the new owners of Charles Dickens's favourite holiday home.


S01E03 - Reigate to Hythe Air Date: 14 March 2012 18:30 -

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John Sergeant continues his journey around Britain, tracing the footsteps of pioneer photographer Francis Frith and his team, who took thousands of photographs documenting the rapidly changing cityscapes and landscapes of 19th-century Britain.

Using the old photographs as his guide, John visits the remains of Frith's home in Reigate and travels south to investigate the smugglers' haunts of medieval Rye, before finding out where the riflemen of the Victorian British army learnt their skills. To complete his travels, John also takes a photograph to capture the modern setting of the Frith pictures.


S01E04 - Isle of Wight to Stonehenge Air Date: 15 March 2012 18:30 -

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Today John's journey will begin on the Isle of Wight, where he will be visiting one of the oldest theme parks in the world, sampling the wares of a Hampshire brewing town and using early photographs to prove that Stonehenge has not stood as we know it for quite as long as we might imagine.


S01E05 - Lyme Regis to Barnstaple Air Date: 16 March 2012 18:30 -

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Today, John travels to the south west to find out how much has changed, how much has stayed the same and what is gone forever from the time of the Frith pictures, as well as taking his own photos. He visits an ancient watermill in Lyme Regis, investigates the dungeons of Exeter Guildhall and learns the techniques of farming with heavy horses.


S01E06 - Newport to Gloucester Air Date: 19 March 2012 18:30 -

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In this episode the journey continues in South Wales and John takes four more of his own pictures. John finds out about the restoration of the canals of Monmouthshire, heading deep underground to the caves beneath the Forest of Dean to try his hand at ochre mining and visiting Gloucester, where the photo of a cottage leads to the tale of how Britain's very first state schools came about.


S01E07 - Liverpool to Blackpool Air Date: 20 March 2012 18:30 -

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This time, John travels to the north west and to Liverpool, where he meets up with a photographic society that can trace its roots back to Frith himself. He visits Bolton and one of the world's first ever shopping malls, he drops in at Blackpool to find out more about the birth of this enduring seaside resort and to complete his travels John also takes a photograph to capture the modern setting of the Frith picture.


S01E08 - Stirling to Falkirk Air Date: 21 March 2012 18:30 -

Sorry, but right now we don't have any sources for this episode.

John Sergeant continues his journey around Britain, tracing the footsteps of pioneer photographer Francis Frith and his team who, from the 1860s onwards, took thousands of photographs documenting the rapidly changing cityscapes and landscapes of 19th-century Britain.

Using the beautiful and unique old photographs as his guide, John visits the western Highlands to find out more about a steam ship that has been transporting tourists for over 100 years, and tries his hand at traditional Scottish baking. As well as taking his own photographs of these evocative settings, John also heads off to Stirling Castle, which has recently undergone an incredible restoration.


S01E09 - Hartlepool to Whitby Air Date: 22 March 2012 18:30 -

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This time, John's journey continues along the north east coast, where he searches for a missing rock formation in Hartlepool, visits the Victorian seaside resort of Saltburn-by-the Sea and meets a family in Whitby whose ancestors were captured on camera over 120 years ago. To complete his travels John also takes four photographs to capture the modern setting of the Frith pictures.


S01E10 - Chesterfield to Eyam Air Date: 22 March 2012 18:30 -

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This time John travels to Derbyshire and to Frith's home town of Chesterfield, where he ascends the famous twisted spire, visits a medieval country house outside Bakewell that became a time capsule for nearly 200 years, and finally heads off to Nottingham to have a flutter at the races.

Britain's First Photo Album Actors

John Sergeant(John Sergeant)



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