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BBC Documentaries: Season 2010

2010x235 Cumbria's Atomic Pioneers
TV-PG

  • 2010-05-17T20:00:00Z on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Using everyday objects to tell the history of the world, Stuart Maconie goes in search of Britain's atomic past, revealing the story of Calder Hall in Cumbria, the world's first commercial nuclear power station. Back in the 1950s, this huge industrial site was seen as a shining beacon of the future during the dark days of the Cold War.

Stuart meets the workers who were there during the royal opening by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956, and through colour archive film taken during its building and launch we see a rare snapshot of Britain's pioneering industrial days.

On his journey back through time, Stuart examines the objects that unlock the past. He discovers an invitation to the royal ceremony, how the newspapers of the time reported the 'magnificent achievement', the old piece of machinery from the station that kept breaking down, and how this now distant world was fondly viewed through the pages of the Eagle Comic.

Going behind the closed doors of Calder Hall, he reveals a sci-fi version of the future and meets those who played their part in this turning point in history

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