The Hidden History of Harbours

Series 7 - Episode 3 The Hidden History of Harbours



Hands up anyone else who has the happiest childhood memories of the brilliantly low-tech, wonderfully naff toy naval battles on the boating lake of Peasholm Park in Scarborough. They are still going, and still enthralling audiences with smoke-effects and strafing noises. Nick Crane is beside himself, particularly when he learns that the boats are powered by doughty Scarborough Borough Council staff members, who climb into the wooden vessels then walk across the pond. I told you it was low-tech.

It’s a curious if enchanting interlude in an episode that’s notionally
about the history of harbours.As Scarborough has a harbour,it qualifies. Oddly there’s no mention of Whitby, just up the coast. Now THAT’S a harbour.


In an edition devoted to Britain's harbours, Nicholas Crane visits Newlyn, Cornwall, where in 1854, a fishing boat set sail on the 12,000-mile journey to Melbourne, Australia. Dick Strawbridge explores the building of airships in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in the early 1900s, while Tessa Dunlop travels to Portsmouth to investigate the history of body art. Ruth Goodman hears how Birkenhead's harbour led to the opening of the world's first municipal park and there is a look at naval warfare re-enactments by Scarborough council staff.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Nicholas Crane
Presenter Tessa Dunlop
Presenter Ruth Goodman
Presenter Mark Horton
Presenter Dick Strawbridge
Executive Producer William Lyons
Series Editor Steve Evanson
see more