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Sea and the City

Series 9 - Episode 5 Sea and the City



In the roll-call of great British seaports – Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, and so on – the name of Immingham isn’t one to conjure with. But this mega-port on the Humber, Nick Crane tells us, now handles more tons of cargo than any other port in Britain.

He explores the vastness of Immingham and gets to live up to his name and operate a crane for the first time in ten years on the series. It’s part of an unusually stuffed and varied programme that includes Ruth Goodman on the history of syphilis, Mark Horton retelling the story of longitude, and a young free-runner in the docks of Liverpool doing slo-mo acrobatics to Debussy.


Stories that connect cities to the sea. Nick Crane visits the east coast port of Immingham, finding out how it has been specially engineered to import the vast quantities of coal it handles. Tessa Dunlop discovers how Hitler's bombers could have drowned London, and possibly helped win the Second World War, by destroying the embankments that contain the River Thames - if not for a series of top-secret defensive schemes. Ruth Goodman investigates how the Victorian government introduced laws to detain women suspected of prostitution as the Navy's sailors fell prey to sexually transmitted diseases, and Mark Horton reveals how determining a ship's exact position at sea meant Greenwich became the epicentre of global sea navigation.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Mark Horton
Presenter Nick Crane
Presenter Tessa Dunlop
Presenter Ruth Goodman
Executive Producer William Lyons
Series Editor Steve Evanson
Series Producer Jessica Colman
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