Edwardian Britain in Colour

Edwardian Britain in Colour

Series 1 - Episode 1

Sunday 11:55pm - 12:55am 5SELECT
See Repeats
Mon 8 Jun, 12am - 1am 5SELECT


“We often think of the [Edwardian] working classes as drab, in old clothes and in black and white,” says Helen Antrobus of the People’s History Museum, “but they led lives of colour and richness.” These snippets of colourised film, enhanced by the recollections of people whose forebears worked in the mines, factories, mills or markets, certainly paint a vivid picture. Somehow the colour makes the detail stand out.

There are many weary faces pinched with poverty, but seeing the Edwardians at play is delightful. The film also throws up wonderful observations such as that absolutely everyone wore a hat – the type defined your position in society.


Part one of a two-part documentary in which social historians examine surviving film footage of Britain in the early years of the 20th century. The first episode features footage of Queen Victoria's state funeral in 1901 and a bicycle parade celebrating the coronation of the new king. The programme also examines life for people employed in the mining and cotton industries, as well as how an increase in leisure time led to the the popularity of seaside resorts soaring, with Blackpool leading the way.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Edward Morgan
Executive Producer Sarah Macdonald
Series Director Alison Grist
Series Producer Alison Grist