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How The North Was Built

The story of how one region in the UK fueled the industrial revolution.

Robson Green, British actor/singer/song writer, moves back home to the north of England to tell the incredible story of how industry has shaped both the place and its people. This two-part series celebrates the changes and developments that transformed the north from small mining communities to industrial power houses over the last century. Green examines the economic boom behind the coal mining industry; the accelerated production of iron, steel and cotton; the introduction of the railways and the north’s history of ship building, which sustained families for generations. Although the standards of living improved, it wasn’t all plain sailing and Green exposes the dark and dangerous lives of the workers who risked life and limb in the factories. Showcasing the rugged northern landscape, this documentary beautifully illustrates how the sheer hard work of small communities contributed to the industrial revolution, which changed the face of the world.