History of Britain - Changing Lives


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15.Cities Transformed
1860 - 1880

The story of Manchester in the mid 19th century, and of how the Victorians tackled the problems of industrial city life. (8.25 mins)

16.A Golden Age?
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1900 - 1914 next video 16/17next

iconChapter Breakdown

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1. Cities transformed: the crowning achievment of the Victorian age.
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2. Cholera was the wake-up call. The pressure to fix the problem of the water supply.
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3. The transformation of Manchester - an exercise in 'civic pride'.
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4. Slum clearance and sanitation: lives transformed through epic feats of Victorian engineering.
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5. Victoria Public Baths: a palace of civic pride, and a testament to how far we'd come.

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iconLocation details


We visited several locations in Manchester to film this module. Anita Street (formerly 'Sanitary Street') is in the south-western corner of Ancoats - just west of Victoria Square, one of the earliest examples of council housing in England.


Manchester Town Hall isn't open to the public, sadly. It's one of my favourite buildings in England. Absurdly excessive - a monument to Victorian civic pride.

And Victoria Public Baths have been closed since 1993 - they're under restoration, but it's a massive, expensive and time-consuming project.


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