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History of Britain - Changing Lives

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15.Cities Transformed
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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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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.


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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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