Blitz:The Bombs That Changed Britain

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by CL1, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Blitz:The Bombs That Changed Britain
    Episode 1
    Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain,Series 1 Episode 1 of 4
    During the Blitz over 450,000 bombs dropped on Britain and every bomb has its own story. This series examines the specific effect of four bombs, from their initial impact on individual lives right through to their wider consequences for the Second World War and all the way to the present day.

    Each episode begins with a single bomb in a single street in a single place - London, Hull, Clydebank and Bristol. Across the series incredible personal testimony, gut-wrenching memoirs and the meticulous records kept at the time provide a visceral and terrifying account of the Blitz that directly connects with the human experience of the bombs. As survivors and relatives attest, these bombs touched the lives of everyone and created a legacy we all still live with today.

    Episode one follows a bomb that fell on Martindale Road in the East End of London on the first night of the Blitz. Stan Harris and Norman Pirie were boys in 1940, but their memories of that fateful night are crystal clear.

    Initially there was relief as this bomb remained unexploded and Martindale Road residents were evacuated. Sandra Belchamber's grandparents were caught up in the chaos and she explains their fortuitous decision to leave London and to head for Kent. But Judy Gregory's grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousins put their faith in the authorities and headed to a local school to wait for buses to take them to safety. The buses did not come and they and hundreds of others became a sitting target for returning bombers. One man - journalist Ritchie Calder - tried to warn the authorities that the school was a tragedy waiting to happen, and when the bombers did return they scored a direct hit, killing hundreds.

    Judy was moved to tears when she discovered that her family story is outlined in terse civil defence dispatches held in the local archives. An entire branch of her family tree is lost, a tragedy that ironically stemmed from a bomb that didn't go off.

    Calder was determined to publicise the human cost of this bomb and those that did go off. His two grandsons explore his mission to explore the real problem London faced in the first weeks of the Blitz; the thousands of people who had lost absolutely everything including their homes. For the first time it was necessary to create city-wide welfare systems that work for everyone. This film explores the work of one exceptional MP who put these systems in place in record time and joined the call for a National Health Service.

    BBC Two - Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain
    ritsonvaljos, ozzy16 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  2. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    That sounds an interesting series - we'll record it.
    I'm glad to see that Hull is mentioned as in some other threads about the Blitz the emphasis is usually on London.
    Husband spent most of his life in Hull, and I lived and worked there 1960s-90s.
  3. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Mixed feelings. Usual general archive film. Gruff voice commentator. Arty indistict films shown on building sides. Rubbish computer graphics. Might appeal more to "modern man"!
    See if it's better next time.
  4. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    It did highlght the paralysis of the authorities and chaos caused by the bombs though.I like to think that there were lessons learned as a result.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I thought it was good. So sad to think there's possibly children still buried under that school.
  6. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    I enjoyed the programme, even though you could see what was coming. During September we were at Egham or Staines, though well west of London we did have air raids. One day I was playing in the street and the siren went, someone took me towards the shelter on the cross bar of his bike. I slipped off and split my head open. Off to hospital for stitches, so I had a 'war wound'. My brother was born on 29 September.
    ritsonvaljos likes this.
  7. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    Excellent bit of social history (imho). The Clydebank episode was particularly poignant. Currently back on iplayer for anyone that missed it first time around.
  8. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

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