TV & RADIO
All the must-see/hear programmes
Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners
BBC TWO When slavery was abolished, thousands of British slave-owners received compensation for the ‘ loss’ of people they saw as their ‘property’.
While the former slaves received absolutely nothing, those who had profited from their work received the equivalent of £17 billion.
In a documentary made in partnership with University College London, historian David Olusoga examines the compensation records in close detail. It’s an approach that reveals the range of those who owned slaves. In addition, as David traces what happened to the money, he reveals how the sheer amount of capital paid out affected the development of the economy during the Victorian era.
The Bletchley Girls Wednesday 22 July, 11am
RADIO 4 The work of the women who helped to break Axis codes at Bletchley Park during the Second World War has long been undervalued. Not by writer Tessa Dunlop, whose book The Bletchley Girls – War, Secrecy, Love And Loss – The Women Of Bletchley Park Tell Their Story gathered together the testimony of some of those who survive. Presented by Tessa herself, this Radio 4 documentary finds the author focusing on five women involved in codebreaking. The programme doesn’t just deal with their time at Bletchley, but how and why they were recruited, their lives away from work and the impact of their Bletchley experiences on the rest of their lives.
One Hundred Years Of The WI
BBC TWO The story of the Women’s Institute in Britain began in September 1915. To quote the organisation itself, its initial aim was “to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War”.
Latterly, it has become an organisation often associated with jam-andcakes cosiness. However, that’s certainly not historian Lucy Worsley’s take. In a documentary celebrating the group and its illustrious heritage, Lucy demands that we all start to see the WI as a bold and even radical institution, akin in some respects to a major political party.
Codebreakers at Bletchley Park, c1942