Michael Portillo is setting off on some new East Anglia train adventures this week. We’ve got all the details of his five Great British Railway Journey shows on BBC2 at 6.30pm
3 May – Saxmundham to Dedham
Tonight, Michael explores East Anglia between the two world wars. His journey begins at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, home of one of the most famous archaeological discoveries in UK history. Here in 1939, a 27-metre Anglo Saxon ship was found buried in the earth. This is just one of his new East Anglia train adventures.
The recent Netflix movie The Dig, starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, explored the history of this fascinating place to great effect.
At Leiston, he visits Summerhill School, which was founded in 1921. This forward-thinking school houses the oldest children’s democracy in the world. Stopping off in the Essex village of Dedham, Michael traces the fascinating story of the rivalry between local artists Sir Alfred Munnings and Cedric Morris.
On the final part of his journey he meets up with brother and sister Harry Heber and Ruth Jacobs, who arrived on a ferry on Harwich in 1938. They were children at the time, having fled Nazi Germany as part of the Kindertransport.
4 May – Colchester to Chadwell Heath
As he continues his train journey through East Anglia, Michael discovers the surprising Essex origins of the BBC. He also joins the Women’s Land Army in Tiptree to pick damsons for jam.
5 May – Potters Bar to Cardington
Travelling into leafy Hertfordshire, game-for-a-laugh Michael attempts a tricky canoe slalom course. He also takes time to visit the estate of famed romantic novelist Dame Barbara Cartland (above). We bet she would have loved his choice of bright trousers!
6 May – Sawbridgeworth to Cambridge
The Hertfordshire village of Perry Green is Michael’s destination in this episode. Here he explores the life and history of famed British artist and sculptor Henry Moore.
7 May – Newmarket to Walsingham
On the final episode of his East Anglia journey, Michael is back in Suffolk. Here he visits the famous racecourse at Newmarket. He also pays a visit to the Roman Catholic shrine at Walsingham.