Turn Back Time
The High Street
Reviewed by David Savage
Chamber of Commerce: Gregg Wallace, Juliet Gardiner, Tom Herbert
Narrator: Hugh Bonneville
Running Time: 360 minutes (approx.)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 6
This DVD is about the erosion of High Street that was once the heart and soul of every town throughout Britain. It turns back time 100 years and progresses through the era's to see what was lost and what was improved and if there is any future for the High Street.
Each week, for 6 weeks, real life shopkeepers and their families are transported back in time to run a shop in that era: Victorian, Edwardian, 1930s, World War Two, 1960s and 1970s.
Each era sees each shopkeepers having to trade by the rules of that era including rules from the early eras that women were not allowed to work in the front of the shops. They have to serve modern day customers in the customs from the era that they are in and the shops and outfits are all from the era. It shows how differently shops worked then and how much more work was required compared to now. With the Chamber of Commerce on hand to make such they follow the rules of each era.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable series. Modern day shopkeepers are sent back through the era’s to see how they worked then and to see if they can make a profit. As well as entertainment it is a great history program showing life in the UK over 100 years from the 1870s to the 1970s. With the so called progress and new technologies in each era has casualties finally resulting in putting rival shops of business and how if you didn’t constantly change your business model to suit your customers’ needs you will not survive. It was also interesting to see that all of the shoppers wanted the personal service that was in the early era’s but price means everything and soon turned their backs on the shops that offered this for the cheaper prices in the supermarket. So is the decline of the High Street entirely the fault of the big out of town stores or is it the fault of the shoppers themselves.
An excellent and thoroughly enjoyable series. Reality television with a purpose.
Buy from Acorn Media UK here.