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Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain



9781789290646 197x300

Author: Michael Portillo

Publisher: Michael O’Mara Books Ltd

Publish Date: 01 Feb 2019

ISBN-13: 9781789290646

Pages: 304

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Preface

Discover the hidden history of Britain through the stories of its ‘lost’ or abandoned places and buildings.

Portillo’s Secret History of Britain presents a compelling and wonderfully evocative history of Britain through the stories of its `lost’ or abandoned places and buildings. The chapters cover a variety of historical themes: Crime and Punishment, Health and Medicine, Defence and Warfare, and Entertainment and Leisure. Using a combination of his own investigations and archive research, plus memories and quotations from the contributors he interviewed for the series, Michael Portillo explains what the buildings were used for and by whom, why they were abandoned, and what they can tell us about our past. For example:

* Learn what the ruins of London Road Fire and Police Station in Manchester reveal about the history of the emergency services in the last 100 years

* How Bradford’s art deco Odeon cinema encapsulates a century of film-making and movie-going

With evocative text that brings each location vividly to life, Michael Portillo describes the building and its activities in its heyday and compares this past life with its faded grandeur or melancholic abandonment seen today. Filled with fascinating insights and observations, his narrative provides a compelling and original perspective on Britain’s social and military history.

Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain features deserted villages, abandoned prisons, closed-down cinemas, empty hospitals, derelict military bases, sewers and much more. Complementing the text are 32 pages of atmospheric and informative photographs, including `then’ and `now’ images of the locations, which pointedly juxtapose their former glory with their present-day destitution.
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About the Author

Table of Contents

After gaining a first in History at Peterhouse, Cambridge, Michael Portillo worked for a shipping company before joining the Conservative Research Department in 1976. In 1984 he was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate. He was an MP for nearly 20 years and held three ministerial positions in the cabinet: Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Employment and Secretary of State for Defence.

Since retiring from active politics in 2005, Michael has pursued a successful media career. He is a regular guest on BBC1’s weekly political discussion programme This Week, and has made documentaries on a range of subjects, including BBC2’s Great British Railway Journeys, the accompanying book of which has sold over 41,000 copies.
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