OU on the BBC: Hidden histories: Britain's oldest family businesses

Uncover the extraordinary history of three of Britain’s longest-running family businesses with this BBC Four series.

  • Updated Friday 16th January 2015
  • Posted under TV
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Balsons shop front Copyright free image Copyright free: Balsons Personal Archive - Used with permission Balsons shop front

About the series

This three-part series on BBC Four reveals the extraordinary history of three of Britain’s longest-running family businesses. Few businesses last beyond two generations, but against the odds, the families in this series have survived in business for more than three centuries.

They’ve come through more than 50 recessions, the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars, and the rise of internet shopping.

Each film follows the present-day head of the business as they face a crossroads in their working life, and joins them on a journey into the past as they discover the secrets of their business, what it’s taken to stay afloat and keep it in the family. Along the way we learn about the techniques and skills their businesses have kept alive, as well as how these trades have evolved as the world around them has changed. As well as their fascinating histories, the series also explores what's happening in their businesses right now as the families look towards the future.