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What The Industrial Revolution Did For Us - Programme 7 - The Roadshow

Updated Thursday 1st December 2005

The final programme focussed on the Industrial Revolution Roadshow at Ironbridge Gorge Museums.

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This is the information given about the programme before transmission:

The series culminates in a great Roadshow at Ironbridge, the Shropshire complex of ten museums which represent and recreate the major manufacturing processes, inventions, machines, communities and themes of the Industrial Revolution.

It is a spectacular setting for an event which will bring together Adam Hart-Davis and his audience for a hugely enjoyable day of competition, team-work and hilarious experiment.

This will be edited into a high-spirited half-hour which will also include highlights of the series and prize-winning films, made as video diaries, on people’s local Industrial Wonders.

In association with leading regional museums around the country the BBC will be setting challenges for schools, families and specialist groups to build objects and machines - from the simple (e.g. Thomas Romney Robinson’s cup anemometer; Joseph Bramah’s unpickable lock) to the more complex (Arkwright’s water frame; Watt’s steam engine).

They’re based on inventions from the Industrial Revolution, but the added challenge will be to give them a modern twist - adding a new material or an extra bit of technical know-how that will extend the invention’s capabilities. A selection of these will be put forward to be taken to the Roadshow and judged by Adam Hart-Davis.

There will also be a team-work event, where members of the public are put to work, under the supervision of experts, to build different parts of a whole machine. They won’t know what the end product will be - and neither do we, yet!

A steam-driven dragon, perhaps, or a windmill that will power a message for the end of the programme. We would want it to be something that could stay at Ironbridge and draw the public over the ensuing years.

Finally, there will be an exhibition of the ‘builds’ - the objects and machines that have been made and used for demonstrations within the series, that people can admire and operate and that will stay at Ironbridge for a while and then tour the country, keeping the series alive in people’s minds - and providing a continuing source of customers for the book.

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