Turn Back in Time – The High Street

Back in the summer I happened to be passing through Shepton Mallet whilst en route to visiting friends and was astounded to see the town centre transformed into a Victorian Age….after a while the penny dropped (must have been something to do with all those official looking young people standing around with clipboards) and at that point I realised that the town had been taken over by a BBC film crew. The town had been temporarily transformed into a bygone age for the series ‘Turn Back in Time – The High Street’.

A week later I was back picking up my car from a marvelous little specialist garage nearby…another foray into town and this time it was the Edwardian Era…Charabangs, elegant costumes and beautiful shopfronts.

Having never visited Shepton Mallet before it was sad to see so many empty shops, it felt like the heart of the town had been ripped out….maybe the out of town shopping malls had something to do with it – who knows! Having been a shopkeeper for many years in Northleach I shall watch the series with interest…it’s hard enough running a business in a small town in the 21st Century – I can’t imagine how we would have coped running our framing business if we had been transported back in time and deprived of our modern equipment!

Tonight is the start of this TV series, which will give Shepton Mallet six hours of primetime national exposure over the next six weeks.


We wish everyone in Shepton all the best!

You can get involved in this project by following developments and signing up to be kept in the loop: http://northleachcommunity.blogspot.com/2010/10/high-street-history-turn-back-time.html


An exciting new 6 part television series this Autumn called TURN BACK TIME from BBC Learning will drive people to visit archives, museums, libraries and local societies to research the history of their local high street. Sign up now to get involved and receive free BBC resources!

The series will tell the story of the high street by propelling a parade of shops through 100 years of fast-forward history. Five modern day shopkeepers with a genuine enthusiasm for past trades will be challenged to go back in time. The series will be similar to the family history programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ so is likely to generate a huge amount of interest in local history. The programme website will give tips and advice about how to get started and will encourage people to visit museums, archives and libraries to uncover the history of their high street.

There are various ways that you can get involved, from the small scale such as simply showcasing old photographs on the BBC’s Flickr group to getting ‘hands on’ by running a High Street History themed community project or activity.