Britain’s First Photo Album (2012)

John Sergeant on the Thames

John Sergeant on the Thames © BBC

Production Company: Reef Television

Kent Locations Used: Gravesend, Faversham, Broadstairs, Hythe

This new BBC2 series, Britain’s First Photo Album, looks at the works of Francis Frith, the pioneer Victorian photographer who spent much of the late 19th century photographing various spots of Britain, including Kent.

Francis Frith who sold his grocers business to focus on photography, set out to capture every city, town and village in Britain, and his images are thought to be some of the first of Britain.

The 10-part series is presented by journalist and broadcaster John Sergeant, who also took part in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing.  Following in Frith’s footsteps, the series will cover the whole of Britain concentrating on Frith’s most stunning work. John will also look at the stories behind the pictures, talk to locals, as well as taking a picture of his own to compare the  past with the present.

Several episodes will feature areas in Kent:  Gravesend, Faversham, and Broadstairs, and it will be a fascinating to find out how each of these places has changed over the years.

Gravesend is on the south bank of the River Thames and is proud home to the oldest remaining cast iron pier in the world: The Towns Pier. The historic town also boasts an unspoilt promenade, high street and two shopping centres. Nearby attractions include the clock tower, and the beautiful Windmill Hill, which offers extensive views of the Thames. Gravesham has previously welcomed filming from Age Of Heroes and The Canterbury Tales.

Faversham is a beautiful, historic market town which has nearly 500 listed buildings and is set on the picturesque Faversham Creek. It has lots to offer including restaurants, shops, attractions, and some beautiful walks.

Broadstairs is a traditional seaside town and home to Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. It has a beautiful sandy beach lined with traditional beach huts, a multitude of restaurants and large Victorian terraces.  Popular dramas The Fixer, and Hancock and Joan have previously filmed in the area.

Hythe is a small seaside town at the edge of the Romney Marshes, formerly one of the Cinque Ports, it only retains a small fishing fleet today.  The Royal Military Canal flows into the sea here and in Napoleonic times it was home to the famous Hythe School of Musketry.

Don’t miss Britain’s First Photo Album which will be on every week day for 2 weeks from Monday 12th March 2012 at 18:30 on BBC2.


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