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Turn Back Time: The Family

One street and three families are fast-forwarded through one hundred years of change

Turn Back Time: The Family, tells the story of Britain’s most valued institution: the family. Using a unique blend of living history and genealogy, modern day British families are taken back in time to the 1900s before being fast-forwarded through almost one hundred years of family life.

The series, filmed in the Northern seaside town of Morecambe, focuses on three families - the Taylors, a hard working couple with four children living in Norfolk, the Golding family who live in Chester with their three children and, finally, Phil and Suzie Meadows from Berkshire with their two teenage daughters.

Through the strict social divisions of the Edwardian era, to the roaring twenties and Great Depression of the interwar years, the families go on to endure the hardships and terror of living on the homefront during WWII.  By the 1960s, many of the families circumstances have changed with the middle class family moving out to live in the suburbs and the wealthy family forced to downsize.  The large house is soon carved in to flats, becoming home to a new family on the street - the Hawkes.  Reflecting immigration trends across the century, the Hawkes family are Caribbean and walking in the footsteps of their own family’s journey to Britain.  By the 1970s, the fifth and final family take up residence in Albert Road.  From Rochdale, single parent Lisa Rhodes together with her two young boys become part of the ever changing shape of Britain’s family unit.

They’ll dress, cook, eat, work and play just as they would have done in 5 key chapters of the 20th century.  Street lamps, cars and road markings change, as does the decor, furniture and technology in the three houses that will become their homes.

All of our families taking part are tasked with discovering two key things:

Through so many eras of change, what have Britain’s families lost and gained along the way?

And when do they think, the ‘golden age’ for the Great British family really was?

Turn Back Time: The Family is the story of all of us.  Our street of three houses have been painstakingly researched to reflect Britain’s class structure; next door to the upper-class house is the middle-class home and next door to that is the working-class two room dwelling.

As with Turn Back Time: The High Street our families will be expected to cope with whatever history throws at them - but this time their experiences will be much more personal and focussed on family life, as they walk in the footsteps of their very own ancestors.

Overseeing life on the street is social historian, Juliet Gardiner and presenters, Joe Crowley and Susanna Reid.

The families interact with the local community as if ghosts of the past living among the present.  They will also open their doors to some extraordinary guests, British people who have experienced a century of trials, tribulations and triumphs will come to share their stories.

Through the remarkable experiences of our families, we see just how women’s lives have changed in the past hundred years, how the role of husband and father has transformed beyond recognition and we tell the surprising story of what it has meant to be a child and a teenager across nearly one hundred years of change.

Turn Back Time: The Family is an entertaining, warm and uplifting series for a broad BBC One audience.  It’s full of nostalgia, drama, human endeavour and personal revelation.  It will bring family history to a whole new audience – and tell the story of each and every one of us.

From the age of Queen Victoria to the heyday of the Bay City Rollers, one street and three families are fast-forwarded through one hundred years of change. One street ... the whole of the 20th century ... the story of all of us.
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