The latest series of Great British Railway Journeys features Axminster and will be shown on January 14th on BBC2 at 18.30. Michael Portillo is well known for journeying the length and breadth of Britain by train for his BBC television documentary travel series. Referring to a Victorian guidebook written by George Bradshaw, he describes how the various destinations he visits have changed since Victorian times.
Now in its seventh series, the TV crew recently arrived in Axminster and met with members of Axminster Heritage to learn more about the town. Quite naturally Michael was very familiar with Axminster Carpets and was delighted to take a tour of Thomas Whitty House to see the extensive refurbishment of the original factory for the future museum. And he just had to try his hand at carpet making! Watch on Thursday evening to see how he got on.
Also in this programme he explores Lymington and Dorchester's literary landscape, finding out how the coming of the railways inspired the work of the region's greatest writer - Thomas Hardy. His last stop is Exmouth, home to Francis Danby, a forgotten Victorian landscape artist.