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Series 12: 6. Saxmundham to Dedham



Armed with his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo explores East Anglia between the wars. His railway journey begins at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, where archaeologists made a staggering discovery. Laura Howarth from the National Trust walks Michael to the top of a mound in a field, where in 1939 a 27-metre-long Anglo-Saxon ship was found buried in the earth. Buried along with the ship were precious objects from across the world.\n\nAt Leiston, Michael visits the oldest children’s democracy in the world, Summerhill School, founded in 1921 by a forward-thinking Scottish educator called A.S. Neill. Today, his daughter Zoe Readhead is school principal, and she introduces Michael to the school’s ethos and some of its pupils.\n\nIn the Essex village of Dedham, Michael unearths a nasty brush between painters. East Anglian art experts explain the antipathy between traditional artist Sir Alfred Munnings and the modern art school established in the village by Cedric Morris.\n\nMichael takes the harbour ferry from Felixstowe to Harwich to find out about the young Jewish passengers who arrived in Harwich in 1938, having fled Nazi Germany as part of the Kindertransport. Siblings Ruth Jacobs and Harry Heber, now in their 80s, were among them, and Michael is moved to hear their story.

Source: BBC 2

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