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Villages by the Sea: Arnside (S1EP5 BBC Two Mon 6 Dec 2021)

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Arnside: Sitting just outside the Lake District, Arnside is a beautifully preserved 19th century village on the banks of the River Kent. Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows And Amazons, loved Arnside as a place to visit, and the village had earned a reputation as home to some of the finest traditional boat building.

It was the arrival of ship carpenter John Crossfield and his boat building business that contributed to the village expansion in the early 1800s. John Hodgson, who joined the boatyard as an apprentice in 1960, reveals that the craftsmen had to work in complete silence so as to hear the grain of the wood against their tools.

Arnside grew into a tourist hot spot in the 19th Century by chance. The arrival of the Kent Railway Viaduct, built to serve local industry, was seized on as an opportunity by local pub and hotel owners, who used it to bring in new customers.

Ben discovers how the history of Arnside village is interwoven with the story of the Crossfield family, and joins a descendant of the family for an emotional visit to the boatbuilders’ former home.

Airdate: Monday 6 December 2021 at 7.00pm on BBC Two.

Season 1 Episode 5