Devon and Cornwall: Traditional Lives (Channel 4, Sunday, 2 June 2024)

Devon And Cornwall

This Channel 4 special, airing on Sunday 2 June, 2024 celebrates the rich heritage and traditions of Devon and Cornwall, two counties renowned for their strong connection to the past. The program highlights individuals who are dedicated to preserving and carrying on traditional crafts and skills, ensuring they endure for future generations.

In south Devon, master wheelwright Greg Rowland and his team tackle a challenging task: repairing a Victorian-era bicycle. Despite his family’s long history of wheelwright craftsmanship in Devon, dating back to the 14th century, Greg finds that restoring the wheels on the velocipede is no easy feat. Will he be able to get the boneshaker back in working order? The program also follows Will Marshall, the youngest trainee driver on the Bodmin heritage steam railway in Cornwall. Will’s passion for steam trains started at a young age, and now he hopes to fulfill his dream of becoming a qualified driver. As he prepares for his crucial exam, will he prove that he has what it takes to earn his qualification?

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Cornish stonemason and drystone waller John Ely contributes to the restoration of a unique Cornish landmark: the Cornish hedge. These structures, part wall and part living organism, have stood for millennia. John’s task is to repair a crumbling hedge near Old Wheal Basset, a World Heritage site that was once a thriving 19th-century tin and copper mine. On Devon’s picturesque south coast, master thatcher Richard Dray, a fifth-generation craftsman, returns to the thatched village of Cockington near Torquay. Richard’s family has left their mark on the village’s architecture, and viewers will be treated to stunning views as Richard works on the thatched roofs.

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Steeplejack Andrew Tarplee showcases his skills as he takes on the repair and repainting of the clock faces on an ancient church tower in the Cornish village of Paul. Andrew abseils down the 800-year-old tower, protecting the clocks from the passage of time while also enjoying breathtaking views across the Lizard peninsula and the sea.

Devon and Cornwall: Traditional Lives airs on Sunday, 2 June 2024, at 5:30 pm on Channel 4.

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