Co-Pro Brokering +44(0)7812 084448
Distribution +44 (0) 7968 378526
Born out of the Industrial Revolution, today King’s Cross is a transport super-hub. In this programme, we’ll embark on the epic journey that transformed King’s Cross into one of the best connected places in Britain. From steam to electric and from industrial wasteland to cultural heartland, this is King’s Cross, then and now.
When King’s Cross station opened in 1852, it showcased London’s fastest route to the north with speeds and connections few had seen before. And in the 1920s, it became home to one of the world’s most famous trains, The Flying Scotsman. In 1934, it became the first steam train to break through the 100mph barrier, slashing the journey time between London and Edinburgh from just over ten hours to seven hours. Now, Azuma trains, modelled on Japanese bullet trains, complete the journey in just over four hours at speeds up to 125mph.
In Victorian Britain, King’s Cross became a thriving industrial hub, bringing in goods to feed and fire the capital. From gas to coal, from grain to potatoes, the raw ingredients of a developing nation moved through King’s Cross Goods Station. Archaeologist Rebecca Haslam reveals the engineering centrepiece of the 67 acre site, a cutting-edge hydraulic system of winches that moved goods around the station. King’s Cross was a pioneer of mechanisation. Now, twenty industrial buildings - once the beating heart of King’s Cross - have been given a new lease of life. It’s a new tech hub that’s home to Google, Facebook and Youtube, it’s a bustling entertainment centre and it’s a shoppers paradise.
In the 1980s, the backstreets of King’s Cross became a no-go zone where vice and sleaze festered. As Kings Cross became a national scandal, an unlikely community saw an opportunity to put their own mark on the area - ravers. Old warehouses were converted into nightclubs. Billy Reilly, who ran two of the most legendary venues in the London party scene Bagley’s and The Cross, explains; “It was like utopia, but the great thing about it is you could step off at King’s Cross and be there in 10 minutes.”
In 1987, King’s suffered its darkest hour - the worst fire ever to occur on London’s tube network. 31 people were killed and over 100 were injured.
- Series Title : Then And Now
- Format : 1 x 60'
- Production company : Knickerbockerglory
- Year of production : 2020
- Commissioning channels : Channel 5
- Availability : 10/11/2020