Season 9 Episode 5

Sea and the City

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Aug 12, 2014 on BBC Two
Sea and the City
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Episode Summary

Coast explores surprising stories that connect our great cities to the sea. Nick Crane pays tribute to the unsung and astonishing mega-port of Immingham, a city-sized enterprise dedicated to global trade and the biggest seaport in the UK, in terms of the weight of goods it handles. Tessa Dunlop uncovers the astonishing story of how Hitler's bombers could have drowned London, and possibly won the Second World War, by destroying the embankments that contain the River Thames. Ruth Goodman investigates the clandestine coastal sex trade that scandalised Victorian Britain. In the mid-19th century the Royal Navy was in crisis as sailors fell prey to sexually-transmitted diseases. The government brought in draconian laws to detain and forcibly treat women suspected of being prostitutes. Mark Horton reveals how solving the greatest scientific puzzle of the 18th century, determining a ship's exact position at sea, meant Greenwich became the epicentre of global sea navigation.moreless

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