Climb up on the footplate and join historian and host Dan Cruickshank for a railway adventure like no other as he investigates how trains helped shape modern Britain. This three-part series resurrects an exhilarating age and kicks off by focusing on the railways' role in defeating Hitler, before unearthing the incredible engineering achievements of Isambard Brunel and embarking on a trip on the earliest steam engines.

Great Railway Adventures with Dan Cruickshank - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2010-08-10

Great Railway Adventures with Dan Cruickshank - Rye, East Sussex - Netflix

Rye is a small town in East Sussex, England, two miles from the sea at the confluence of three rivers: the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede. In medieval times, as an important member of the Cinque Ports confederation, it was at the head of an embayment of the English Channel, and almost entirely surrounded by the sea. At the 2011 census, Rye had a population of 4,773. Its historical association with the sea has included providing ships for the service of the King in time of war, and being involved in smuggling. The notorious Hawkhurst Gang used its ancient inns The Mermaid Inn and The Olde Bell Inn, which are said to be connected to each other by a secret passageway. Those historic roots and its charm make it a tourist destination, with hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, tea rooms, and restaurants. It has a small fishing fleet, and Rye Harbour has facilities for yachts and other vessels.

Great Railway Adventures with Dan Cruickshank - Rye in literature - Netflix

Rye has produced and attracted many fiction writers, some of whom lived at Lamb House, one of the town's historic residences and now owned by the National Trust They include Henry James (1843–1916), the American novelist, who was resident between 1898 and 1916; Joseph Conrad; Ford Madox Ford; Stephen Crane; H.G. Wells; Rumer Godden (1907–98), the Anglo-Indian novelist; and E.F. Benson (1867–1940), the English novelist. Both the house and the town feature prominently in Benson's Mapp and Lucia novels, as Mallards House and Tilling, respectively. In the mid-1980s, Rye was used as a filming location by LWT for its adaptation of the Mapp and Lucia novels. A BBC adaptation of Mapp and Lucia was filmed in Rye in the summer of 2014. The post-Monty Python film Yellowbeard also had a few scenes filmed on the cobbled street. John Christoper (Samuel Youd) wrote many of his novels including the Death of Grass whilst a resident, as did the popular children's author John Ryan, creator of the Captain Pugwash books and Sink Port is a thinly disguised fictional version of the town and pun on 'cinque port'. The feature film Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) was filmed on Mermaid Street. It starred Gregory Peck. Mermaid Street serves as Hornblower's wife and mother's house in Portsmouth.

Several mentions of the town have been made by famous travel writers between the 16th and 18th centuries, although not all mentions were good. Sir Robert Naunton (1563–1635) mentions it in his book Travels in England, published sometime between 1628 and 1632; he calls Rye a “small English seaport”; shortly after his arrival he takes post-horses for London, travelling via Flimwell. Daniel Defoe (1660–1731) describes the state of the harbour and its approaches, saying, "Rye would flourish again, if her harbour, which was once able to receive the royal navy, cou'd be restor'd … " but that he thought it very doubtful that large ships would be able to use the port again. William Cobbett (1763–1835) simply mentions it in passing, saying that this area (that including the Romney Marsh) would be most likely to be where the French invaders might land. According to Norman Wright's book “The Famous Five: Everything you ever wanted to know”, it was Rye and the Romney Marsh that inspired Enid Blyton to write “Five go to Smuggler's Top” (1945). In 1969, Malcolm Saville published an entry in his Lone Pine series of children's adventure novels titled Rye Royal set largely in Rye, although he had previously based several others of the series wholly or partially in the town, starting with The Gay Dolphin Adventure published in 1945. The titular Gay Dolphin is a fictional hotel owned by the mother of one of the Lone Pine Club, but is located in the book seemingly in Watchbell Street, where the real Hope Anchor hotel stands, although its description in the books is more akin to the town's Mermaid hotel. Over the course of the books, several of the town's landmarks are mentioned and described accurately, as is some of its history.

Great Railway Adventures with Dan Cruickshank - References - Netflix