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In his BBC series, Great British Railway Journeys, Bradshaw’s Railway Companion has been Michael Portillo’s trusted guide as he travels the nation describing how its industry, people and places have changed since the 1860s. But how much do we know about the man allegedly behind the Companion, George Bradshaw? In this talk, offered in collaboration between the National Railway Museum and the Centre for Lifelong Learning, Dr David Turner will explore the life of this famous engraver, map-maker and timetable publisher, from his first failed steps in business, through to his political and social life, and most importantly his role in a creation of an icon of the Victorian railway network – the Bradshaw’s Railway Guide. He will reveal that behind the ‘Bradshaw’ brand a surprising story can be discovered; the accepted history of the Guide’s creation will be challenged, established facts about Bradshaw’s life will be corrected and the central idea behind Great British Railway Journeys will be questioned.
David Turner completed his PhD in Railway Studies with the Institute of Railway Studies in 2013. He is now a postgraduate teaching fellow with the University of York, Centre for Lifelong Learning, where he teaches its postgraduate diploma in Railway Studies.