I’m a big fan of the legendary motorcycle racer Guy Martin, who’s been involved in some remarkable documentaries in recent years, as a presenter and otherwise. There’s nobody remotely like him on British TV, and as the proud possessor of similar sideburns in the 1970s, I hope for them to become popular once again. Proper sideburns.
Last night on the ‘More4’ TV channel there was a repeat of the first episode of a series first broadcast in October 2012 – How Britain Worked. It concerns the renovation of a steam locomotive, repair of tracks, and much more besides. An episode well up to Guy Martin’s usual high standards. You can catch it here:
You may have to register but it won’t take long. All six episodes of the series, as well as much more archived Channel 4 material, are available for free. When I watched this episode through the link above, it was preceded by a minute-long advert – you can’t skip it – for Nivea Sensitive Moisturiser for Men. I’m guessing wildly that Guy Martin isn’t a big user of the product.
Guy Martin himself was clear on who was responsible for the astonishing achievement of the building of the British railway system’s infrastructure and locomotives, referring admiringly and frequently to the ‘grafters’ as ‘boys’ and ‘men’. But the background narrative – not spoken by Guy Martin – kept slipping into political correctness. It started with this gem at 4:28, concerning the extensive renovation required to restore a dilapidated steam locomotive to full and safe functionality:
Renovating it all will mean mastering the skills of the people who were considered the best engineers in the world.
From memory, not one woman in the programme made a substantive contribution to the project. Isn’t it remarkable that when a collection of men do something evil they’re ‘men’, but when a collection of men do something truly remarkable and praiseworthy, they become ‘people’?