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Wigan Pier Five-Minute Films

On our journey following Orwell’s route through the industrial North and Midlands, we made six five-minute films in places Orwell wrote about.

Last Pit Brow Lass


Orwell’s pits in Road to Wigan Pier are men’s terrain. Rita Culshaw remembers being a 15-year-old girl working on the pit-brow in Wigan.

Harry's Bicycle


Harry Leslie Smith grew up in the Barnsley slums Orwell wrote about. Here, he talks about his childhood dreams of flying free from poverty and the children still poor in 2018.

The Dissenters


We meet Birmingham’s ‘number one homeless band’ the Dissenters, and homeless people tell their stories of life on the streets. Orwell started his journey in the Midlands.

Clogs and Coats


In Orwell’s day, Wood Street Mission was helping children in the "dim-lit slums” of Manchester. Eighty years on, the charity is giving out thousands of school uniforms a year to children in poverty.

The Other George


The grandson of working-class writer and stoker George Garrett gives us the same tour of Liverpool his grandad gave George Orwell in 1936.

Voices On The Road

Wigan Pier Project

Readings from George Orwell’s original Road to Wigan Pier text in the places he is writing about from local people and some famous faces including Julie Hesmondhalgh and Harry Leslie Smith.