Roots: The Great British Story

There is a wonderful TV series showing on the BBC called The Great British Story: A People’s History I just watched the first programme over a cuppa last week.

It was insightful learning about how important and beautiful some towns and cities used to be, particularly as one suburb of Glasgow, Govan, once loved by the Romans is now junkie heaven and infamoulsy connected to its fictional comedy resident, Rab C Nesbitt.

As the programme moved across Britain we saw community projects engaged in archaeological digs to help discover their roots.  Besides the intrigue, I couldn’t help but feel a slight sadness and envy.  I’m British born and Scotland is my home but I am of Pakistani origin.  My mother’s side of the family tried to trace our family tree but hit a dead-end after three generations as much documentation was destroyed at the Partition of India and Pakistan.  Of course millions of families on both sides would face the same blockage in their family history.

In the programme the local community were so happy at the discovery of pottery fragments, leftover food, anything that reminded them of their ancestors and how they ended up living there.  But I guess the first Anglo Saxons were immigrants much like my grandparents and in over the course of the next few hundred years my family’s roots will be deep enough to truly call Britain home.

You can watch the first programme on BBC iPlayer using the link above.


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