January 21, 2015, by Lindsay Brooke

Great British Railway Journeys drops in on University

With his trusty Bradshaw’s Railway Companion in hand Michael Portillo dropped in on The University of Nottingham on his way from Derby to Grantham last summer in his quest to learn more about that well-known high street chemist John Boot and his son Jesse.

The presenter of the popular BBC Two tavelogue series ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ got a lesson from Chris Moody, the University’s Sir Jesse Boot Professor of Chemistry and Head of Organic Chemistry on the origins of Aspirin. The programme was shown on Monday evening at 6.30pm and is now available on BBC iplayer.

Michael Portillo was embarking on a new journey following his Bradshaw’s handbook from the heart of the industrial East Midlands to the north-eastern island of Lindisfarne. On this leg, he gave an old engine a fresh start in the railway hub of Derby. After popping in on Nottingham he travelled to Newstead Abbey, where he learnt about its former owner, the young Lord Byron. A baking lesson in Grantham yielded a batch of the oldest commercially traded biscuits in the country, and no visit to the town would be complete without him calling at a historic grocer’s shop.

Find out more about the series on Facebook.

His interview with Professor Moody was photographed by Andrew Hallsworth.



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