The ‘Cam’ Camwell Collection W.A. ‘Cam’ Camwell was one of the most active members of the railway enthusiast community during the 1950s and 1960s – the period during which British Railways moved from steam to diesel and electric traction and many railway lines and branches passed into history.
His membership of the Stephenson Locomotive Society led him to organising many tours of threatened or interesting railway lines and he enthusiastically recorded as much of the railway network as possible, both in photographs and on 16mm cine film. The latter forms the basis of this series of programmes, as ‘Cam’ filmed many remote and obscure lines as well as interesting developments on the main lines.
Volume 1 Railways of the English Midlands
‘Cam’ lived in Birmingham, so his interest in his local lines gave rise to a vast archive of footage in his home region. This encompasses such delights as LMS Pacifics working on ex-Great Western metals around Wolverhampton in 1956 and intensive Western activity near the end of the GWR main line through Birmingham in the 1960s. Midland activity on the famous Lickey Bank – including ‘Big Bertha’ – features tests to see what were the maximum loads one locomotive could take up the bank unaided, and another test was on the Severn Bridge, with coupled ‘Castles’. Rugby Central is a long-lost main line station where we see a huge variety of locomotives including LMS and BR class 5s, 9Fs, a ‘Hall’, a B1 and a V2. On the ‘little lines’ we see rail tours and regular traffic on the services around Dudley, featuring old LNWR tank engines and LMS Fowler and Stanier machines. A trek across the south-east corner of the Black Country has a Midland 2F going to Longbridge and another long lost line seen is the famous Cromford and High Peak line. These are just some of the locomotives and lines covered in this programme! DVD Extras: ‘Cam’s’ Irish Mainlines including Wexford waterfront and Rosslare Harbour.