The 1960s were to prove to be the last decade in which the steam locomotive was to be used in public service on the national railway network of Great Britain. It had held sway for virtually one and a half centuries and its charisma had created a devoted following amongst the male population of the country of its birth that amounted almost to a cult. For much of its lifetime the steam locomotive fleet’s history was recorded in print, and whilst a vast knowledge base was built up by professional and amateur historians alike very few took an opportunity to record the working scene on movie film.
Moving images of the steam locomotive are therefore rare in comparison as the professional railwayman had little need of such footage other than for publicity purposes. We are then indeed fortunate that there were such amateur movie cameramen as Richard Willis who recorded these priceless images of everyday steam in action. It is from his unique collection of 16mm film that this series of five programmes has been created.
Venturing out from his ‘home territory’ Richard Willis now brings us a varied collection of railway locations on what is a fascinating Midland Railway lineside ramble.
The programme starts at one of the great cathedrals of steam, St Pancras. It is from here that we travel northwards through Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Ketton and Collyweston, Syston, Desford, Derby, Leeds, Kirkby Stephen West, Carlisle, Manchester Victoria, Stockport, Crewe, Nuneaton, Birmingham (New Street) and more. Including action from Stanier 8Fs, Jubilees, Crab, WD, Black 5s, Britannias and Duchesses.
EACH PROGRAMME HAS BEEN MADE FROM ORIGINAL 16MM ARCHIVE FILM, DIGITALLY REMASTERED, RESCRIPTED AND PROFESSIONALLY REDUBBED IN 2004. 100% SOUND EFFECTS THROUGHOUT FROM PETER HANDFORD’S UNIQUE ARCHIVE.