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. To many people the classic view of the East Coast Main Line would include a Gresley Pacific at speed.
To Richard Willis, this was the end of an era that he painstakingly just had to record on16mm cine film. The result is his record of a mainline steam railway that was as individual as its locomotives.
This incredible journey of remembrance starts at London’s King’s Cross station and includes scenes at Abbott’s Ripton, Peterborough, Burton Coggles, Grantham, Torworth, Leeds Central, York, York Shed, Northallerton, Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and other lineside locations. Including classes A1, A3, A4, V2 and many more.
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.