W.A. “Cam” Camwell was one of the most active railway enthusiasts during the 1950s & 60s, the period during which British Rail ways 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 organise many tours of threatened or interesting railway lines and he recorded as much of the network as possible both in photographs and on 16mm cine film. The latter forms the basis of this series as Cam filmed many remote and obscure lines, as well as interesting developments, on the main lines.
Living in Birmingham Cam recorded many events and everyday workings in the ‘Heart of England’. Few escaped his camera, and here we see many workings on the old Great Western route through the city, including ‘Kings’ and a ‘Saint’ and at Snow Hill station and ‘train – spotting’ sequences at West Bromwich and Handsworth with Black 5s, ‘Halls’, ‘Brits’ and a myriad of Western tanks. The old North Western lines came in for equal attention, the changes pursuant to modernisation including a number of early diesels around some of the avoiding lines as well as ‘Super Ds’ on goods and 2-4-2 tanks on motor services. Further afield Cam recorded the Fowler 2-6-4 tanks on the ‘Lickey Avoiding Line’ through Redditch and Evesham and returned to the famous Cromford and High Peak Railway for a ride in open wagons behind the ‘Austerities’ which had replaced the old North London tanks. To the east Cam recorded the Leamington to Rugby branch and a Johnson 0-4-4 tank on motor stock. Other highlights include the Stroud ‘Golden Valley’ line, the Dursley branch, visits to Round Oak steelworks, Bescot shed and Wolverton Works (with its LNWR ‘Special Tanks’), a 56xx on the traverser at Moor Street and many more.