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Beautiful Panorama of Railway Ride from St Germans to Millbay
Beautiful Panorama of Railway Ride from St Germans to Millbay

Beautiful Panorama of Railway Ride from St Germans to Millbay 1901

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Beautiful Panorama of Railway Ride from St Germans to Millbay 1901

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Beautiful Panorama of Railway Ride from St Germans to Millbay 1901

3 mins United Kingdom

Mitchell and Kenyon rarely travelled south of the Wash. This Great Western Railway footage, initially screened in Plymouth, is one of their southernmost surviving works. Taking in the Royal Albert Bridge and several other interesting geographical details, it also catches glimpses of track gangs absorbed in railway modernisation as the infrastructure is upgraded for the 20th century.

The fact that this item was advertised in the press with that 'Beautiful Panorama' title suggests that Mitchell and Kenyon, when circumstances demanded, were quite capable of seeing the commercial value of pictorial subjects, as distinct from their more usual crowds of recognisable faces. Frustratingly however, it seems that the film originally lasted longer than the duration you see here. The journey begins not at St Germans, or even Saltash, but actually on the Royal Albert Bridge. Nor do we arrive at Millbay - the film terminates sadly short at Keyham station. But there's still much of interest in the changing scene. The newly-constructed Royal Albert Bridge signal box is yet to come into use. Weston Mill viaduct is still a timber-framed structure - though the new brick-arched viaduct can be seen to the right, with the first of the steel bow-string side sections already in place.

The photography here is not particularly outstanding. The operator seems to be struggling with camera and film stock limitations when on the move - not always capturing perfectly sharp images, nor framing them with total precision. More absorbing is the film's geographical terrain, which offers evidence of rural agriculture, small-town light industry and heavy railway engineering. Notice, too, the newly-opened electric tram car passing us as we enter Keyham station.

Genres

Non-Fiction

Tags

Bridges Railway journeys Great Western Railway Royal Albert Bridge

Collection

On the Move

Released

1901

Country

United Kingdom

Language

English

Production company

Mitchell and Kenyon

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