Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for teachers, students, historians and anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage.
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A Steam Train Returns to the Rails
Plumes of smoke join the clouds again as a steam train races across Northern Ireland. If steam trains retired in 1970 is this one is eighteen years late?
Amateur film 1988 3 mins
From the collection of:
Join amateur film maker A.H. Martin in pursuit as a vibrant blue steam train makes a rare return to the Northern Irish landscape. The use of steam for passenger railways ended eighteen years before this film. However the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland tours have been keeping steam alive in Ireland since 1964. Plumes of smoke billow from the treetops. The passengers on board indulge in a nostalgic trip as they speed alongside the glittering waters of Belfast Lough.
The BFI player features several of A.H. Martin’s personal films which capture the lost gems of public transport in Northern Ireland. You can see more steam tours by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in his 1970 film 'The Swansong of Steam'.
Watching the Trains Go By
Amateur film 1952 12 mins Location: Welshpool/Y Trallwng
Jim Fraser of Bristol, with great affection for his subject, introduces the viewer to the “quaint little railways and tramways” of Wales.
Amateur film 1966 37 mins Location: Maldon
Shy and testy retired signalman Wally Trigg chats to amateur filmmaker and railway enthusiast Chib Thorp, as Micky the Collie happily ambles along the overgrown railway line.
Amateur film 1929 4 mins Silent Location: Darlington
A full size replica of Robert Stephenson’s world famous locomotive, The Rocket, steams up a 1920s crowd at the North Road Works in Darlington.
Documentary 1965 15 mins Location: Talyllyn Railway
At the heart of the Talyllyn Railway are the volunteers – e.g. schoolboys, bus drivers, actors – whose commitment ensures the line’s continuance, despite the odd derailment.
Amateur film 1958 2 mins Silent
The West Sussex Downsman railtour visits Midhurst, eminent Victorians appear in Petersfield and part of the town's railway fabric is demolished just before its centenary
Non-Fiction 1978 7 mins Location: Royal Leamington Spa
Church bells, organs and choirs are all sounds you'd expect to hear at a church - but what about the sound of a steam locomotive at full tilt?
Advert 6 mins Location: Belfast
Hangry animals demand better grub in this bizarre advert by E.T. Green
Advert 1960 0 mins Location: Belfast
This family favourite is guaranteed to have you singing all the way to the bread bin
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Location: Belfast
Seawards heads a great ship, the biggest of its day
Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent Location: Belfast
A view down the High Street featuring the Albert Clock, a shot of Queen's Bridge and the docks
News 1981 20 mins Location: Belfast
Join Belfast’s first female Lord Mayor and reconsider how disabled people navigate the streets of Belfast.
News 1976 7 mins Location: Belfast
Witness Northern Ireland’s first telecommunications device for Deaf people
Documentary 2020 11 mins
Searching for one of the last people to speak Gayle - a secret language the gay community were forced to invent during Apartheid.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2019 14 mins
An African Pentecostal Pastor questions everything she believes after a life-changing event.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
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