This film is part of Free

Pick up to Pickering

The railway tracks are ready for scrap as the last train and its crew to pass from Pickering to Rillington Junction makes its forlorn journey.

Documentary 1966 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Just two days after Jimmy Greaves scores four goals for England as they prepare for the World Cup, and the Beatles were number one in the charts, a lonely shunting engine makes its last way along the branch line to Pickering. We follow the journey along the line and past stations that were soon to close, filmed from on top of the loco by railway engineer Frank Dean. It heads to pick up just the one wagon of limestone, free shunted by guard Tom Redman on his last day with British Rail.

This is one of many films made by railway engineer, enthusiast and filmmaker Frank Dean, mostly documenting the loss of lines following the Beeching Report in 1963. On hearing of the lines to be closed Frank and his wife set about filming all those in the Yorkshire area before their demise. Frank went on to compile an impressive collection of railway films and films of his local community in Church Fenton, which he would show at public viewings well into his 80s. Part of the Whitby line was preserved thanks to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which opened in 1973, but this did not include the line seen in the film that continued south of Pickering to join the Malton to Scarborough Line at Rillington Junction.