This film is part of Free

Preserved Iron Horses

All aboard for the ‘Scarborough Spa Express’ as it joins the many refurbished steam locos ferrying railway enthusiasts back and forth over Heartbeat country.

Non-Fiction 1972 27 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Volunteers struggle to secure a rail to a chair at a crossover, with the help of a crowbar, before rusty tracks and desolate stations give way to an impressive gathering of retrieved steam locomotives, some bearing famous railway names, the Sir Nigel Gresley and the George Stephenson. It’s 1976 and the North York Moors Railway is in now in full swing, bringing out the crowds for the splendid scenery and engines on view.

This is one of a large collection of films made by Ken Clough, who was a member of the York section of the supporters of the NYMR. Thanks to volunteers re-opening closed lines, many steam locomotives earmarked for breaking up were preserved by groups like the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG), formed in 1966, which provided several locomotives for the NYMR. The 44767, one of the legendary LMS ‘Black Five’, was built at Crewe in 1947 with certain unique features, and finished service in 1967. It was saved from the scrapyard by Peter Beet of Carnforth Museum and restored by Hunslet in Leeds in 1972 before finding its way to the NYMR and being renamed, by Willy Whitelaw, George Stephenson in 1975.