This film is part of Free
Desolate stations, abandoned locos and derelict tracks under grey skies become transformed by dedicated volunteers, unmotivated by money, into a marvellous steam railway.
Documentary 1974 13 mins
This exceptionally lyrical film of the resurrection of the North York Moors Railway was made a year after it re-opened in 1973. Teams of enthusiastic volunteers, some quite young, repair the track and clean out steam loco boilers, all to the tune of “I’d like to be a lengthman” by former railwayman Dave Goulder. With the work done, we travel along one of the first steam train outings over the newly renovated and inspiring North York Moors line.
This film was one of several made by the Teesside College of Art in the 1970s under the name of Cumulus Films. This was started by a student at Teesside College of Art, David Eadington and two lecturers there, Murray Martin and Graham Denman, who went on to found Amber Films. The films document working class life in the north east. The Whitby to Pickering line was one of the lines closed by Beeching: the last passenger train ran in March 1965 and the last freight train in July 1966. In 1967, the NYMR Preservation Society was formed, and they eventually purchased the line, raising money through open weekends and steam galas, becoming a charitable trust to ensure it wasn’t run for personal profit.
Building a British Railway
Mining Review 19th Year No. 11
1966 11 mins Location: Castleford
Coal touched all our lives, as this issue of the cinemagazine demonstrates with items on a miner's wife turned mayor, a Coal Board chess team and more.
Great Yarmouth Dockside Railway
Amateur film 1930 3 mins Silent Location: Great Yarmouth
There’s an obliging pose for the camera by a brawny and tattooed docker as his fellow workers push the freight along Yarmouth’s Rail Line.
Unloading Girders at Skelton Bridge
Industry sponsored film 1930 6 mins Silent Location: Skelton
A workman balances on the edge of a swing bridge, some 80 foot above the Ouse, instructing the placement of a 680 ton girder. Is this an extension or just running repairs?
Mining Review 6th Year No. 3
Cinemagazine 1952 8 mins Location: Calverton
New colliery opens at Calverton in Nottinghamshire and a visit to Rugby Locomotive Testing Station
Hartlepool Sleeper Depot
Industry sponsored film 1957 13 mins Silent Location: Hartlepool
The life of a railway sleeper is not an easy one, and here they get prepared for the rain, the snow and ice, and the thousands of tons of steel hurtling over them, day in day out.
Men on the Mend
Documentary 1956 12 mins Location: Swindon
Plastered at work? Injured British Rail employees are put on the railroad to health at Swindon Works
Home movie 1965 6 mins Silent Location: Goathland
Come and join a gentle wander through Heartbeat country with our seasoned troop of strolling players, stopping off for a train at Goathland station, a couple of months too late.
Preserved Iron Horses
Non-Fiction 1972 27 mins Silent Location: Goathland
All aboard for the ‘Scarborough Spa Express’ as it joins the many refurbished steam locos ferrying railway enthusiasts back and forth over Heartbeat country.
NYMR News No. 2
Non-Fiction 1974 9 mins Location: Grosmont
Rails are lifted, fishplates fitted and keys hammered into place, as another Sir Nigel Gresley, saved from the scrapyard, gets a second life on the North Yorkshire Moors.
Grounded on the Platters: HMS Conway
Home movie 1953 7 mins Silent Location: Anglesey/Ynysmôn
A sorry end to any ship: timings, tide and wind played their part in pushing HMS Conway onto the Platters rocks in the Menai Strait on 14/4/1953.
Exeter Real Ale Festival
News 1975 3 mins Location: Exeter
The wet and warm ale goes down a treat as aficionados gather to celebrate real ale.
Home movie 1955 8 mins Silent Location: Llanddwyn Island/Ynys Llanddwyn
Sea pinks and samphire, lighthouses and church ruins – Llanddwyn’s charms are many and varied.
News 1979 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Experimentation with a coat for two leaves couples with really no escape.
Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music
News 1970 2 mins Location: Shepton Mallet
Progressive gathering of festival goers hits the blues.
Dawson: Lower Penn Show
Home movie 1954 4 mins Silent Location: Lower Penn
Another blustery summer day in the 1950s and it's Lower Penn's carnival parade.