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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SS Mona's Isle V
Amateur film maker A.H. Martin captures the SS Mona’s Isle V at work two years before the ship stars for Hugh Hudson in ‘Chariots of Fire’.
Amateur film 1978 3 mins Silent
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Watch from the shore as this magnificent vessel cruises through Northern Irish waters, jostling smaller boats scattered in her wake. In this film by A.H. Martin, the SS Mona’s Isle V is a working passenger ship, she would be scrapped two years later. But before joining the Dutch scrapheap she makes a glorious screen debut in ‘Chariots of Fire’. There is still time left to race inland to Portadown and scribble down the carriage numbers as mustard passenger trains snake past.
The SS Mona’s Isle V operated from 1951 until the 2495 gross register ton vessel was towed to the Netherlands for scrap in 1980. The ship formed part of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fleet and therefore worked for the world’s oldest continuously operating Passenger Shipping Company. SS Mona’s Isle built like her sister ships had the capacity to carry 2268 passengers with a working crew of 67.
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.
Non-Fiction 1968 7 mins Location: Keighley
The age of steam lingers on as the `Worth Valley Railway Re-Opening Special' pulls into Keighley station, and hardly an anorak in sight.
Amateur film 1960 7 mins Location: Bluebell Railway
Enjoy this charming film from Trevor White which charts the birth of the Bluebell Railway - from the germ of an idea into a fully functioning steam railway
Amateur film 1970 32 mins Silent Location: Bluebell Railway
Twenty years of the Bluebell Railway are chronicled in this film - featuring open days, journeys on low-loaders, the Golden Arrow Pullman service and even Stephenson's Rocket
Non-Fiction 1973 4 mins Location: Pickering
No money incentives required for the dedicated volunteers bringing the defunct Whitby to Pickering up to speed for re-opening, and for the arrival of the iconic Flying Scotsman.
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.
Amateur film 1954 22 mins Silent Location: Mullan
Travel through the ages and experience the last horse drawn tram in Ireland. As steam and horses give way to diesel and electric witness N. Ireland whilst they still share the road.
Amateur film 1970 3 mins Silent Location: Belfast
Feast your eyes on this buffet for transport lovers. Squeeze in a visit to the ‘hardboard hotel’ between your train and plane spotting.
Amateur film 1966 11 mins Silent Location: Belfast
Take a stroll through a forgotten Belfast on your way to catch the steam train to Dublin. Experience the city centre before it is reshaped by violence and regeneration.
Sponsored film 1967 18 mins Location: Irish Sea
From ancient crafts to state of the art computer production discover how "Ulster is not just yesterday, it is also tomorrow". Forget hindsight and enjoy this industrial dream.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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