The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
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The Country Railway
David St John Thomas talks about his book The Country Railway
News 1976 5 mins
From the collection of:
Westward TV reporter John Doyle visits Buckfastleigh to interview David St John Thomas about his book the Country Railway. David talks about the introduction of the first machines to travel faster than any animal and depicts the race to open new lines that then become part of the landscape they serve. The Country Railway is a history of the people who conceive, build and run the railways but also a portrayal of the railways' role of bringing in and taking away people and goods.
David was raised in Devon during WWII and his first job was as a reporter for the Western Morning News in Plymouth specialising in transport and holiday stories. He worked with the Dartington Hall Trust producing reports on rural transport. He wrote his first book in 1959 and set up the publishing house David and Charles. The Country Railway, first published in 1976 and redesigned since, is thought to be one of the most widely read books about railways with thousands of copies sold.
Railways on Film
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Sir John Betjeman reminisces about the phasing out of the mainline steam operation.
Comedy 1899 2 mins Silent
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Animation & Artists Moving Image 1967 4 mins
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Recollections of Our Summer Holiday at Babbacombe South Devon August 1931 Recollections of Our Summer Holiday at Babbacombe South Devon August 1931
Amateur film 1931 10 mins Silent Location: Babbacombe
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The Inauguration of the Dart Valley Railway by Lord Beeching The Inauguration of the Dart Valley Railway by Lord Beeching
News 1969 1 mins Silent Location: Buckfastleigh
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News 1977 3 mins Location: Buckfastleigh
Pam is the new police constable in the village of Buckfastleigh
Amateur film 1975 33 mins Silent Location: Rainhill
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News 1977 1 mins Silent Location: Buckfastleigh
The Dart Valley Railway operates a quaint steam service on the Primrose Line
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Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
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Drama 2019 14 mins
An African Pentecostal Pastor questions everything she believes after a life-changing event.
Drama 2018 8 mins
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Drama 2017 16 mins
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Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
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