The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
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A full size replica of Robert Stephenson’s world famous locomotive, The Rocket, steams up a 1920s crowd at the North Road Works in Darlington.
Amateur film 1929 4 mins Silent
From the collection of:
This early cine club documentary pays tribute to pioneering Northumbrian railway engineers, George and Robert Stephenson. Filmed partly on 23 May 1929 at North Road Engine Works in Darlington, invited guests admire an impressive full size working replica of the most famous of all locomotives, The Rocket. Bound for the Henry Ford Museum, USA, the iconic Rocket is dwarfed by the modern Pacific Bayordo, a dramatic illustration of 100 years of steam locomotive development.
This was one of the earliest films by founder of the Newcastle Amateur Cinematographers Association, James Cameron. Henry Ford’s Rocket was built by Robert Stephenson and Company at Darlington using the same methods employed in the 1820s, including the use of iron rather than steel. The American industrialist paid some 175,000 dollars for the operating replica, a small fortune in 1929. Last under steam in 1949, the locomotive today sits on display at the museum in Dearborn, Michigan. An earlier working reproduction, sporting whimsical additions, was built in 1923 for Buster Keaton’s silent comedy ‘Our Hospitality’.
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.
Son of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees Television Son of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees Television
Promotional 1964 11 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Is comedian Clive Dunn the Don Draper of the British advertising world? Watch this imaginative Tyne Tees TV marketing film and decide.
Amateur film 1988 13 mins Location: Darlington
A day in the life of the Lily in Darlington washing the town's dirty laundry.
Amateur film 1979 6 mins Location: Darlington
A promotional film to encourage motorcycle safety and training in Darlington.
Advert 1965 1 mins Silent Location: Darlington
There are bargains aplenty for Jean Bartlett of Darlington at her local Co-op in this upbeat 1960s ad
Non-Fiction 1925 19 mins Silent Location: Darlington
A grand parade of locomotives to celebrate 100 years of railways and the world’s first passenger trains
School programme and Educational film 1965 19 mins Location: Darlington
Halcyon days for young wordsmiths at a Darlington primary school in the 1960s.
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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