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.
This film is part of Free
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.
Amateur film 1966 37 mins Location: Maldon
Shy and testy retired signalman Wally Trigg chats to amateur filmmaker and railway enthusiast Chib Thorp, as Micky the Collie happily ambles along the overgrown railway line.
Documentary 1965 15 mins Location: Talyllyn Railway
At the heart of the Talyllyn Railway are the volunteers – e.g. schoolboys, bus drivers, actors – whose commitment ensures the line’s continuance, despite the odd derailment.
Amateur film 1958 2 mins Silent
The West Sussex Downsman railtour visits Midhurst, eminent Victorians appear in Petersfield and part of the town's railway fabric is demolished just before its centenary
Non-Fiction 1978 7 mins Location: Royal Leamington Spa
Church bells, organs and choirs are all sounds you'd expect to hear at a church - but what about the sound of a steam locomotive at full tilt?
John Betjeman Goes by Train: King's Lynn to Hunstanton John Betjeman Goes by Train: King's Lynn to Hunstanton
Travelogue 1962 10 mins
John Betjeman revels in the pleasures of travelling along the small branch line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton.
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.
Comedy 2014 16 mins Location: London
Geeky Pavan takes his 'English Rose' on a date to the most authentic Indian restaurant in the city. To his horror she goes off-menu, in Hindi...
Documentary 2017 7 mins
A trilogy of short documentaries mapping out the personal migration stories of the filmmaker's family.
Drama 2019 16 mins
When Nazanin attends her estranged fathers funeral she is compelled into womanhood, by rebelling against the ideals of what it is to be an Iranian woman.
Drama 2021 3 mins
A look into a young Somali woman who is having difficulties speaking her mother tongue.
Documentary 2019 8 mins
Bringing together a series of compelling stories from the mixed-race community.
Documentary 2019 4 mins
A personal reflection on how the artist’s mixed-race heritage has shaped her outlook on life.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location