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The Rocket

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:

Logo for North East Film Archive


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’.