Forgotten Journeys Dvd: The Last Days of Steam

Amateur Film.

Steam in the 50s and 60s.

Richard Parker shot this film for the most part in the early sixties with an 8mm Paillard Bolex cine camera and he recorded the sound separately on a small tape recorder.

He spent many days of his leaves whilst serving at sea with the P&O, recording the last years of steam, mostly in the Oxford area.

Richard had at that time a close relative (Reggie Hanks) who was then Chairman of the Western Region of British Railways.

Through this connection, occasionally, was privileged to ride on the footplates of steam locomotives on the main line.

You will see both passenger and goods trains hauled by a variety of classes of steam engines, such as Castles and Halls of the Western Region,

Southern Region Merchant Navy and West Country pacifics.

Shown mainly on through workings between Oxford and Bournemouth.

Some of the film was taken from engine cabs and trains, others from platforms, locomotive sheds and yards.

There is also a section devoted to London Midland steam in 1967/8 where ex-LMS Class 5 4-6-0s, BR standard pacifics including Oliver Cromwell at Carnforth are seen.

Finally, there is a visit to the narrow-gauge Vale of Rheidol line with 2-6-2T Prince of Wales and coaching stock painted in the BR blue livery of the early 1970s.

Some of the engines and rolling stock depicted have been preserved but the sight of a busy main line with express trains thundering past slower goods trains is historic.

Indeed two of the branch lines seen – a glimpse of Yarnton, Junction for Fairford and a short section of the much-lamented Oxford to Bletchley branch were closed shortly after filming.

This programme was narrated and co-produced by Joe Clark.

Approx. 57 minutes.

This dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner - Joe Clark Films.

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Price: £14.99

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