Steam in Scotland Dvd: WJV Anderson Collection


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W.J. Verden Anderson, known to most as ‘Bill’, was arguably one of the most inspirational and influential railway cameraman in the steam era and few could match the quality of his photographs, capturing the steam locomotive at work throughout Scotland.

He was also an enthusiastic cine cameraman and realising that steam was rapidly disappearing, he concentrated his efforts on filming what he knew would soon be lost forever.

This fascinating programme is a testament to his foresight.

The programme starts at Perth, which in the early 1960s handled large numbers of freight and passenger workings.

Its motive power depot – one of the largest in Scotland – was distinguished by being one of only the very few where ex-LMS and ex-LNER ‘Pacifics’ could regularly be seen together.

Although Bill Anderson recorded the ‘A4s’ and ‘Duchesses’, together with one the last ‘Princesses’ in service, he also filmed many of the other classes which used the depot, including ex-Caledonian Railway goods engines.

An ex-CR 0-6-0 also features in the next section, which starts at Gleneagles then goes on to cover the branch lines to Crieff and the Gleneagles Hotel.

A ‘Caley Jumbo’ No.57261, of Stirling depot, is seen shunting local goods traffic in Gleneagles station, after which it travels to Blackford, between Gleneagles and Stirling, with the regular ‘pick-up’ goods.

Travelling to Bathgate, the Caledonian influence gave way to the rival North British Railway, where ex-NBR Class J36s are seen.

These locomotives handled many of the freight workings in the area until the end of steam.

Freight traffic was also the major source of revenue for the railways in Fife, where the coal industry was the largest industrial user.

Much of the coal traffic centred on Kelty, Thornton Jct. and the nearby Wemyss Private Railway.

Bill Anderson’s camera also recorded freight workings at Burntisland and services to the Fettykil paper mills on the Leslie Branch.

The paper mills services were recorded in some detail – perhaps not surprisingly, as Bill was Chairman of Smith-Anderson and Company Limited, owners of the mill!

Fife is left behind on board a steam-hauled railtour, using the route from Ladybank Jct. to Bridge of Earn on the former NB Edinburgh to Perth mainline, before reaching the Perth to Stirling route at Hilton Jct.

After scenes taken at the north end of Perth station, the programme ends at Forfar with film of ex-Caledonian Railway 4-4-0 No. 54465 being serviced in the depot following its arrival with an enthusiasts’ special.

The Archive Series of railway videos features the United Kingdom’s rail network from the 1920s to the 1980s with the primary emphasis on the steam era, although contemporary film of early diesel classes is often included where this compliments the theme of the programme.

Approx. 65 mins.

Region 0/Region free. NTSC versions are available on request.

This dvd is being sold on behalf and with full permission of the copyright holder – Cinerail 2004.