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B&R .19 Dvd: Steam on the Cambrian




The most well-known film maker around Shrewsbury was Bill Cross who really loved the Cambrian and Borders country.

Thankfully he had the foresight to record the lines of this area when steam still reigned supreme, using a 16mm camera.

The Cambrian system is probably only second to the Somerset and Dorset in popularity with enthusiasts.

Steam returned to Cambrian metals in 1987 and 1991 so here is the chance to see it when steam arrived on every train.

We travel from Whitchurch in the east to Aberystwyth in the west calling at Barmouth, Dovey Junction and Borth to see local trains and the famous Cambrian Coast Express.

Nostalgic scenes on the Mid-Wales line from Moat Lane Junction through Llanidloes, Rhayader, Three Cocks Junction, Pantydwr and Builth Wells are seen on this long closed line.

Oswestry, where the Cambrian had their headquarters, was full of steam and we visit Gobowen, Tinkers Green and the Ellesmere to Whitchurch line via Fenns Bank.

The locos of the early 1960s were Standard and Ivatt designed but we also see six different Manors and the Talylynn special hauled by 7827 and 4555 in GWR livery.

The final section of the film covers services that are no longer with us including the Caernarvon branch and a journey by DMU from Wolverhampton to Birmingham Snow Hill.

Bill rarely filmed far from home but he did visit the Isle of Wight in 1966 and 1967.

We include a short section on this popular venue.

A highlight of the film is what is believed to be the only known piece of film of the Corris Railway in the 1920s!

The Vale of Rheidol railway ends this beautiful programme filmed in the early 1960s when the terminus was near the river.

Bill, himself an authority on all things Cambrian, narrates this programme and of course the equally fascinating Volume 22.

This one hour video full colour video has been produced from 16mm Kodachrome archive film taken by Bill Cross and soundtracked to a high standard.

Section 1: Filmed during the late 1950s and early 1960s, this is a unique record of steam traction on the former lines of the Cambrian Railways as it was at the end.

Nearly every major area is covered from Whitchurch on the Shropshire border to Barmouth and Pwllhelion the northern coast line and Aberystwyth its western terminus.

The sight of the evening train pulling out of Aberystwyth on the Manchester Milford section bound for Carmarthen.

‘Bradley Manor’ resplendent with white buffers after bringing in the down Cambrian Coast Express.

Exciting footplate shots are included and there is a fine scene of trains crossing Barmouth Bridge.

Borth and Dovey Junction are well covered and there are nostalgic scenes on the Mid-Wales section including Moat Lane, Llanidloes, Rhayader and Three Cocks .

Busy scenes in Oswestry, the former hub of the system, with trains pulling out for Llanfyllyn & Whitchurch not forgetting the steam auto service for Gobowen.

We see steam at the almost forgotten stations on the now lifted portions of the system.

Ellesmere, Tinkers Green and Fenns Bank on the Oswestry section.

Pantydwr and Builth Wells on the Mid-Wales line.

No longer will the up evening mail be filmed on the 1-in-50 eastbound gradient of Talerddig and afternoon shoppers will never again alight on the deserted platform at Llanidloes.

Anthony, Bradley, Erlestoke, Hook Norton, Lydham and Odney Manors feature in this volume.

Section 2: ‘Titled Service Suspended’ we see five services that are no longer with us.

A DMU arrives and departs from Caernarvon Station in 1970.

A rare piece of film taken in 1927 shows the Corris Railway in passenger days (Black & White).

A local train arrives and departs from Llanymynech Station in January 1965 – a week before closure of the line.

Adams 02 Class 0-4-4T tanks are seen on the Isle of Wight system in 1959 together with Drewry Petrol Railcars and ex-London Transport tube trains in 1967.

A DMU journey is taken on the down Wolverhampton Birmingham Snow Hill line just prior to closure in August 1971.

Section 3: A look at the Rheidol Valley Light Railway in the early 1960s when the locomotives were still coal fired.

The loco shed was still beside the old harbour branch at Aberystwyth and the passenger terminal was outside the British Railways station.

Approx. 60 minutes.

This dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner – B&R Video Productions.