Looking back at steam era
RARE footage of trains departing for the now closed Exe Valley line is included on a new film, Steaming Through Wessex, which has just been released.
The DVD from West Country-based producer Kingfisher Productions is a remarkable collection of railway films taken by the late Douglas Seaton on his 16mm camera – all in colour and from the 1940s through to the mid-1960s.
These films portray a crucial period in railway history as Douglas filmed the period of changeover between the old railway companies, such as the Great Western Railway and Southern, to the new British Railways of 1948.
As such they represent an important record of railways in Wessex at this period. Great Western trains are seen in colour progressing along the line from Exeter to Dawlish and beyond. Activity at Exeter St David's stations sees one of the famous King Class locomotives. There is rare film of a train departing for the now-closed Exe Valley line and sequences of the train running up through Tiverton. Even blue liveried locomotives are seen in the experimental colour which only last a few years.
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Roger Hardingham, who produced the DVD, said: "The collection is one of the rarest series of railway films discovered."
He has narrated the DVD and put authentic sound effects to all the images.
The DVD is available at £19.95 post free from Kingfisher Productions, Felmersham, Mills Road, Osmington Mills, Weymouth DT3 6HE, or through the web site at www.railway video.com