Tag Archives: Chester

Volume 58

Wirral Steam (60-mins) Price £19.75

An in depth look at the steam scene on the Wirral peninsular from Chester to Birkenhead, Bidston to Shotton. Fifteen cameramen supplied material for this video, notably John Ryan, a local enthusiast from Bromborough. From Chester we take the LMS and GWR Joint line to Hooton calling at Upton, Mollington and Capenhurst. Here the line was joined from the east at Mouldsworth via Ellesmere Port where a visit is made to the Manchester Ship Canal Railway. Returning to Hooton, we go north to Birkenhead calling at all stations. Birkenhead provides nostalgic views of Woodside station, the ferries to Liverpool and a glorious sight of the liner “Empress of Canada” docking there. A prolonged visit to Birkenhead Shed precludes a visit to the Docks lines with mogul 42942 and early 1970′s tours with industrial steam engines. Coverage is then given to the Bidston to Shotton ore trains seen everywhere along the route from the Docks to Shotwick Sidings with 9F power right into the steelworks. At Bidston we divert to New Brighton worked by ex-GWR pannier 4683. Motive power to be seen include 2-6-4 tanks, Black 5′s’, 9F’s, Standard 4′s, Crabs and visits by B1, A2 and a Castle on the last day of steam services from Paddington to Birkenhead. A film full of atmosphere and nostalgia for anyone who knew the railways of the Wirral or not.

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Volume 48

North Wales Steam Holiday (60-mins) Price £19.75

The railway route to Holyhead saw steam up to 1967. Today it still sees steam on the Yns Mon Expresses but on a completely different railway to the 1960′s. Like our Volume 34 on the Cambrian we begin our journey in London, at Euston, departure point of the Irish Mail. Duchess and Britannia Class are seen alongside empty stock workings. Continue along the West Coast Main Line through Rugby and Stafford to Crewe. We stop off here for a visit to the locomotive works, the station with Duchesses, Britannias and Jinties. On to Chester meeting the GWR route from Shrewsbury and a fine view from the 1930′s of Scot 6146. Lineside through Mold Junction and Shotton to Prestatyn and Rhyl. Holiday expresses pass through behind a variety of power and a short visit to the miniature railway in 1962. Llandudno Junction with Jubilees, Duchesses, 2-6-4 tanks, Conway with Scots and Black 5′s. At Penmaenmawr steam passes against a backdrop of the sea, Llanfairfechan and its zoo! Bangor for more action in 1962. Travel the Snowdonian through Caernarvon to Llanberis. Holyhead in 1962 with Duchesses and Scots and 1949-built TS Cambria. Twenty different classes feature from Jinties and 4F’s to Patriots, Jubilees and Duchesses. Two LNER pacifics and GWR Castles put in an appearances.

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Volume 38

North Wales Branches (60-mins) Price £19.75

This video contains scenes of the steam age on five North Wales branches filmed from 1961 to 1966. It was the foresight of local railway enthusiast Brian Cowlishaw with his 16mm camera and some Black & White film that we can bring you these memories where not only has steam gone on four of the branches but the tracks as well.

The first route covered is that from Chester to Mold, Denbigh and Ruthin and views all the stations from Mold such as Star Crossing, Bodfari, Nannerch and Rhewl. Motive power seen includes ex-LMS 2-6-4 Tanks and Standard Class 4’s. Next we travel lineside from Wrexham Central to Ellesmere (closed in 1962) to view ex-GWR 0-4-2 Tanks Nos.1458 and 1432 on passenger autotrains and 57xx-Class No.3789 on freight pickup duties. Marchwell, Bangor-on-Dee and Overton-on-Dee are seen as the intermediate stations on the line.

An in-depth visit to the Brymbo to Minerva line follows the progress of an ex-GWR pannier tank along the steeply graded line over no fewer than eight gated crossings. The line closed in 1972 and our film shows the line in 1965, just as the last GWR 28xx Class were working from Wrexham Croess Newydd shed. The last train to Blaenau Ffestiniog from Bala was filmed in January 1961 in appalling weather, Nevertheless, the rugged atmosphere of this part of Wales is well seen as the two Pannier tanks work the route via Arenig, 1135 feet above sea level.

In 1966 steam appeared on a special train on the Conway Valley line to Blaenau Ffestiniog. This was filmed in colour. The special then traversed the Rhyl to Denbigh line hauled by an ex-LMS Crab 2-6-0 No.42942.

No modern day material has been used in this one hour production. It is fully soundtracked with an informative but not obtrusive commentary by Brian Cowlishaw who took most of the original film, apart from the last colour sequences, and whose knowledge of the area covered is excellent.

Cover photo: Brian Cowlishaw, 1458 at Overton-on-Dee

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Volume 24

Cambrian Borders Steam (60-mins) Price £19.75

We return to the Cambrian with a look at steam along the Welsh Borders from 1960 to 1967.

We begin at Chester in 1967 where on 4th. March the city was visited by the two Castles 4079 & 7029, interwoven with normal workings by Standard Class 5’s of conventional and Caprotti versions, LMS Black 5’s and an ex-Crosti 9F 92026.

A journey south of Ruabon for Castle, Hall, 73xxx, Pannier and 2251 Class at Llangollen Line Junction before a trip to Corwen by Standard Class 4.

The ex-Cambrian main line from Ellesmere to Whitchurch is covered in great detail visiting the intermediate stations of Welshampton, Bettisfield and Fenns Bank. GWR Manors provide the power and we retrace our steps onboard a freight hauled by 43034.

South again to the Blodwell Quarries with Standard Class 4 75004 before another in-depth look at rural branch work on the Llanfyllin Branch from Llanymynech with Ivatt 2-6-0’s. Castle, County, Manors and Standards at Shrewsbury and Wellington are featured before ten minutes of sheer delight on the Cambrian line from Machynlleth to Welshpool in 1963.

Cover photograph:- Geoff Bannister. 75003 & 75004 at Talerddig Summit in August 1965, on the 11:20 Barmouth to Birmingham

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Volume 17

Archive Newsreel 3 (60-mins) Price £15

With full electrification on the Southern main line to Weymouth now operating we return to Dorchester to witness the operation of steam trains reversing up workings at the ex-LSWR terminus. Southampton and Eastleigh in 1967 and steam’s last fling in the London suburbs on the LCGB 100th. railtour to Windsor and Reading using 77xxx, 76xxx, 80xxx and West Country complete this section.

Tribute to a King. We profile 6000 “King George V” in its preservation life from 1970 to 1987 covering its travels to Paddington, Didcot, Swindon, Gloucester and the North-to-West route to Chester. The trip for Swindon Borough in 1974 with unique smokebox side-plates is featured. Hard workings steam in the North-East of England in 1966/67 where ex-NER type Q6 and J27 locomotives worked to the last around the collieries of Tyne and Wear. The last Tyne Dock to Consett working with 92063 is seen complete with headboard. K1, WD 2-8-0, Q6 and J27 workings at Pelaw, Ryehope and Seaton Bank make this selection relive the days of steam as they really were. So popular was this section of the video with our customers that Volume 18 was devoted to this area for even morepower to the pit.

Steam returned to the North Wales coast in the late `80s but we visit it in 1966 with an LCGB railtour along the coast and up the Conway Valley to Blaeneau Ffestiniog and Denbigh with Britannia, Crab and ex-LMS 2-6-4Ts. Soak up the steam atmosphere with LNWR signalling at Chester. We still had 3-minutes left to give a full hour so we inserted the industrial scene at Maerdy Colliery in 1970 when ex-GWR pannier tank 9792 breathed its last in the summer sunshine. To say it was in full steam would be an understatement!

Click Here for Vol.14 – Archive Newsreel 1

Click Here for Vol.15 – Archive Newsreel 2

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Volume 13

Steam Heritage (60-mins) Price £15

A profile of Buxton MPD on a snowy St.Valentine’s Day in 1968 with 8F’s storming up to Peak Forest well loaded, steams last winter in the hills. With steam gone from the Western region, BR still allowed the occasional special working in 1967 and 1968. A glimpse of the GWS at Taplow as 7808 brings in a special from Birmingham. 7029 (filthy) takes over from 35023 at Banbury. 4079 (immaculate) and 7029 (spotless) work up to Chester in March 1967. What must be almost unique film of 1466 double-heading 6998 on the main line at Hemerdon, Totnes, Tiverton Junction and the Teignmouth sea wall follow on a dark day in 1967. After a clean-up and a repaint 1466 delights us on the Wallingford Branch with its auto-coach. Southern steam in 1961/2 with a complete mixture of SR classes around Staines, Havant, Guildford, Woking and the SR Main Line. Classes include Beattie Well Tanks, U, N, C2X, M7, A1X, Q, N15, and Lord Nelson amongst the usual Bullieds and Standards. Rare footage of the French President’s train and the Royal train amongst the Bournemouth Belles and 34042 hauling a train of LNER articulated stock. As this is Volume 13, we include the lucky and unlucky results of accidents and incidents which happened in front of the camera over the years. Many accidents however almost have a touch of humour about them. It is these that follow. At Lytham Motive Power Museum a coach is re-railed; at Nine Elms the breakdown train completely blocks the exit at the turntable; 34092 has demolished a set of level crossing gates in 1982; 841 “Greene King” with a buckled coupling rod at Ipswich; a German turntable incident when a steam engine clouts a DMU; loco upset at Bedlay Colliery and shunting problems at Amble Staithes. Continuing the Industrial theme of the last two incidents, we have lively shots of colliery engines working their rods off as they pound up and down some ridiculous trackwork at Brynlliw and Pontardulais; the last engine skidding into the future! This video really has some interesting and rare footage from the great days of steam.

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