Railways For Ever (1970)
7 minutes - Eastman Colour
Director: Norman Prouting
Photography: Trevor Roe, Ronald Craigen
Script: John Betjeman , Norman Prouting
Narrator: John Betjeman
Editor: Francesca Bowen.
Music: De Wolfe
Producer: Edgar Anstey
The last steam train crossing the Pennines, and an Edwardian music-hall song "Watching the trains go out", cause Sir John Betjeman to reminisce. In his own nostalgic verse and prose, he remembers the great trains of old and looks forward to railways for ever as he moves through a photographic exhibition in Kingsway.
The film makes extensive use of coverage of the final steam specials on BR on the 11th of August 1968, and provides a quirky look at steam and those who follow its progress.
16mm & 35mm (620ft)
Review in Monthly Film Bulletin - July 1971 (spotted by Robin Carmody)
An effectively sentimental look at the passing of the steam train, with John Betjeman serving as guide to the glories of railways past and some dazzling prospects for the future. Betjeman's enthusiasm, and an Edwardian music-hall song for accompaniment, give the piece a bright, middle-class holiday air - all rosy cheeks and optimism in the face of progress. (Richard Combs)
Return to Main Index