The Jim Clemens Collection No.39.
Jim Clemens had a passion for steam that did not end just with BR. He also took a keen interest in the industrial railways of Britain. This volume in our miscellany series is a compilation of the entire ironstone film archive he created, and has been assembled in the order the film runs off his original cine reels.
The most extensive ironstone system in the country was at Corby, This comprised about 40 route miles of track and covered an area of around 10 miles between the most northerly and southerly points. It boasted a fine newly-built (1954) engine shed with eight roads and rollup shutters. A number of visits were made here in the mid-1960s, plus trips commemorating the end of steam at the quarries (1969) and the steel works (1973). Included are the World’s largest quarrying machine (1,675 tons of it!), the Corby complex’s ‘Indus’ 0-8-0 diesel plus ex-BR Class 14 No.D9547
The narrow-gauge Kettering Furnaces system is visited during June 1961. This also included a rare Lingford Gardiner-built standard-gauge locomotive. Another narrow-gauge ironstone line is seen at Scaldwell where this railway’s eponymous locomotive is at work during May 1962.
The last operating narrow-gauge ironstone system was at Finedon Quarries, near Wellingborough and visits were made here in 1961 and 1966. The whole process is seen: empties on their way to Finedon Quarry, loaded wagons on their return, the very narrow tunnel under the Midland Main Line, plus the rather daunting transfer method used from narrow to standard-gauge.
The newest ironstone system in the Midlands was at Exton Park, and in 1963 we can admire their fleet of clean and modern 0-6-0s dating from the 1950s. Visits are made to the Irchester complex near Wellingborough, plus also Storefield. Blisworth. Pitsford, Loddington. Hanging Houghton, Desborough, Pilton, Charwelton, Cranford, Oxfordshire Ironstone Quarries (near Banbury and including a ‘Sentinel “) and Byfield. We conclude with a visit to Nassington, near Peterborough.
This ironstone railways enthusiast’s delight was filmed mostly in colour on both 8mm and 16mm cine-film. A commentary plus sound track complement our look at the ironstone railways of the East Midlands between 1960 and 1973.
Produced by - B & R Video Productions
Running time - 77 Minutes
Colour & B/W
Released - July 2020