In this volume, we cover the industrial railways in the South East of England including London. After steam had finished on the main lines, this area still had steam workings at the various industrial sites and for enthusiasts it was the place to visit until the mid 1970s.
We start with a visit to London’s Acton Lane Power Station and saddle tanks “Birkenhead” and “Little Barford” in action complete with wasp stripes on their smokeboxes! At Slough Estates complex, Hudswell Clarke tanks are shunting oil wagons. Mind the cars, there’s just a gap!
In 1972, we visit Rye House power station near Hoddesdon on the ex-GER main line to see RSH tank No.7597 shunting (more wasp stripes!) before witnessing its transport by road (mind those 25kv wires) for preservation on the Stour Valley Railway. Later, we see it in action on the SVR and on the GCR at Loughborough.
Onwards and there are Peckett saddle tanks at Ipswich Sugar factory and at Ford’s Dagenham Works (it had 25 miles of lines), where we see a variety of scenes including the foundry and dockyard.
Next to Chatham Dockyard and a 1980s view of the derelict saddle tanks followed by later preservation scenes with restored “Ajax”. Then to the paper mills at Greenhithe and Gravesend for fireless locos in action in & around the works.
Sittingbourne’s Bowaters Paper Mill had the largest system for paper and we make an extensive visit to it’s narrow gauge railway with mostly pre-preservation views of steam in action on goods as well as passenger trains. Plus views of standard gauge ex-SECR P “Pioneer II”, saddle tank “Jubilee”, the cableway and the dockside.
Onto Swanscombe Cement Works & Quarry in 1968 for Hudswell-Clarke tanks busy shunting cement wagons and then to Snodland Cement Works to see “Hornpipe” in action plus steam at Holborough Quarry with “Tumulus”.
Finally we visit the Kent Coalfield and the collieries at Snowdown and Betteshanger for extensive steam activity with “J94 type” Hunslets (among others), more wasp stripes, loading & unloading of wagons and a Class 73 electro-diesel at the BR exchange sidings.
All the archive film used is virtually all in colour and an extensively researched commentary along with an authentic soundtrack has been added.
Produced by - B & R Video Productions
Running time - 60 Minutes
Released - 2013