BRITAIN’S RAILWAYS AT WAR, the home front documentary collection 1941-1946 - Railway History

BRITAIN’S RAILWAYS AT WAR, the home front documentary collection 1941-1946
BRITAIN'S RAILWAYS AT WAR : The Home Front Documentary Collection 1941 - 1946
A comprehensive collection of original archive documentaries covering the wartime role of railways on the British home front and featuring a wonderful variety of period steam locomotives.

NEWSPAPER TRAIN (1941, 6 mins) Even during the worst air-raids of the Blitz, with the railways as a prime Luftwaffe target, the railways never failed to transport London printed newspapers to the provinces!
SHUNTER BLACK'S NIGHT OFF (1941, 7 mins) Shunter, Joe Black, heroically extinguishes a burning explosives truck through a meticulous and delicate manoeuvre across the points of a goods yard to the water tower.
THE ARMY LAYS THE RAILS (1941, 9 mins) Dedicated to the tracklaying and railway maintenance operations of the Royal Engineers including an armoured train and the firing of the railway mounted 'Boche Buster' gun!
DECONTAMINATION AND REPAIRS TO DAMAGED TRACK (1942, 20 mins) The equipment, precautions and procedures adhered to by a Southern Railway anti-gas team during a simulated gas attack on railway lines near West Hoathly, Sussex.
SALVING OUR SCRAP (1942, 13 mins) An anti-waste, pro-recycling film directed at Southern Railway employees.
BUNDLES FOR BERLIN (1943, 13 mins) A celebration of the contribution of female employees across the Southern Railway; from locomotive cleaning and ticket collecting to light engineering and munitions manufacture in the railway workshops.
THE BURNING QUESTION (1943, 10 mins) A Southern Railway film on importance of fuel economy across the company including in the efficient and economic use of coal in the firing of locomotives.
GANG WARILY (1944, 9 mins) A dramatised illustration of the importance of adhering to general working safety practices on the Southern Railway.
CARRYING THE LOAD (1945, 24 mins) A retrospective celebration of the contribution made by Britain's Railways to Allied Victory in the transportation of casualties, troops, evacuees, workers, raw materials and munitions.
SERVICE FOR THE SERVICES (1945, 29 mins) The Southern Railway's support of the armed services with reference to the Dunkirk evacuation, the manufacture of D-Day equipment and the transportation of locomotives post D-Day between Dover and Calais.
WOMEN AT WAR (1946, 32 mins) A survey of the work of women on the Great Western Railway during the war including as train guards and shunter drivers and in rolling stock and permanent way maintenance.
PEEP BEHIND THE SCENES (1946, 29 mins) A film about the special manufacturing work carried out by the railway workshops of the Southern Railway including mobile workshops, hospital trains, D-Day landing craft and gliders.

Our Price: £15.99
Code: SN6714
Weight: 200
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RUNNING TIME – 201 MINS
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British Railways - The Early Years 1948 - 1961
The definitive archive-film led history of the early years of Britain's nationalised rail network.

With Colin Divall - Professor of Railway Studies and Head of the Institute Of Railway Studies And Transport History at York University and the National Railway Museum.

Post-War, the 'Big Four' Railway companies struggled with a backlog of maintenance of permanent way, engines and rolling stock borne of the under-investment and acute demands made on them during the Second World War. Nationalisation as 'British Railways' came in 1948 and brought with it steam locomotive standardisation and the beginnings of the wholesale transition to diesel and electric traction as outlined in the 1955 Modernisation Plan. The story of this time of intense and controversial change is told in definitive detail with archive fi lm, period newsreels and testimony and interviews with both railwaymen and railway historians.

Among the locomotives featured are the A4 Pacifi c Class, the First diesel-electric loco no. 10000, the BR standard Britannia class, 9F class 'Evening Star', the Deltic prototype, the Peak D1, D.M.U's, Warships, Westerns, the Blue Pullman and the Glasgow Blue Electrics.

TOPICS INCLUDE:
- The formation of the British Transport Commission
- A review of post-nationalisation motive power and the locomotive trials
- An overview of the resulting BR Standard Class steam locomotives
- The 1955 'Modernisation Plan'
- First generation diesel-electric locomotives.
- The Western Region diesel-hydraulics
- The relative merits of Steam and Diesel traction
- Various suburban electrification schemes
- Freight, marshalling yards, good depots, mail trains, cars by rail and many more...

INTERVIEWEES INCLUDE:
- Alan Pegler OBE - railway preservation pioneer and saviour of the Flying Scotsman
- Jim Rees of the National Railway Museum
- Engine drivers of the mainline steam era John Fletcher and Ted Abear.

Catalogue Number: SN6610
Time: 163 mins approx
Region: 0 / PAL
Subtitles: None
Sound: Mono / English
Picture: 1:33:1 / Black and White / Colour
Number of Discs: 1
Classification: E
Barcode: 5027626661045

Our Price: £13.99

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RAF Story (The) - The 1930s - A Newsreel History
This DVD affords a very detailed look at the Royal Air Force through the eyes of newsreel cameramen throughout the Thirties - a time of dramatic technological change in aircraft design. Rare footage from British Movietone News, Gaumont British News and the Pathe Gazette whisks us into the skies over the British Empire and beyond. The early Thirties saw the Schneider Trophy won outright by the RAF, and the Air Force also broke many long-distance records all over the globe. The era also saw the retirement of Lord Trenchard, the 'Father of the Royal Air Force', the Coronation of King George VI and the long build-up to the Second World War.

A rich variety of aircraft in the front line included the Hawker Audax, the Hawker Hart, the Hawker Fury, the Gloster Gauntlet, the Bristol Bulldog, the Short Singapore III, the Boulton Paul Overstrand, the Vickers Wellesley and the Gloster Gladiator. We also see the birth of the Hawker Hurricane and early marks of the Supermarine Spitfire, the Westland Lysander, the Fairey Battle, the Bristol Blenheim, the Handley Page Hampden, the Vickers Wellington, the Avro Anson, the North American Harvard, the Lockheed Hudson, the Boulton Paul Defiant and many more.

The 1930s saw early 'mock battles' in preparation for the air defence of London, and many crashes!

There are many visits by royalty and dignitaries to the RAF College Cranwell, which boasted its own pack of Beagles for fox-hunts in the 1930s! We also see the frantic recruiting methods used to attract more than 2,000 pilots as war approached. Our round-up of this amazing decade is completed with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's declaration of war on September 3rd 1939, the BEF on the Western Front in France and the RAF's first real aerial battles.

Catalogue Number: SN6645
Time: 91 mins approx
Region: 0 / PAL
Subtitles: None
Sound: Mono / English
Picture: 1:33:1 / Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
Classification: Exempt
Barcode: 5027626664541

Our Price: £11.99

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Railways At War - The First World War
RAILWAYS AT WAR: THE FIRST WORLD WAR

§ For the first time ever, a comprehensive presentation of nearly 2 1/2 hours of archive film footage evidencing the central role played by the railways in meeting the logistical challenges of supplying the battlefronts of the First World War with the requisite troops, munitions, machinery and stores.

Celebrated military historian Major Tonie Holt provides a commentary throughout on sequences of railway footage from the Somme, Mesopotamia, the Palestinian Front and Siberia.

In many ways tactical success in the First World War depended on the defence of the railheads and the narrow gauge railway supply routes, from them to the battlefronts.

The railhead was where the warehouses, loco maintenance depots and signal and control centres were based; they were also often the point of interchange between the standard gauge national system and the light and narrow gauge railways that led to the battlefield. Railways were the supply line of choice and we see the rapid construction, maintenance and running of the lines by the American Transportation Corps, the American Engineering Corps, the Railway Operating Division of the Royal Engineers, the Indian Sappers, the Australian Engineers and the Canadian Engineers.

We see the speed of the construction of railway lines by the prefabricated ‘Decauville’ track system and the huge variety of locomotive power brought to bear, not only steam, but early diesel, petrol and petrol-electric motive power.

There are views of the enormous BEF locomotive works at St. Etienne-du-Rouvry and a fascinating sequence on the preparation and firing of British and American railway artillery armoured trains witnessed by Roosevelt himself. The assembly of locomotives, flat wagons and rolling stock at St.Nazaire.

By the armistice, railways were often the only functioning entity in areas of widespread devastation, for example at Aix-Noulette, Ypres and Verdun. We also see the mass exodus, by steam locomotion, of troops from the battlefields at the end of the war back to the French ports and early scenes of the Dunkirk ‘roll - on, roll - off’ train ferry.

RUNNING TIME – 144 MINS REGION 0 - PAL

Release Date: 25/03/2013

Our Price: £13.95

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