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  • Andrew P.M. Wright

Purbeck Railway Circle joins with the Purbeck Film Festival for October Meeting

The meeting on October 13th will be held jointly with the Purbeck Film Festival and will feature a presentation of British Transport Films.

Following the success of last year’s presentation, we have put together a second selection of films covering a wide range of railway subject matter such as it used to be!

The films to be shown at the October meeting are as follows: -

“Elizabethan Express” (1954). From Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley – 393 miles in 6½ hours. When this film was produced Kings Cross to Edinburgh was the longest non-stop journey in the world timed at over 60mph. This film captures the speed and excitement of one of those runs, recalling the glamour of the great days of steam, as well as the hard work of the men who maintained the service.

“Train Time” (1952). This film examines the operation of what was, in the early 1950’s, the busiest railway in the world – British Railways. This is the story of a typical day, which begins and ends with an operating conference, linked via telephone from one end of Great Britain to the other.

“Rail 150” (1975). This film shows highlights from the Grand Steam Cavalcade held at Shildon on the route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway on 31st August 1975 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the world’s first public steam passenger railway.

“Signal Engineer” (1962). This film focuses on the most responsible and professional jobs on British Railways. An S&T apprentice is followed through practical work in a workshop, in a signal box, on a gantry and also trackside. This experience is coupled with instruction in mechanics, electricity, electronics and draughtsmanship which leads into the intricacies of design, the excitement of research and experiment and the intense satisfaction of being involved in a big changeover from old-style semaphore signalling to a new coloured light system.

“Mishap” (1958). This film shows the operating procedures necessary for protection on a double track in the event of a mishap affecting the railway. The safety measures to be taken are described as are the procedures to enable normal working to be resumed. It is interesting to compare how such matters have changed in the extremely risk averse environment in which trains are operated today.

Finally, and subject to permissions, we hope that the programme will conclude with the classic BBC short film of “London to Brighton in four minutes” which should need no introduction!

The overall film running time is about 2 hours – there will be a short interval for refreshments (Tea/coffee/biscuits).

For advance ticket sales please visit

Tickets will also be available on the door. Ticket prices for the evening are £5 for SRT members (only available at the door) or £6 for non-members.

The Circle meets in Harmans Cross Village Hall, Haycrafts Lane, Harmans Cross at 7.00 for 7.30 pm.


For further information regarding this presentation and/or the PRC please contact the PRC Chairman at:

e-mail: or visit our

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