The halcyon days of our railways

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It seems hard to imagine, but there was a time when the railways in the UK were punctual, affordable, comfortable and perhaps even glamorous.

New Deer Public Hall is offering you the chance to go back to these halcyon days with ‘Britain on Film: Railways’ this Sunday, November 20, at 3pm.

This new film features archive footage, including one of the oldest screen kisses and railway journeys from as long ago as 1898, with a newly commissioned soundtrack.

Travel back to the golden age of the railways, when trains ran on time and boasted fluffed pillows, silverware and three course meals.

Britain On Film celebrates the history of our railways in this major new collection of archive films, capturing the glamour of a forgotten era of train travel.

Whether you’re indulging in old memories or finding out how your grandparents used to travel (you’ll be jealous!), these rare archive films will transport you to the golden age of train travel.

Board the Royal Scot and end up in pre-war Glasgow or take the non-stop Elizabethan Express from London to the Edinburgh of the 1950s and relive the glamour of trains past.

The Independent Cinema Office has partnered the BFI to give cinema audiences unprecedented access to the UK’s cinematic rail history.

This new feature-length programme of films is touring the UK, featuring work never-before-seen since first release.

Drawing on the BFI National Archive, this programme was officially launched at York’s National Railway Museum earlier this month and you can now see it in New Deer.

The film gives you the chance to see John Betjeman lament on Britain’s very last steam service for British Railways, hand-tinted colour views from the front of a train at Conway Castle in 1898, thoroughbreds of the East Coast Main Line on the crack Elizabethan Express in 1954, high-speed thrills with a driver’s eye view from London to Birmingham in just six minutes, famous-named express trains from the pre-war golden age of steam, a Victorian kiss, some extreme weather and much more!

Sue Robertson, volunteer promoter, said: “I am so pleased to be able to bring Britain on Film: Railways archive film to New Deer.

“Maud Railway Museum is mounting a small exhibition to accompany this film and we are all looking forward to an afternoon of nostalgia.”

Steven Foxon, curator of non-fiction at the BFI National Archive and resident railway film connoisseur, added: “There is a long and happy association between film-makers and railways as a subject for their work. This programme allows us to witness over 70 years of railway development on the silver screen in a fantastic cinematic journey of our very own.”

Jemma Buckley, project manager of Britain on Film on Tour, said: “I’m excited that the tour begins with ‘Railways’– a programme that captures so much of the UK’s diverse landscape as well as traditions, cultures and customs of times gone by.”

Tickets are £5 and are available from Food for Thought, Chemist, telephone 01771 644366/217, online from Neat Shows and on the door.