A Day That Shook the World (10 episodes)
These are the days on which political revolutions, technological breakthroughs, and sporting triumphs took place. From the funeral of Queen Victoria to iconic events like the Hindenburg airship disaster, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Asian Tsunami and the 2012 Olympic bid. Narrated by John Humphrys.
A Farewell to Arms
Frederic (Gary Cooper), an American ambulance driver working for the Italian Army during World War I, falls in love with British Red Cross nurse Catherine (Helen Hayes). His jealous commanding officer, Major Rinaldi, transfers Catherine to a different hospital. But an injury on the battlefield takes Frederic to Catherine’s new hospital in Milan.
A Year to Remember – 1937
In this episode: The tragedy of the Spanish Civil War intensifies – The year of Guernica – Japan and China are at war – USA: Franklin D. Roosevelt begins his second term as president – Edward VIII has resolved to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson – Prince Albert, father of Elizabeth and Margaret, becomes king.
A Year to Remember – 1940
In this episode: Finland: Stalin’s Red Army has been fighting a dogged opposition – The progress of the Germans pushes British forces back to the sea – A massive evacuation operation is mounted – Coventry is bombed – The King receives a decoration – First woman naval doctor.
A Year to Remember – 1972
In this episode: Britain joins the common market – Bloodshed in Northern Ireland continues – Egyptian treasures draw massive crowds to the British Museum – Vietnam: communist troops from the North launch their biggest offensive in four years – Charlie Chaplin returns to America for the first time in twenty years – The Munich Olympics: Terrorist attack on Israeli athletes.
A Year to Remember – 1984
In this episode: Environmental awareness is growing: Acid Rain – Lebanon erupts into civil war – Margaret Thatcher vs the unions – Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with Libya – Philippines: Three quarters of a million people march in the capital – The LA Olympics proves golden for Britain.
In Algiers, the thief Pepe le Moko hides from police in the maze-like Casbah. He is soon a target not only for a policeman and an inspector, but also jealous thief Regis. Pepe meets the beautiful American Gaby and becomes obsessed with her. Regis’ plan to bring Pepe into the open fails, until Pepe realises that he may never see Gaby again.
This superb locomotive was saved from scrapping in 1966. After a chequered preservation career, she was restored to main line condition. This programme covers her return – her first runs over the scenic Settle-Carlisle and a foray back on her native metals in Scotland, as well as use on the Great Central Railway.
Britain by Jove (4 episodes)
Famous comedy travelogue produced in the 1960s to promote holidays in Great Britain. The shows were presented by much-loved ventriloquist Ray Alan and his celebrated companion Lord Charles. “A vision of Britain halfway between winsome nostalgia and surreal nightmare” – The Sunday Times, 2019.
British Rail in 1990
A reflection on British Rail just 5 years before privatisation. The film examines Network South East two years after its inception; Scotrail with Class 37s and 47s very much in charge; Intercity services; Railfreight and the many loco-hauled services at the time using Class 20s, 31s, 45s, 56s in Scotland and much more.
British Royal Weddings of the 20th Century
Throughout the 20th century, royal weddings were events of majestic splendour. People would camp out in the streets of London to get a prime location for the procession. They would gather for a glimpse of the newly-married couple on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. In this film, we relive the major royal weddings of the 20th century.
Before discovering her husband has been murdered in Paris, Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) falls for the charming Peter Joshua (Cary Grant). Regina and Peter will have to give chase to three men who are after the money they all stole during World War II. But is Peter the man he claims to be?
D-Day: The Secret Battle
The story of the subterfuge and secret weapons that helped make D-Day such a success, including Operation Fortitude, the PLUTO undersea pipeline and the floating Mulberry Harbours, plus rare film of secret weapons including the Sherman mine-clearing tank and Churchill A1:K46 flame-thrower.
Small-town accountant Frank Bigelow (Edmond O’Brien) travels to San Francisco before settling down with his fiancée Paula (Pamela Britton). After a night out, he wakes up to learn that he has been given a toxin which has no antidote. With one week left to live, he aims to find out who poisoned him and why.
Dambusters: Mission Impossible
Destroying the great dams of western Germany, using a very special weapon designed by scientific genius Barnes Wallis, made the RAF’s 617 squadron one of the most famous in the world. This film features rare archive footage and photographs, fascinating interviews and illustrative 3-D graphics.
Derbyshire Main Line
Closed in 1968 and almost forgotten along with the trains that ran over it, the Derbyshire Main Line is now splendidly re-created in this film. For the first time, this programme shows one of Britain’s most scenic railway lines at work, that of the former Midland Main Line through the Peak District of Derbyshire between Derby and Manchester.
Diesel Galas of 2013
A review of the diesel galas held at the Mid-Hants Railway and Swanage Railway in the spring of 2013. Includes considerable footage of all the locomotives at work and also the convoys of engines being positioned from Network Rail. Features footage of the Mid-Norfolk Gala and the unique one held at the Didcot base of the Great Western Society.
Duchess of Hamilton
One of 38 Coronation Class 4-6-2s built in Crewe by the LMS, Duchess of Hamilton is part of the National Collection now and was brought back into main line use in the 1980s. In this programme, we look at her main line runs starting with her test runs in 1990 following her second major overhaul.
Duke of Gloucester 71000
The very last Pacific locomotive to be built in Britain, Duke of Gloucester is literally a one-off locomotive. Constructed at Crewe Works in 1954, it was the last Pacific locomotive built for the nationalised British Railways. The sole Standard Class 8P, the engine was the prototype of a three-cylinder development of Britannia.
Great Western Railway Special
This programme was made as a souvenir of the 1985 events which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Great Western Railway in 1835. It covers the many steam specials run to commemorate the 150 years which ran all over the old GWR system, mostly to the South West.
His Girl Friday
New York newspaper editor Walter Burns finds out that his ex-wife, reporter Hildy Johnson, is about to marry an insurance agent. He tries to entice her back into the newsroom by having her write about the story of convicted murderer Earl Williams. When Hildy discovers Williams might be innocent, her enthusiasm for the job reawakens.
A British anthropologist (Christopher Lee) discovers a frozen monster in Manchuria. Convinced that the creature is the “missing link”, he embarks on a Trans-Siberian train to transport it back to Europe. But during the journey, the monster comes to life and starts killing the passengers.
Kansas City Confidential
A former G.I. is framed for the robbery of an armoured car. During his detention, he is beaten up and tortured by police. When he is finally released due to lack of evidence, he embarks on a journey to Mexico in order to discover who set him up and what their motivations were.
King Edward I
6024 King Edward I is the only working example of the famous Great Western “King” or “6000 Class” locomotives. Sold for scrap in 1962, the locomotive went to the scrapyard at Barry, South Wales. 6024 languished there for eleven years until it was purchased by the 6024 Preservation Society Ltd in 1973.
Made for Each Other
When his boss demands that he return to work, ambitious lawyer John Mason (James Stewart) is forced to leave a honeymoon with new wife Jane (Carole Lombard). Regardless, his boss gives the partnership he has been angling for to someone else. To make matters worse, tragedy then strikes their new family.
Main Line Return to Swanage
The full story behind the return of passenger trains to the Swanage branch in April and May 2008. Includes aerial footage of Tangmere as it arrives and departs from the branch. Many lineside locations and interviews with the key people on the day and footage of the trains as they departed from London and on the journey to Dorset.
George Washington McLintock, “G.W.” to friends and foes alike, is a cattle baron and the richest man in the territory. He is surprised by the arrival of his estranged wife Katherine who has returned to take their daughter away with her. Balancing his wife, his headstrong daughter, and some crooks, G.W. tries to do what is best.
Meet John Doe
A reporter writes a column about “John Doe”, an unexciting man who plans to kill himself in protest against America’s neglect of the little people. The newspaper then hires Gary Cooper to pose as this fictional John Doe, who captures the public’s imagination in a series of radio addresses.
No. 850 Lord Nelson
This programme tells the story of the Lord Nelson from its design and construction in 1926 through to its operational years in BR service and eventual withdrawal in 1962. Footage of its first preservation period in service in the 1980s is accompanied by recollections of firing a Nelson by an Eastleigh fireman and driver.
No. 925 Cheltenham
One of only three of the “Schools” class to survive into preservation, 925 was overhauled by volunteers of the Mid-Hants at Eastleigh railway works where it was constructed in 1934. After just under thirty years service with the Southern and BR, Cheltenham was withdrawn in 1962 and set to one side for the national collection.
Of Human Bondage
Philip Carey (Leslie Howard) abandons his artistic aspirations when he meets Mildred Rogers (Bette Davis), a waitress and a femme fatale. Although she abuses him, Philip becomes obsessed with her. When he finally seems ready to move on, Mildred reappears and does not let him escape.
Pot o’ Gold
Jimmy (James Stewart) is the owner of a failed music shop who works with his uncle. He becomes close to a family of Irish music lovers who happen to be his uncle’s worst enemies and finds himself helping their band get gigs while trying to reconcile the two parties. Meanwhile, Jimmy falls for the beautiful Molly (Paulette Goddard).
Currently the only working example of the “Princess Royal” Class, No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth is one of our earlier examples saved by pioneers in preservation. This programme traces the locomotive’s preserved life from the time it was bought by the Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society from Carlisle shed in 1962.
Princess Margaret Rose
Few steam locomotives have a history to match Princess Margaret Rose, the 1st production Pacific for the LMS Railway. When the locomotive was withdrawn from BR’s operating stock in the early 60s, she was purchased by Sir Billy Butlin as a showpiece for his Pwllheli holiday camp and destined to be a childrens’ plaything.
Princess Margaret: Her Real Life Story
She was born in 1930 with intelligence, wealth, position and good looks. Prevented from marrying her first love Peter Townsend and forced to live in the shadow of her sister, Queen Elizabeth, Margaret was described as a “Princess without a vocation”. This biography explores the reality behind the life of the least understood 20th-century royal.
Recollections of the Somerset & Dorset
Memories from railway men and women operating the Somerset & Dorset Railway. No other railway in Britain commands such an interest. It is now many years since the line closed for traffic but the memories linger on. This film contains many memories from ex-S&D railwaymen and women filmed at their reunion in August 1995.
Royal Weddings on Film
Before the 20th century, royal weddings in Britain were celebrated behind closed doors – until 1923, when the later King George VI married a Scottish beauty, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Following months of archive research, all these historic wedding days, some seldom seen, have been brought together for the first time on film.
Starving artist Christopher Cross falls in love with the beautiful Kitty March. However, Kitty is interested in Johnny, a crook. When they find out that art dealers are interested in Cross’ work, they con him into letting Kitty take credit for the paintings. Blinded by love, Cross allows it at first, but even he has a limit.
Alan Titchmarsh visits eight of England’s lesser-known gardens. The small gardens on display include: Hestercombe House in Gloucestershire; Brook Cottage in Oxfordshire; Cobblers on the Kent/Sussex border; the Kensington Roof Garden; Calke Abbey’s kitchen gardens; and the Salcombe estuary estate.
Steam in the Highlands
Steam locomotives have been at home in Scotland for over a century and a half – today they still run over the main lines blending with the mountains and lowland scenery. This programme is a an evocative look at steam in Scotland from the Strathspey Railway to the West Highlands via Edinburgh and Aberdeen (1986-1991).
Steaming Through Wessex – Part 2
The second volume in the remarkable series of archive films taken by Douglas Seaton in the 1940s and 1950s. This volume contains more 16mm film in full colour and some very rare black and white footage taken in the 1920s and 1930s providing such scenes as early Southern locomotives on the South Western main line in the Bournemouth and Weybridge areas.
Ellen Benson is a widow and pacifist whose peace is disturbed by the unsuccessful courtship of the town’s sheriff, Todd Shaw. But everything changes when the U.S. president passes through town. Gangster John Baron (Frank Sinatra) picks the Benson home as an ideal spot from which to launch his attempt on the president’s life.
Using hypnosis and telepathy, sinister music maestro Svengali (John Barrymore) is able to control women. When he meets the beautiful Trilby O’Farrell (Marian Marsh), she falls under his spell. However, her true love, Billee (Bramwell Fletcher), fights to win her back and uncover Svengali’s deception.
Tales of Settle-Carlisle
The famous Settle-Carlisle Railway is well-known for its beautiful surroundings and structures such as viaducts, stations and tunnels. But just as important to the history of the line were the personalities involved with it. Hundreds of railway men and women have been part of the operation of this great railway since the 1870s.
The Agatha Christie Code
What makes Agatha Christie such a successful writer? On the 75th anniversary of the creation of her immortal character Miss Marple, this documentary introduces viewers to new fields of scientific inquiry using sophisticated computer analyses of Christie’s every written word, her sentence structure, story arcs, poisons used, red herrings, clues and more.
The Barry Scrapyard Story
The legendary yard of Woodham Bros. at Barry Glamorgan has truly a remarkable story. It started in 1959 with the arrival of locomotives from Swindon Works for breaking up – and until 1968, over 300 would assemble from all over Britain. But not all were scrapped – indeed, 213 lingered on and were all eventually purchased by the preservation movement.
The Man with the Golden Arm
After getting out of prison, recovering drug addict Frankie Machine decides to straighten up, trying to get work as a drummer. However, when his former employer Schwiefka and Frankie’s old drug dealer, Louis, re-enter his life, Frankie struggles to stay clean and finds himself straying back into old habits.
The Nazi War Machine
As D-Day approached, specially-made films were shown to Allied troops to familiarise them with the enemy. Presented here by military expert Dr. Christopher Bullock, these original films – some in colour – provide a fascinating and invaluable guide to German uniforms, insignia, weapons, coastal fortifications, elite units and field tactics.
The Other World of Winston Churchill
Narrated by Paul Scofield, this incredible documentary focuses on Winston Churchill’s life as a painter. The film revolves around the paintings that Churchill produced during his years in opposition, revealing the often forgotten or unknown artistic side of the most iconic prime minister of all time.
The Red House
Meg has been raised by Pete and Ellen ever since she was abandoned by her birth parents. One day, Meg and her friend Nath get close to a lonely cabin in the woods which Pete warns them is a place of terrible danger. As Meg and Nath start falling for each other, they find themselves drawn to the dangers hidden in that red house.
The Royal Settle-Carlisle
This programme is the story of one of the most important days on the Settle-Carlisle Railway for decades. On 22nd March 2005, HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, visited the region aboard the Royal Train, hauled by steam locomotive Princess Coronation Class No. 6233 “Duchess of Sutherland”.
The Secrets of Blea Moor & Ribblehead
This film explores the incredible achievement by the engineers and navvies of the mid-Victorian period who designed and built the viaduct at Ribblehead and the legendary tunnel at Blea Moor. There is more fascination about this great viaduct than any other facet on the wonderful Settle-Carlisle Railway.
The Settle-Carlisle Railway: The Line That Refused to Die
Britain’s best-loved railway, with its route over the “roof” of England, is the spectacular Settle-Carlisle railway (called “the line that should never have been built”). Running through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Britain, it takes in the architecture of bridges and viaducts en-route.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Harry Street (Gregory Peck) is a writer dying from a hunting wound during an African safari. As he lies convalescent, he reflects on his failures at love and writing, telling of his writing ambitions and the story of his one true love, Cynthia (Ava Gardner), to his wife (Susan Hayward).
The Somerset & Dorset Remembered
Filmed mostly in 1965, the final year before its closure in March 1966, this journey takes the viewer on the line from Bath to Evercreech Junction, then along the branch to Highbridge and Burnham, before returning to the main line to continue a journey southwards from Evercreech to Bournemouth.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
Young heiress Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) just wanted to run off with her friend Sam (Van Heflin) but ended up involved in a murder. Years later, Sam returns to find Martha, who is now a powerful figure married to Walter (Kirk Douglas), an alcoholic district attorney. Eventually, Sam is drawn into a web of plotting.
The Strange Woman
In 1820s Maine, beautiful Jenny Hager (Hedy Lamarr) knows she can always get her own way with the men around her. She marries an old local businessman who grants her an important position, but she continues to play around with men, including her husband’s son and the foreman of his company.
Former Nazi Franz Kindler (Orson Welles) lives undercover in Connecticut, working as a teacher and married to the headmaster’s daughter (Loretta Young). But when one of his old German associates arrives in town, bringing a federal investigator (Edward G. Robinson) with him, Kindler will have to take desperate measures to keep his secret.
The Summer of ’67: Last Days of Steam on the Southern
A remarkable programme showing the end of steam on the Southern Region in 1967, full of archive film from in and around Southampton, Bournemouth and London. A review of the end of steam on the main line from London Waterloo to Bournemouth and Weymouth.
Thunder in the City
An aggressive businessman, Dan Armstrong (Edward G. Robinson), goes to England to learn more diplomatic sales techniques. However, while in the UK, he gets involved in the exploitation of Rhodesian mines while competing with Manningdale (Ralph Richardson) for the heart of Lady Patricia (Luli Deste).
Treasure Gardens of England
Alan Titchmarsh takes the viewer on a tour of ten historic English houses: Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire; Chatsworth in Derbyshire; Harewood House in Yorkshire; Castle Howard; the Beaulieu Estate in Hampshire; Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire; Warwick Castle; Wilton House; Leeds Castle in Kent; and Longleat in Wiltshire.
Welcome the Queen!
The newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth II visits her Commonwealth realms aboard her beloved Britannia in an epic journey around the world. This vintage documentary from 1954 sees the globe-trotting monarch in Jamaica, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Gibraltar.