The Friends of the
National Railway Museum

South of England Group
Vice Presidents: Richard Hardy; Sir William McAlpine Bt, FRSE, FCIT, FRSA

Last Update

Talk Synopsis

3 January 2006

16mm film presentation
Alan Willmot
12 May 1997

In these days of video, Alan Willmot passion is in preserving the delights of giving presentations using real 16 mm cine film. Alan used to work with the British Transport Film unit. He left BR recently and this has allowed him to devote more time to his precious film and giving shows to appreciative audiences. Our own reception was no different.

Alan presented a selection of films from the 50s and 60s. Many of these were sponsored by commercial organisations, We started with one of these, which although dealing with BR at Euston, was actually made for the British Iron and Steel Federation 1955, The second film was of a typical journey of the Royal Scot train, made for BR.. Alan followed this with a recent acquisition - a "magazine film" from British Petroleum. These were issued at regular intervals and used to publicise the company to groups at social clubs. This one looked at the training of London taxi men, Then followed a film of the Emmett railway at the Festival of Britain, and a look at transport on the River Thames, followed by "The Elephant Will Never Forget" - a record of the last day of London trams. "This is York" came next, recorded in the winter of 1953 and told by then Station Master. Finally, Alan presented a colour film made in 1966 "Forward to First Principals". This was produced for schools and colleges to tell the story of freight transport . Prof Jack Symmonds was the commentator and the film was produced by Edgar Anstey. The film was made on Eastmann111 Colour which is notorious for fading with time and Alan has the best print available. Overall a very enjoyable evening watching films as they used to be.

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