Film ID: YFA 2896 Video of YFA_2896 Butter Train Derailment BUTTER TRAIN DERAILMENT c.1943 Visitor TabsDescription This is an amateur film that shows a train that was transporting butter having been derailed during the Second World War in the village of Clayton, West Yorkshire. The film opens with a long shot of a train track and a derailed wagon that is stuck on the railway banking. Close-ups then show metal and wood shards debris from the derailment. Then men are seen slowly clearing away the rubbish from the track and surrounding bank using a crane. Later a group of men stand on the tracks two men pose together as they start to use a leaver to lift the wreckage. The film closes showing an upturned wagon lying to the side of the track as a goods train passes. Context This very short and distinctive film captures a local story in Clayton during the Second World War. From a distance, the camera showcases the carnage that has been caused by the butter train derailment as small figures forlornly examine the mechanical wreck that litters the line. However, we assume success is just around the corner as they employ machinery to aid their mammoth task. Butter was one of the first foods to be rationed by the British government during the Second World War on 8th January 1940. The consumption of bacon and sugar was also restricted on the same date. The butter allowance steadily decreased during the war, and by April 1945 Britons were only allowed 57g (2oz) of butter per person each week. Needless to say, the derailment of the butter train in 1943 will have had a significant impact on rationing in the Clayton area.