Film ID:
NEFA 21201



Visitor Tabs


This early cine club documentary pays tribute to pioneering Northumbrian railway engineers, George and Robert Stephenson. Filmed partly on 23 May 1929 at North Road Engine Works in Darlington, invited guests admire an impressive full size working replica of the most famous of all locomotives, The Rocket. Bound for the Henry Ford Museum, USA, the iconic Rocket is dwarfed by the modern Pacific Bayardo locomotive on the tracks, a dramatic illustration of 100 years of steam locomotive development. Includes shots of the Stephenson family’s early homes in Wylam and Killingworth. This film was produced by James Cameron, one of the founders of Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers' Association (ACA).

Title: Kodak Safety Film

Title: ACA

Title: The Rocket

Credit: Photographed and produced by James Cameron of the Newcastle branch of the Amateur Cinematographers Association

Title: On June 9th 1781 - George Stephenson was born in a humble cottage at Wylam

The film opens with a general view of George Stephenson's cottage beside the railway line at Wylam in Northumberland. A man walks along a path beside the cottage and goes inside. Close-up of a plaque on the cottage dedicated to George Stephenson, erected by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. A final general view of his home closes this sequence.

Title: 24 years later - in 1805 - the Stephenson's moved to Killingworth

General view of Dial Cottage, West Moor, Killingworth. There is a close up of a sundial and plaque above the door.

Title: - and the birth of an idea became an established fact with the making of The Rocket

A still of a photograph of Robert Stephenson's Rocket follows.

Title: - which on October 6th 1829 attained the surprising speed of 29 miles per hour!

Brief still of the photograph of Stephenson's Rocket.

Title: 100 years later - the firm of Robert Stephenson & Co. Ltd of Darlington - produced an exact replica of the famous engine

A small crowd of invited guests are gathered around the replica Rocket at North Road Engine Works in Darlington.

Title: Under steam 25th May 1929

The Rocket replica travels along the test track for the first time passing Pacific Bayardo diesel engine on another track.

Title: Notice the water barrel

The Rocket is then reversed, the size of the water barrel on the engine noticeable, a good crowd lining the track. An engineer oils one of the cylinders and steam valves on the Rocket. A cine camera on a tripod is handed down to a man standing on the track beside the diesel engine. There’s a shot of The Rocket’s distinctive chimney.

Portrait shot of the Rocket’s driver posing at the controls, with close footage of the full body of the engine following.

An engineer hops across the track behind the replica Rocket as it reverses back down the track (close to camera) at speed. Overhead shot taken from the diesel engine of The Rocket replica engine travelling in reverse watched by the crowd of guests.

Title Dignity and Impudence

Looking towards the workshops of the North Road Engine Works in the background, the replica Rocket travels forward, dwarfed by the huge, modern diesel engine on the next track. There is a brief view of the cabin and controls inside the modern locomotive.

Title: Compared with the simple controls of the Rocket - the present day engines are amazing

A second longer view inside the engine cabin of the diesel locomotive.

Title: - Stephenson's wildest dreams could not have portrayed this -

Title: A tribute to a great genius

General view of the bronze Stephenson Memorial on Neville Street in Newcastle with pedestrians walking past. The offices of the British Engine Boiler and Electrical Insurance Co. Ltd. Are in the background. There is a closer shot of the engraved 'Stephenson' name on the monument and close-ups of each of the four seated figures at the base of the monument.

Title: 1781 - 1848 George Stephenson

Title: The End