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On 16 October 1965, the ‘Midland Loco Requiem’ railtour, headed by 43953, one of the last Midland Railway Class 4F 0-6-0s, left Nuneaton. The tour followed the ex-MR line through Shackerstone and Gresley to Burton-on-Trent, from where it took the freight-only route to Trent Junction. Leaving north from Trent Junction the tour headed for Kirby-in-Ashfield, Mansfield and Staveley, after which it journeyed down the Bolsover and Glapwell Colliery branch. From here it ran via Chesterfield to the Erewash Valley en route to Pye Bridge and Ambergate, where filming of the tour came to an end due to failing light.
The programme also features many scenes at Derby and Nottingham, where trolleybuses were still an everyday sight. The programme’s focus is on the wide variety of steam classes that still operated as the 1960s unfolded. From tank locos on the rail network that served the breweries of Burton-on-Trent, to BR-built ‘9F’ 2-10-0s on coal trains through the Trent Valley. Black 5s, 4Fs, 8Fs and Scots also feature in a programme, which is a reminder of the once immense rail traffic that characterised the East Midlands.
Between 1959 and 1968, railway enthusiast and cine-cameraman, Michael Marsden, recorded views and sounds of the rapidly changing face of Britain’s rail network. For over twenty-five years after steam ended, he captivated audiences throughout the country with his unique film collection that captured steam’s last decade and the full emergence of the diesel locomotive. The blending of this film and that of other cameramen with true sounds of the era, plus an informative narrative, has resulted in the creation of this superb range of railway DVDs detailing the last decade of British mainline steam operations.