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A glorious celebration of Eastleigh Works, including a rare collection of news programmes from BBC South, a personal film by the ‘voice of cricket’ John Arlott, Bruce Parker’s news documentary and seldom-seen footage of several events held at Eastleigh. The main feature is the 100th anniversary celebrations, with dozens of steam and diesel locomotives on display including four Bulleid Pacifics.
John Arlott made several small films in the early 1960s, including this one about Eastleigh. Made in black and white, we see it in its full length. Twenty years later Bruce Parker presented a longer news documentary about Eastleigh at a time when the town was facing challenging times with the threat of total closures. Three films in total are presented here with thanks to BBC South.
2009 witnessed the 100th anniversary of the locomotive works at Eastleigh. We see some footage of a few previous open days which used to be a regular feature in the railway calendar. Over the May bank holiday in 2009, the biggest of these was held to celebrate the works’ 100 year history. We see the build-up to the event with rolling stock movements from the Swanage Railway, Mid-Hants, South Devon and London all converging on Eastleigh.
Once in position, the doors were opened and over 19,000 people came along to see the dozens of steam and diesel locomotives on display in the sunny hot weather. Our footage includes scenes around the Works site over the weekend with four Bulleid Pacifics at one point, naming ceremonies for Class 73s and 50s, M7 No. 53 and Beattie well tank on a brake van train and displays inside the old erecting shops. See the works in its derelict condition in 2006 and hear in our interview with Bruce Knights, how he started to re-generate the site for stabling and overhauling rolling stock once again with the possibility of more construction in the future.