Fawley Branch, Wareham, Along Southern Lines, Part 7 - Dorset, B & R Vol 184 DVD
The Southern always seemed to be the happy friendly holiday line. Their public relations officer the great Sir John Elliot’s slogan was the sun always came soonest to the Southern. This volume begins at Waterloo Station where many happy parents weighed down with suitcases, and their excited children carrying their buckets and spades started their holidays.
We see rebuilt Bulleid pacifics depart from Waterloo. The prestigious Bournemouth Belle is seen passing through Clapham Junction and Common. One of Maunsell’s famous Schools is seen at Woking. A brief visit across country to Guildford where an N Class mogul departs on a train. We quickly return to the Bournemouth main line and several rebuilt pacifics are seen at Southampton Central. This is followed by a nice sequence at Millbrook. The Redbridge causeway is crossed and a Maunsell S15, Standards and Bulleids are seen at Totton station. A trip is taken down the Fawley branch behind two USA tanks. An earlier special sees an H16 tank at Fawley.
Rejoining the mainline, we have a footplate trip into the New Forest complete with views of it’s famous ponies. There are scenes at Lyndhurst Road and shots of Bulleids at Brockenhurst. The Lymington branch train is seen arriving and departing. Standard Class 4, Ivatt and M7 tanks are seen on the branch. There is even a trip behind a Q1 on a railtour. Travelling further west we see Bulleids and Standards climbing Sway bank. A nice long sequence of film at Bournemouth Central station and shed follows, with many engines seen including Lord Nelsons and M7s. Next stop is the now closed line to Bournemouth West. The severely curved platform at Poole sees plenty of activity.
The rarely filmed lines to the west of Poole and the Oxbow bridge are seen, before we head for Wareham and the Swanage branch which is fortunately beautifully preserved. Standard and Ivatt tanks are seen on the line, along with specials top and tailed by Bulleids and Standard 4s. The sun did not always shine and we see some shots taken in the pouring rain. On departing the branch and Wareham, several shots are seen across Ashley Heath before arriving at the old Dorchester South Station with its separate up and down platforms and its complex movements before the station was rebuilt. Bulleids reign supremely here. A train is then boarded for the journey to Weymouth.
All the archive film is in colour apart from a few seconds in black & white.. An authentic soundtrack has been added along with a researched commentary.