A selection of films here for your delectation, this is the first of three pages; mainly local history and documentary in content. Plenty of railways are covered if that's your thing, but really anywhere slightly unusual that has a story to tell and is not accessed easily by regular folk qualifies it for entry here.

New subjects for exploration and documentation are constantly being sought and considered to add to the list, any suggestions considered.

All titles can be bought through ebay if that is your preferred method (my ebay id is dumpman1), but you can just as easily email me direct on dumpman1@hotmail.co.uk and deal by cheque or paypal if you like.

Have a look at my Latest Film News/Blog section to see what projects I am currently working on.

This list runs chronologically, so the newer titles are added to the bottom; to see the very latest titles scroll down to the end of the third page (Film Catalogue Part 3).


Clayton Railway Tunnel and Cottage 2009

Tunnel Cottage is one of the most unusual houses that lie on railway property. It is the bijou dwelling that nestles between the two imposing, castellated towers that form part of the extraordinary northern entrance to Clayton tunnel on the London to Brighton line.

Built by the LBSCR in the 1840s, the 2266 yard long tunnel is now a grade 2 listed building. The cottage was added to the ramparts in 1849. Some believe that the tunnel and cottage are haunted by the victims of a terrible train crash that happened in the tunnel in 1861.

This film shows the various views that passers by and trainspotters will be used to taken from the nearby road bridge. More interestingly, having gained permission to enter the land, there are numerous views that you would not generally have access to.

These include close up footage of the tunnel mouth, detailed views of the decorative stonework on the facade walls, views of the house and structure from the hill behind and views of the surrounding garden and land.

Although the cottage occupies part of the structure, there are empty catacombs in the hexagonal towers that make interesting viewing; these are shown with the aid of a 5,000,000 candle power torch.

Spectacular views are taken from the top of one of the towers which was accessed specially for this film.

Most exciting is the "secret passage" which runs horizontally into the hillside from the back of the cottage. After some yards it meets a large vertical shaft, much like the ventilator shafts that serve the main railway tunnel. This is also explored with a powerful torch showing as much detail as possible.

Finally, some views at the southern end of the tunnel show the of ventilator shafts along the hilltop in relation to the tunnel mouth. One of the ventilator shafts is seen close up to show how they were all originally constructed with doorways.

 

Includes constant commentary.

Running time: 42 minutes. Price: £6.

 

Crowhurst to Bexhill West Trackbed Explored 2009 (+ extras for 2016)

 

A thorough trek along the disused track bed of this line in January and March 2009.

At the time of filming, there was every indication that a long disputed link road would be built across the stunning Coombe Valley, bisecting the line just to the north of the site of the old viaduct before joining the course of the trackbed from Sidley down to the A259. A huge inspiration was to get out there and capture these images before they were wiped from the landscape forever and replaced by more, senseless, noisy congestion.

Starting at Crowhurst station and then thoroughly working down the track bed, every aspect remaining is examined. See the site of the 17 arch 417 yard viaduct that was blown up in 1969 and get views from either end of where it used to run; a quick nose through the undergrowth shows piles of bricks remaining at both ends that were not removed by demolition contractor. Foundations on the valley floor that would have supported the structure are also featured.

South of the viaduct sees the track converted into a bridleway, whereupon the course of the line is followed by bike, hopping off occasionally to film the underside of bridges. Heading towards a deep cutting on the outskirts of Sidley, the point where the proposed new link road will join the track is speculated upon. Particular attention is paid to bridges from this point on as they will be demolished to create space for the new road. The grand three arch bridge that currently serves Glover's Farm is a particularly good example.

Arriving at the north end of Sidley station having travelled the deep cutting, a thorough nose around the site is carried out. Close ups of the threatened road bridge, views of the site of the station building at road level and numerous shots of the filled in platform areas are included. Perhaps more exciting is finding evidence of the old footbridge that used to serve the platforms by rummaging around on the steep, eastern bank. Brick remains that used to surround the waiting rooms are seen at platform level. Happily, I managed to get some footage in 2006 showing the goods shed inside and out before it was demolished.

South of Sidley, the track bed turns into a superb, green corridor running through the middle of an urban area. This is followed doggedly down as far as the A259 where a junction is to be formed with the link road. A number of awkward to access sights are enjoyed along the way.

Having appreciated where the large, steel bridge that carried the line over the A259 and Down Road would have been, the track runs through what is now Beeching Road Industrial Estate towards the terminus at Bexhill West station. 

A visit inside Bexhill West station building was made possible by the generosity of the current residents and numerous original features remain which were recorded here. Also on the station site, the loco shed remains, at least in part, despite being partially re-clad to make it usable as a current day industrial unit.

Bonus disc added from November 2016. This is not compatible with most standalone dvd players (the one plugged into your telly), but is designed to be viewed in a computer disc drive, more like a cd rom.

It contains over 160 stills that show:

  • A trip up into the clock tower at Bexhill West station, showing dates and signatures left by railwaymen who climbed up over the years to adjust the clock, the clock workings, the transparent clock faces from behind and the various ladders and walkways that lead through the loft area to the clock tower.
  • Numerous shots of Bexhill West station from inside and outside on a gloriously sunny day, including the platform and canopy remains.
  • Bexhill West loco shed as it appears today, inside and out.
  • Work being carried out on the bridges at Sidley station site and Glovers Farm in anticipation of the road being opened, with views along the road/track bed from the top of the latter.
  • Huge road workings in progress around the site of the viaduct and Adam's Farm and views along the track bed to the north.
  • Views of Crowhurst station, including the disused Bexhill West platform and the track bed immediately to the south.
  • Two short video clips; one showing your cameraman emerging into the clock tower at Bexhill West station and another showing the road/track bed being driven towards Sidley station site.

Running time: 3 hours 10 mins (3 x dvd + bonus disc). Price: £12.

 

Tunbridge Wells West Disused Railway Line Tour 2010

A short film showing all accessible track bed on this short stretch of disused single line.

The two stations at Tunbridge Wells, once finished in the late 1800s, needed a rail link between them. LBSCR set about building this in 1872. In railway history terms, it is a fairly late casualty, only being taken out of service in 1986.

Starting at Tunbridge Wells West station (home of the Spa Valley Railway), numerous shots of the old station building are taken across the station yard (now Sainsbury's car park) using the embankment on the south side, much to the bemusement of some of the shoppers. A few views inside the building showing the fabulous multicoloured brickwork and fine features up close are also included.

The relationship between the remaining buildings and the track bed is shown and then we move off east to pick up the course of the line in the Montacute Road coach park. We slip quietly over the fence and under the recently repaired road bridge and then on through the tunnel, which is examined in some detail. The cutting running up to the road bridge carrying Warwick Park Road is travelled until extended gardens block the path of travel.

A footpath a few yards further east that used to carry pedestrians under the line is our next port of call, with unhindered access along the remaining track bed all the way to the old junction with the line that still serves the town today.

Includes constant running commentary and occasional irrelevant observations.

Running time: 28 minutes. Price: £6.

 

Redgate Mill to Heathfield Track Bed Explored 2010

A detailed film showing an exploration of most of the track bed, earthworks, tunnels, stations, bridges and other features that remain on this particularly difficult to access stretch of disused line.

Despite the title, the first scenes in the film are at the still used station at Eridge, where folk would have boarded trains to travel down the Cuckoo line. Subsequently, the line is picked up at Redgate Mill junction, where the Cuckoo line veered away from the current day line to Uckfield.

Closed in 1965, the line was well known for its deep cuttings, towering embankments and being a constant series of reverse curves that made it a potentially dangerous line to travel. At least one case of a loco jumping the rails killing it's driver is documented in the history books. Apart from the numerous spectacular bridges, made from a beautiful brick and local stone mix, there are also two tunnels, numerous signal gantries, telegraph poles and other relics from the time of the railway.

The first station south of Redgate Mill junction was Rotherfield and Mark Cross and the owner of the property allowed full access to film the platform and surrounding area. At one time, there was a swimming pool between the platforms, whereas it is now a water feature in the garden, as seen in the film. 

Although access was not gained into the delapidated Mayfield station, numerous views from the outside are included and a full explanation of how the bypass of 1990 was built along the track bed. Heathfield station is now a shop and numerous views from the outside are also to be seen here. 

In addition to a good look at Argos Hill tunnel and a cycle through Heathfield tunnel, many extremely difficult to access views of the private and secluded track bed are included here; without doubt one of the hardest, but most rewarding disused railways to film in Sussex.

Keep a look out for the albino squirrel that lives in the forest near Heathfield !

Running time: 3 hours (3 x dvds). Price: £12. 

 

Lydford Junction & Mary Tavy Stations Explored 2010 (Devon)

A short film showing some of the views around these two fascinating, Devon, disused stations.

Before closure, two railway companies ran competing train services up this valley with tracks side by side between Tavistock and Lydford. Nowhere is this more clearly visible than at Mary Tavy, highlighting the delightful lunacy that pervaded during the railway boom years.

Lydford junction is significant as it was the only station that was shared by both lines and is often reported as having nothing left to see. Having slipped surreptitiously over the fence and wandered happily along the eerily derelict platforms, I'm delighted to tell you that there are indeed views still worth seeing.

Mary Tavy still has its station building, although this is only briefly focused on here. Far more interesting is what you can see just to the south of the station, showing the proximity of the tracks, the long views down green and empty track beds and the superb granite bridges.

Look out for Great Western Railway boundary marker from 1895 hiding in a hedgerow, a most exciting find. The film concludes with a slide show of stills taken at the time of filming.

Running time: 20 minutes. Price: £5.

 

Princetown to Yelverton Railway Trip Recreated 2010

A lively, amateur enthusiast's journey between these two destinations in April 2010. 

Having walked this line on a family holiday as a child in 1980, I always harboured a wish to come back and do it again, but this time I brought along my camera and a bike. What you see here is a dogged attempt to film nearly all the track bed and all the points of interest on this route, recreating a driver's eye view as if you were sat on the front of the loco !

Starting at Princetown and descending through the moor on a fabulously sunny day, the sites of the various halts (King Tor, Ingra Tor, Burrator) are sought out and a quick nose into the granite quarry of Foggintor is included. These spectacular quarries are where Nelson's Column and sections of London Bridge were extracted from. Indeed, there are still parts of London Bridge that never got delivered that were left sitting by the track bed at the entrance to Swelltor quarry, views of which are included here.

Numerous places where the line was re-built in the 1870s that deviate away from the original Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway of the 1820s are also featured. Other than the delightful views of the moor, you get to see the spectacular Burrator reservoir from above and general distant views off towards Cornwall. 

Descending to the lower end of the line, I managed to get an invitation to go in and film around Dousland station in full detail, where there was much to see. The station building and platform still remain and are lovingly preserved with a number of GWR features to see.

More surprising was the fact that I was allowed in to roam and film to my heart's content around the site of Yelverton station. For many years, this fascinating station site has been notoriously awkward to access and well known for being a closely guarded hidden gem.

The nature reserve that Yelverton station site has become was a really fantastic sight. I was kindly given a detailed tour by the owner and then allowed to film unhindered for as long as I needed to. The fact that I was there in April before all the spring growth obscured all the views made things even better. 

Views include the platforms bringing in the line from Princetown, merging with those of the mainline from Plymouth, a spectacular accommodation bridge, a deep cutting through the rock and a loco inspection pit. Enjoy a trip through the fantastic 680 yard long tunnel towards Horrabridge and marvel at the amount of water pouring through from above ! There are numerous other points of interest; one of the most superb sites I have ever had the pleasure to visit.

Apart from the film which represents the journey down across the moor, there is a section at the end of the third dvd showing a slide show of a number of stills taken at the same time.

The photo used in this listing is one of the aforementioned stills. It shows the greatly overgrown platforms in Yelverton station where passengers from Princetown once alighted as they appear today.

Includes constant, enthusiastic, well informed commentary, packed with historical facts.

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (3 discs). Price: £12. 

 

Cuckfield Royal Observer Corps Bunker - a restoration project 2010

This film shows the progress of a restoration project with a difference ! When the opportunity to do a job on this ROC site came up, bunker enthusiast Mark Russell jumped at it.

Relatively sparsely furnished, but not flooded or badly damaged, this bunker made the perfect site for Mark to put his vision into action: restoring and re-kitting an ROC post to its former glory as it was during its time of use.

A rotten floor was removed, much painting was done, seized pumps were freed and vintage chemical toilets were made to shine like the day they were made. Numerous other authentic and original items were brought in to complete the scene, including bunk beds, communications equipment, bomb plotting maps, tools, rations and a host of other bits of and pieces.

Footage starts in mid 2009 showing a relatively empty space in need of attention. A further visit at the end of 2009 shows great progress in décor improvements, while a final visit in May 2010 shows the full restoration on one of the open days. Mark gives us a detailed history lesson on the surface and then descends to complete an informative tour of this fascinating, underground, historical time capsule.

Running time 52 minutes. Price £6.

 

 

Midhurst to Petersfield Trackbed Explored 2011

A thorough trek along very nearly all the remaining trackbed,starting at Midhurst and finishing at Petersfield. Every effort is made (as usual !) to access even the most awkward and overgrown areas.

Station areas and remains were found at Midhurst, Elsted and Rogate.

Permission to access some of the private sections of the line was granted, contributing some of the most impressive views of what remains. Particular emphasis is placed on capturing any remaining brick structures, such as a trackside hut, bridges and a particularly prevalent number of cattle creeps.

Impressive views that train travellers would have enjoyed on both sides of the line are also taken in. Although much of line runs through countryside, the piecemeal remains that appear in various places through Petersfield are also carefully sought out.

Constant running commentary throughout.

Running time:   1 hour 50 minutes (2 discs). Price £9

 

A short tour of Jack windmill in 2011

Jack and Jill windmills are a well known Sussex landmark up on the Downs just north of Brighton. Jill windmill has been in the care of a trust dedicated to her preservation since 1978 and can be visited by members of the public. Jack windmill has been in private ownership as a residence for many years and glimpses inside are less easy to come by.

Permission was granted to enter and make this short film showing the inside of this extraordinary place. The five floors that make up Jack have been put to a variety of uses over the years, including an observation tower in World War 2; indeed the blackout screens designed to cover each of the windows are still there to see. One floor is given over to a consecrated chapel. Views right up into the inside of the dome are also seen, showing the extraordinary workmanship that went into its construction.

In addition, there is also an old granary which is connected to Jack by an underground passage. A mill that predates Jack called Duncton Mill was partly demolished to make way for Jack's sweeps, but a remaining roundhouse is attached and this is also looked at.

Constant running commentary throughout.

Running time: 20 minutes. Price £5. 

 

 

The Course of the Old A23 through Sussex

This film follows the route that the A23 used to take as it wound its way through Sussex before the current road was completed in the early 1990s and includes some stretches that were decommissioned in the 1960s and 70s. With a camera bolted to the roof of a battered old car, historical commentary is delivered live as the route is travelled.

Starting at Pease Pottage and passing through Handcross, Bolney, Hickstead, Sayers Common, Albourne and Pyecombe before heading south to the outskirts of Brighton, the course of the old road is faithfully followed, noting pubs, past and present, along the way. 

Often a good clue at ground level is the remaining kerbstones used in the major upgrade of the route in the 1930s. Although sections of the current day A23 were built over the old in places, many sections of the original road remain. Some sections were converted to minor roads, some became slip roads for the current A23 and some simply became huge cul-de-sacs. Other sections were physically dug up  and allowed to revert back to nature, becoming giant green lanes.

Through some of the villages, the once bustling highway remains much as it was when the road was moved in the early 90s, whereas numerous crossroads, that were appalling accident black spots during the road's lifetime, became peaceful backwaters almost overnight.

Many clues remain for those too young to remember the old road as it was and for those that are old enough, seeing them again may bring back memories of travelling in what was a different age. It is interesting to remember how windy and undulating this road was compared to the relative uniformity of the current day A23.

The last remaining section still in use at the time of filming that gives a hint of what travelling the old road was like is the infamous Handcross Hill. Largely unchanged since it became a dual carriageway in 1957, for a modern car it is a lunatic roller coaster ride through narrow lanes and steep curves, often catching newcomers unaware. Long overdue work to widen and straighten this section was just starting as this film was made and views just before all the trees came down are included here.

In addition to constant running commentary as the route is travelled, numerous vantage point views from bridges, some vintage views from years gone by and plenty of information are included for the historian.

Running time: 2 hours (2 discs). Price £10.

 

A visit to the disused LSWR / GWR railway crossover arch near Tavistock 2012

A lively, amateur enthusiast's look at what there is left to see at this fascinating and significant disused railway site near Tavistock in Devon in February 2012. 

Before closure, two railway companies ran competing train services up this valley with tracks literally side by side for a distance of about 6 miles between Tavistock and Lydford.   This is clearly visible at the one point where the two lines crossed, highlighting the delightful lunacy that pervaded during the railway boom years.

The first company to lay tracks down this valley was the Great Western and their's was a single track branch line, presumably broad gauge in the early days. Coming later was the London South West mainline, a twin track, which travelled over the GWR line at this point, which is the reason this vast skew bridge was built. 

This short film shows views from both sides of the granite arch at GWR track level, a walk through the tunnel and views from various directions across the top at LSWR level, appreciating the sheer size of the structure. See also the large, twin bore culverts carrying the River Burn under the embankment just next to the arch. Long distance views along the track beds can be seen to the north towards Lydford along the LSWR and to the south towards Tavistock on the GWR (achievable due to filming in winter with minimal leaf cover).

A stunning testament to the engineering of the day which shows no sign of deterioration, is awkward to get to and is invisible on Google Earth, is yours to see up close here.

The photo used in this listing is an actual still taken from the footage.

Includes constant well informed commentary.

Running time: 12 minutes. Price £3.50

 

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Recorded in full moving colour and wonderful stereo sound.

All titles on dvd, vhs only available on special request.

No cover art included, apart from an information slip included with each film. 

Contact: dumpman1@hotmail.co.uk

 

All prices include post and packing. Bulk orders can warrant a small discount !

Any questions or suggestions, feel free to ask or comment.

 

Dumpman Films has no objection to any material being used, copied or distributed with or without permission, go for it. It would be nice to know, but it is by no means required.