Old Stokie’s Great Train Robbery

This clip has proved most popular on the comments below so I am saying the film now arriving at platform one is down to the picaresque from Dresden. No doubt he will claim to have been doing a coalman’s shift on one of those steam locomotives, after he’d done his milk round and before he dropped down t’pit.

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12 Responses to Old Stokie’s Great Train Robbery

  1. chiffs says:

    This is THE train film: “a jug in a bedroom gently shakes”

  2. OS says:

    “Embedding disabled by request.”

    That will teach you to try and outsmart us old fellas, ChiffS. 😉

    The winter of 1963. I was clearing snow up on The Roaches with a JCB. I remember it clearly. It was bloody freezing.

    You shouldn’t get me talking about the olden days, winger. You know how I go on. 😉

    A worse winter was 1947. Much worse. It went on for about six weeks. I was 6 years old and it was bloody brilliant. We used to go to skool on a sledge. The snow drifted up to the roofs and my old dad dug a tunnel from the street to the front door. That was more difficult than you think because the street was 6 feet deep with snow so the tunnel went downbank. There was just me, my bro and my dad cus my mam had buggered off with the lodger and taken my other bro and sister with her. We lived in just one room; the parlour. Everything except having a crap was done in there because the house froze up solid. We cooked rabbits skewered over the fire, and after the coal ran out, we cooked them and also roasted tatties over and in glowing wooden embers. And we all slept together to keep warm. Even now, I can still remember the wonderful, loving feeling of snuggling up to my old dad who smelled of beer and fags. We listened to the wireless when we managed to get the battery charged and sang while dad played the piano. It was magical. It was even more magical because dad stopped drinking so he was sober most of the time. That winter formed a bond between us three that never died and is, probably, the reason why I’m such a family orientated bloke. So, from the ashes of poverty and depradation of the winter of 1947 rose the magnificent, generous, worldy, fun-loving, cantankerous Pheonix that is now OS. It’s all down to my wonderful working class roots. Those well off buggers up High Lane didn’t know what they were missing with their leccy fires, Sancerre and 3 square meals. Get in there, boy. 🙂


  3. OS says:

    Here ya go, ChiffS. I managed to circumnavigate the blockage. 😉

    It’s very good, I give ya that.

    OS. XXX

  4. OS says:

    About MY film.

    Snow was Geoffrey Jones’ first film for British Transport Films (BTF) but it owes its existence to a happy twist of fate. In September 1962 Jones began his research for a film about design for the British Railways Board. Armed with a 16mm camera, he travelled throughout the country, shooting film ‘notes’ of anything he found particularly interesting.

    Viewing the footage, Jones was struck by several images of black steam trains churning down the tracks against a glaring white backdrop, and hit upon the idea of making a new, separate film contrasting the comfort of the passengers with the often Herculean efforts of the workmen to keep the trains going in hazardous conditions. On January 31st, 1963 Jones met with BTF head Edgar Anstey. Realising that the film would have to be made quickly or delayed until the following winter, Anstey agreed straightaway and shooting commenced the very next day. Jones and his barebones crew proceeded to chase winter conditions across the country.

    Unable to afford his first choice of music, ‘Teen Beat’ by American Jazz musician Sandy Nelson, Jones had British musician Johnny Hawksworth re-record the tune, expanding it to twice its original length by reducing it to half its original speed at the start and steadily accelerating the tempo over a period of eight minutes to a speed approximately twice as fast as the original. Daphne Oram of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop added various filters.

    Viewing Snow can be a hypnotic experience. Jones begins the film with a slow military throb, with the railway station and tracks all but buried beneath a mountain of snow and ice. The pace increases with the workmen’s clearing of the tracks, and while the trains barrel through the snow-covered countryside, the music accelerates. The percussive editing between trains and environment reaches a joyous crescendo with a rapid succession of pounding snow, churning pistons, fields of livestock and the ever-present tracks, ending in a wild flourish of percussion.

    Snow received at least 14 major awards upon its release, as well an Oscar nomination in 1965. It has been screened around the world and remains a favourite of fans of Geoffrey Jones’ work and British Transport Films. Most importantly, this film marked the first full realisation of Jones’ signature style, which he would expand upon and refine in subsequent films like Rail (1966), Trinidad and Tobago (1964) and Locomotion (1975).

  5. calvininjax says:

    Wasn’t Locomotion in 1962 with Little Eva? 😉

    I think you and I, OS, are probably the only ones posting on here who lived through the winter of 63. But you got me beat on 1947.

  6. OS says:

    winger is older than he lets on, Calvin. He might have been a twinkle in his dads eye or he could have been snuggled in his mums tum then.

    I bet you liked the last post I did. I sort of copied the style you use on your oh so popular blog. I must admit to a ‘slight’ bit of plagiarism. The post of 11.36 is all mine though. 😉

    BTW, winger, did Jackson Fosterboy receive the parcel and card from Swiss for his 21st b’day, which you ignored completely?


  7. markelt says:

    No. This is THE train film

    Fair takes me back to the days I used to live on orange peel and candle wax, I can tell you.

  8. mum says:

    Just a quick reply OS as we are off to Western Park for a long weekend ( Model Airplane Show ! )
    I remember 1947 I was five and lived in Audley at the time it was brrrrrrr !!!
    1963 Steve was 6 months old and pushed up and down to Tunstall in a Silver Cross pram !!!!!!
    🙂 🙂

  9. OS says:

    A SILVER CROSS pram! And there was me pushed about in a rickety old 1920’s pushchair with no hood on and open to all the elements. It’s no wonder I’m well arrrd and your boy is a bit of a nancy. You spoiled him big style. 😉 Enjoy your weekend. XXX

    Oi, Eil, stop pinching my anecdotes. You forgot the apple cores which shows you’re lying. ;(


  10. AndyP says:

    That Casey Jones need to find himself a decent Fireman – too much black smoke coming out, clearly a sign of too many “lumps” on.

    Here’s a film a little closer to the Potteries:

  11. AndyP says:

    On the buses – Hanley style (or aka “Nothing but a jumped up little town”).

    Interesting yet poignant and even depressing documentary about Hanley bus station and the ordinary folks that frequent it.

  12. calvininjax says:

    Now you shouldn’t have mentioned Casey Jones.

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