Your picture of D1058 at Long Rock brought back memories as the path from which you took your picture was very close to my great Aunt Annie’s cottage.(I cannot remember her surname)I used to be taken there as a boy and,as usual, was told to sit still and not ask for anything!
When I heard a whistle for Long Rock crossing I WAS allowed to run out onto that path and was always thrilled to see the trains as they stormed by. Thanks and best wishes, Michael. Many thanks to you.
Thanks for dealing with these.
Copyright Michael Forward
As an avid viewer of British Transport Films' work, I have often wondered whether the one I saw being made would ever come to light. I can still well remember the morning the film crew arrived unannounced and set up their bulky cameras and lamps to shoot a scene for a documentary following a consignment from Truro. It must have been one of the last productions as the unit was disbanded in 1982, although the occasional film was made thereafter.
Only yesterday, 41 years later, I saw "Using TOPS" for the first time. The 25 seconds of what was shot at Exeter Riverside that morning (actually, the crew was still at work when I went off duty at 1400), concluding with the train leaving the yard, can be seen from 11m. 47s. Arthur Harris is on the phone in the East ("Top") End Chargeman's cabin. I remember him rolling up his trouser leg to show us his wound, sustained in Italy: "All of us caught one and the Captain was killed." Receiving his call in the TOPS Office is Clerical Officer Stefan Wasniowski, who left B.R. with me in 1995. His father had come over with the Polish air force at the start of the war. "Charlie" is "B" Supervisor Charlie Holmes. Unusually, he left the railway not long afterwards. He had a knack for organization and would put down the phone after effortlessly arranging the day's trip working to talk about the next dance he was putting on. I made posters for one of these and was rewarded with his 1890 G.W.R. rule book, with its special provisions for working west of Exeter.
The director told me to keep my back to the camera because I was too pretty. I expect the instruction would be the same today, but for a different reason. In fact, I don't appear at all. But I was there.
The film depicts a vanished world, not least at Truro and St. Blazey. I wonder if any faces in the Cornish scenes can be identified by your members.
"Using TOPS" can be watched on the B.F.I. page:
This one has some comments, many of them deriding the railway operation:
Who'd have thought in 1978 that one day anyone would be able to shoot a film in high definition using a phone and post it instanter on the worldwide cesspit?
Cheers, Colin. Many thanks indeed Colin