On Location with Rocket

Last Friday was one of the more unusual occurrences in my job: location filming with a locomotive from the collection.

Quite often staff are called to be interviewed at York or Shildon for television or radio. But this time, Windfall Films asked to film the replica Rocket in action on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – and I was asked to be interviewed as part of the process. Adding excitement to the occasion was the fact that this was in the middle of the NYMR’s 175th anniversary gala, and we only had use of the line for filming from 6.30am to 10am.

Thus it was that at 4am, Matthew Ellis and I arrived at New Bridge Yard to prepare Rocket for its starring role, cleaning it and raising steam ready for a sharp start – and a full day, as eventually with static detail filming and further interview sections, we were going until just around 2pm. By which time I was ready for bed!

So here’s a selection of pictures of the day, to give a flavour of what was involved:

As dawn breaks around 4.20am, the fire is going well and it's just light enough to start cleaning

Over 100 years of locomotive evolution are seen as Black 5s 44871 and 45407 pass Rocket back at New Bridge - they trace their lineage directly back to the Stephenson machine

After the loco's turn in the limelight, the cameras were pointed at me!

Running around 20 miles an hour, Rocket performs a filming run by north of New Bridge

Mobile cameras are rigged up on the loco as mobile camera angles are checked

I caught this portrait of Rocket during a lull in proceedings as the cameras were removed from the engine

About Anthony Coulls

Anthony is Senior Curator of Rail Vehicles at the NRM and has been an active heritage railway volunteer since 1988
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