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Black Five - The Last Days of Steam in July

BFI have announced the UK DVD release of Black Five – The Last Days of Steam on 28th July 2008 priced at £12.99. On this disc are three films by Paul Barnes that celebrate and regret the final days of steam on the railways – preserved by the BFI National Archive and newly re-mastered for DVD release to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of steam in Britain

In 1968, enginemen faced the last months of steam haulage on Britain’s mainline railways. For those who worked on the Black 5 locomotive the inevitable progress to diesels and electrics prompted mixed feelings.

Black Five (1968) directed by Paul Barnes, records their reminiscences as they faced this great change in their lives – of craftsmanship, camaraderie, and of the ‘personality’ of these great machines. The DVD also contains two other short films by Paul Barnes. The Painter and the Engines (1967) follows painter David Shepherd’s race against time to record on canvas the magic and romance of steam during the locomotives’ last weeks at South London’s Nine Elms sheds. King George V (1970) charts the history of the celebrated locomotive, which was taken out of service in 1965 but offered a length of siding at Bulmers of Hereford to continue running, in steam.

The set also includes an illustrated booklet containing newly commissioned essays and notes.

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