Title ID 2848Collection ID353
TitleThe Steyning Line
Date6 February 1965
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
KeywordsBeaches Buildings Cars Landscape Piers [Palace Pier, Brighton] Piers [West Pier, Brighton] Railway Stations Railways Roads Rural Areas Seaside Resorts Trains Transport
LocalSouthwater West Grinstead Partridge Green Henfield Steyning Bramber Shoreham-by-Sea Southwick Portslade Hove Brighton
RegionalWest Sussex Brighton and Hove
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionCyril Phillips
CameraCyril Phillips
FormatColour Silent
Duration34min. 13sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Two amateur film-makers record a journey on the Steyning Line from Christ's Hospital to Brighton made one month prior to the lines closure. The film shows the entire trip, including the car journey to Christ's Hospital station, and includes views from the diesel train of the countryside and stations on route. The film also features scenes of Brighton as the men make their way from the Station to the seafront and back before making the return journey.


[Ilford Colourcine ident]. The film opens with a sign which reads: "The Steyning Line March 5 1965"; [credits]. A three-wheeler car arrives at a house to pick up a man, a woman waves him off from the doorstep. The car travels to Christ's Hospital station where the passenger is seen walking into the station building. The driver, with a camera, is filmed getting out of the car as a train arrives at the station.

The men board the train and film the journey to West Grinstead, via Southwater. The train stops briefly at Southwater before continuing past the Southwater Brickworks. Next it arrives at West Grinstead; a man waves from the window as the train continues on its journey. Traveling south, it stops again at Partridge Green, Henfield, Steyning, Bramber (with views of Beeding Cement Works), Shoreham Harbour (with views of the harbour), Southwick, Portslade and West Hove and Hove. On arrival at Brighton station the film-makers get off the train.

The film shows dark scenes of the station, including a W.H. Smith kiosk and views of the station forecourt from Queens Road. The film-maker walks down Queens Road, filming shops and the Clock Tower at the junction with North Street and West Street. The Regent Theatre is seen advertising the Sound of Music and there are views of West Street looking north. The men cross Kings Road; one of them is seen taking photographs of the seafront and changing the film in his camera. The film continues to show views of the seafront including the empty beach (apart from fishing boats and canoeists) and the Palace Pier. The men walk down onto the beach to film the canoeists, a small group of people have also gathered to watch. After a close-up shot of a pocket watch the men make the return journey on foot to Brighton station along East Street and through the Pavilion Gardens.

At the station they board the train to make the journey home. The train pulls out out of the station and the journey seen earlier is now seen in reverse. One of the men is seen reading a magazine whilst the other films the view from the window of the train. It makes numerous stops at stations on route before arriving at Christ's Hospital station where the men leave the train.

From the platform the train is filmed traveling on towards Horsham. The men are seen walking back to their car. Being late in the day, the sun is now setting and so the shots are rather dark and grainy. The film ends with views from the car on the journey home. Title: "The End".