Title ID 6024Collection ID879
TitleRomney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
CollectionRichard Armstrong
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionHoliday
KeywordsAnimals Beaches Cars Railways Roads Rural Areas Steam Locomotives Tourism Trains Transport Urban Areas Uniforms
LocalHythe Dymchurch Romney Dungeness
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionRichard Armstrong
CameraRichard Armstrong
FormatColour Sound
Duration8 minutes
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This colour film follows the film-maker on a journey on the Romey, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, stopping at several stations and junctions, watching the railway engineers move train stock and maintain the engines. The film has music and intertitles throughout.


The film opens with a title and views of the front of a building 'World's smallest public railway' followed by a credit slate 'Presented by Richard Armstrong aged 11 years'. The film begins with shots of a train timetable that runs from Hythe to Dungeness to illustrate the running order of the film. A shot of a sign marked 'Hythe' is followed by shots of the signals, track and station platforms as a steam train enters the station for passengers to board. The film-maker captures a RHDR engine (Hurricane?) on a turntable, being rotated by track staff, so it can collect passenger carriages at Hythe Station. Mixed shots of scenic views from on board the train passing through the countryside follow, as the train then passes over a level crossing at Dymchurch to enter the station, where more passengers board and disembark. More shots follow of countryside and village scenes of the train on route to New Romney. At New Romney the train enters the station, where a railway engineer oils the engine, for it to then continue on its journey to Dungeness. Several close-up shots follow of engines at New Romney Station. Intertitle: 'After New Romney there is only a single track' to be followed by mixed coastal views across the landscape as the train passes, and then runs parallel to a main road. The train finally arrives at Dungeness station where the film ends with a title over an illustrated map of the region.

Contextual information

Material from the official Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway website:

"The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in Kent is a 15 inch gauge railway which opened in 1927. The RH&DR was the culmination of the dreams of two men; Captain J. E. P. Howey — a sometime racing driver, millionaire land owner, former Army Officer and miniature railway aficionado and Count Louis Zborowski — eminently well-known racing driver of his day... The Count was keen to build a fully working express railway using the 15" gauge and Howey — well known in miniature circles for owning large locomotives to the gauge — was also inspired by the vision. To try to fulfil their ambition the pair attempted to purchase the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in the Lake District, but to no avail.

Despite this setback, the Count ordered two pacific locomotives (Green Goddess and Northern Chief), to be designed by the leading model engineer of his day, Henry Greenly and built in Colchester by Davey, Paxman and Co. and which would run on the miniature express line the pair were determined to build. Before they were delivered however, the Count was killed while racing at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix. Howey was left with two locos and the task of finding somewhere to run them. He commissioned Greenly to help him and it was he that came up with the Romney Marsh."