'Along These Lines'. Following the successful screening of this series on Meridian Television in the south of England between April and June 2008, Platform 14 Ltd (the production company) has very kindly provided the club with a selection of stills from the programmes, which can be viewed here. Several members of the club – including Ralph Rawlinson, Ron Strutt and Jeff Vinter – helped in a consultancy rôle. The official website for the series can be accessed here, while this link gives details of how to order the series on DVD. We hope to add further samples in due course.

Above: A view of Holmsley station in the New Forest, formerly on the London, Southampton & Dorchester Railway's main line from Southampton to Dorchester via Ringwood and Wimborne. The line took a very sinuous route through the forest, causing it to be dubbed 'Castleman's Corkscrew' after Charles Castleman, the Wimborne solicitor who promoted it. In this attractive view from 2007, one could be forgiven for thinking that the station was still operational, especially with a length of awning visible to the right (actually a modern construction over the servery for the garden). However, it's just an illusion: the station is now a very popular tea room – but an ideal refreshment stop for anyone tracing the old line on foot or by bicycle. Autumn 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)

Above: Stan Symes with Hannah Shellswell, who presented the series, on the trackbed between Brockenhurst and Holmsley near Setthorns. Stan joined the Southern Railway in August 1939 as an engine cleaner at Bournemouth Depot, working his way up to become first a fireman and then a driver. He regularly drove steam locomotives from Waterloo to Weymouth, including turns over both Castleman's line and the Swanage branch. When British Rail withdrew steam in 1967, he switched to driving electric trains, but the preservation movement (and the Swanage Railway in particular) gave him an opportunity to return to his first love – driving steam locomotives. Stan's long railway career is recalled in his book 55 Year on the Footplate, published by Oakwood Press. Autumn 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)
Above: West of Yarmouth station and just to the north of the trackbed of the former Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway, this four-wheeled railway carriage survives behind Yarmouth Mill. The railways on the Isle of Wight were the last working place for many old vehicles, and the whole island network was kept going by hand-me-downs. The doors at each end of this vehicle have been taken out and boarded up, while the jarring crimson of the ventilators over the central windows makes them look like a plastic add-on, although close inspection of the original photograph suggests that they are original. We were unable initially to trace the history of this carriage, but Pete Jardine has now supplied details – click here for his report. Autumn 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)
Above: The locals at Shillingstone, in Dorset, still feel a strong affinity for their lost railway – the former Somerset & Dorset line that linked Bath with Bournemouth. The S&D episode of 'Along These Lines' tells how the old railway is being brought back to life as a multi-use path – The North Dorset Trailway – which will re-link towns and villages along the way. Already, the Trailway runs along the platform on the left, linking Sturminster Newton (about 3 miles behind the photographer) with Gains Cross (about 2½ miles ahead). In time, it is hoped that it will run all the way from Templecombe to Poole. Autumn 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)
Above: The former Longmoor Military Railway – one of the last bastions of steam in the south of England – featured in another programme. Between Liss Forest Road and Liss (LMR), the line is now owned by East Hampshire District Council, which maintains it as a walk and cycle trail. As can be seen, it makes an attractive walk in November, when the trackbed is carpetted in leaves. North of Liss Forest Road, the line still belongs to the army, but the general public is allowed access outside times of national emergency, which means that it is possible to walk the LMR's main line all the way to Whitehill, near Bordon. Autumn 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)
Above: The blue-jeaned figure in the previous photograph is revealed as the club's President, David Shepherd OBE, who is seen here with a trio of his paintings – and Hannah Shelswell. The two obviously hit it off! The steam painting is of Nine Elms Shed in the last days of steam. After the LMR closed, David tried to establish a preserved railway over the southern end of the line, but was defeated by spirited opposition from the locals. Nonetheless, David had plenty to tell about steam days at Liss, including the antics of volunteers who took a bath in the water tower that once stood nearby. David is leaning against the edge of the LMR platform at Liss, with the footbridge of the nearby main line station visible in the top left of the photograph. Autumn 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)
Above: Apart from the railway aspect of each programme, 'Along These Lines' also gave a flavour of the social history of the areas once served by these vanished lines of southern England. This is a scene from the 2007 Hop Festival in Hawkhurst, Kent, with the film crew much in evidence. The town's branch line, which started at Paddock Wood, once received hop pickers' specials from London – 'long trains of ancient carriages' – in the days when hop picking in Kent's hop gardens provided thousands of families from the capital with a cheap working holiday. The lady in the black outfit is Kitty French, who travelled on these trains as a child and was one of the main contributors to this episode. Late summer 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)
Above: Horsebridge station is situated in the beautiful Test Valley in Hampshire, on the former railway from Romsey to Andover; a line which started life as the Andover Canal, only for the canal company to turn itself into a railway when it saw the shape of things to come. The station was ruinous when Val Charrington and her husband purchased it in the 1980s, but this striking photograph shows a little of what they have achieved in their wholesale restoration. Horsebridge station is now a popular venue for wedding receptions. The signal box seen here is not the original, but a replacement which Val purchased from British Rail for £1. It was transported to Horsebridge from Kent on a low loader, finishing its journey by travelling along the old trackbed from Mottisfont, which now accommodates part of the Test Way long distance footpath. Summer 2007. (Platform 14 Ltd)