‘Memories of the Cuckoo Line’ film premiere in Hailsham

MANY YEARS have passed since splendid steam trains coughed smoke and sped down the Cuckoo Line.

But golden memories of the branch railway route, from Tunbridge Wells west to Eastbourne, have been revived in a fascinating film made by Branch Line Video.

Called ‘Memories of the Cuckoo Line’, the film will have two public premieres at 2.15pm and 7.45pm at Hailsham Pavilion on September 28.

Tickets cost £3.50 in advance from the pavilion box office.

Ian Pringle, film director, will be at the premiere screenings to sign DVD copies of the film.

He said: “I can remember the thrill of travelling on the branch lines of Sussex as a schoolboy.

“The country railway had a magic all of its own back then. Steam was still the order of the day.

“Our film captures the atmosphere and character of a much-loved line through the glorious countryisde of East Sussex.”

The service between Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells was axed by the Beeching cuts in 1965.

But filmmakers have put together more than 50 minutes of rare cine film and still photos to create a documentary lasting 105 minutes.

The film gives a brief history of the line followed by a survey of all the stations en route.

Archive cine film and still photos show the working railway as it was up until closure to passengers and the goods train which ran from Polegate to Heathfield until 1968.

A ‘then and now’ sequence will show the changes to the railway sites in the past few decades since its demise.

Former railway folk have been interviewed, giving their precious memories of life on the line.

The film goes on general release on October 10 2011 to be available on DVD.