We are pleased to announce that the film "It Started with a Train Ride" has been been premiered to many of the people who have been involved in the project and you can now watch it on our YouTube channel or here on the website.
Thousands of children were evacuated by train to new homes in rural parts of the country during World War 2. Some were children living in Wallsend and North Tyneside, who travelled to their new lives in the Haltwhistle area by train along the Tyne Valley Railway.
Back in 2019, we were inspired to start a project to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the evacuation and this film is the result of that project.
Wallsend Local History Society undertook research, locating and interviewing more than 30 former evacuees, who had so many fascinating stories to tell. This video has only been possible because so many people recounted their memories, so a huge thank you to them. With financial help through crowdfunding and from North of Tyne Combined Authority, the project to create this film began. Haltwhistle Film Project and FilmAble (a film production company run by and for people with learning disabilities) recorded interviews with the evacuees, created animations and then with the help of young people from the Haltwhistle area, recreated scenes of the evacuation.
A train ride continues to bring together urban and rural communities and this project has brought together people of different generations and abilities.
The film has been shortlisted in the 2022 Community Rail Awards in the Involving Diverse Groups category.
We are indebted to all the evacuees who shared their memories, to members of Wallsend Local History Society, to our funders and rail industry supporters (CrossCountry and Northern), to the film makers, Gareth Davies Jones for the music and the young people of the Haltwhistle area - brownies, rainbows, scouts and the Young and Sweet youth club.