Portillo's TV programme & War Department stock

by Vic Mitchell


Railway's TV-wise man, Michael Portillo, has told the story of WWI and the need for railways in his BBC series 'Railways of the Great War', which was repeated last week. In particular, the use of 60cm portable track was discussed. One of the lightweight Simplex petrol-powered locomotives was able to haul the first trains on the revived Festiniog Railway.


The highlight of the series was a long interview with Tony Rudgard, a local friend. He explained how his father, Harold, had been an innovative loco engineer on the Midland Railway and how, eventually, his skills benefitted our Army, greatly.


I witnessed his brilliant management style after he became chairman of the FR Society and I was appointed a director, unexpectedly, in the mid-1950s. Harold taught me concept promotion, which has helped in the expansion of my Middleton Press.


His military transport success is detailed by Tony in Part 2 of this TV series. All five episodes are excellent viewing, and can still be seen on BBC iPlayer – available until early December 2018. If you don't know how to access this, ask around computer friends. I did!


Don't miss them!









Shopping Basket

Latest News

Following the good news that the Department for Transport is to pledge £500m to reinstate some previously axed local services, this is a golden…
05 February 2020

  Environmental benefits: Reduction of road traffic, accidents and air pollution. Also, increased…
25 October 2019

Local author, Peter Jones, will be launching 'Colchester Tramways' on Saturday 10th August 2019, from 10.30am at the Red Lion Bookshop, High Street,…
23 July 2019

Quick Downloads

Middleton Press Brochure

Our Brochure provides a quick and easy guide to all our publications and features…

Alphabetical List of Railway Albums

Great Railway Armchair Journeys - Each album takes you on a journey between the towns…

Guide to Railway Albums Index

For Use with The ‘Guide to Railway Albums’ Map

Index to Stations

Our Index to Stations/Location provides a comprehensive printable listing of all…

Index for National Rail Passenger Network Diagram 2018 & 2019

Index for National Rail Passenger Network Diagram 2018.

Railway DVD List

Our DVD List provides a quick and easy guide to our Railway DVDs.