Life of the MSWJR (2013)

Cinematographer, Director, Editor, Producer, Sound Recording

Production Credit: Filmmaker

The Life of the Midland & South Western Junction Railway

This documentary film was created as part of Claire’s sixth form studies at The Wellington Academy, Wiltshire. It depicts a brief history of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway and features interviews with a variety of people in connection with the line, focusing on the Collingbourne Villages and Ludgershall area.


Sir Tony Robinson (Time Team, Blackadder), Jim Stoodley (Guinness World Record-Youngest Untutored Pilot) and Michael Barnsley (Author of MSWJR, Vol I, II, II) share their anecdotes and research, as well as many other locals’ memories with personal connections to the railway.

me and tony

Claire approached the research for the documentary by contacting local historians and putting invitations for anecdotes and information into area magazines and through the local radio station. Many more people than expected got in touch, eager to help in some way or another, either volunteering to have a filmed interview, or loaning books, postcard collections or memorabilia for the film’s research.



Claire got in touch with STEAM, Swindon’s railway museum, and gained access to archive material, as well as the opportunity to film two men that used to work on the MSWJR as a driver and a guard.


The film’s content was gathered over a couple of months, and it took a couple more months for Claire to condense the many hours of interviews, and thousands of photographs into a coherent film.


The organisation of the edit was tackled by arranging topics, interviews, questions and historic land marks into sequences that would flow together, using Post-it notes on a spare window in the 6th Form area.

paper plan full

Once the film was edited, and the various people that had been the main advisors during the research stages had approved it, a screening was organised in The Wellington Academy Theatre, where 80 people from the local area attended to view the film and hear Claire’s presentation about her project.



DVD copies of the complete film are available, just contact Claire to find out how to purchase one.


Special thanks go to Neil Lover for all of his contributions.