Fascinating documentary about George Bennie's great invention - the Railplane.
Documentary made by Pathe, presumably paid for by George Bennie himself about his marvellous new invention. See paper records for letters to and from George Bennie: "Inventor with a kink" .
Milngavie - shots of the elevated track which is almost completed. "Mr. George Bennie of course, continually inspected the work." He and a colleague walk underneath pointing up with their umbrellas. MS. of George and two colleagues looking up at the track. Beardmore's - the car is almost complete. Mr Bennie and friend inspect the vehicle. It looks quite space age. Intertitle gives information on the length and weight of the car. MS. of the door being slid open (not very smoothly!).
"Nothing has been spared to make the interior comfortable. Waring and Gillow, of London and Liverpool, saw to that" reads an intertitle - the interior does look very plush indeed. Comfy armchairs line the carriage, one on each side facing each other. There is a patterned carpet down the centre of the carriage and small lamps on each table between the chairs.
Milngavie - the Railplane Test Line is ready for the first run. Long shot of the track. Cars pass by the camera in the foreground. Various shots from different angles of the track and of the nose of the Railplane - it is curved like the nose of a plane and has a large propellor attached. CU. of the side of the Railplane showing the beautiful stained glass window of the door. CU. of the mechanism which attaches the Railplane to the track. The camera pans across the plane to show the beautiful countryside which travellers will see from the Railplane. Interior of the "motor control room" - a man works the control wheels.
Mrs Bennie - George's mother hoists the Railplane flag at the opening ceremony on July 8th 1930 (which is slightly odd bearing in mind claims about the opening of the line in 1929 mad in the first part if the film).
LS. of the flag being raised whilst various dignitaries look on. We see the first passengers to be carried by Railplane. MS. of man in top hat and tails and smartly dressed woman shaking George Bennie's hand and stepping into the Railplane. Various others in bowler hats and suits follow - all shaking George's hand. George closes the door and waves them off with his bowler hat. As the train passes we can see passengers waving from the windows. Low angle shot of the Railplane passing over the camera seen from under the tracks. Various shots of the Railplane on the move, propellor whirling.
Mr James Calder, General Manager for Scotland and Scottish Officials of the LNER inspect the Railplane - various shots of the men looking at the Railplane and climbing aboard. MS. of the men sitting in the carriage - it looks a bit cramped! MS. of elderly operator closing the door of the vehicle. View from the Railplane of the countryside. We see the craft approaching the "platform". Good shot of the Railplane travelling along with a steam locomotive train travelling along underneath on the railway track. The braking system is explained.
Passengers stand and chat after their voyage. The LNER staff stand underneath the tracks by the train. Shot of some of the dignitaries standing by the train. Panning shot of the esteemed guests. Bennie's mother and sister were two of the first passengers. CU. of the two women and a friend. CU. of an advert for the Railplane System of Transport. CU. photograph of the inventor. "Mr Bennie presents his compliments, and trust that those who are interested will do him the honour of visiting Milngavie (near Glasgow) for a run in the Railplane."
Note: fabulous film with fascinating insight into the mind of the inventor provided by correspondence file.