About us

Unseen Steam has grown out of the archives of a UK-registered charity — Online Transport Archive — which has been offering a safe repository for transport-related films and photographs for more than a decade. Over this period the archive has gathered together a vast array of material from Britain and around the world, much of which may simply have been destroyed had it not been for the action of those behind the charity in trying to ensure the survival of these vulnerable collections. Amongst material secured was the photographic collection of the late Julian Thompson which was repatriated from The Philippines following his death and which is now undergoing conservation and preservation.

Recognising the fact that the archive’s funds would not permit the immediate transfer of the significant film holdings to digital — the cost of transferring the 9.5mm film alone was a significant four-figure sum — the trustees joined forces with a leading media company – DMA Media Ltd – to make their film available to the public through an exciting new website and DVD releases. They turned to Unique Productions, one of the UK’s leading railway film specialists, for transport expertise and content, and www.unseensteam.co.uk is the first manifestation of this venture through DMA’s new company, Unseen Archives Ltd, which hopes to go on to work with more archives around the UK.

Although initially concentrating on UK steam and railway subjects, it is planned that as the film investigation is progressed and more footage is made available, further subjects — overseas railways, trams and trolleybuses worldwide plus buses and maritime themes — will also be explored. As with any new venture, we welcome feedback; don’t hesitate to contact us with your comments — both positive and negative — as we continue to invest in this website over the succeeding months.

Follow the links on the website to give your feedback; it’s only by learning what you like and don’t like that we can strive to meet your needs. One of the most important facets of the site is news; if you have any items of steam related news, please email the story, with any images that you might have, to editor@unseensteam.co.uk.

The Unique Team :

Unique Productions draws upon the talents of a wide range of railway and transport experts from around the UK. The main culprits are these -

Unique’s founder, Bill Lucas, has been in specialist publishing for over thirty years working in all media. As Publishing Director of Ian Allan Publishing he launched SBS Video, overseeing the production of such classics as Railway Roundabout and Decades of Steam and more recently The Fall & Rise of Britain’s Railways and the WH Smith exclusive, ‘Beeching’s Legacy’. The Unique companies cover all aspects of programme and book production, written and graphic content and specialist sales and marketing services. Bill has worked closely with DMA for several years to help create Unseen Steam.

Jeremy English, seen here in a typical working pose, has been involved in railway media for over 30 years, having launched 'Railscene the Railway Video Magazine' in 1984. He has a distinguished record of working with railway archive film, and has helped to bring many noted collections – including those of Cam Camwell, Richard Willis, Geoff Holyoake and Pat Whitehouse in 'Railway Roundabout' – to a modern audience. He has worked with Bill Lucas for longer than he cares to remember and is transport film editor of Unseen Steam.