For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

Great Eastern steam on film

"It is frustrating to doze in front of an old movie being shown on TV and - just too late - to realise that the goods yard across which the police are chasing the villain is being shunted by a J69. Could we produce a list from our membership of the relevant films?"

So wrote the Society's film correspondent back in 1991. The membership set to, and the result is tabulated here. Many of the films are frequently shown on TV, particularly on the satellite channels. Others are available on DVD and may be purchased or even hired.

 

Title

Contents

Comments

Reviewed in GEN No.

The Silent Passenger
(Phoenix 1935)

N7/2 2616 and D16/3 8788 in action, mainly in Liverpool Street which also doubles as Stratford. Includes N7 bursting through ‘shed doors’.

BFI has most of the film and extracts (that is, less railway shots) were shown at NFT in Jan 1996 Huntley Archives has at least railway extracts.

71

A Day at Denham
(London Films 1936)

A publicity short. Shows work in progress for Knight Without Armour including mock-up station and passenger stock. The two J15s are seen unmodified.

 

79

Knight Without Armour
(London Films 1937)

J15s 7835 and 7541 were withdrawn by the LNER in Sept 1936 and sold for use in the film and were disguised as Russian locomotives.

For more comment see GEN.

79/80/81

Over The Moon
(London Films 1937/38)

B17 2867 Bradford in colour at speed near Denham (?). Film also contains many French trains including Blue Train. Excellent colour.

 

84

The Citadel
1938

Based on a book by A.J.Cronin book and set in Wales. Has a J15 pulling into a very wet station after shots of GW trains in typical South Welsh valleys. No one has ever identified the station.

   

Gaumont British News
(10 February 1941)

Newsreel for showing in cinemas. Item titled Railways High Speed Repair Work opens with F5 and quint-art set. A crater in the line is dealt with by the Stratford breakdown train headed by a J15. A B17 is seen hauling a mixed bag of GE stock allegedly over the repair.

Copyright Visnews. Copy made for our film critic.

72

The Gentle Sex
(Two Cities 1943)

SR N15 771 Sir Saramore leaving a London SR terminus and turning into B17 2848 Arsenal en route.

The Arsenal shot is seen in many films.

72

It Always Rains on Sundays
(Ealing 1947)

Long chase sequence through Temple Mills Goods Yard. Lots of good detail, signals, cabins, etc. Locos featured are J69s 8607 and 8591 and an unidentified J39

 

71

Loco Number One
(Empire Films 1948)

Poor 45 minute film intended to represent LNER system from Mallaig via the ECML to London taking in the Humber and East Anglia on the way. Includes B17 2858 on Scandinavian, SS Parkeston and B1 1052 on East Anglian at Norwich and Ipswich.

 

95

Titfield Thunderbolt
(Ealing 1952)

Wisbech and Upwell tramcar (GER No 7) later on the Tollesbury branch as E60461 appears as a buffet car.

 

69

The Holly and the Ivy
(British Lion 1952)

Cast seen getting into train at Liverpool Street. East Side seen from footwalk with at least one F6 in view. A longer version of the 2848 clip is seen.

 

78

Time Gentlemen Please
(British Lion 1952)

Whole film shot on location in Thaxted. Station and yard are shown deserted in one panning shot.

 

78

Happy Ever After
(ABP 1954)

Good coverage of Braughing station, buildings and yard lightly disguised as CIE. J15 65464 makes a few appearances with a green painted close coupled suburban set.

 

73

Rainbow Jacket
(Ealing 1954)

Britannia Hotspur leaving platform 10 at Liverpool Street. B1 in Newmarket Station. D16/3 on train.

Railway shots shown in Video 125 John Huntley Steam on 35mm in which commentary calls D16 a D49. As shown on TV has most railway scenes removed.

71

The Sea Shall Not Have Them.
(Eros 1954)

Ipswich F6 steams into Felixstowe Town station.

There are two such sequences in the film one of which is usually cut for showing on TV.

69/99

Cockleshell Heroes
Columbia 1955)

Many steam shots of Southern but one of cast member leaving urinal at Custom House Station and crossing Victoria Dock Road. Unidentified F6 and train leaving station in background.

For poster, see here.

69

I Was Monty’s Double
(ABP 1958)

61606 Audley End running into Liverpool Street and general scenes of ticket barrier. 61606 may be cut in TV showing but seen in Huntley edits.

Extra film in Huntley V125 Steam on 35mm. See poster here.

71

Bachelor of Hearts (Independent Artists 1958)

Cambridge Buffet Car Express leaves Kings Cross and arrives at Cambridge, one long shot en route. Some good exterior shots of Cambridge station.

 

73

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
(TCF 1958)

Behind and around the titles a red suburban train hauled by a bunker first N7, 69665, pulls into Platform 2 of Liverpool Street. Bergmann alights and crosses the concourse looking towards Pl. 9, climbs the footwalk and emerges into Bishopsgate.

A popular film of the early fifties financed and made in the UK but using mostly US stars, e.g. Bergmann, Donat.

 

Operation Bullshine
(ABP 1959)

Braughing station. Scruffy unidentifiable J15 with an immaculate GER corridor set.

For poster, see here.

72

School for Scoundrels
(ABP 1960)

Hertford East seen behind titles but clear in Huntley video. Good shots of yard and outside of station. J69 68500 enters station.

Extra film in Huntley/V125.

72

Postman’s Knock
(MGM 1961)

Good shots of J15 running into West Mill, includes footplate detail. Later in the film a departure from West Mill is followed by a stock shot of a train arriving at Marylebone.

Feature film with Spike Milligan.

72

The War Lover
(Columbia 1962)

A train headed by B1 61378 pulls into Liverpool St. Interesting detail of station.

A star vehicle for Steve McQueen. Plenty of aviation archive interest in B17G on the ground and in the air.

130

Overlord
(Joswend 1975)

A loosely told story of an 18 year old from call-up to death in the invasion landings. Includes double-headed (J20s) tank train and heavily laden train hauled by D16.

 

97