GB 1951 1hr 22mins Dir: Henry Cornelius Starring: Basil Radford and Janette Scott
A group of Londoners form a syndicate to buy a racehorse
This charming comedy sports film, with the subtitle ‘A fairy tale about horse-racing’, sees the group train the racehorse in a field next to a railway. This was in fact part of the common next to Wandsworth Common station in south west London. SR pre-war EMUs pass (a mixture of what appears to be 4 LAVs and 2 NOLs) as well as a more modern 4 SUB-type unit. In another training scene, a 6 PAN unit on headcode 16 passes by at speed and the back of a signal box is visible. Headcode 16 (Central Section) in this case was Victoria-Littlehampton via Quarry and Hove. The location for this shot was just south east of Wandsworth Common as the line climbs around the bend to Balham. As the horse is entered into the Grand National there are brief shots of Aintree Sefton Arms station with an ex-LMS ‘Jubilee’ Class 5XP 4-6-0 making an appearance, though the camera cuts before the loco number appears. The earlier race scenes were filmed at Alexandra Park racecourse and mainline coaching stock can be seen stabled in the background on the Great Northern main line. There is also a comedy scene filmed at an unknown level crossing over which ex-LMS Class 5MT ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No.45071 (with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ branding on the tender) passes running light, and a very brief glimpse of a Liverpool tram in one of the later street scenes.