Image result for A Canterbury Tale movie"

2hrs 04mins
Dirs: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Starring: Eric Portman and Sheila Sim

An insane magistrate is unmasked by a land girl and a US soldier

This classic drama features a number of railway scenes in Kent, most notably a rare shot of a former SECR Maunsell D1 Class 4-4-0 passing Harbledown Junction signal box, where the Elham Valley Line left the Canterbury West-Ashford line as it passed under the Faversham-Canterbury East line (on which the train is crossing). A distant train is also glimpsed passing through the countryside in the film’s opening sequence of montage shots that is followed by a night time arrival scene at a station. This latter scene appears to be the real thing judging by the sparks emanating from the funnel of the locomotive but as it is in the middle of a wartime blackout virtually nothing can be made out. The main characters later take a train journey that sees them board a train at Selling (renamed ‘Chillingbourne’ in the film) before arriving at Canterbury West behind ex-SECR H Class 0-4-4T No.1306, and this scene is packed with interest. When most rail journeys of the time were depicted using mock-ups and studio sets with back-projection this particular journey seems wholly genuine. The shadows, sounds, and movement are all too realistic and the whisps of smoke passing by sporadically outside the window cannot simply be recreated in a studio. The footage onboard the train sees it pass through a short tunnel, and the view from the window includes St Dunstan’s level crossing at Canterbury West with its distinctive covered subway. The journey takes about five minutes, which is about right for the trip between Selling and Canterbury, the short tunnel (405 yards) would be the one at Selling, and as the arrival is into Canterbury West, the train would have taken the connecting chord between the two lines which was closed in 1953. The slightly out of sync footage is referenced by the fact that the H Class tank is seen arriving from Sturry, the next station beyond Canterbury West when heading towards Minster and Ramsgate. The scene of the passengers boarding at Selling also shows the loco at the front of the train, and although the design is not clear, it looks likely to be another H Class tank. All in all, this is a very interesting sequence of events.

A railway line is visible cutting along the lower half of this picture and a train is present towards the centre right. The locomotive has just passed over an occupation level crossing on the North Downs line that runs between Guildford and Redhill. It is moving onto the shallow embankment west of Landbarn Farm to the west of Dorking, Surrey, which is just out of shot to the left. It is blowing its whistle, as evidenced by the samll puff of white smoke.
A Maunsell D1 Class 4-4-0 passes behind Harbledown Junction signal box
Moving over to the right and the approach viaduct comes into view. The bridge over the Canterbury West-Ashford line can be glimpsed directly to the right of the signal woman’s head. There was a war on you know! She apparently had five minutes to spare to chat to an inquisitive girl who was refused access to her ‘box as it broke regulations.
This is Selling station, playing the part of ‘Chillingbourne’.
Looking the opposite way and Charles Hawtrey prepares to get the train underway. The locomotive at the front is just too far off to gain a positive identification though it is a tank engine, and thus probably an H Class 0-4-4T.
The railway journey ends here at Canterbury West with a train arriving from the Ramsgate direction behind ex-SECR H Class 0-4-4T No.1306. This fabulous shot captures the fireman riding on the outside, a common practice rarely caught on film but captured here for posterity.