1hr 25mins
Dir: Charles Frend
Starring: Donald Houston and Moira Lester

Two Welsh coal miners win a newspaper contest, and take their first trip to London to collect the prize

This Ealing comedy includes a memorable sequence that sees Hugh Griffith travelling with a harp on the London Underground, a scene which was filmed at Holborn with 1923 ‘standard stock’ in the northbound Piccadilly Line platform. The escalators in the opening ‘Underground’ scene appear to be those at St. John’s Wood (though ones with Piccadilly Line roundels are initially used). The GWR railway scenes are a little confusing. Shots of the express travelling through the night largely use models, though there is one shot of a real ‘Castle’, and although there are later shots filmed at London Paddington station, all the trains that feature are filmed at Windsor & Eton Central station. These scenes do, however, include excellent shots of a ‘Castle’ in the form of No.5004 Llanstephan Castle. It is possible that some platform scenes were filmed here also as they are not readily identifiable as being Paddington, but then they could just of easily have been a set. In addition to all this, there is a scene filmed on Fleet Street with a view looking down Ludgate Hill towards St. Paul’s and a train is crossing the now demolished Ludgate Hill bridge. Finally, there are very rare shots filmed at Nantymoel station, terminus of the branch from Tondu and Bridgend, with a GWR 5700-series 0-6-0PT arriving on a local service. The station masquerades as ‘Hafoduwchbenceubwllymarchogcoch’ (!?). Pronounced ‘Hafod uwchben ceubwll y marchog coch’ it translates roughly as ‘Shed over the cess-pit of the red knight’. Apparently.

This is the opening shot of the film, and presumably it shows the old water tower at Nantymoel in the Ogmore Vale.
This darkened shot shows what appears to be a GWR ‘Castle’ on an express. A near identical shot appeared first in Stop Press Girl (qv), which was released the same year, and later in The Hand (1960). In these films the train has two headlights.
This shot appears in the film from several angles. This is not London Paddington, and it does not appear to be Windsor and Eton Central either. My guess is that the more complex station scenes used a studio set that was then cleverly integrated into actual railway scenes. The clue here, to me at least, are the buildings in the background that just do not look ‘right’.
ex-GWR ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 No.5004 Llanstephen Castle draws to a stand at Windsor & Eton Central station
The locomotive actually forms the backdrop to one scene and here it is, as right as rain
This, however, is London. Donald Houston and Meredith Edwards are at the top of the Praed Street ramp outside Paddington station. Note the cast iron GWR Private Road notice on the wall.
With St. Paul’s Cathedral dominating the background this is the view down Fleet Street towards Ludgate Circus. A train can be discerned crossing Ludgate Hill bridge in the centre background.
Passengers make their way onto an escalator on the Piccadilly Line, presumably this is Holborn. Note the glazed tiles on the wall.
Yet these are the unmistakable ‘art deco’ escalators of St. John’s Wood, which is not on the Piccadilly Line and does not have glazed wall tiles
This is a shot of the stairs leading down to the southbound Piccadilly line platform 3 at Holborn, now confusingly renamed westbound
Whilst these are the stairs down to platform 5, the now disused Aldwych branch platform at Holborn
We are going for the full set here. We are now on the northbound platform 4 at Holborn, with a Standard stock train in the platform. This platform is now for eastbound services.
Now the film turns its attention to Paddington, and these are the old stairs down from Eastbourne Terrace to the taxi road adjacent to the clock arch entrance to platform 1
And to highlight that point further, this is the taxi rank with the entrance to the platform and main station on the right. The stairs in the above shot are visible in the left hand background.
This film is all over the place continuity wise, for this train with ‘Paddington, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea’ roof boards is actually at Windsor & Eton Central. Again.
This is nice though, Nantymoel station in the Ogmore Vale where this page began its journey. The station was the terminus of the branch from Tondu and closed on 5th May 1958. Note the enormous comedy sign on the left! The loco is one of the ubiquitous GWR Pannier Tanks.
Notice the platform at Nantymoel is of rather simple construction, yet it still appears neat and tidy
Donald Houston, Huw Griffiths (with harp) and Meredith Edwards at Nantymoel
The trio leave the station and the film ends