Dir: John Guillermin
Starring: Mandy Miller and Russell Waters
A young girl accidentally breaks her mother’s favourite ornament and goes hop-picking to earn money to buy a replacement
This Children’s Film Foundation movie is typical of the period and like many others from the CFF stable has some very good railway scenes. There is a railway journey sequence which starts at London Bridge station and there is an excellent close up shot of ex-SECR Class D1 4-4-0 No.31741 at the head of a train. As the guard blows his whistle a BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T is standing at the blocks awaiting shunt release (the train in this instance is different to the other scenes at ‘the Bridge’ for whereas these feature vintage Southern Railway coaching stock, the guard is about to board a carmine & cream liveried coach). Also, as the family arrive at the station, an EMU can just be glimpsed in the background crossing the bridge over Borough High Street. After this there are some excellent and rather rare scenes filmed on the Hawkhurst branch from Paddock Wood with trains featuring at both Goudhurst and Horsmonden stations. The arrival scene at Goudhurst features another D1, this time No.31735, whilst the departure that follows has a loco at the front shrouded in steam that is running tender first. A later arrival scene at Horsmonden features ex-SECR H Class 0-4-4T No.31548. Goudhurst happily appears as itself in the movie though Horsmonden played the fictional role of ‘Barden’. All these excellent shots are interspersed with a single, and somewhat out-of-sync low-level run-by, of an express on the Western Region hauled by ex-GWR ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 No.5079 Lysander. The Hawkhurst branch closed in June 1961, before the Beeching Report was published. The film was based on the 1952 novel The Hop Dog by Nora Lavrin & Molly Thorp.