1hr 27mins
Dir: Charles Frend
Starring: Alec Guinness and Irene Browne

An unsuccessful Royal Navy captain takes command of a seaside pier

This Ealing comedy features Hunstanton Pier in Norfolk and in some scenes a working 9 ¼” narrow gauge 4-4-0 steam loco complete with open seated stock can be seen on basic narrow-gauge track. There were three other Barnacle Bill films before this, in 1930, 1935 and 1941, but this is thought to be the only one to feature anything to do with railways. Oh, and please remember that Hunstanton is pronounced Hunston.

Alec Guinness proceeds onto the pier at Hunstanton and passes the end of the narrow-gauge pleasure track
Percy Herbert (standing) and Alec Guinness admire the little loco, off track and separated from its tender. The little 9 ¼ 4-4-0 steam loco is based on an LMS Compound and was built by the famed model maker Bassett-Lowke in either 1925 or 1928. It was named Maid Marion and had been purchased by the Hunstanton Pier Co. in 1947. It now resides on the Ingfield Light Railway, near Billingshurst, West Sussex, having been slightly re-guaged to 10 ¼” c.1980.
This lovely view sees the loco framed by the ornate ironwork of the pier
The shots of the loco in action even extend to this very unusual drivers eye view!
As the local councillors arrive they look on rather disdainfully at the sight and smell of the engine
The little Bassett-Lowke 4-4-0 battles hard against the wind and a heavy train
The driver attends to some minor issue in this final shot, which gives us an equally unusual glimpse of the loco from the rear. The pier and all its attractions have now gone.