HAPPY EVER AFTER

GB
1954
1hr 28mins
Dir: Mario Zampi
Starring: David Niven and Yvonne De Carlo

A new squire proves unpopular and the villagers plot to kill him

The film is supposedly set in rural Ireland but was actually filmed entirely in England and there are a number of railway scenes which were shot at Braughing (pronounced ‘Braefin’) station on the Buntingford branch from St. Margarets in Hertfordshire. To continue the Irish flavour the station appears as ‘Rathbarney’ and has mock CIE station signage. The first scene shows a four-coach train of non-corridor 3rd class stock leaving the station and though we do not see the locomotive, the coaches have fake CIE emblems applied. This shot is followed by a scene filmed adjacent to the goods yard with plenty of wagons visible, most of which appear to be four-wheel vans. There is then an arrival of a train hauled by ex-LNER J15 Class 0-6-0 No.65464 and a final general view of the station, again with train, which is seen later on in the movie. The loco was given a fresh coat of BR black by Stratford paint shops for the film and had the CIE emblem applied on one side only. It was worked during filming by a Stratford crew but when not required it worked normal BR services, complete with the CIE badge. The coaching stock meanwhile was stored at St Margarets for a fortnight before filming when it was repainted CIE green on one side only. It had ‘1st class’, ‘3rd class’ and ‘no smoking’ stickers added, in addition to the CIE logos. When not in use for filming, the coaches were stored in the long siding at Braughing. The station along with the Buntingford branch was a popular location used in a number of other films, most notably Operation Bullshine and Postman’s Knock (both qv).

Yvonne De Carlo leaves Braughing station and as the train departs behind her we get a glimpse of one of the CIE logos applied to the side of the carriage
Robert Urquhart stands in the station forecourt with a four-wheel freight van behind him. Beyond the van, some horses are tended to.
Yvonne De Carlo and Robert Urquhart greet each other outside the station. The rather regal looking horse in the background appears to be showing an interest in proceedings! This pleasant scene is complemented further by the backdrop of rolling fields.
Yvonne De Carlo and Robert Urquhart at Braughing station with an excellent glimpse behind them of the goods shed and yard, the latter appearing to be well-filled with wagons
This is Braughing station in Hertfordshire. Good job the film was in colour because those flower beds are an absolute riot.
Crowds gather at Braughing to meet the arrival of the new squire. Note the Ratbarney station sign in the background in both English and Irish Gaeilge text.
J15 Class 0-6-0 No.65464 arrives at a packed Braughing station. Opened on 3rd July 1863 and closed on 16th November 1964 the station had probably never been so busy.
Note the CIE notice boards on the station building at Braughing advertising travel in Ireland. The production company went to some considerable length to turn this station into a rural Irish outpost.
This final scene shows a vintage estate car arriving at the station. The delightful view includes a train in the platform though the locomotive is out of shot to the right.