1hr 22mins
Dir: William Fairchild
Starring: Colin Gibson and Leslie Dudley

Two children run away from home to see the 1953 Coronation in London

This colourful comedy film is interspersed with actual footage from the day of the Coronation yet it also includes some excellent Eastmancolor railway scenes. Near the start there is a good shot of ex-Southern Railway streamlined ‘West Country’ Class 4-6-2 No.34019 Bideford leaving Southampton Ocean Terminal with a boat train. The children’s journey takes them initially to Cheddington station (referred to as ‘Minster’ in the film) and there is an unusual shot of the back of the main line platforms as seen from the surrounding fields. A distant express is approaching on its way to Bletchley and the north, but it is too far away to positively identify the loco at the helm. It should be noted that the young boy runaway, like most children of his age, is a keen trainspotter and when travelling on a service he identifies the loco hauling his train as a ‘County’. The ticket inspector corrects him and says it is a ‘King’. They are both wrong, it is an A3 Class 4-6-2! This is confirmed by a close-up shot of an A3-hauled express passing on what is believed to be the ex-GW&GC Joint. The scenes where the children are questioned for travelling without a ticket were filmed at High Wycombe station, with ‘blood & custard’ coaching stock pulling out in one view, and there is a shot of an express passing through the countryside hauled by an ex-GWR 4-6-0. A short railway sequence onboard a train used a studio set with back projection, and an arrival at a station features as part of this. Finally, the railway scenes end with a shot of an ex-SR ‘Lord Nelson’ LN Class 4-6-0 arriving with an express at London Waterloo station but the carriages in the platform scenes which follow are another studio set, as vehicle number AL·10451 is entirely made up.

An excellent shot of unrebuilt ‘West Country’ Class light pacific No.34019 Bideford leaving Southampton Ocean Terminal with a boat train
A very unusual shot of Cheddington station, on the West Coast main line in Buckinghamshire, complete with approaching train. This delightful scene has changed surprisingly little today.
An ex-LNER A3 Class 4-6-2 speeds past the camera. This shot appeared the previous year in Make Me An Offer (qv).
This is not a studio set with back-projection. The view out of this window is in fact of High Wycombe station, and a train formed of carmine and cream-liveried Mk.1 coaches is in the platform.
Another stunning colour shot, this time of an express passing through the countryside in the hands of a former GWR 4-6-0, probably a ‘Hall’. The locomotives identity is not clear, but the location is thought to be Saunderton Bank.
There is a short studio-bound journey in the film with an arrival at this station as part of the back-projection
London Waterloo station bedecked in Coronation regalia. An ex-SR ‘Lord Nelson’ 4-6-0 is arriving into platform 14.