GB 1971 1hr 43mins Dir: Waris Hussein Starring: Mark Lester and Tracy Hyde
An 11-year old boy falls in love with a fellow school girl
This romantic story is told through the viewpoint of the children, the adults playing only supporting roles. Its alternative UK title S.W.A.L.K. refers to a message traditionally written on the envelopes of love letters, standing for ‘Sealed With A Loving Kiss’. It is a delightful film whose theme rings true to anyone with even half a heart. There are a good number of railway shots throughout the film as well, most of which was set in South London, and it all starts with the opening credits that are set against a backdrop of various shots of London. In one of these, the towers of Cannon Street station are visible, whilst another shows the approach to Waterloo station with a solitary 4 SUB EMU present. The viaduct section around the disused and derelict former Nine Elms sidings features prominently but surprisingly few trains are seen, just a couple of 4 SUB EMU’s pass by. In another scene filmed in Hercules Road, Lambeth, a similar SR EMU is visible above the viaduct arches stabled on the approach to Waterloo. Notice the scene where the two boys are walking down Musgrave Crescent in Parsons Green and a train of London Transport CP stock can be seen stabled in the sidings adjacent to the District Line. The two main characters make their escape at the end of the film on a hand pump trolley, the sequence being mostly shot in the abandoned sidings around Nine Elms Freight Yard. Despite this, however, the final shot shows the pair ‘pumping’ down a rural single track branch, the location of which is not known. When the characters go to the seaside earlier in the film there is an excellent shot of a Class 33/1 ‘push-pull’ diesel arriving at Weymouth station with Class 491 4 TC stock. As a result, the final branch line scene could have been filmed in the Dorset area, possibly the Maiden Newton line which was still open at the time of filming. Another railway feature of the Dorset town is visible in several shots, that in the form of the old Backwater Viaduct that, until 1965, took the Portland Branch across Radipole Lake.