46 mins
Dir: Bill Douglas
Starring: Stephen Archibald and Jean Taylor Smith

A young eight-year old boy struggles with family hardship

This was the first part of Bill Douglas’ influential trilogy harking back to his impoverished upbringing in ’40s and ’50s Scotland. It was grim, it was hard hitting and depressing, but it has proved to become quite unique. This first part features two sequences centred on a footbridge that takes a footpath running between Newcraighall and Brunstone over the now lifted line between Niddrie Junction West and Monktonhall Junction. In both scenes, an industrial saddle tank working hard on a short coal train passes beneath the bridge. The film was followed by My Ain Folk (qv).

This is the footbridge that plays a key part in several scenes. It is also the footbridge where Stephen Archibald dances in a cloud of steam from the locomotive standing beneath, a scene recreated on the movie ‘poster’ above.
A camera has been mounted on to the smokebox of an industrial saddle tank as it runs along the rails. This unusual view appears twice in the film.
We do see the train as it moves off but by the time the smoke clears sufficiently the loco is too far off to accurately identify