Dir: Charles Crichton
Starring: Jenny Laird and Robert Griffiths
The lives of two families living and working on the Grand Union Canal
This excellent outdoor drama is a must for narrowboat enthusiasts though a number of trains also appear. The clearest of all these is a shot of a GWR ‘auto-train’ hauled by a 1400 Class 0-4-2T crossing the Thames and Severn Canal at Chalford in Gloucestershire’s ‘Golden Valley’. The shot was filmed originally for the 1940 Ealing drama The Proud Valley (qv) but did not make the final cut for that film. In addition to this some steam-hauled freight trains can be seen distantly crossing the canals in some shots. At Blisworth in Northamptonshire one appears to be hauled by an LMS Class 5MT ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0, but the other filmed at Willesden is too far off to make much out. There is also a montage sequence that shows canal boats serving industrial premises and in one of these some open wagons can be seen. There is then one final shot at the end of the film that has a brief glimpse of an industrial saddle tank at work in Woolwich Arsenal. Marvellous stuff indeed!