1hr 44mins
Dir: Nick Willing
Starring: Ben Kingsley and Frances Barber

A photographer investigates pictures of fairies taken by two young girls

This intelligent and rather touching fantasy is based on Steve Szilagyi’s 1992 novel of the same title. It is in fact based on the Cottingley Fairy stories of the 1920s and was made at the same time as Fairytale A True Story (qv). It features a good scene filmed on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway with Toby Stephens alighting from a train at the ground level Bledlow Bridge Halt. This is unusual because the halt closed with the Watlington branch in 1957 and even though the branch has reopened as a heritage operation, the ground level nature of Bledlow Bridge precluded its reopening. The ‘platform’ is still extant and was tidied up for the production. The train meanwhile consists of Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST No.8 Sir Robert Peel and three Mk.2 coaches. The loco was built in 1952 and the Mk2 coaches didn’t start to appear until 1964 so although this is not exactly a train representative of the 1920s the whole scene is unusual, despite these inaccuracies, in being quite different from the normal heritage scenes. There is a good overall shot of the halt later on, complete with nameboard.

Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST No 8 Sir Robert Peel approaches the camera
Having jumped down to the platform, Toby Stephens stands adjacent to the train at Bledlow Bridge
Toby Stephens at Bledlow Bridge again, only this time we are treated to an excellent glimpse of the ‘platform’ itself. The luggage props make the halt far busier than it would ever have been.