Dir: John Irwin
Starring: Peter Butterworth and Humphrey Kent

Annoyed by the noise of children playing, an angry man attempts to prevent them from enjoying themselves

This short comedy adventure from the Children’s Film Foundation centres around the Volk’s Electric Railway in Brighton. Despite the many hundreds of films that have used Brighton as a setting over the years, footage of the 2ft gauge railway along the seafront has been suprisingly non-existent and, as far as the author is aware, this is the only known appearance. The CFF has come up trumps yet again, for what the other films have lacked this one definitely makes up for. The film centres around children who have been barred from their favourite local seaside playground by the irritable, child-phobic president of the fictitious Society of Organised Fun. Arriving tightly packed and singing in unison onboard Brighton’s unique little railway, the children are victorious in their quest, helped in no small part by comedy actor Peter Butterworth 10 years before his appearence in the Carry On film series. The author would like to thank Phil Wilkinson and the reelstreets team for the screen captures and information behind the locations.

Children sing gaily as they travel by train towards Peter Pan’s Playground. In the foreground runs the Volk’s Electric Railway along the seafront in Brighton with the Palace Pier stretching out into the English Channel beyond.
The train’s bell clangs as the journey continues beside Madeira Drive. The 2ft narrow gauge Volk’s Electric Railway (VER) opened in 1883 and has become the oldest operational electric railway in the world. Shortened in length slightly in 1930, again in 1937, and then finally in 1990, it now runs for just over a mile along the prom.
Facing eastward from the VER train with Madeira Drive, Madeira Hall and Madeira Terrace on the left. The lift that takes people up to Marine Parade, King’s Cliff can be seen to the top left.
The diminutive little tramcar pulls into Halfway station adjacent to Peter Pan’s Playground on Madeira Drive
With Peter Butterworth at the controls, the children set off. This is the VER depot at Paston Place, with Halfway station visible through the building in the background.
This excellent shot shows the packed tramcar in closer detail. The line has operated with a rather hod-shod variety of vehicles built by a surprising number of manufacturers. Without any number to identify it, the origin of this tramcar is unknown, but it appears to be one of the number built in-house by the railway themselves. This is to the east of the railway’s passing loop between Halfway and Black Rock stations with Madeira Drive on the right.
This is the loop between Halfway and Black Rock stations with the lido at Black Rock in the far distance
In this final shot looking across Madeira Drive to the sea, a Volk’s Electric Railway tramcar can be seen standing at the Black Rock terminus on the right