1hr 25mins
Dir: Basil Dearden
Starring: Earl Cameron and Susan Shaw

The crew members of a merchant ship are given shore leave and soon become involved in smuggling and petty crime in post-war London

This Ealing noir crime film is ground breaking for a number of reasons. It was Earl Cameron’s first film appearance; the first time a black actor had a major role in British film, and is notable today for portraying the first interracial relationship in a British film. The Pool of London is a stretch of the River Thames from London Bridge to below Limehouse which was home to the wharves of the original Port of London. There are some excellent shots of London trams in their final full year of operation, including E1 trams No’s 573 and 599 working route No.70 on Tooley Street near London Bridge. The BR station just creeps into view high up on the edge of some shots and in one of these a steam-hauled service can be seen, but the tender loco is not identifiable. There is a scene filmed on the muddy banks of the River Thames beneath the old Great Eastern Railway Ferry Pier in North Woolwich, and in another scene at the junction of Stoney Street, Bedale Street and Green Dragon Court in Southwark, an ex-SR ‘Schools’ V Class 4-4-0 is passing over the railway arch on a train, running tender first. There is also a shot of cyclists passing Blackfriars railway bridge and the entrance to Blackfriars Underground station is visible. Finally, towards the end of the film Bonar Colleano leaves his hiding place in a Thames barge and struggles to shore. He walks through a barren industrial site which is home to a narrow-gauge railway. Stone tippler wagons are on view along with a pair of industrial saddle tanks. One is in very light steam at the head of a short train of tipplers, but the other appears to be out of use on a wharf, alongside a couple of cranes. The site of this scene is open to some speculation and although several sources suggest that it could be a cement works in the Gravesend area, it may have been filmed in and around Rainham Creek.

Tram No.599 in Tooley Street, SE1
Another tram in Tooley Street, or the London Bridge Station (Tooley Street) terminus of Route 70 to be precise
Tooley Street again, and tram No.573 is working a Route 70 service to Greenwich Church via Bermondsey and Surrey Docks. In the film, two characters discuss the fact that they are getting rid of the trams and how when they next dock in London they will probably be gone, a delightful piece of period detail. Also, Leslie Phillips goes on to give correct directions by bus and tram to Camberwell Palace. See, continuity does sometimes prevail!
This is the muddy banks of the Thames at North Woolwich with the ferry in the background. What is of note here is the iron catwalk-like structure above the actors. This is the old Great Eastern Railway Ferry Pier, long disused at the time of filming but, incredibly, still extant today.
This is the famous Globe Tavern on Bedale Street in Southwark. Crossing the railway bridge is a ‘Schools’ Class 4-4-0 running tender first. Behind that, the tower of Southwark Cathedral stands proud.
Bonar Colleano walks down Tooley Street with London Bridge station just visible top left. Note the arriving steam hauled service coming into view on the viaduct.
Cyclists pass Blackfriars bridge
Less than a hundred yards down the road and the roof of Blackfriars station comes into view. The entrance to the Underground is in the shadows dead centre.
Rail-mounted cranes on a wharf somewhere in the Thames estuary. Note the steam locomotive on the far left.
A dazed Bonar Colleano staggers passed some tippler wagons, railway freight handling in its most simplest of forms.
Bonar Colleano continues on his way. The small industrial loco is in light steam at the head of a short rake of tipplers, all standing at odd angles due to the temporary nature of the track. There has been much speculation as to where this ‘moonscape’ could be, though a gravel extraction site near Rainham Creek is favoured by most.