RETURN TO YESTERDAY

GB
1940
1hr 09mins
Dir: Robert Stevenson
Starring: Clive Brook and Anna Lee

A Hollywood star joins a seaside theatre company

Based on Robert Morley’s play Goodness, How Sad, this Ealing comedy drama includes quite a few railway shots. First, there are a number of scenes at London Paddington station and a couple of GWR ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0’s are visible, though the actual platform departure scenes used a set. A staged shot was then filmed on the sea wall near Dawlish Warren to allow Clive Brook (or more likely a stunt double) to leave the train after pulling a communication cord. For this stunt, a GWR ‘King’ Class 4-6-0 No.6004 King George III was filmed a bit further along the sea wall between Teignmouth and Dawlish in a shot that also appears in the 1941 version of The Ghost Train, and the 1958 film Another Time, Another Place (both qv). It should also be mentioned here that the station platform at Teignmouth can just be made out on the opening title card. The final scenes where Clive Brook leaves the seaside town by train were filmed at an unknown GWR station, and a passenger train complete with milk tank on the rear is departing though the loco is unseen.

A shot overlooking the town of Teignmouth in Devon. The church on the left is that of St Michaels whilst that on the right is Teingmouth United Reformed Church. Dawlish Road bridge is in the foreground with the down platform of Teignmouth station just visible to its right.
Hoards of impatient passengers prepare for their journey. This is London Paddington on a very busy day.
A further view of London Paddington
In the scenes at Paddington there are several shots that show the approaches to the station through the windows of an office. This is probably a set with back-projection but either way several trains can be seen outside. This is the clearest, and shows a ‘Castle’ Class reversing out tender first on the right with a departing train behind it.
The train departs in a scene looking beyond Bishop’s Bridge
This now familiar shot shows ‘King’ Class 4-6-0 No.6004 King George III at Teignmouth. This shot appeared in both the 1941 version of The Ghost Train and the 1958 film Another Time, Another Place.
In a scene that is in fact further west than the shot above, a train comes to a stand just past Langstone Rock, Dawlish. This shot appeared in the 1941 production of The Ghost Train.
In this night time shot of a train leaving a station, one can see a milk tank on the rear. Although the station in this shot has yet to be identified it is somewhere on the Great Western.