ROCKETS IN THE DUNES

GB
1960
57mins
Dir: William Hammond
Starring: Hilary Mason and Geoffrey Wearing

Children who use their beach in Devon for racing sand yacht’s discover the Army is about to take over the beach for training

This Children’s Film Foundation adventure was filmed at Croyde on the rugged North Devon coast, and was based on the 1958 book of the same title by Lois Lamplugh. It is unusual for two reasons. The first, is that a grounded vintage wooden railway carriage is used as accomodation in the sand dunes. It is not clear whether this is the family home, or a holiday residence, but it looks very homely if somewhat vunerable. Its provenance requires confirmation. The second surprise is that ex-SR N Class 2-6-0 No.31835 pops up at Heddon Mill Crossing whilst working an Ilfracombe-Barnstaple freight. Lovely stuff indeed! My thanks are extended to Paul Warner for telling me about this little gem.

This grounded carriage body forms the centrepiece to the story. If there are any carriage buffs out there that can point towards an origin I would be interested to know.
This is the view from the ‘house’. What a delightful place to reside!!
Children play in the sand outside the ‘house’, which mum has made very homely by the addition of lace curtains and window boxes. Note THE ATLANTIC EXPRESS roofboard, wholly fictious perhaps, but a clear pun on the real ‘Atlantic Coast Express’ which served the north Devon coast.
This is Heddon Mill Crossing, about two miles north of Braunton on the former Southern Railway route to Ilfracombe
Entrusted to an Ilfracombe-Barnstaple freight, N Class 2-6-0 No.31835 makes light work of its load as it crosses Heddon Mill Crossing
Having been temporarily held up, the Army are keen to get back underway