1hr 36mins
Dir: Alvin Rakoff
Starring: Jean Simmons and Leonard Whiting

A young man pursues an older woman on a shopping trip to London

According to director Alvin Rakoff, Say Hello to Yesterday was ‘a 1970 Brief Encounter, a picture designed purely for entertainment, with no morales or messages unless the public like to find them’. It is perhaps difficult to see the ‘relationship’ unfolding, but this romantic drama is a fast-moving account of ten hours in the life of an anonymous suburban housewife….and a love-starved youth. It features some excellent shots of Southern Region EMU’s. Early on there are scenes filmed at a snowy ‘Cobham’ station, which is in reality Ascot, and Class 423 4 VEP stock is present including set No’s 7805 and 7808. In the adjacent platform are a couple of vintage 2 BIL EMU’s in their final year or so of operation. The journey to London is a little harder to explain, but appears to have been filmed on a locomotive-hauled train somewhere on a single track line. There are then some scenes filmed at London Victoria, though Waterloo would be more appropriate, with those at the end featuring more VEP’s along with other main line stock in the form of CIG’s (or similar), plus some 2-car units (either HAP’s or EPB’s). The Victoria scenes include a good shot of the station frontage, but for a film shot largely in central London, the Underground does not feature at all.

Ascot station forms the backdrop, and opens the proceedings
Despite the signage stating otherwise this is Ascot station on a very cold day. A VEP is arriving into the platform.
Jean Simmons makes her way down into the subway. Ascot station frontage is behind but even on a cold and dark day the underpass does not look too appealing. People forget just how rundown Britain’s rail network was in the 1970’s, with this film being released less than three years after the end of steam. Thankfully things have largely been tidied up today (if they haven’t been closed) and in this case the canopy over the entrance here has been removed altogether giving it a more open feel.
Jean Simmons arrives onto the platform from the station underpass and is about to board a 4 VEP unit. In the background, we can see a couple of vintage 2 BIL units on the right.
This interesting ground level view shows a 4 VEP on the left, the TS vehicle of which is No.70959, making this unit 7808. However, the stock visible in the platform on the right remains difficult to positively identify.
The train departs on its way to London, though in reality this will be going to either Reading or Aldershot. Note how the snow seems remarkably undisturbed by the passage of feet and train!! The rear VEP in this instance is No.7805.
This is the train used for the actual journey sequence to London. The faint whisp of exhaust from the front suggests that this is a locomotive-hauled train.
Leonard Whiting on the concourse at London Victoria, the wrong station for Ascot or indeed Cobham, which is of course Waterloo.
Here we get a more expansive view of the concourse
And a shot of the frontage, little changed over time save for the signage. And the buses.
Back at Victoria again at the end of the day and passengers hurry to board another VEP
Leonard Whiting watches Jean Simmons who has taken a seat in a First Class compartment. The VEP is in blue and grey livery which, along with orange curtains, mirrors, and wood paneling was a real classic.
Jean Simmons’ view of her admirer, with what is probably a 4 CIG in the background
Having watched his ‘Mount Everest’ (you’ll have to watch the film to understand) depart on her way back home, Leonard Whiting meanders slowly back out of the station. Two car suburban stock in BR blue stands empty in the platform on the right.