1hr 37mins
Dir: Robert Hamer
Starring: Ian Carmichael and Janette Scott

A social failure joins the College of Lifemanship with the aim of improving his chances

This comedy was based on the Stephen Potter One Upmanship and Lifemanship books and features good opening railway shots. The station at the start of the film which is purporting to be ‘Yeovil’ is in fact Hertford East, and a local train is arriving behind ex-LNER Class J67 0-6-0T No.68500. As Ian Carmichael makes his way out of the station he nonchalantly crosses the tracks in the yard, where both tender and tank locomotives are visible among the coaches. The tender loco is J39 0-6-0 No.64773, whilst the tank engines appear to be another J67 and a Class J69. The cab of a Class 125 DMU can also be glimpsed, which would have been less than two years old at the time of filming. There is also something odd with a curious off-centred cab, that is likely to be a steam crane or some similar such departmental vehicle. Later, there is a short scene filmed at Elstree & Borehamwood station, but no trains are seen here. The film was often marketed as ‘School for Scoundrels or How to Win Without Actually Cheating’ though this was never its official title.

A train arrives into Hertford East
The locomotive of which is revealed to be J67 0-6-0T No.68500
Passengers including Ian Carmichael leave the train
Ian Carmichael leaves the station and is walking beneath one of Hertford East’s fine Porte cochères
And here we get a better glimpse of the structure, one two at his station which is grade-II listed
Following the large hand signs Ian Carmichael enters the station yard….
….where a number of steam locomotives are present. There are three locomotives in this shot of the yard adjacent to the station, that on the right is a J39 0-6-0 that appears to be No.64773. On the left is what seems to be a J69 0-6-0 tank, whilst a third loco is in the centre distance, too far off to identify.
Now deep in the yard itself, Ian Carmichael is surrounded by an interesting array of departmental rolling stock. In the centre is a small tank loco, possibly another J67.
In this final view from Hertford East, the front end of a DMU is creeping into shot on the left. Stuart Mackay of the railcar website confirms this as being a Class 125. I have not the faintest idea what the item of rolling stock with the ‘half cab’ is that is seen on the right (and in the picture above) but it is likely to be the cab end of a steam crane.
This is a shot of the forecourt outside Elstree & Borehamwood station in Hertfordshire……
….which is followed by a shot of Alistair Sim buying a ticket. Note the view through the open door to the platform outside.