1hr 43mins
Dir: Jack Cardiff
Starring: Trevor Howard and Wendy Hiller

A Nottingham miner’s son learns about life and love

This classic drama is really rather good and is a film adaptation of the 1913 D. H. Lawrence novel of the same name. ‘Bestwood’ station in the film is in fact Longmoor Downs, on the Longmoor Military Railway, and there are some good shots of the station and yard. Trains appear in these scenes that are formed of vintage suburban stock, and the locomotive at the head of one train is one of the LMR’s Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST’s. In an added touch of detail, the platform staff have ‘MR’ initials applied to their uniforms and a brake van and flat wagon in the yard have had their LMR lettering amended to read ‘MR’. In a later fight scene at night a passenger train passes in the background hauled by another ‘Austerity Saddle’, but the wagons in the background to this scene still have their LMR lettering. In addition to these scenes, there is a distant view of a short coal train being hauled through the landscape by an unidentified tank loco, and a night scene filmed adjacent to Weekday Cross Junction on the former Great Central Railway main line in Nottingham. In this instance, a local train passes hauled by an ex-LNER J6 Class 0-6-0.

A train is readied for departure in this scene filmed at Longmoor Downs station
As the train steams away in the background, Dean Stockwell and Wendy Hiller make their way off the platform. The yard to the left is home to just a solitary brake van.
A coal train is hauled through the countryside by a steam tank locomotive. Scenes like this were once so familiar but have rarely been captured on film so this is a delightful surprise.
Another scene that was once so familiar was the sight of a steam train clanking through the townscape at night. Here we have a rare glimpse of Weekday Cross Junction in Nottingham with a local passenger train passing across the viaduct hauled by an ex-LNER J6 Class 0-6-0. The lights of Weekday Cross Junction Signal Box can just be made out to the right of the locomotive. The final trains past here ran in 1974 and the whole area has now been redeveloped with the viaducts demolished.
As dusk falls, Conrad Phillips watches a train arrive into ‘Bestwood’ station which was really Longmoor Downs again. A touch of continuity was at play here. A station was provided in the area of Nottinghamshire where the story was set and was known as Bestwood Colliery, which was a real place. It closed, however, in 1931.
Viewed from the surrounding fields, the train departs from Longmoor Downs but is partly obscured by the trees. The locomotive is an 0-6-0 ‘Austerity’ Saddle Tank.
Dean Stockwell and Conrad Phillips scuffle adjacent to the railway line. A line of box vans form the backdrop.
The film ends with this overview of Longmoor Downs station