THE BLACK SHEEP OF WHITEHALL

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GB
1942
1hr 20mins
Dirs: Basil Dearden and Will Hay
Starring: Will Hay and John Mills

An incompetent school teacher discovers that a Nazi agent is trying to prevent a trade treaty being signed between England and South America

There is a sequence in this comedy war film that depicts a railway journey: shots of London Paddington station are followed by an SR L1 Class 4-4-0 No.1753 departing London Victoria, a ‘stock footage’ shot of an LMS ‘Royal Scot’ Class 6P 4-6-0 in the Lune Gorge, a ‘stock shot’ of an LNER A5 Class 4-6-2T entering a tunnel on the ex-Great Central main line, and a scene depicting GWR ‘Grange’ Class 4-6-0 No.6815 Frilford Grange arriving at High Wycombe station! There is then towards the end a comedy scene involving the level crossing at Baynards station with footage of an SR N Class 2-6-0 cut in. All in all then, a real mix bagged. One London tram is also seen, working route 72 Victoria Embankment-Woolwich. Incidentally, the scene where Will Hay masquerades as a guard used a studio set for both the carriage interior and station scenes. The crowd scenes at Paddington use stock footage of holiday crowds, and near identical shots had first appeared in Return to Yesterday (1940) – qv.

Crowds flock at Paddington station
The busy platforms viewed from another angle
A lovely crisp shot of Southern Railway L1 Class 4-4-0 No.1753 departing London Victoria. Built in 1926, No.1753 was the first of 15.
This is the by now familiar ‘stock shot’ of an LMS express rounding a curve in the Lune Gorge hauled by an unrebuilt ‘Royal Scot’ 4-6-0. This clip has also appeared in A Honeymoon Adventure (1931), No Limit (1935), Quiet Wedding (1941), Next of Kin (1942), The Echo Murders (1945), and The Hangman Waits (1947).
An LNER A5 Class 4-6-2T is about to plunge into a tunnel somewhere on the old Great Central
GWR ‘Grange 4-6-0 No.6815 Frilford Grange arrives in to High Wycombe. Note the Southern Railway (SR) branded mineral wagon to its left, beyond which is a BR brake van.
This is the level crossing used for the comedy scene in the film. I asked the question that the little country lane with its distinctive building should have enough clues to help identify the location of this charming scene. And so it proved. John Nihill identified this as the level crossing at Baynards station on the Horsham-Guildford line. The route closed in 1965 and the crossing has now gone. Station Road, meanwhile, has now been downgraded to a private drive.
The railway shots conclude with this glimpse of a Southern Railway N Class 2-6-0 approaching the camera. Oddly, the hinges on the smokebox door are on the left. As they are in fact always on the right, the image has been reversed!
This is the cropped shot of a London tram in Westminster working Route 72