2hrs 07mins
Dir: Karel Reisz
Starring: Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep

In 1867, a man falls for the abandoned mistress of a French seaman

Based on the 1969 novel of the same name by John Fowles, this popular romantic drama features two stories that run parallel to each other, one is the story summarised above, whilst the other is a contemporary story about actors playing the characters. The ‘Victorian story’ has a scene filmed at Kingswear station, masquerading as ‘Exeter’, with ex-GWR 1400-series 0-4-2T No.1450 arriving with a train. The loco was visiting the Paignton and Dartmouth Railway specifically for filming as it normally resided on the South Devon Railway. The loco was built in 1935 and although old enough, is still too young for the period in which the film is set. The ‘present-day’ story includes a night scene at Windsor & Eton Central station. BR blue & grey-liveried Mk.2 coaching stock is visible in the platform and there is a glimpse of a locomotive at the bufferstops, but the angle is too acute to identify what type. The station also masquerades as ‘Exeter St David’s’ in an aid to continuity, yet neither station in the ‘past’ or ‘present’ scenes was actually Exeter!

Kingswear station on the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway with No.1450 at the head of a train. The ‘EXETER’ station nameboard is just visible on the left.
Jeremy Irons and Hilton McRae have just alighted from the train at Kingswear
Windsor & Eton Central station with BR Mk2 coaching stock in the platform. Filmed in 1981 this was still a little while before the stations sacrilegious and wholesale rationlisation by British Rail but the closure notices for the short branch from Slough were actually posted on the wall the following year! The branch survived, but although it had starred in many film’s over the years, this would ironically be its last.
Windsor & Eton Central station again. Two of the Mk.2 coaches on the departing train are Open Standards No’s 6101 and 6107.