THE GENTLE SEX

GB
1943
1hr 32mins
Dir: Leslie Howard
Starring: Rosamund John and Joan Greenwood

This documentary-drama follows seven women from different backgrounds who meet at an Auxiliary Territorial Service training camp

This wartime propaganda film has a good number of railway scenes but not all are identifiable. The opening scenes at London Waterloo feature an excellent shot of ‘King Arthur’ N15 Class 4-6-0 No.771 Sir Sagramore leaving on an express though there is a lot of studio work in this sequence. Back-projection during the journey produces images of some railway carriages, but there is a struggle to identify anything else. There then follows a run by of LNER B17 Class 4-6-0 No.2841 Gayton Hall on an express and a shot of LMS 7F Class 0-8-0 No.9007 crossing a level crossing tender first on a mineral train. This was filmed at Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, on the Bedford-Bletchley line. There is also a shot of an unknown express passing a signal box, the railway bridge in the centre of Chalvey, near Slough, and a slow moving mixed goods in a dockyard setting, with no locomotive visible.

This is the opening shot of the film, said to be a Southern Railway station but I am not so sure. It looks like a set to me.
And so do these carriages. This is unlikely to be the real thing because of what comes next. Notice the ‘SOUTHERN’ branding.
Where now there is none. Despite being a relatively cheap production made mid way through the Second World War it is an intelligent and quite warming spectacle so these things can be excused.
This is definitely the genuine article however. ‘King Arthur’ Class No.771 Sir Sagramore pulls away from London Waterloo.
Followed by this stock shot of a passing LNER express hauled by B17 Class 4-6-0 No.2841 Gayton Hall
This is Simpson Road level crossing in the heart of Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire. The station is just out of shot to the left.
Quite a rare loco on film, LMS 7F Class 0-8-0 No.9007 crosses tender first on a freight train