1hr 53mins
Dir: Victor Saville
Starring: Jessie Matthews and Max Miller

A touring variety troupe, the ‘Dinky Doos’, are in financial trouble, but a chance encounter with three strangers revitalises their show

Based on the 1929 novel of the same name by J. B. Priestley, this fabulous musical comedy not only features the ever-beautiful Jessie Matthews, but also the truly wonderful Olive Sloane. Outside of these two, it has a montage of shots as the group travels around the country. Montages were typical fare for films at the time, but this one is better than most. In appearance order the trains featured are; an ex-LNWR ‘Claughton’ 4-6-0, an ex-Midland Railway ‘Compound 4-4-0 double-heading an express with another ‘Claughton’, a third ‘Claughton’, and what appears to be an LMS ‘Royal Scot’ Class 6P 4-6-0. There is also a phantom ride shot on the approach to the eastern portal of Box Tunnel. Earlier in the film there is a shot of an unidentified ex-GER 0-6-0 arriving at the platform of an unknown station that poses as ‘Dotworth’, and a shot of the rear of a train departing from the St. Albans Abbey branch platform of Watford Junction station. The station departure scene in this sequence does appear to use a real train as the studio set, if that is what it is, is too highly detailed.

The acting troupe board the train at the start of their tour. This, and the station scenes that follow, do actually appear to use the real thing, though one can not rule out a very detailed studio set.
The passengers looking out quizzically, the bars on the windows, the wisp of smoke, the rough platform surface, the intricate paintwork, and even the reflections in the windows, all suggest that this is the real thing…….
John Gielgud marches down the platform as the train begins to depart. This is real, and although it is not known where it was filmed, it could be Watford Junction.
This is the St Albans Abbey branch bay platform at Watford Junction. The rear carriage looks to be a push-pull vehicle of some description judging by the end windows and there appears to be a destination board along the base but this sadly cannot be read.
As the train pulls out more of the platform is revealed, along with some LMS branded open wagons in the sidings beyond
The real station shown here posing as ‘Dotworth.’ is currently unidentified, and so too is the locomotive. The latter looks to be an 0-6-0 tender loco of Great Eastern Railway origin but not enough of it is shown.
Montage shot No.1 – an ex-LNWR ‘Claughton’ Class 4-6-0
Montage shot No.2 – an ex-MR ‘Compound’ 4-4-0 double-heads an express
the train engine of which is another ‘Claughton’
Montage shot No.3 – another ‘Claughton’, only this time one without smoke deflectors
Montage shot No.4 – an LMS ‘Royal Scot’ 4-6-0 passes ‘over-the-camera’
Montage shot No.5 – the approach to Box Tunnel. The track on the right complete with wagon led into the underground ‘quarry’ system via its own tunnel, much smaller in stature when compared to Brunel’s monstrous bore.