Dir: Muriel Box
Starring: Stanley Holloway and Kathleen Harrison
A family refuses to allow a road to be built through their home for the Festival of Britain
The film was an adaptation of a play called The Happy Family by Michael Clayton Hutton and was originally to have been called South Bank Story. The character played by Stanley Holloway is a British Railways train driver who has worked on the railways for 35 years and who is just about to retire. To emphasise this fact there is a fantastic shot of Holloway at Nine Elms Motive Power Depot climbing down from the footplate of then brand new BR Standard Class 7MT ‘Britannia’ 4-6-2 No.70009 Alfred the Great at the end of his final shift. Ex-LBSCR Class E4 0-6-2T No.32493 runs past light but other locos in the background are indiscernible. The title sequence features a view of the River Thames and Hungerford Bridge is prominent in the foreground with the elevated signal box at the entrance to Charing Cross station clearly visible. The very final scenes show actual footage of the Festival of Britain exhibitions on the South Bank and a British-built steam locomotive just creeps briefly into view in two of the shots. It is Indian Government Railway WG Class 5’ 6” gauge 2-8-2 No.8350 built by the North British Locomotive Co. of Glasgow in 1950.