1hr 40mins
Dir: Herbert Wilcox
Starring: Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding

A film depicting the life of Florence Nightingale and her work with wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War

This historical drama, based upon the stage play by Reginald Berkeley, has an excellent railway scene using the vintage Liverpool & Manchester Railway 0-4-2 locomotive Lion. It is captured arriving into Cole Green station on the Welwyn Garden City-Hertford line with a rake of replica L&MR 1st Class four-wheelers, a great piece of period filming by the production company. Hatfield shed provided a footplate crew who were then given period costumes to wear, and Lion had to have her wheel flanges specially re-profiled for the occasion. Two additional points of interest are worth mentioning. Cole Green station closed the year this film was produced, though the route stayed open for freight until 1962, and it appeared again two years later in the film Isn’t Life Wonderful! (qv). Lion meanwhile was becoming quite a celebrity. It had been used in Victoria the Great (1937) (qv), another Neagle/Wilcox production, and went on to achieve real stardom in the 1953 Ealing comedy The Titfield Thunderbolt (qv). There is even brief stock footage of the loco in the 2002 movie 24 Hour Party People (qv).

The period Liverpool & Manchester Railway train delicately pulls into Cole Green station with No.57 Lion at the helm. The first two carriages of its three coach train are named, in true Stagecoach fashion. The first is called ‘Experience’ and the second ‘Huskisson’.
Anna Neagle at Cole Green station in Hertfordshire
Shaking hands with the station master, Florence rebukes his offer of assistance