1hr 16mins
Dir: Michael Powell
Starring: Gordon Harker and Binnie Hale

A new keeper takes over a remote Welsh lighthouse which is allegedly haunted

Despite being nothing more than a low-budget ‘quota quickie’ this thriller has stood the test of time and is much admired by film historians. It is based on the play The Haunted Light by Evadne Price and Joan Roy Byford. The lighthouse is set in Wales and in keeping with the story the early part of the film features some wonderful shots of the 1’ 11 ½” narrow-gauge Festiniog Railway in its original form. These excellent scenes feature Gordon Harker onboard a passenger service and a scene at Tan-y-Bwlch station. The film opens, however, with a short sequence of shots at various points on the line including a phantom ride shot on the approach to the west end of the 67 yards long Garnedd Tunnel, which is in fact going away from Tan-y-Bwlch. For all these shots, the locomotive is Double Fairlie 0-4-4-0T Taliesin, built in 1886, withdrawn in 1971, and now preserved at the National Railway Museum as Livingston Thompson, its original name.

This is the approach to the western end of Garnedd Tunnel. It is only 67-yards long but appears bigger because it is of narrow-gauge.
As the train rounds the curve on Cei Mawr embankment, Gordon Harker looks out of the train to admire the view. The loco at the front is one of the Festiniog’s famous Double-Fairlie locomotives, said to be Taliesin. Cei Mawr is a spectacular 62-foot high curved dry stone embankment, one of the lines most recognisable locations.
The station scenes proper start with this excellent low-level runby of the train
A plume of smoke heralds the trains arrival into Tan-y-bwlch
The station mistress (played by Louie Emery) stands with single-line token in hand (or ‘right of way staff’ as they were referred to by the railway).
Although of relatively poor quality this shot shows the exact moment that the tokens are exchanged between driver and the station mistress. Women often ran the station’s in these remote areas of Wales, with Bessie Jones being the station mistress at the time of filming and a very famous character on the line. The big hat and shawl are traditional Welsh costume.
Louie Emery and Gordon Harker on the platform at Tan-y-Bwlch
As the train leaves behind its trial of smoke the brief moment of intrusion has been replaced again by quiet. Gordon Harker makes his way along the platform with only the sounds of nature and the receding train to accompany him. Note the original station building on the right, nestled among the trees at this most delightful of stations.