Dir: Robert Day
Starring: Tony Hancock and George Sanders
A downtrodden London office clerk goes to Paris to become an artist
This popular satirical comedy features a memorable scene whereby Tony Hancock is making a journey to Paris by train with one of his sculptures attached to a flat wagon at the rear. The sculpture has its head unceremoniously knocked off by a bridge. This decapitation scene was filmed at East Grinstead (Low Level) station with the bridge being that which carried the tracks of the High Level station. The locomotive hauling the train is not visible, as shots of the sculpture are taken from the wagon itself. The High Level station at East Grinstead closed in 1967. The station at the start of the film named ‘Fortune Green South’ was in fact Bingham Road Halt, located on the 2-mile link between the Mid-Kent Line at Woodside and the Oxted Line at Selsdon Road. There are some very good shots of the station in this sequence, and a number of 2 HAP and 4 EPB EMU’s come and go. The Woodside line closed in 1983 and has largely been converted for use by the Croydon Tram system. Most amusing is the way in which Tony Hancock boards the train to get himself a seat. He passes through the unit standing in the adjacent platform and carries out a cross train transfer! The scenes which follow onboard are a set though the ‘back-projection’ through the window ends with a 4 SUB unit keeping pace on an adjacent line. There is also a good shot in this film of the ‘Golden Arrow’ titled express hauled by a Bulleid ‘Pacific’, a brief shot of commuters at London Waterloo station, and a scene on the docks at Dover Marine with some wagons present. Finally, there is a scene with Tony Hancock sat in a car on a flatbed wagon hauled as part of the consist of a freight train. This was filmed in France, and fits in nicely to the continuity of the story. Some additional shots of EPB’s and HAP’s at Bingham Road, filmed for this movie and then not used, can be found on Video 125’s Diesels and Electrics on 35mm DVD.