Dir: Herbert Wilcox
Starring: Anna Neagle and Anton Walbrook
The film biography of Queen Victoria concentrating initially on the early years of her reign with her marriage to Prince Albert
This hugely successful historical biopic features a railway scene where Victoria and Albert go away on honeymoon by train. The credit titles record thanks to ‘the LMS for the original train of 1841’. The sequence used a historical recreation of a period train, comprising Liverpool and Manchester Railway 0-4-2 Lion with replica L&M coaches, on the Watford Junction-St Albans Abbey branch. One of the sidings in the yard at Brickett Wood was converted to represent Euston station as it appeared in 1840, and we are treated to several rather fine run-bys of the train as it makes its way along the branch. The Brickett Wood Station Heritage Trust website provides information on the filming, which started on 28th April 1937. It mentions the fact that because Lion had no injectors, special arrangements had to be made for the engine to run up and down the branch between normal services to enable the pump to keep the water moving between the tender and the boiler. Lion has appeared in several other feature films, most notably The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) (qv). The film was followed by Sixty Glorious Years (qv) which continued the look at Victoria’s life, and had Anna Neagle and Anton Walbrook reprise their roles, but not Lion.