Dir: David Eady
Starring: Angela Baddeley and Maurice Kaufmann

A lonesome, animal loving young boy steals a rare monkey from the zoo for a friend

The story for this insipid children’s adventure centres on Chessington Zoo, long before it became the ‘World of Adventures’. We get a rare but brief glimpse of the old 12″ gauge railway at Chessington Zoo, opened in 1932 and closed in 1984. It ran in a half-mile loop using a pair of (petrol powered) steam-outline locos based on the GWR Dukedog design. The locos were built by Barnard & Co of Norwich and were given the identities No. 1 ‘Princess Margaret’ and No. 2 ‘Queen Elizabeth’. It is not known which one appears in the film.

This is the old Chessington Zoo railway. Note the GWR-style loco at the front with ‘Chessington Passenger Transport Board’ writing on the tender.
The train moves off, giving us a quick glimpse of the open carriages with their bench seats. There were three of these carriages per train.
The young protagonist in the film is played by Gerard Lohan. At the film’s climax he returns to the zoo at night and passes the train, which is sleeping for the night. This shot has been bleached to give a better glimpse of the loco, the outline of which is quite clear in the foreground.