Identify type of locomotive on old film

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fv43576

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I was watch a film Norman Wisdom last night call “One Good Turn” 1955. Norman was in the toilet on what I believe it to be the SR Class 4Lav EMU take his trouser off & shake outside a window because of wasp, the steam train come pass on other line take his trouser away, I am try to find out what type of this locomotive? As the number must be 31728 so that is the D Class because it is the only number I can find on record but it was disposal in 1953. The film was made in 1955 so I guess I may be wrong
Anyone can confirm this type
Why was the number going backward?
 

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Ash Bridge

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Just wondering if it was actually a C class, and perhaps no. 31718 which I think was withdrawn in 1955, I could also be totally incorrect.
 

GrimsbyPacer

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I love Norman Wisdom films :)
That loco should have a nameplate attached,
"The Trouser Express" maybe?
 

D6975

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Flipping the image is quite common in films. The director thinks it looks better one way round, so they flip the image in the edit. Note that the trains are both running wrong line as a result of the flip.
As for the date, was the film made in 55 or released in 55?
If released in 55, then the filming may have been in 54.

nb Filming a sequence backwards doesn't require a flip, just a reverse of the frame direction
 
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Peter Mugridge

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The date on a film is the release date so it would have been filmed the year before.

True, you don't need to flip when running a sequence backwards - but you do if it wouldn't otherwise match the rest of the film. Do we know if the number is backwards throughout the film or just in that clip? If it's throughout, then it's for artistic reasons. If it's just that clip, it's for continuity.
 

fv43576

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Sounds you are right and it look very same shape, search on Wikipedia SECR C Class it said "Withdrawals of the remainder of the class began in 1953" so Norman was film around 1954.
 

30907

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Just wondering if it was actually a C class, and perhaps no. 31718 which I think was withdrawn in 1955, I could also be totally incorrect.

Looks like a C to me as well.

The EMU is a Bullied wide-bodied design, so not a 4LAV: possibly a late 2HAL but more likely a 4SUB/EPB.
 

Ash Bridge

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Looks like a C to me as well.

The EMU is a Bullied wide-bodied design, so not a 4LAV: possibly a late 2HAL but more likely a 4SUB/EPB.

I was wondering about that, what did you make of the interior shots where Thora Hird is stood at the end of the corridor at the toilet door talking to Norman Wisdom who is inside, was that actually on board an EMU or was it hauled stock? Certainly didn't appear to be a SUB or EPB interior.
 

Bevan Price

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Just wondering if it was actually a C class, and perhaps no. 31718 which I think was withdrawn in 1955, I could also be totally incorrect.

Definitely a C class 0-6-0. From the batch 31711-25.

The only other locos in the number series 317xx were 4-4-0s (Classes D, D1, L, or L1),
0-4-4 Tanks (Class R1) or 2-6-0s (Class U), and it is not any of those.
 

John Webb

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Horton's "Guide to Britain's Railways in Feature Films" confirms this was a Class 'C' loco and the film was released in 1954.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Running the fps backwards would make the smoke go down the chimney.

Good point! :lol:


As to the interior - definitely not a SUB / EPB interior; I wonder if they filmed the exterior shots on a different train from the interior shots? I'm trying to think of something that looks like the SUB / EPB externally but which had a corridor internally.

Had this question come up 10 - 15 years ago I could have just asked him about the filming for you!
 

DaleCooper

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Good point! :lol:


As to the interior - definitely not a SUB / EPB interior; I wonder if they filmed the exterior shots on a different train from the interior shots? I'm trying to think of something that looks like the SUB / EPB externally but which had a corridor internally.

Had this question come up 10 - 15 years ago I could have just asked him about the filming for you!

I'm sure they would have filmed the interior and exterior shots wherever most convenient, in fact the interior may have been in a studio, not expecting it to provoke an internet debate 60 years later.
 

Ash Bridge

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Good point! :lol:


As to the interior - definitely not a SUB / EPB interior; I wonder if they filmed the exterior shots on a different train from the interior shots? I'm trying to think of something that looks like the SUB / EPB externally but which had a corridor internally.

Had this question come up 10 - 15 years ago I could have just asked him about the filming for you!
Are you referring to Norman Wisdom there Peter?
I'm sure they would have filmed the interior and exterior shots wherever most convenient, in fact the interior may have been in a studio, not expecting it to provoke an internet debate 60 years later.

I think your suggestion of a studio set is correct Dale, I've just taken another look at the scene on YouTube and the window side bodywork alongside the corridor looks extremely flimsy and actually moves as Norman Wisdoms character bangs against it as he makes his way along the aisle.
 

30907

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Good point! :lol:


As to the interior - definitely not a SUB / EPB interior; I wonder if they filmed the exterior shots on a different train from the interior shots? I'm trying to think of something that looks like the SUB / EPB externally but which had a corridor internally.

The last few HALs would meet the criterion (says he, not having seen the film to check) - but as other have suggested, it could as easily be a studio mock up.
 

yorksrob

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The last few HALs would meet the criterion (says he, not having seen the film to check) - but as other have suggested, it could as easily be a studio mock up.

The early HAP Units had a corridor and a lavatory, which might have allowed the combination of the bullied EPB/SUB door/window configuration with the lavatory window, through which Norman was waving his trousers - however these weren't built until 1956 - two years after filming !

So probably a Gatwick HAL as others have said.

The interior of the compartment definitely looks like a Mk1 long distance compo, but the corridor wall looks too perpendicular.

A mash-up of multiple units !
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The last few HALs would meet the criterion (says he, not having seen the film to check) - but as other have suggested, it could as easily be a studio mock up.

I have my doubts as to whether they could or would have mocked up the distinctive Bullied profile in that exterior shot - looks very realistic!
 

Bevan Price

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I think that more than one coach was involved in the filming. The shots "within the compartment" are possibly loco-hauled stock, or a mock-up thereof. The sequence within the corridor defintely looks like a flimsy mock-up of that side of the coach.

The sequence where he loses his trousers through the toilet window involve a completely different train -Bulleid era outer suburban emu stock.

If anyone has a high resolution monitor, and can pause the film at about 37m 50s, it may be possible to read the unit numbers of the trains in what looks like Brighton station.
 

Ash Bridge

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I think that more than one coach was involved in the filming. The shots "within the compartment" are possibly loco-hauled stock, or a mock-up thereof. The sequence within the corridor defintely looks like a flimsy mock-up of that side of the coach.

The sequence where he loses his trousers through the toilet window involve a completely different train -Bulleid era outer suburban emu stock.

If anyone has a high resolution monitor, and can pause the film at about 37m 50s, it may be possible to read the unit numbers of the trains in what looks like Brighton station.

I couldn't read the unit numbers at 37.50 but at 38.06 there is a clear shot of the rear driving car no. S11014S just before it pulls away.
 
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Taunton

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I think the interior shots are studio mockups. The upholstery of the seating unit backs in the compartments goes higher than any I recall, and in the scene with Wisdom in the corridor the right hand bodyside seems to bounce about noticeably when he bumps it. The scene in the toilet would have required the partitioning to be removed to allow the camera to operate.

Regarding the exterior shot, yes, I think it is one of the post-war extra 2-HALs 2693-99, with the body style of the SUBs but an interior layout, and thus window/door arrangement, of the HALs, which were built theoretically as replacements for pre-war stock destroyed in bombing at various points. The Southern probably got some special compensation for these which accounts for a specific build. Known as "Gatwick" units because later, after the film, they were allocated to the Victoria-Gatwick service which started in 1958 when the airport opened. I was a little thrown because he is leaning out of the toilet compartment window at the rear of the third coach of the formation, on the left hand side, and the toilet window on these units was actually on the right hand side, with the corridor (different window pattern) on the left. Then I realised that of course the whole film is reversed. So I believe it's a 2 x Gatwick 2-HAL formation, both running with Driving Trailer Composites leading.

A driver will hopefully be along soon to identify the stretch of line. At the time of the film these units were operating on the Eastern Section. Possibly in the hills beyond Swanley Junction.
 
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John Webb

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The internal shots are indeed studio sets - according to "Horton's Guide to Britain's Railways in Feature Films". He also says that there is back projection of film shot from the window of a 4SUB unit.
Horton also spotted 11014 - this is part of an SR 6-PUL set.
Stations in the film included Brighton and Crawley.
 

30907

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I have my doubts as to whether they could or would have mocked up the distinctive Bullied profile in that exterior shot - looks very realistic!

I was referring to the interior only - undoubtedly the outside is genuine.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Are you referring to Norman Wisdom there Peter?

Yes; I met him a few times when he was still living in Epsom.

He was a very nice bloke. On one occasion I interviewed him for my old school's old pupils' association magazine and went along to his flat with one of the PAs from work to do the note-taking.

His flat was absolutely perfectly neat and tidy inside - that was no doubt a manifestation of his training for the films; he was a fully trained acrobat as well as an actor and did all his own stunts. Precision is obviously very important in that context and it clearly made a lasting impression on him.

When the PA put her tape recorder / dictaphone type thing down on the corner of the table at the start, it was very slightly not square with the table edge. Norman very quickly but carefully slightly adjusted it until it was exactly parallel to the table edges.

One thing he told us - you know that scene near the start of the film about the milkmen in which he falls down the stairs while holding a cup of tea and doesn't spill a drop? He did that on the first take...
 

Ash Bridge

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Yes; I met him a few times when he was still living in Epsom.

He was a very nice bloke. On one occasion I interviewed him for my old school's old pupils' association magazine and went along to his flat with one of the PAs from work to do the note-taking.

His flat was absolutely perfectly neat and tidy inside - that was no doubt a manifestation of his training for the films; he was a fully trained acrobat as well as an actor and did all his own stunts. Precision is obviously very important in that context and it clearly made a lasting impression on him.

When the PA put her tape recorder / dictaphone type thing down on the corner of the table at the start, it was very slightly not square with the table edge. Norman very quickly but carefully slightly adjusted it until it was exactly parallel to the table edges.

One thing he told us - you know that scene near the start of the film about the milkmen in which he falls down the stairs while holding a cup of tea and doesn't spill a drop? He did that on the first take...

Thanks for that, very interesting, he moved to the Isle of Man later didn't he? I remember there was a several part BBC ? documentary a few years back that followed his life there.
 
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