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New insight into ‘magical movie’
Magical moments from one of Britain’s most popular movies are recalled in a new book entitled The Making of the Railway Children.
Local residents recall their memorable summer in 1970 filming scenes that have entered into cinema history.
Readers can discover the truth behind the railway landslide, the waving of Bobbie’s petticoat and Daddy’s tear-jerking return home.
And they’ll learn about the hard work of volunteers who went on to reopen the old Worth Valley branch line as a heritage railway.
The book, originally published in 2010 as a comprehensive guide to The Railway Children, has recently been reprinted with new anecdotes and pictures.
Jim Shipley, who has many years’ connection with the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, originally compiled the book to commemorate the 40th anniversary of filming.
His collection, mostly of articles previously published in the railway magazine Push and Pull, prompted readers to get in touch with new material.
The Making of the Railway Children includes in-depth articles by railway volunteers – each involved with specific aspects of filming – and local people who took part as extras.
Together they tell the story of the film, from its origins in a 1968 BBC serial to the present-day activities of actors and crew.
The late Bob Cryer, Keighley’s former MP and a leading light in the railway’s early days, relates how he walked the line scouting locations with writer/director Lionel Jeffries.
Former Keighley mayor Graham Mitchell recalls his speaking role as a train guard, while fellow volunteers Derrick Begg and Mike Goodall wrote about their experiences crewing locos for the film.
Other people involved in The Railway Children as actors or extras give detailed accounts of how the movie’s well-known sequences were created.
The book also features dozens of stills from the film and fascinating behind-the-scenes photographs.
There are separate articles on actress Dinah Sheridan – who died last month aged 92 – author Edith Nesbit, director Lionel Jeffries and Bernard Cribbins who played stationmaster Mr Perks.
One notable addition to the updated book is an article on the career of Gary Warren, who played young Peter in the movie.
Unlike his screen siblings Jenny Agutter and Sally Thomsett, who have revisited the railway many times, Gary disappeared from public view decades ago.
The book finishes with copies of a call sheet and location map, along with more recent adaptations of the story.