THE Railway Children Return – the eagerly-awaited sequel to the classic 1970 film – is being given a northern premiere in Keighley on Sunday, July 3.

The family adventure, which goes on general cinema release on July 15, sees Jenny Agutter reprising her role as Bobbie.

And filming locations once again included Oakworth, Haworth and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

The stars of the film will arrive at Oakworth Station to attend the northern premiere at Keighley Picture House.

Set in 1944, the film sees three children – Lily, Pattie and Ted Watts – evacuated from Salford to the Yorkshire countryside. Arriving at Oakworth Station, they’re met by Bobbie, her daughter Annie, grandson Thomas and stationmaster Perks.

Exploring their new surroundings, the children discover a young man in Thomas’ secret hideout. They suspect he’s a German spy, but it turns out he’s an American GI with an injured leg. And, he tells the children, he’s on a secret mission.

Producer Jemma Rodgers had the idea for a sequel when her daughter was learning about evacuee children at school. “Because her journey to us as an adopted child had been via a train, it affected her profoundly,” says Jemma.

Looking for a film that reflected her experience, Rodgers turned to The Railway Children, Lionel Jeffries’ adaptation of Edith Nesbit’s book.

She had the idea of weaving in the wartime experience of black American soldiers in Britain.

StudioCanal loved the project but it rested on one key cast member – Jenny Agutter. “She’s the reason the film exists, really,” says director Morgan Matthews. “Her connection to the original is what a lot of people remember.”

Jenny and Morgan went through Danny Brocklehurst’s script to develop Bobbie and her place in the new film.

Sheridan Smith plays Bobbie’s school headmistress daughter Annie and Tom Courtenay is kindly Uncle Walter. Austin Haynes, 13, who attends Bradford theatre school Articulate, plays Jenny’s grandson, Thomas.

Having made The Railway Children at the age of 17, Jenny moved to America for work. When she returned to the UK years later she was delighted by the level of affection for the film. “Whilst I’d been away it had started to be re-shown on television as a kind of Christmas classic,” she says. “And I understand why. The film Lionel made has a timeless quality, he’s very true to Nesbit and that feeling of delight in childhood memories.”