The particular feature which made this particular valley suitable for the film was the presence of a disused railway set amidst very attractive countryside, both essential features for the screenplay that "Tibby" Clarke had written for Ealing.
The railway in question was the Limpley Stoke to Camerton branch of the Great Western Railway, which had closed in 1951 as a result of the closure of Camerton Colliery in 1950. Titfield station was in fact the old station at Monkton Combe, and the film-makers made various alterations to the building, including extending the canopy at one end, the addition of an external ticket window and the addition of various period details.
The photograh to left was taken by Bernard King, and shows the platform side of Monkton Combe station building, together with additional details put in by the film makers such as the fire buckets, weighing machine, poster board and seat.
You might have expected some of these details to have already been on the station, but they wre missingas the line hadn'tt been open to passengers since September 1925!
For the last few years I have been restoring the station building at Limpley Stoke, the junction station for the "Titfield" branch line. Whilst this building does not feature in the film, it is almost identical to that at Monkton Combe, which was the ac tual station which stars in the film as "Titfield". It is the sole survivor of a unique style and design of building which was peculiar to the Limpley Stoke to Camerton branch line, there being originally three examples, Limpley Stoke, Monkton Combe and a third at the long lost station at Dunkerton.
Left. Bert Gane, the last porter to serve at Monkton Combe pours the tea in Monkton Combe station office in November 1949. At this time one train per day was running to Camerton, stopping to shunt Monkton Combe's siding "as required" on the return journey to Limpley Stoke. Photo courtesy of Mervyn Halbrook.
Right: Bernard King's model of Monkton Combe, the station building was off to the right over the level crossing. Photo courtesy of Bernard King.
This model has unfortunately been destroyed, but the exquisite model train, and a model of the steamroller still exist. Bernard built them to an approximate scale of 3mm to 1 foot.
This photograph shows the "modern" train awaiting a "take". The shot is taken in a direction which is diagonally opposite to the view of Bernard's model reproduced above.
The locomotive is No. 1401 of the GWR's 14XX class and the coach was built for the Wisbech and Upwell tramway. It had been in store at Crewe pending preservation prior to the film, but following filming it was unfortunately broken up!
Photo courtesy Bernard King
Limpley Stoke South Signal Box, which by the time of the film controlled the junction with the Camerton branch about half a mile down the line from and in front of the photographer.
In the background is the village of Limpley Stoke, the station was around the bend towards the Camerton branch junction.
Photo courtesy of Mervyn Halbrook
Titfield Home Site
© Simon Castens 1999
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