The locomotive which features most in the film is the Bluebell's SECR C-class No.592, which played the part of "The Green Dragon".
South Eastern & Chatham Railway, Wainwright goods locomotive No.592
Built: 1902, Longhedge Works
Numbers carried: 592, A592, 1592, 31592, DS 239
Length: 51' 7.5"
Weight: Engine: 43t 16c, Tender 38t 5c
Water capacity: 3,300 gallons
Coal capacity: 4.5 tons
Boiler Pressure: 160 psi
After the amalgamation of the SER and the LCDR in 1899 it fell to Harry Wainwright to put some order into the locomotive designs the new company inherited. The C-class was his standard goods design, and served the SECR, and in turn the SR and BR, well.
Preserved initially at Ashford Works, it moved to the Bluebell in 1970, and finally entered service in 1975 after work on its boiler and a badly damaged axle journal. Its 1994 overhaul in the hands of volunteers saw it returned to service with a spare overhauled tender which we had been fortunate enough to obtain. We also have a spare boiler for this locomotive, which was used when the loco was next overhauled.
This photo shows Bobbie's accidental ride on the Green Dragon. (© Carlton TV)
More information is available on the web page for this locomotive.
The carriage which starred as "The Old Gentleman's Coach" is the splendid Great Northern Railway Directors' Saloon, built in 1897.
Original No: 1283
Other Nos: 706, LNER: 706 E, 43909,
and BR: DE 942090
Seating: 20 to 22
Length: 48' 6"
Weight: 28 Tons
To Bluebell: 3/10/1971
This magnificent clerestory saloon was constructed in 1897, and refitted in 1933 by the LNER. It remained in the use of the GNR/LNER directors, then British Railways Eastern Region General Manager until 1969, when it was sold complete from Hornsey Carriage Sheds for the princely sum of £500.
As one of the few privately owned coaches on the Bluebell, the Saloon has its own dedicated team of owners and friends, the Howlden Trust, a charity named after the Saloon's designer, E.F. Howlden. They have lavished large amounts of time and effort over the years restoring the saloon to its GNR/LNER appearance. It has always remained available for special-traffic use since first arriving at the Bluebell in October 1971.
The saloon's owners permit its running in public a few times a year, usually at Easter, some other bank holiday weekends, and on Gala days. The celebration of the saloon's 100th anniversary, which fell in 1997, included running of the coach with the GNR Saddle Tank belonging to the National Railway Museum.
This photo shows Bobbie (Jemima Rooper) asking the Old Gentleman (Lord Richard Attenborough) whether he can help them. (© Carlton TV)
More information is available on the web page for this carriage.
The other two teak-bodied carriages which ran with this locomotive and the Old Gentleman's coach were two of our four Metropolitan Railway carriages, built in 1898 and 1900. They are seen here with Locomotive "Birch Grove" which was specially turned to face South for use in the filming. This photo was taken during the test run after which these coaches re-entered service on the Bluebell in February 1999 after a seven-year long overhaul by volunteers.
Metropolitan Railway Full Third 394
Built: (Ashbury) 1900, Rebuilt: 1921, Un-rebuilt: 1992-7
Seating: 70 3rd
Length: 39' 6"
Weight: 20 Tons
Original No: 394
Other Nos: 6702, 518
To Bluebell: 2/3/1961
Built initially for steam-haulage, this coach was converted for electric operation as a driving trailer in 1921, at which time the end compartment was rebuilt to a driver's cab. It was converted for steam haulage on the Metropolitan's Chesham Branch in 1940 as LT No.518, a push-pull driving vehicle. Purchased by the Bluebell in 1961, it was used during the sixties, since when it has been out of use except for filming work.
As part of the BASH project to return the set of four "Chesham" vehicles to working order, it was stripped, and received a new roof and two entirely new compartment walls. The driving cab, which was infested with dry-rot, has been stripped out and rebuilt as an ordinary passenger compartment, to return the coach to its pre-1921 condition. Much of the teak required for the reconstruction has been salvaged from various sources.
Metropolitan Railway Brake Third 387
Built: (Ashbury) 1898
Seating: 50 3rd as built, 30 3rd (1908-1940) and 40 3rd from 1940
Length: 39' 6"
Weight: 20 Tons
Original No: 387
Other Nos: 2761, 512
To Bluebell: 2/3/1961
In the Spring of 1999 the Transport Trust awarded us The Peter Allen Award and a cheque for £750, which has been used for further restoration work on the Metropolitan Coaches. The competition was for projects not completed at the time of judgeing, but due for completion within a year. This carriage returned to public service on 13th February 1999 after more than 30 years out of use and a 7-year-long overhaul.
Originally built as a steam-hauled brake coach, with five passenger compartments, it was converted for electric operation as a Driving Motor Luggage Third in 1907/8 (with only three passenger compartments). It was reconverted for steam haulage on the Metropolitan's Chesham Branch in 1940 as LT No.512, with the fourth, guard's compartment returned to passenger use. It was extensively used on the Bluebell during the sixties, since when it has been out of use except by the Railway's Fire department as their one-time headquarters, and for filming work.
It was lifted from its bogies in February 1992 as part of the BASH (Bluebell Ashbury Supporters and Helpers) project to return the set of four "Chesham" vehicles to working order. The bogies have been comprehensively overhauled, as have the buffers, vacuum brake system and the electrical system (dynamo, battery boxes and wiring).
Work on the body has included the reconstruction of the brake end in its original form. Samples of paint covered over in 1908 reveal the original colour scheme of the interior of the brake van, which has been reproduced.
A series of web pages is dedicated to details of the history and restoration of the four Metropolitan coaches.
Alternatively, go back to our main Railway Children Page.
The Bluebell is in frequent demand as a Film and Television location.
Further details are available here.
Return to Bluebell Home Page, to the Timetable or to Special Events
Your ideal Film/TV location?