Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery, The

Date: 1966
Director: Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder
Production Company: British Lion Film Corporation, Braywild

Stars: Frankie Howerd, Dora Bryan, George Cole, Reg Varney, Raymond Huntley
Location(s): Hampshire, London, Surrey

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

The girls of St. Trinian’s foil an attempt by train robbers to recover two and a half million pounds hidden in their school.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

June 2016 – Chris Churcher advises that “Most of the racing scenes were filmed on the section around Number 2 Range signal box and Woolmer yard which was double track and allowed fast running (south of Whitehill). 

The scene in the film where the trains and Wickham trolley enter and leave the tunnel is, and can only be, north of Whitehill station where the line towards Oakhanger and Bordon passes under the main A325 road.

September 2018 – Máirín Breathnac tells us that “The girls used in the railway parts of the film were students from the Convent of Our Lady of Providence, now known as Alton Convent, in Anstey Lane, Alton, Hampshire. At the time, the school was run by a French order of nuns known as the Sisters of Our Lady of Providence.

Many of the day students lived in Borden and Liss and travelled daily by train to the school. They were automatic candidates for the film. At the time, Alton Convent was also a boarding school and great many “boarders” were used in the film as there were no time deadlines on them getting from the location to their respective homes each day after shooting.

Of particular note is a scene in which two little girls are shown on a hand propelled railway line trolley. I don’t recall the names of the two girls, but I do recall hearing that the scene was specially written and included when the girls were seen playing on the trolley during a break in filming.

I was a day student at the school during that time. However, as my sister and I travelled daily from Basingstoke to Alton we weren’t eligible/available during early and end of day filming. Those of us “left behind” at school were pea green with envy at not being able to participate in such a momentous event.”

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Sir Horace, Minister of Schools (Raymond Huntley) sets off to visit St. Trinian's headmistress Amber Spottiswood. No longer an unidentified location thanks to Philip Cummings. The southern end of Palace Court, London W2 looking north towards Moscow Road and gst002. (RL)

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Now a "gated community" to the right. (RL)

This is supposed to be a reverse shot from image gst001, but it isn't! The junction of Palace Court London W2 with Moscow Road, identified by Philip Cummings. (RL)

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Parking has now been extended to the middle of the road. (RL)

Amber Spottiswood (Dora Bryan) meets one of the teachers as she is let out of Holloway Prison. Parkhurst Road, London N7. The location was also seen in 'The Flesh is Weak' and 'Stolen Face' but the gateway was redeveloped between 1971 and 1985.

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Peter found the same, less decorative spot now.

Driving out of Holloway Prison. The junction of Parkhurst Road with Camden Road and Hillmarton Road with the Castle Bar pub left of centre.

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Confirmation provided by Peter.

Protests grow as the locals hear news of St. Trinian's buying Hamingwell Grange. Alan Field says this was Woking Public Library in Commercial Road, Woking, now demolished.

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One wonders if there were protest about the demolition of the Library! John Jordan send this shot of its replacement. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

For Sale signs appear in the streets as news of St Trinian's spreads. Dawn K. identifies this as Watersplash Road in Shepperton Green, Surrey. The houses have been demolished but the chimney pots to the left of the lamp post's junction box belong to the Barley Mow public house which still stands. The pub is seen in the Children's Film Foundation's 'A Good Deed in Time', part of the 'The Magnificent Six and 1/2' series.

The staff of St. Trinian's drive through the streets. Unknown location.

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Alan Field identifies this location as Commercial Road, Woking, a few yards to the left of gst005. This part of Commercial Road is now pedestrianised and John Jordan took this accurate shot to replace the Google view. (RL)

The pupils arrive at fictitious Hammingwell Halt. Chris Churcher pinpoints this as Whitehill Station, on the Longmoor Military Railway. It only had one platform. Bordon is to the right hand direction. The railway closed in 1969. Chris further advises that to the right of where the rear coach of the train is standing is where gst012 was taken. (RL)

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Chris now provides this photograph of "Hammingwell Halt" as it was in June adding that the train in the screen capture was headed by J94 saddle tank. (RL)

Somewhere in Hamingwell. Identified by Andy Greenland and confirmed by Tom Sibthorpe as London Street at the junction with Guildford Street in Chertsey.

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Andy Greenland also provides this image of the junction.

  • 'Now' required

Hamingwell Grange transformed into St. Trinian's school. Littleton Park House, Shepperton. The location was seen in 'Allez France', 'The Earth Dies Screaming', 'Make Mine a Million', 'Cockleshell Heroes' and 'Nothing Barred'.

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Disguised as caterers, the gang arrive to take the money. Littleton Park House, Shepperton.

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Flash Harry (George Cole) visits The Rose & Crown. Sandhills Lane, Thorpe Green near Virginia Water.

The girls pursue the robbers to the railway. See gst008 for the relative location. The Longmoor Military Railway was also seen in 'The Magnificent Two', 'Runaway Railway' and 'Bhowani Junction'.

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Chris Churcher provides this "now" shot, we can't blame Dr Beeching for this one! (RL)

The robbers driving 'the getaway train'. Chris Churcher says that train is joining the main Longmoor Military Railway line at Whitehill coming off the Hollywater loop. The shot was taken from a point a short distance south of the station. The station platform can be seen opposite the train. Looking to the left of the train is gst008. (RL)

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At least the paths have been kept to clearly reflect the course of the track. (RL)

Arriving at the fictional Fordbridge station. Liss station with Syers Road in the background.

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Replacing Clive's Google shot, but it doesn't improve the station! Apparently "The design was not favoured by the resident of Liss, but costs prevail..."(RL)

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The film's Nutcombe station. Chris Churcher advises that this shot was taken on the former Longmoor Downs Station on the Longmoor Military Railway. It was the largest station on the LMR and is now sadly underneath the main A3 road. In addition, he says that the Hampshire three car DMU is about to depart south towards Greatham and Woolmer. (RL)

Pudham station. In reality Liss station on the Southern Region in the background and the Longmoor Military Railway station in the foreground.

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To clarify, "Pudham" is LMR Liss (foreground), as per the sign, with Liss SR in the background with the pedestrian bridge. Due to the industrial buildings it is not possible to take a shot from that far back/angle. (RL)

The police arrive at Pudham station. Liss station again.

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A replacement of Clive's Google shot but that shed is still not to be seen. (RL)

The pupils become heroes. The Mall, with Buckingham Palace in the background. London SW1.

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Now. SJ