Oh, Mr Porter!

Date: 1937
Director: Marcel Varnel
Production Company: Gaumont British Picture Corporation, Gainsborough Pictures

Stars: Will Hay, Moore Marriott, Graham Moffatt
Location(s): Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire



An inept railway employee is given the post of stationmaster at an quiet Irish station and uncovers a gang of gun runners.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Richard Ralph advises that part of the opening credits were filmed on the approach to Greenwich station from Maze Hill in south-east London, albeit in reverse.


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William Porter (Will Hay) as a wheeltapper at the start of the film. Members of the Britmovie Forum identify this location as Hertford North station, Hertfordshire.

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And it certainly looks like Hertford North station. (PW)

After his promotion to Station Master, Porter arrives at Buggleskelly. Cliddesden railway station, Station Road, Cliddesden, Hampshire.

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Establishing shot angle for Buggleskelly Station, looking northeast (Station Road, Cliddesden, Hampshire). Simon Mills.

The Signalbox at Buggleskelly. Cliddesden, Hampshire. The station was on the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway and closed in 1932.

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Location of signal box and level crossing, Buggleskelly Station, looking north (Station Road, Cliddesden, Hampshire). Simon Mills

Porter attempts to open the crossing gates as Jeremiah Harbottle (Moore Marriott) and Albert Brown (Graham Moffatt) look on. Cliddesden, Hampshire.

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Location of level crossing gate, Buggleskelly Station, looking north (Station Road, Cliddesden, Hampshire). Simon Mills

Porter stops the express much to the annoyance of the guard (Bryan Herbert). Cliddesden.

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Buggleskelly Station platform, looking south (Station Road, Cliddesden, Hampshire)

Porter gets ready for the Connemara excursion passengers. Cliddesden station.

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Buggleskelly Station platform, looking north (Station Road, Cliddesden, Hampshire). Simon Mills

Porter climbs onto the sails of Terling Windmill, Mill Lane, Terling, Essex.

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Restoration of the Grade II listed Smock mill to what is now a residence did not include sails to repeat such antics. (RL)

One-Eyed Joe's windmill. Terling Windmill, Essex.

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The interesting history of the mill can be found in Wikipedia. (RL)

Porter, Harbottle and Brown drive the excursion train with the gun runners on board. Cliddesden.

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Location of signal box and level crossing, Buggleskelly Station, looking south (Station Road, Cliddesden, Hampshire). Simon Mills

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The end of the line for the gun runners . . . and the train. John Gravett identifies this as Basingstoke Good Yard. (RL)

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James Churcher, with the able support of father Chris provides this "now" shot looking up along Winterthur Way, Basingstoke, Hants. The screen capture was looking towards the station buildings and the old bay platform for the Alton Line, together with the site of the former cattle dock and sand drag in the LSWR goods yard as located by John Gravett. (RL)

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James and Chris Churcher provide this and the following additional screen captures together with "now" shots. (RL)

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Taken in the vicinity of the former LSWR signal box site to the west of Basingstoke Station, now Winterthur Way, Basingstoke, Hants. Behind the box was situated the LSW goods yard. (RL)

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The locomotive named Gladstone, for the purposes of filming, enters the cattle dock from the Alton Line. (RL)

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The view is looking west over towards the Waterloo Weymouth mainline and in the general direction of Worting junction. (RL)

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Taken at the sand drag in the yard at Basingstoke looking towards the mainline and station area. (RL)

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Now Winterthur Way, Basingstoke, Hants. (RL)

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A frame or two later the remains of the locomotive are seen staged in the cattle dock looking towards the station end of the LSW goods yard. (RL)

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And now. (RL)

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The final scene of the film shows glimpses of the westbound signal gantry at Basingstoke Station and the roof of the running shed for the LSWR motive power depot. (RL)

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Taken from near enough the same camera position revealing all now long demolished and the general area no longer visible from the former goods yard site. (RL)