Titfield Thunderbolt, The

Date: 1952
Director: Charles Crichton
Production Company: J. Arthur Rank Organisation, Ealing Studios, Michael Balcon

Stars: Stanley Holloway, George Relph, Godfrey Tearle, Naunton Wayne, Sidney James, Reginald Beckwith, John Gregson, Katie Johnson
Location(s): Freshford, Monkton Coombe, Bristol, Coombe Hay, Midford, Limply Stoke, Somerset, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Berkley Square, Kensington, London

Region(s): ,


The residents of a small English village are about to lose their railway but they decide to run the line themselves in competition with the replacement bus service.

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Freshford, Somerset

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Now, The hill, Freshford.

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Monkton Coombe, Somerset

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The same station, partially enlarged for the film

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And now completely gone

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Lying under some tennis courts

Monkton Coombe, details from Tony Reeves' on Film Locations

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Now. Mill Lane, Monkton Coombe.

Monkton Coombe

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Now. Mill Lane.

Monkton Coombe

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Now. Mill Lane again.

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Monkton Coombe

The station approach. Kevin Mitchell tells us that this is Mill Lane in Monkton Combe and that the view is looking 90 degrees right from image tt003.

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. . . . . . and the gateposts remain in this picture from Ian.

Don't know.

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Kevin Mitchell agrees that this is now much developed Winsley and that the wall on the right looks the same and sends his shot of Bradford Road in support. (RL)

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Chris Bracey says; village of Winsley on Bradford Road. Winsley is very near where the bulk of filming took place Freshford-Monkton Combe and Limpley Stoke. A local coach operator was used, Daniels, the Bedford coach did not just feature in the film but I understand was also used to ferry the cast around from time to time, I have read that the coach garage in real life became Pearce & Crump’s HQ. The buildings on the left have disappeared under a new housing estate but the wall on the right is still in evidence, see Google Street View, 167 Bradford Road.

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Berkley Square, London, also appeared in "A Nightingale Sang in?..same address", and, according to my 3/6p A-Z of London is where the real Min. of Transport actually was

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Now. Well sleuthed George Marshall.

Berkley square, London W1.

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Now. Well found George.

Berkley Square, when the traffic obviously went both ways.

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Now. Thanks George.

Yes still Berkley Square.

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Now. George does it again.

This is the bottom of Church Hill in Freshford near Bath advisess Chris Morgan.

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And Stuart Seale has sent this image as confirmation. Image copyright Google Streetview.

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Kevin Mitchell locates this as Freshford. (RL)

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Do you know? Kevin Mitchell locates this as Freshford. (RL)

Will you tell?

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Kevin Mitchell locates this as The Old Parsonage, Church Hill, Freshford and sent this shot taken on a quieter day. The same gates as appear on 011 below.(RL)

Monkton Coombe or Freshford?

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Now. The Hill, Freshford. John Gendale took this one.

Midford in Somerset located by John Gendale and confirmed by Richard Ralph who adds that "The train is on the Camerton branch line and it is actually the last time the route was used after having closed in 1951. The viaduct in the background is the Bath to Evercreek branch line."

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Midford, Somerset confirmed by John Gendale.

A repeat of capture 24.

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John Jordan risked life and limb for ReelStreets to get a shot nearer to the screen shot. (RL)

Now this is a real screen shot, from John Jordan's TV, of a Bulleid engine crossing the Midford viaduct.

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And this is a shot from John of the viaduct which is now a footpath/cycleway. (RL)

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Limpley Stoke, Somerset

The Old Vicarage, Freshford, Somerset

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Now. Photo by John Gendale. Thanks, the cheque's in the post, or, in fact, in PayPal.

Monkton Coombe

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Now. Monkton Coombe School, from Mill Lane. Thank you John.

Freshford, the brewery is at back right, with the tall chimney.

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Now. John Gendale's photo. Church Hill, Freshford.

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Monkton Combe

Mill Lane in Monkton Combe, Somerset.

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Richard Paul provides this shot of the same location.

Mott Farm, near Monkton Coombe, details from Tony Reeves. Read his books on film locations, stacks of information.

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A comparison picture by Charlie Smith. Well snapped.

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Mott Farm

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Same place, Mott Farm

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Mott Farm

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Mott Farm

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, from Tony Reeves' book on film locations.

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Now. The Real Wood Furniture Co, Oxford Street, Woodstock. Peter Greenham took the pic.

Woodstock, Oxfordshire

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Now. Town Hall and Church, Market Place, Woodstock. Peter's pic, thanks.

Woodstock, Oxfordshire

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Now. The King's Arms Hotel, Oxford Street, Woodstock. Pic Peter Greenham, thanks to him. Well discovered.

A repeat of Capture 40, Stephen Dean points out that the background is actually that of Park Street/Market Place, Woodstock. (RL)

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In support, Stephen sends a comparative shot that he took for the film 'Frieda' that matches well. (RL)

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, and OK no actor, well, not a real one at least.

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Now. Passage at rear of the town hall, Woodstock. Between Market Street and Market Place. Peter Greenham.

Woodstock, Oxfordshire. These pics were taken at night, or at least, more probably with a neutral density filter to pretend it was night time, so that the truck wheels underneath the loco couldn't be seen!

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Now. Oxford Streed, Woodstock. Peter says thankyou to the lady, and her husband, who currently live in the old workhouse, and came from Colne in Lancs, who provided clues.

Photo from the book Ealing Studios by Charles Barr, the wheels of the truck can just be seen in the original, and taken in daylight.

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Now. Peter Greenham took the shot.

The Imperial Institute, Exhibition Road, Kensington, now demolished. Tony Reeves. The building is also seen in 'Raising a Riot', 'Three Cases of Murder' and 'Against the Wind'.

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Of the four lions that used to flank the entrance, two remain at Imperial College and the other two were taken to the Commonwealth Institute in Holland Park. Kevin Mitchell send his shot of the one looking to its right at Imperial College. (RL)


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Kevin Mitchell places this as Ealing Studios itself and sent his own shot of the building taken at another time. OK, there is now a porch and the outer windows have been enlarged but the glazing throughout appears to confirm his belief. (RL)

Monkton Coombe

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Kevin Mitchell has pinned this down to Mill Lane, Monkton Combe and sends his shot of this narrowing lane. (RL)

Temple Meads Station, Bristol, only the houses on the skyline remain.

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The same location now, Bristol Fish Dock just to the south of Temple Meads station. (PW)

Temple Meads Station, Bristol

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Bristol Fish Dock again showing newer buildings as the backdrop. (PW)

Temple Meads Station, Bristol

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From a similar viewpoint now, worked out by panning with the engine in the film. (PW)

Temple Meads Station, Bristol

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Not a great deal to see nowadays. Bristol Fish Dock off Bath Road, Bristol. With acknowledgements to the staff of Network Rail and First Great Western. (PW)

Temple Meads Station, Bristol

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This image needs a little faith, the railway tracks have disappeared and the building to the left in the screen capture no longer stands. (PW)

Temple Meads Station, Bristol

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Final proof of the location in this view of Bristol's Temple Meads station as seen from Bristol Fish Dock. (PW)

Out of sequence but a favourite film of Kevin Mitchell who send additional screen shots. Pearce & Crump's bus heads down Brassknocker Hill near Bath.

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Kevin's now shot, less traffic but more road markings. (RL)

The Thunderbolt engine with the Rev. Weech (George Relph) on the footplate passing Monkton Combe.

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Taken by Kevin with the kind permission of the land owner. (RL)

The train emerges from underneath Brassknocker Bridge near Limpley Stoke. The bridge was seen in the 1931 version of 'The Ghost Train' in a very short, dark shot.

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Kevin shows how the spot has rather lost its charm. (RL)