Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Railway Children

We went to Oakworth Village today, famous for the filming of 'The Railway Children' in 1970. All the station shots took place at Oakworth with the rest of the filming taking place in Haworth and the London scenes in Hampstead. I've been to Haworth loads of times but it wasn't until last week that I realised The Railway Children had been filmed just one mile down the road.

If you've not seen the film some of the blurb I've written won't mean anything to you but it's a lovely film to watch, should you feel the inclination.

There are too many photos to post so I've decided to split our day out into two. Oakworth Station today and Haworth tomorrow.

We arrived about 10.30am and it took us about an hour to get there. Parking at the station is free but to get onto the platform you are asked to purchase a ticket from this old machine in the booking hall. The charge of 50p goes towards the upkeep of the station. 

This is the opposite side of the above photo. The booking hall was used in the film and was where the Russian was taken to rest.
Through the red doors and you are on the platform of Oakworth Station. It was opened in 1867 and closed in 1962. Thanks to the hard work of locals and railway enthusiast volunteers it re-opened in 1968. 
This is where the presentation ceremony was held for Roberta, Phyllis and Peter after they averted a train disaster due to the landslide and where 'Bobbie' uttered those famous words, "Oh, my daddy, my daddy". 

At one end of the platform is this little shed where 'real' drivers would have stopped for their brews and something to eat. Tom was a train driver and he's been in many a tiny shed having a cuppa and his butties on his break.
At the other end of the platform is the ladies waiting room which was used as the Porters Office in the film. Just through a door there is an old fashioned pull chain toilet and a washstand set up with a jug and basin of water.
Within 10 minutes of arriving a train pulled into the station. Just look at the beautiful Yorkshire countryside it travels through. There's something very special about the noise and smell of an old steam train chugging along the track and the old fashioned whistle announcing its arrival certainly added to the atmosphere.
And it was interesting to see the modern day station master having to run down the platform to open the barriers just like Mr Perks used to do. 

The station master was very accommodating and let us into his office for a look round. Piles and piles of tickets neatly stacked in their own little cubbyholes.

And all the paraphernalia that can be found in an old-fashioned office including a safe mounted into the wall. No fear of anybody running of with that.
He also opened the tiny Goods Office just behind the station so we could have a look inside.

 And there was plenty to see. The best bit was that he just left us to it. No warnings, no signs, no rules, no regulations. We could touch, pick up, open and read what we wanted.
I love looking at old things, wondering who worked here in years gone by.
 But as soon as I started looking through the old ledgers Mark wandered off and left me to it, preferring to sit on the platform soaking up the sun.
And the final bit of the 'Oakworth Station Part'. The house where Mr Perks the station master lived. I love Bernard Cribbins and he was born in Oldham, my birthplace and just over the border from where we now live. We do produce some good actors from up North. 
It's Haworth tomorrow. The Doctors House, the shops where the children collected gifts for Mr Perks and the Three Chimneys where the family lived.



  1. What a wonderful post. I love Haworth too, but I've never been here!

    1. Next time you go to Haworth you'll have to visit the station. It's only a 2 minute drive away and is lovely. I'd quite happily sit on the station just waiting for the trains to come in. I've been to Haworth a few times and I've no idea how I didn't know this was so close. xx

    2. Just to add you can get the train to Haworth Station which I'd have liked to have done but as usual we were on a time limit. xx

  2. What a fab visit! Whilst I enjoy visiting old houses I love having a poke around places where people worked. One of my uncles was a railway porter at the tiny station (long since closed) where we all lived at the time. To get to it, you had to walk through heavy industry and across the steelworks' own rail line. I remember when I was about seven, pretending I was going to catch a train and walking to the station wearing my mum's high heels! No concerns about health and safety in those days!

  3. What a lovely memory. I think these country stations should all be preserved. There's a stop on the route that the train driver will pull into but only if you request it, how quaint is that.

    I used to totter around in Mum's heels as well. No need for girls to do that these days, they can buy their own from such an early age.

    It was great being able to have a good old nosey around and to be able to touch everything as well. It made me all nostalgic for the days when the world was much slower. It's a shame we need to get everywhere in such a hurry. I'd much rather chug along on a steam train through the countryside than whizz from A-B at high speed. Until I'm in a hurry that is lol xx