Film of the Day: The Railway Children (1970)

Sally Thomsett, Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins (and furry friend). Photo: EMI Films

In Lionel Jeffries’ beloved 1970 film adaptation of E S Nesbit’s 1906 book, the affluent Waterbury children and their mother are forced to move from their Edwardian townhouse in London to the Yorkshire countryside after their father is mysteriously arrested.

We join the children on a series of adventures as they settle into their new home and surroundings, and as they attempt to learn the truth of their father, who might have been wrongly implicated in charges of espionage.

Bobbie (Jenny Agutter), Phyllis (Sally Thomsett) and Peter (Gary Warren) find amusement in watching the passing trains on the nearby railway. They wave to passengers and befriend the station porter Albert Perks (Bernard Cribbins). We see the boredom and comfort the kids share in over the course of the film; the wait for good news is long, but at least they have each other as the community gradually comes to admire and welcome them.

The Railway Children – Saturday at 2pm on BBC Two