Saturday, January 28, 2012

On the Titfield trail

Today we walked from Bath to the lovely little village of Monkton Combe, better known to fans of Ealing comedies as Titfield, in The Titfield Thunderbolt.

Monkton Combe Station was the stand-in for Titfield Station in the film, and we decided to find out where it was - past tense intended, because sadly the station itself no longer exists.
Nonetheless, its exact site can still be located, thanks to one fortuitous landmark and the bizarre survival of just one original feature.

The village itself is charming in the extreme, and almost eerily quiet and still.

Gentlemen, be upstanding...

And is there...

Yes, there is!

In the local churchyard, we found the grave of the famous First World War veteran Harry Patch, who was 111 years old when he died in 2009.

The local inn was fabulous, with a blazing log fire beneath a splendid oil painting of a slumbering dog.
And the mustard came in a dish, not in one of those naff little sachets.

Best of all, they had photographs of the production of The Titfield Thunderbolt on the wall.

This is the landmark that enabled us to pinpoint the relevant road: an original eighteenth century lock-up, unusual in that it contains two adjoining cells:

Surrounded by houses, it's easily missed, but it leads directly to Mill Lane, clearly identifiable in the film:

And here, at the end of the lane, is the site of Titfield Station.
All that remains are those two iron gate posts, on either side of the garage, almost spooky in their isolation...

Next week, we find Shangri La and Oz.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Britons confused by artistry; compensation offered...

“Odeon Liverpool One can confirm it has issued a small number of refunds to guests who were unaware that The Artist was a silent film. The cinema is happy to offer guests a refund on their film choice if they raise concern with a member of staff within 10 minutes of the film starting.”

Good grief... (read on)