The railway children’s station – Oakworth on the K&WVR and one of the railway children’s engines No.957 a.k.a. the Green Dragon, featured in ‘The Railway Children’. Like ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and ‘Mary Poppins’, the Railway Children is one of those movies that gets trotted out at Christmas or when there’s a gap to fill in the usual schedule of dross, Bake Off Bikers on location, location, or Enema Dale and Constipation Street.
A great many of our heritage lines have earned film credits and revenue by catering to television and film makers – and the odd volunteer or two have had walk-on parts as a result. The Railway Children has been performed as a play on the platform at Keighley and on main line stations in London, such is its populist appeal.
On the other hand, I have just had published, a book, “Gricing”, the subtitle of which is ‘The Real Story of the Railway Children’ – it has nothing to do with Mr.Perks, Jenny Agutter or ‘old gentlemen’ – rather it is the story of all those lads who hung out on platforms, bridges, and line side fences, bunked sheds, rode the rails on platform tickets and filled combined volumes with underlinings.
Unlike the Railway Children it isn’t a rose tinted, nostalgic, hankering for yesteryear, but a trawl through the railway’s relationship with kids from the 50s and 60s, society, culture, politics, privatisation, and the very idea of ‘Heritage’ – Oh! – and it’s probably just a tad contentious, especially to those of a right wing bent.
This is the cover – and below it a link to Amazon – so now is the time to splash the cash and get yourself a copy – treat yourself to a read which one happy customer described as ‘a page turner, thought provoking and enjoyable’ .