Here’s one we made earlier
FOR many years the BBC children’s television programme Blue Peter would famously include the phrase‘Here’s one we made earlier’when hastily showing what a model or craft project should look like when complete. Fast-forward to the present, and two preserved main line diesels featured in BBC television’s Call The Midwife period drama broadcast on February 13 – and there is a little twist on the railway scenes in which ‘here’s one we made earlier’would not be out of place.
Focusing on a group of midwives working in London’s East End, the episode included a train crash, set in 1967. The scenes were filmed on the Mid-Hants Railway at Alresford and included Class 08 No. 08288 Phoenix and Class 20 No. D8059 (20059).
Purists may have cringed at some of the details – the ‘Gronk’ with its TOPs number; the absence of a dead man’s handle; a ‘Chopper’ running nose first on a class 1 train on the Great Eastern Main Line hauling green Mk1s; and the fact that the Liverpool Street to Chelmsford line goes nowhere near Poplar.
That aside, it is reasonable to assume that the scenes provided the Watercress Line with welcome income.
Back to the Class 20s scenes, which are, of course, affectionately known as ‘Choppers’, and Heritage Railway can reveal the full story. Two locomotives were used, one of which was renumbered. No. D8188 (20118) undertook all the moving shots, while No. D8059 was used in the static crash scenes.
Both locomotives were numbered D8059, and the real No. D8059 even received a temporary four-character headcode box to make it look like No. D8188.
Incidentally, No. D8188 is no stranger to appearances on screen as it starred in the James
Bond film Golden Eye at the Nene Valley Railway, where it resembled a Russian Soviet-style military train in a matt black livery with bodyside Red Star and armoured side skirts.