Saturday, September 02, 2017

Saturday Film club: When kids liked trains

This isn't the clip I wanted to show you today. That one was shared on Facebook and shows how to make your model railway fold away.Since you'll need to be signed up to Facebook (I think) and I can't embed it here, I did a bit of searching and turned up this piece instead. 

Sharp eyed viewers will immediately spot that that isn't presented by John Noakes, but by Christopher Chase. Presenting the show from its first episode in 1958 until 1967.

His love of model railways actually got him the job. From BBC Trivia: Chris won the role when he bonded with the producer John Hunter Blair over their love of trains. Whilst being interviewed, Trace enthusiastically played with the OO gauge layout in Hunter Blair's office. The Blue Peter train set would become a regular feature of the series, and was often brought out of retirement long after Trace's departure.

The train set remained a feature of the show but wasn't always that reliable. 

Chris on the Blue Peter train set: "I remember a particularly complicated layout that I had gone through in great detail with the director... before we went for a tea break. But when we did the show, trains were coming from everywhere except the places I was expecting. It was chaos. I just couldn't understand what had happened. Then I discovered that during the tea break someone had sneaked in from the next studio and had been playing with all the trains. There was a big enquiry. The culprit was... Richard Dimbleby"

Anyway, enjoy the clip from the days when children cared about railways so much that they would write letters in to their favourite TV programme in an effort to save them. 

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