Saturday, September 01, 2018

Saturday Film Club: Shunter Blacks Night Off

There's no need to say much about this film. It's a wartime piece with a heroic story and happy ending. 

Early on there is some terrific footage of railway wagons and shunting activities. Aside from bravery shown in the film, you have to be pretty gutsy to work a yard. 

Shunting was the most dangerous job on the railway and you can see why here. Leaping on a stick to ride down the siding with the wagon pinning the brake down?  I'd like to see some of the health and safety moaners today having a go at this - they would pretty quickly decide that maybe some rules aren't such a bad thing...


Paul B. said...

I seem to remember that one yard had a woodworking shop dedicated to making false legs for unlucky shunters. Trouble is I can't remember the source.

Andy in Germany said...

Thanks for this Phil. My Grandad was a shunter at Bescot during the war. He probably experienced stuff like this but never told anyone about it. It saddens me that people like him are often forgotten when we 'remember the war.'

One thing he did tell me though, was that riding on the shunting pole as depicted in the film was very much forbidden even then. He told the story of a colleague who was due to be interviewed for promotion. When a Suit came from Derby came he asked my Grandad where colleague was.
"Over there" said my Grandad, pointing as colleague rode past on a shunting pole.
"Really? then I've seen all I need to. Good day to you" said the Suit and left the yard. He didn't even speak to the interviewee.

Anonymous said...

Having a cause, a sense of purpose, brings out the best in people.