Steam Trains and Bunting


Steam Trains and Bunting, Red Flannel Petticoats and Buns for Tea

The 1970 film of the Railway Children (with the lovely Jenny Agutter as teenage Bobby/Roberta) transported me to the Edwardian countryside for a spiffing adventure of mild peril and temporary muddles.

Thirty years later Jenny Agutter played the mother in a television version. Are you enjoying it? I asked my small son. Yes, but Bobby is being very silly and pretending to be the mum. Confusing!

One day maybe, I’ll stoke up the old video player and chug off on a nostalgic journey with my grandchildren. And for Bobby’s famous line – Daddy, my Daddy! – it will be hankies all round once again.

Miranda Lewis 2019

(Genre: unreliable memoir)

Welcome to Friday Flash Fiction! (Yes I do know it’s still Thursday and I am aware this isn’t really fiction.) A big brass-band-and-bunting thanks to our host Rochelle and a wave from the platform to Sandra Crook who supplied the photographic inspiration.

Steam trains will always conjure up E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children for me: girls in white pinafores and ribbons, boys in britches and caps; happy endings and of course those buns for tea.

Thanks to all who visit and most especially to those who stay to comment. For a world of other stories step aboard here.

Spoiler alert, this is that famous tear-jerker of a scene form the 1970 film (Jenny Agutter as Bobby)…

And actually I won’t even need to preserve my old video of the 2000 TV version because it’s here in its entirety. An hour and a half well spent I’d say! (Confusingly Jenny Agutter as the Mum!)


20 thoughts on “Steam Trains and Bunting

      • Me too. In fact, as a very wee child, my grandparents lived beside the railway track (up on an embankment). Those giants used to terrify me. But sadly, they were the last of the steam trains


    • Many hours of my life have been spent with the Railway Children one way or another – reading the book, the sixties TV series, the wonderful film (and a rare half-term cinema visit) and then all over again with my children.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The new Bobby in the 2000 ITV television version was lovely – she was a child actress who has kept on with her career. But really an impossible act to follow. Bobby will always be Jenny Agutter and Jenny Agutter is…well as you say, ahhh. Once sat next to her in a deck chair in Dorset somewhere and once saw her going into the London Transport Museum with her son in a pushchair (to show him the trains?).


    • Hi Rochelle,
      My son was very confused that the actress who had played Bobby now played her own Mum! I suppose it did show how involved he was with these stories – these weren’t just actors. The Railway Children has the sort of iconic status to some Brits that Little Women has over the pond. I also watched that (the version with Winona Ryder) with my small son and shouted at Beth, ‘Don’t pick up the baby!’ to try and change her fate. It didn’t work – she still died!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Miranda,

        I checked out the YouTube 2000 version. Turns out I did see that one and really enjoyed it. I was a bit of a Little Women nerd. I read the simplest versions as a child and the unabridged version as a teen. I think I’ve seen all of the movies as well. 😉 I hated Beth dying, too.


        Liked by 1 person

    • Is that even possible? Wouldn’t be able to tell you how many times I’ve seen each version! And there was a sixties television series before the 1970 film, also with jenny Agutter.

      Liked by 1 person

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