Film: 8470

Railways | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

LNER railway film. Purports to be an enquiry into the courtesy of the staff at Kings Cross railway terminus. Customer services, old style ! 1940's

Titles over view of a level crossing signal box in rural setting. An express passenger train passes. Signal drops. We are inside a signal box. The signalman is on the phone. He puts down the phone and cancels three signal levers.. A shot rings out and he falls in front of the levers. A sinister figure in a trench coat and trilby hat appears. Camera pans back, the director calls 'cut'. We are on a film set. All the actors have 'frightfully cut glass' English accents. The Producer tells the crew they have to be at Kings Cross station London first thing in the morning. View of Kings Cross station. Traffic including a No.30 bus pass by. There are trolley bus cables. Film unit arrives at a side door in a 'half timbered' shooting break car. They unload their gear. The Station Master comes out and greets them, they enquire which is the best place to start their project. He suggests the enquiry office. View of bustling station. At the enquiry office passengers make enquiries. One gentleman want to know where he can have a bath! He is told the platform number.

This is a film about the standard of courtesy to be obtained from the staff at Kings Cross. Telephone enquiries. The girls all sit in a row at the telephone enquiry telephone exchange and have hand-held telephones. They talk about 'silly questions' and explain how the public take their own enquiries rather seriously. Everyone is so very polite. We go into the booking office. The clerk deals with ticket purchases. There is a semi-comic foreigner (Spanish) with 6 children who wants to go to Glasgow. Passengers arrive at the barrier for the Leeds train. Ticket collector reminisces about a blind man. We see the cameraman and his temporary assistant (one of the porters) they are more interested in the racing page of a newspaper than the filming project.

Views of people coming and going on the station. One lady wants a seat to face the engine. We see the restaurant car which is not open yet. A man wants to have a seat in the car but is gently directed to another carriage. They try to please everybody. The Station Master comes to see the film crew load up their car. They say goodbye and drive off. End.


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