Surrey Iron Railway on TV

On 24 June this year, I went to Youngs brewery to meet a film team who were making a video for the ‘Discovery Channel' to be broadcast sometime during 2003, about the Surrey Iron Railway. As I was quoted as being our Museum's ‘expert' on the Surrey Iron Railway, I went there to answer questions about the railway.

The filming started in the Brewery Board Room, where the painting hangs of the Surrey Iron Railway at Wandsworth. From there the crew filmed two of Young's Shire horses being harnessed to a dray and then walking along the High St and back to the Brewery. Incidentally, I found out that all the horses are named Wandle XXX. The two that were being filmed that day were Wandle Mascot and Wandle General. One of the film crew suggested we have a horse named Wandle Industrial Museum!

From the High St we went to the Wandle Creek Bridge to film the area that roughly coincides with the painting in the Board Room. Much time was spent waiting for the noise of aircraft and trains to stop before any filming could begin.

After lunch in The Crane, we came to our Museum to film the wheel, rails and sleeper blocks that we have on display. The crew were pleased that in the Museum it was quiet and that they could film without any interruption from external noise.

Finally we went to the Rotary field alongside the Brighton Road towards Purley to film the rails and sleeper blocks on display there. Although the video is about the Surrey Iron Railway and this area was where the Croydon Merstham and Godstone Railway ran, it was included because it is the only site where rails are located on the actual railway bed.

I mentioned that the rails were laid to an incorrect gauge, but the remark wasn't taken up - but see next article.

The film company, Oval Productions, will be sending us a video of the programme when it is completed, prior to its showing in 2003.

Eric Shaw June 2002

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