Monthly Archives: March 2010

A Brief Encounter with Carnforth Station

Carnforth is a small town on the Lancashire/Cumbria border, famous for its Railway Station which was used in the classic movie ‘Brief Encounter’.  Filmed at the end of WWII in 1945,  the Ministry of Transport chose Carnforth Station as it was deemed safe from enemy fire – why would anyone bother to come so far north to bomb this town?! Filming took place at night so as not to interrupt regular train operations. 

The film had a great cast, with relative new-comer Trevor Howard making his name and Celia Johnson overcoming her dislike of filming (she preferred stage acting and didn’t like being away from her family) to win an Oscar nomination for her delicate performance as a married woman verging on infidelity.  It may come as a surprise to know that Trevor was 8 years younge than Celia.  Stanley Holloway created a memorable comedy cameo asthe Station Master. It was co-directed by David Lean, famous also for ‘Dr Zhivago‘ & ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’.  What is less well-known is that Noel Coward co-directed it, produced it, wrote the screen play AND the music.

There is now an award-winning Visitor Centre at the station with lots of interesting railway memorabilia.  You can have a cup of tea at the Refreshment Room, faithfully restored to 1940s splendour, as it looked when Celia and Trevor gazed adoringly at each other whilst Stanley flirted outrageously, oblivious to the heart-breaking drama being played out nearby …

Find out more at Carnforth Station  Next time you are in the area, why not visit and who knows, you may have your very own Brief Encounter …