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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976

Otley (Or, We were on the Telly!)

Did you watch BBC 1 TV on Sunday evening, 23rd May? For your entertainment there was a 1968 comedy thriller called Otley, starring Tom Courtenay in the title role and made at Shepperton Studios by Highroad Productions.

Suddenly, ¼ hour after it started, there was our own Quainton Road station on the 'Box'! That familiar Great Central footbridge spanning the main line and a view across the then empty Brill yard to the Buffer Depot spelt Quainton without any shadow of doubt. My interest for the Telly took on a new dimension!

Then the film took us onto the up platform looking down the line towards Verney and with both tracks of the main line still in position. We saw that the station building windows were all boarded up and it was in the waiting room that the character called Otley was being held prisoner by the spies, (I believe that was the story!). Outside the double door the camera gave us a quick glimpse of a peeling notice board with the large black letters, Aylesbury and Quainton Road, readily distinguishable on the dirty white paper; presumably this was the remains of the notice of withdrawal of freight services on 4th July 1966.

Inside the dingy waiting room we could see the old wooden bench seats round the walls and it all looked very derelict and suited the film scenario very well indeed. The filming was probably done in 1967. Do any of our readers recall the event?

The latest TV film crew to visit us came from BBC Nationwide on 30th June; they are making a series of films about stagecoaches which will trace the development of the trunk routes from London to Bristol, York, Holyhead, etc., the heyday of the mail coach in the early nineteenth century when a team of horses could be changed in half a minute, and then the decline in the face of railway competition. This is where Quainton comes in. Their reporter, in period costume, has deserted the stage coach and is seen boarding the train which consists of an anachronistic 7715 with the LCDR and GNR coaches. Various other shots were taken but it is not known how much will be used in the final film. The programme is due to be transmitted about Christmas.

For good measure, we had a repeat of John Betjeman's Metroland which ends with shots of Quainton Road station. This enjoyable travelogue was shown on the box on 24th August and will be watched by me if it appears a third time; it really is good entertainment.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Otley (Or, We were on the Telly!) - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 11 November 2017