The Chronicles Of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia: books and films
The Chronicles of Narnia was a series of seven books by British children's author C. S. Lewis, of which The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first published and second in chronological order.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first of three of the novels to be filmed for cinema release. It was directed by Andrew Adamson and starred Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell as the Pevensie children Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan. Other stars included Tilda Swinton as the White Witch and James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus.
The film made its premiere at the Royal Film Performance on 7 December 2005 and went on theatrical release in the UK the following day.
Filming on the Severn Valley Railway
The film begins in London during the Second World War blitz, which brought about the evacuation of many train loads of children including the four fictional Pevensies. The railway journey to 'Coombe Halt', the station nearest to the Professor's house, was the only part of the film shot in the UK, the remainder being filmed mainly in New Zealand as well as at locations in Poland and the Czech Republic.
The first action in the film takes place before the opening titles. After an opening scene of a night-time air raid at the Pevensie's house, the children say goodbye to their mother and board a train at Paddington station. The train is then seen departing London[note 1].
The rest of the journey mostly takes place under the opening titles of the film which follow. 7802 Bradley Manor appears at the head of the evacuation train which consists of 4 GWRGreat Western Railway coaches, 6913, 1116 (or 1146?), 1086 and 5883.
The train is seen in several aerial shots travelling south along the railway at locations including Little Rock Cutting. It arrives at 'Pewsey Station' (Highley), where the Pevensie children watch a number of other evacuees being welcomed.
One of the carriages used was 5883 (which had previously been Miss Marple's carriage in Miss Marple: 4:50 from Paddington). The carriage had re-entered service on 5 August 2004 after an extensive 5-month overhaul which had included a repaint in original 1934 livery with a white roof. Filming took place three weeks later, with the film company repainting the roof in dark grey to make it appear dirty.
For collectors of 'nit-picks', the railway scenes contain several small anachronisms. Bradley Manor was painted and lettered for BRBritish Rail or British Railways which was not formed until 1948, and had been fitted with a 4,000 gallon tender rather than the 3,500 gallon tender normally used by Manors. The station is announced as 'Pewsey', but the running in board and station lamps are those of Highley.
- It is not recorded in SVRSevern Valley Railway News or elsewhere whether the scene leaving London used 7802, although the locomotive was main line registered at the time. The Railway Movie Database records the London scenes as CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery), with some third rail electrification visible.
- The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations (Retrieved 13 February 2017)
- GW(SVR)A. Note, the page refers to the use of four GW(SVR)AGreat Western (SVR) Association carriages including 1146 which is owned by the GWRGreat Western Railway 813 Fund. It is assumed this should be 1116 which is owned by the GW(SVR)AGreat Western (SVR) Association.
- Much Wenlock Tourism Article
- Movie Locations website (Retrieved 26 August 2019)
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 149