The Fasting Girl

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LNWRLondon & North Western Railway 1439 was used in filming (Wikimedia Commons)

The Fasting Girl was a BBC 2 Wales TV drama broadcast in 1984.[1] It was a dramatisation of newspaper reports in The Times from 1869 concerning a 13 year old Welsh girl, Sarah Jacobs, who was claimed to have fasted, with no significant loss of health, for more than two years until her death[2].

Filming on the SVRSevern Valley Railway

NRM's LNWRLondon & North Western Railway Ramsbottom 0-4-0ST No 1439 was loaned to the SVRSevern Valley Railway for filming which took place in May 1983 at Arley, renamed Pencader for the production.[3] 1439 had not steamed in preservation and so for the filming it and two saloons were propelled by GWR 7812 Erlestoke Manor towards the station and released without getting 7812 in the camera shot. The train ran into the platform, braking by means of 1439's locomotive handbrake.[4]

A brief extract is featured in an ABC TV trailer on YouTube, though with no obvious SVRSevern Valley Railway connection.

See also

List of film and TV productions


  1. TVRDB TV listing
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 68
  4. Dave Beaman, SVRSevern Valley Railway Unofficial Facebook 6 February 2023


Railalbum images of 1439 at Arley 16 October 1983
Steam locomotive, number 1439, Railway Museum website
ABC trailer on YouTube
Carradice, P., 'Sarah Jacobs: the fasting girl', BBC Wales Blogs, 14 March 2011
1439 on Ribble Steam Railway and Museum website