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28 October 2014

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Brief Encounter (1945)

The Carnforth clock - saved from the scrapheap.

The Carnforth clock - saved from the scrapheap.
Carnforth station is still a place of pilgrimage for fans of this film adapted from Noel Coward's half-hour long play.

A Brief Encouter with Carnforth Station
A comprehensive site full of informative and lots of interesting trivia.

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour - Brief Encounter

History of Carnforth station

The BFI Top 100 films

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The British Film Industry placed the film at number two in its top 100 films - just pipped to the number one spot by The Third Man.

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The film charts the very British affair of a mother and a doctor who meet on the station platform. Carnforth station still has many of its original features.

Carnforth is just on the Lancashire side of the Cumbrian border in the south of the county. We've included it because the station's role in the film is a favourite piece of Cumbrian trivia.

Carnforth station saved by its history

The station is on the line bringing people into South Cumbria from Lancaster and Preston. The journey takes passengers through some of the most beautiful landscape in Britain.

In November 1996 the Carnforth Station and Railway Trust Co. Ltd. was formed to attempt to rejuvenate the station, and after strenuous efforts, and with the assistance of Railtrack, plans were put in place, and the rejuvenation of the station started late 2000.

The 'Clock' was removed from Carnforth station in the late 1970's, and was sold. Years later it was tracked down, and refurbished and now, once again, proudly tells the time as a centrepiece of the recently finished, refurbished station.

Why Carnforth was chosen

When filming took place in 1945, the threat of air-raids hung over London. As the filming would be at night with a huge lighting rig, this would not be possible in London.

The film crew had to move to the far north. The director, David Lean, chose Carnforth as the slopes up to the platforms were much easier for the actors to run up and down than stairs.

The location of Carnforth's real refreshment room was not convenient enough for the director, however. The room's exterior seen in the film was constructed from flats.

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