The Railway Children
The Railway Children is a children's book by Edith Nesbit serialised in The London Magazine during 1905 and first published in book form in 1906. It has been adapted for the screen several times; the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography credits Oswald Barron, who had a deep affection for Nesbit, with having provided the plot. The setting is thought to be inspired by Edith's walks to Chelsfield railway station close to where she lived, her observing the construction of the railway cutting and tunnel between Chelsfield and Knockholt; the story concerns a family who move from London to "The Three Chimneys", a house near the railway in Yorkshire, after the father, who works at the Foreign Office, is imprisoned after being falsely accused of spying. The children befriend an Old Gentleman who takes the 9:15 train near their home; the family takes care of a Russian exile, Mr Szczepansky, who came to England looking for his family and Jim, the grandson of the Old Gentleman, who suffers a broken leg in a tunnel.
The theme of an innocent man being falsely imprisoned for espionage and vindicated might have been influenced by the Dreyfus Affair, a prominent worldwide news item a few years before the book was written. The Russian exile, persecuted by the Tsars for writing "a beautiful book about poor people and how to help them" and subsequently helped by the children, was most an amalgam of the real-life dissidents Sergius Stepniak and Peter Kropotkin who were both friends of the author; the book refers to the current Russo-Japanese War and to attitudes taken by British people to the war. This dates the setting to the spring and early autumn of 1905, accounts for the hostile opinions of Tsarist Russia expressed in the book. Father: A high-ranking civil servant intelligent and hard-working, a devoted husband and father, he is wrongfully imprisoned for espionage, but is exonerated. Mother: A talented poetess and writer of children's stories, she is devoted to her family, is always ready to help others in need.
Roberta: Nicknamed "Bobbie", she is the oldest and most mature of the three children, the closest in personality to their mother. Peter: The middle-child and only boy, he is resourceful, though at times rather insensitive. He considers himself the leader of the three and does take the lead in crisis situations. Phyllis: The youngest and least mature of the children. Ruth: A servant of the family, dismissed early in the story for her treatment of the children. Mrs Viney: Housekeeper at The Three Chimneys. Mrs Ransome: Village postmistress. Aunt Emma: Mother's elder sister, a governess; the Old Gentleman: A director of the railway, who befriends Bobbie and Phyllis and helps when their mother is sick. He is instrumental in freeing Father, in locating Mr Szczepansky's family, he is the grandfather of Jim. Albert Perks: The station porter, a friend of the children, he enjoys their company. He lives with their three children. Mrs Perks: Wife of Albert Perks. Dr Forrest: A country physician; the Stationmaster: Perks' boss.
Rather has a good heart. Bill: An engine driver and friend of the children. Jim: Bill's fireman, a friend of the children, he arranges for one of his relatives to mend Peter's toy locomotive. The Signalman: Operator of the railway signal box, he has a young child, sick. Mr Szczepansky: A dissident Russian intellectual, imprisoned in Siberia for his views, who escapes to England to seek his wife and children. Bill: A barge-master hostile towards the children, he changes his attitude towards them. Bill's Wife: She disapproves of her husband's initial attitude towards the children, encourages them to fish in the canal while he is not around. Jim: The grandson of the Old Gentleman, whom the children rescue when he breaks his leg in the railway tunnel during a paper chase; the story has been adapted for the screen six times to date, including four television series, a feature film, a made-for-television film. It was serialised in first broadcast in 1940 as part of Children's Hour. Adapted for radio by Marcy Kahan and produced by John Taylor.
It stars Paul Copley, Timothy Bateson and Victoria Carling and was first heard in 1991. The play is available on CD; the story has been adapted as a television series four times by the BBC. The first of these, in 1951, was in 8 episodes of 30 minutes each. A second adaptation was produced, which re-used some of the film from the original series but contained new material with slight cast changes; this had 4 episodes of 60 minutes each. The supporting/background orchestral music used in these early programs was the lyrical second Dance from the Symphonic Dances by Edvard Grieg; the BBC again revisited the story with an 8-episode series in 1957 and a 7-episode series in 1968. The 1968 adaptation was placed 96th in the BFI's 100 Greatest British Television Programmes poll of 2000, it starred Jenny Agutter as Gillian Bailey as Phyllis. Of all the BBC TV adaptations, only the 1968 version is known to be extant. After the successful BBC dramatisation of 1968, the film rights were bought by the actor Lionel Jeffries, who wrote and directed the film, released in 1970.
Jenny Agutter and Dinah Sheridan starred in the film. The music was composed and conducted by Johnny Douglas. In October 1999, ITV made a new ad
British Film Institute
The British Film Institute is a film and charitable organisation which promotes and preserves filmmaking and television in the United Kingdom. It was established by Royal Charter to: Encourage the development of the arts of film and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film and the moving image and their impact on society, to promote access to and appreciation of the widest possible range of British and world cinema and to establish, care for and develop collections reflecting the moving image history and heritage of the United Kingdom; the BFI maintains the world's largest film archive, the BFI National Archive called National Film Library, National Film Archive, National Film and Television Archive. The archive contains more than 50,000 fiction films, over 100,000 non-fiction titles, around 625,000 television programmes; the majority of the collection is British material but it features internationally significant holdings from around the world.
The Archive collects films which feature key British actors and the work of British directors. The BFI runs the BFI Southbank and London IMAX cinema, both located on the south bank of the River Thames in London; the IMAX has the largest cinema screen in the UK and shows popular recent releases and short films showcasing its technology, which includes 3D screenings and 11,600 watts of digital surround sound. BFI Southbank shows films from all over the world critically acclaimed historical & specialised films that may not otherwise get a cinema showing; the BFI distributes archival and cultural cinema to other venues – each year to more than 800 venues all across the UK, as well as to a substantial number of overseas venues. The BFI offers a range of education initiatives, in particular to support the teaching of film and media studies in schools. In late 2012, the BFI received money from the Department For Education to create the BFI Film Academy Network; the BFI runs the annual London Film Festival along with BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival and the youth-orientated Future Film Festival.
The BFI publishes the monthly Sound magazine as well as films on Blu-ray, DVD and books. It runs the BFI National Library, maintains the BFI Film & TV Database and Summary of Information on Film and Television, which are databases of credits and other information about film and television productions. SIFT has a collection of about 7 million still frames from television; the BFI has co-produced a number of television series featuring footage from the BFI National Archive, in partnership with the BBC, including The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon, The Lost World of Friese-Greene, The Lost World of Tibet. The institute was founded in 1933. Despite its foundation resulting from a recommendation in a report on Film in National Life, at that time the institute was a private company, though it has received public money throughout its history—from the Privy Council and Treasury until 1965 and the various culture departments since then; the institute was restructured following the Radcliffe Report of 1948 which recommended that it should concentrate on developing the appreciation of filmic art, rather than creating film itself.
Thus control of educational film production passed to the National Committee for Visual Aids in Education and the British Film Academy assumed control for promoting production. From 1952–2000, the BFI provided funding for new and experimental filmmakers via the BFI Production Board; the institute received a Royal Charter in 1983. This was updated in 2000, in the same year the newly established UK Film Council took responsibility for providing the BFI's annual grant-in-aid; as an independent registered charity, the BFI is regulated by the Charity Commission and the Privy Council. In 1988, the BFI opened the London Museum of the Moving Image on the South Bank. MOMI was acclaimed internationally and set new standards for education through entertainment, but subsequently it did not receive the high levels of continuing investment that might have enabled it to keep pace with technological developments and ever-rising audience expectations; the Museum was "temporarily" closed in 1999. This did not happen, MOMI's closure became permanent in 2002 when it was decided to redevelop the South Bank site.
This redevelopment was itself further delayed. The BFI is managed on a day-to-day basis by its chief executive, Amanda Nevill. Supreme decision-making authority rests with a board of up to 14 governors; the current chair is Josh Berger, who took up the post in February 2016. He succeeded Greg Dyke, who took office on 1 March 2008. Dyke succeeded the late Anthony Minghella, chair from 2003 until 31 December 2007; the chair of the board is appointed by the BFI's own Board of Governors but requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Culture and Sport. Other Governors are co-opted by existing board members; the BFI operates with three sources of income. The largest is public money allocated by the Department for Culture and Sport. In 2011–12, this funding amounted to £20m; the second largest source is commercial activity such as receipts from ticket sales at BFI Southbank or the BFI London IMAX theatre, sales of DVDs, etc. Thirdly and sponsorship of around £5m
Cavan Spencer Kendall McCarthy was a British actor. Kendall was born in Clapham, the son of Terrence McCarthy and Dora Spencer, his father was the son of actress Marie Kendall. Through his father, Kendall was a half-brother of actress Kay Kendall, he died of cancer in Gloucestershire at the age of 57. Amongst his theatre work, Kendall appeared opposite Sarah Miles in the original West End production of Vivat! Vivat Regina! at the Piccadilly Theatre, in Justice is a Woman at the Vaudeville. He acted in many television series, including the BBC's 1957 version of The Railway Children, the Doctor Who story The Myth Makers in the role of Achilles, he appeared in the films Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, The Clandestine Marriage and Sexy Beast. Cavan Kendall on IMDb
The Boxcar Children
The Boxcar Children is a classic children's literary franchise created and written by the American first-grade school teacher Gertrude Chandler Warner. Today, the series includes well over 150 titles; the series is aimed at readers in grades 2–6. Published in 1924 by Rand McNally and reissued in a shorter revised form in 1942 by Albert Whitman & Company, The Boxcar Children tells the story of four orphaned children, Jessie and Benny, they create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. They meet their grandfather, a wealthy and kind man; the children decide to live with the grandfather, who moves the beloved boxcar to his backyard so the children can use it as a playhouse. The book was adapted as the film The Boxcar Children in 2014 and the sequel novel Surprise Island was released as a film in 2018. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the original book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". In 2012 the original novel was ranked among the all-time "Top 100 Chapter Books", or children's novels, in a survey published by School Library Journal.
In the subsequent books, the children encounter many adventures and mysteries in their neighborhood or at the locations they visit with their grandfather. The majority of the books are set in locations the children are visiting over school holidays such as summer vacation or Christmas break. Only the first 19 stories were written by creator Warner. Other books in the series have been written by other writers, but always feature the byline "Created by Gertrude Chandler Warner"; the recent books in the series are set in the present day, whereas most of the original books were set in the 1920s and 1930s. The Boxcar Children tells the story of four orphans: Henry, Jessie and Benny. In the 1924 version of the tale, the children are orphaned in the first few pages; when a baker and his wife learn that the children are orphans, they make plans the children don't like. In the 1924 edition, they plan to send the children, who live in a house next door to the bakery, to live with their grandfather, but the children have been brought up to fear their grandfather, whom they have never met, because he did not like their parents' marriage.
In the 1942 version, the children are homeless and wandering around at the start of the story. The baker and his wife plan to take the three elder children, who are old enough to be helpful in the bakery, but to send the youngest, Benny to an orphanage. Finding an abandoned boxcar, the children start a new life of work. Henry ends up working in a nearby town called Silver City for a young doctor called Dr. Moore in order to earn money for food and other things they need, he does gardening for the doctor's mother. The children's lives are nice and full of hard work until Violet becomes ill and they go to the doctor for help. Unbeknownst to the children, by that time the doctor knows well who they are and where they are living, their grandfather, who lives nearby, has been advertising in the papers, offering a reward for news of them, but the doctor hasn't wanted to spoil the children's fun by informing on them. When Violet becomes ill, however, he feels, their grandfather, James Henry Alden, is a steel baron.
The doctor suggests that he get to know them first before telling them who he is, so he is introduced to them as a friend of the doctor's. The children warm to his kindness and are surprised but delighted when they learn that he is their much-feared grandfather, they go to live with him after all, he has the boxcar transferred to his backyard for their enjoyment. Henry James Alden: is the oldest of the Alden children. He's shown to be calm, rational and protective of his younger siblings. Henry shows a knack for repairing things and is a natural athlete. In Warner's original books, Henry ages and goes off to college in The Lighthouse Mystery. Jessica "Jessie" Alden: is 12 years old and is the oldest sister, she acts motherly towards Benny and Violet and Henry. She is responsible for cooking. Jessie is described as being tidy and organized, she is sometimes called Jess, but is referred to as Jessie. She is not afraid of anything, adores the color blue, is strong. Violet Alden: is 10 years old in most of the books.
She is skillful at painting and sewing. She can win over grouchy characters and is good with animals. Violet is very shy and loves playing the violin, her favorite color is violet or purple and she wears one of those colors. She is the shyest of all the children, sometimes helps Jessie take care of Benny. Benjamin "Benny" Alden: is the youngest child at 6 years old, he celebrates his seventh birthday in Surprise Island but after, always referred to as 6 years old. Benny is known for his love of all food and the cracked pink cup he found in the dump, his endearingly childish qualities and comments make him a favorite among young readers. He is ecstatic. Watch: is the dog of the Boxcar children, he acted as a "watchdog" when they protected them. Watch was
Lionel Charles Jeffries was an English actor and film director. Jeffries was born in London. Both his parents were social workers with the Salvation Army; as a boy he attended the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wimborne Minster in Dorset. In 1945, he received a commission in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and served in Burma at the Rangoon radio station during the Second World War, being awarded the Burma Star, he served as a captain in the Royal West African Frontier Force. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he entered repertory at the David Garrick Theatre, Staffordshire for two years and appeared in early British television plays. Jeffries built a successful career in British films in comic character roles and as he was prematurely bald he played characters older than himself, such as the role of father to Caractacus Potts in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, although Jeffries was six months younger than Van Dyke, his acting career reached a peak in the 1960s with leading roles in other films like Two-Way Stretch, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, Murder Ahoy!, First Men in the Moon and Camelot.
Jeffries turned to writing and directing children's films, including a well regarded version of The Railway Children and The Amazing Mr Blunden. He was a member of the British Catholic Stage Guild. Jeffries had a dislike of television and its production values and shunned the medium for many years, he reluctantly appeared on television in an acting role in the 1980 London Weekend Television Dennis Potter drama Cream in My Coffee and realised that television production values were little different from those in the film industry. He appeared in an episode of the Thames Television/ITV comedy-drama Minder in 1983 as Cecil Caine an eccentric widower, in an episode of Inspector Morse in 1990, he starred as Tom in the Thames/ITV situation comedy Tom and Harriet. Jeffries retired from acting in 2001 and his health declined in the following years, he died on 19 February 2010 in a nursing home in Dorset. He had suffered from vascular dementia for the last twelve years of his life, he was married to Eileen Mary Walsh from 1951 until his death.
They had two daughters. His son Ty Jeffries is a composer and cabaret artist. Lionel Jeffries' granddaughter is playwright Amy Mason; the Railway Children - director and screenwriter The Amazing Mr Blunden - director and screenwriter Baxter! - director Wombling Free - director and screenwriter The Water Babies - director and additional material writer Nelson's Touch - screenwriter Lionel Jeffries on IMDb Lionel Jeffries at the Internet Broadway Database Lionel Jeffries - Daily Telegraph obituary Lionel Jeffries - Times obituary
Jennifer Ann Agutter is a British actress. She began her career as a child actress in 1964, appearing in East of Sudan, Star!, two adaptations of The Railway Children—the BBC's 1968 television serial and the 1970 film version. She starred in the critically acclaimed film Walkabout and the TV film The Snow Goose, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama, she relocated to the United States in 1974 to pursue a Hollywood career and subsequently appeared in Logan's Run, Amy, An American Werewolf in London, Child's Play 2. Parallel to her Hollywood film roles, Agutter continued appearing in high-profile British films such as The Eagle Has Landed, for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Riddle of the Sands. In 1981, she co-starred in The Survivor, an Australian adaptation of the James Herbert novel, was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. After returning to Britain in the early 1990s to pursue family life, Agutter shifted her focus to television, in 2000, she appeared in a new television adaptation of The Railway Children, this time taking on the role of the mother.
She has continued to work in British television drama, since 2012, she has starred in the BBC's primetime ratings hit Call the Midwife. She made a return to Hollywood film-making in 2012, appearing in Marvel's The Avengers, reprised her role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Agutter is married with one adult son, she supports several charitable causes in relation to cystic fibrosis, a condition from which her niece suffers, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2012 Birthday Honours for charitable services. Agutter was born in Taunton, England, she is the daughter of Catherine and Derek Brodie Agutter, a former British Army officer and entertainment organiser. As a child, she lived in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, she was discovered at Elmhurst Ballet School, a boarding school she attended aged 8–16, when a casting agent looked for a young English-speaking girl for a film. She did not get the part. Agutter came to television audiences as Kirsty in the twice-weekly BBC series The Newcomers.
The character Kirsty was the daughter of the new managing director of Eden Brothers, the fictional firm, at the centre of the series. Agutter could appear only during school holidays. At this stage of her career, she was listed in credits as Jennifer. In 1968, she was featured in the lavish big-budget 20th Century Fox film musical Star! with Julie Andrews as Gertrude Lawrence. In that motion picture, Agutter played Lawrence's neglected daughter Pamela, she played Roberta in a BBC adaptation of The Railway Children and played the same part in Lionel Jeffries's 1970 film of the book. She followed this with a more serious role in the thriller I Start Counting, she won an Emmy as supporting actress for her television role as Fritha, in a British television adaptation of The Snow Goose. Agutter moved into adult roles, beginning with Walkabout, playing a teenaged schoolgirl lost with her younger brother in the Australian outback, she auditioned for the role in 1967, but funding problems delayed filming until 1969.
The delay meant Agutter was 16 at the time of filming, which allowed the director to include nude scenes. Among them was a five-minute skinny-dipping scene, cut from the original US release, she said at the 2005 Bradford Film Festival at the National Media Museum that she was shocked by the film's explicitness, but remains on good terms with director Nicolas Roeg. Agutter moved to Hollywood at 21 and appeared in a number of films over the next decade, including The Eagle Has Landed, Logan's Run, for which she won a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress), An American Werewolf in London, an adaptation of the James Herbert novel, The Survivor. Agutter has commented that the innocence of the characters she played in her early films, combined with the costumes and nudity in adult roles such as Logan's Run, An American Werewolf in London, are "perfect fantasy fodder". In 1990, Agutter returned to the UK to concentrate on family life and her focus shifted towards British television. During the 1990s, she was cast in an adaptation of Jeffrey Archer's novel Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less and as the scandalous Idina Hatton in the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers, inspired by Edith Wharton's unfinished 1938 book, made guest appearances in television series such as Red Dwarf and Heartbeat.
In 2000, she starred in a third adaptation of The Railway Children, produced by Carlton TV, this time playing the mother. Since Agutter has had recurring roles in several television series including Spooks, The Invisibles, Monday Monday and The Alan Clark Diaries. In 2012 Agutter resumed her Hollywood career, appearing as a member of the World Security Council in the blockbuster film The Avengers, she plays Sister Julienne in the BBC television drama series Call the Midwife. Agutter has appeared in numerous theatre productions since her stage debut in 1970, including stints at the National Theatre in 1972–73, the title role in a derivation of Hedda Gabler at the Roundhouse in 1980 and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982–83. In 1987–88, Agutter played the role of Pat Green in the Broadway production of the Hugh Whitemore play Breaking the Code, about computer pioneer Alan Turing. In 1995 she was in an RSC production of Love's Labour's Lost staged in Tok
Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was a Russian activist, scientist and philosopher who advocated anarcho-communism. Born into an aristocratic land-owning family, he attended a military school and served as an officer in Siberia, where he participated in several geological expeditions, he was managed to escape two years later. He spent the next 41 years in exile in England, he returned to Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917 but was disappointed by the Bolshevik form of state socialism. Kropotkin was a proponent of a decentralised communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations of self-governing communities and worker-run enterprises, he wrote many books and articles, the most prominent being The Conquest of Bread and Fields and Workshops. He contributed the article on anarchism to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition and left unfinished a work on anarchist ethical philosophy. Pyotr Kropotkin was born into an ancient Russian princely family, his father, major general Prince Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin, was a descendant of the Smolensk branch, of the Rurik dynasty which had ruled Russia before the rise of the Romanovs.
Kropotkin's father owned nearly 1,200 male serfs in three provinces. His mother was the daughter of a Cossack general."Under the influence of republican teachings", Kropotkin dropped his princely title at age 12, "even rebuked his friends, when they so referred to him."In 1857, at age 14, Kropotkin enrolled in the Corps of Pages at St. Petersburg. Only 150 boys – children of nobility belonging to the court – were educated in this privileged corps, which combined the character of a military school endowed with exclusive rights and of a court institution attached to the Imperial Household. Kropotkin's memoirs detail the hazing and other abuse of pages for which the Corps had become notorious. In Moscow, Kropotkin developed what would become a lifelong interest in the condition of the peasantry. Although his work as a page for Tsar Alexander II made Kropotkin skeptical about the tsar's "liberal" reputation, Kropotkin was pleased by the tsar's decision to emancipate the serfs in 1861. In St. Petersburg, he read on his own account and gave special attention to the works of the French encyclopædists and French history.
The years 1857–1861 witnessed a growth in the intellectual forces of Russia, Kropotkin came under the influence of the new liberal-revolutionary literature, which expressed his own aspirations. In 1862, Kropotkin graduated first in his class from the Corps of Pages and entered the Tsarist army; the members of the corps had the prescriptive right to choose the regiment to which they would be attached. Following a desire to "be someone useful", Kropotkin chose the difficult route of serving in a Cossack regiment in eastern Siberia. For some time, he was aide de camp to the governor of Transbaikalia at Chita, he was appointed attaché for Cossack affairs to the governor-general of East Siberia at Irkutsk. The administrator under whom Kropotkin served, General Boleslar Kazimirovich Kukel, was a liberal and a democrat who maintained personal connections to various Russian radical political figures exiled to Siberia; these included the writer M. I. Mikhailov, to whom Kukel sent Kropotkin to warn the exiled intellectual that Moscow police agents were on the scene to examine his ongoing political activities in confinement.
As a result of this assignment, Kropotkin made the acquaintance of Mikhailov, who provided the young Tsarist functionary with a copy of a book by the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon — Kropotkin's first introduction to anarchist ideas. Kukel was subsequently dismissed from his administrative position, Kropotkin moved from administration to state-sponsored scientific endeavors. In 1864 Kropotkin accepted a position in a geographical survey expedition, crossing North Manchuria from Transbaikalia to the Amur, soon was attached to another expedition up the Sungari River into the heart of Manchuria; the expeditions yielded valuable geographical results. The impossibility of obtaining any real administrative reforms in Siberia now induced Kropotkin to devote himself entirely to scientific exploration, in which he continued to be successful. Kropotkin continued his political reading, including works by such prominent liberal thinkers as John Stuart Mill and Alexander Herzen; these readings, along with his experiences among peasants in Siberia, led him to declare himself an anarchist by 1872.
In 1867, Kropotkin resigned his commission in the army and returned to St. Petersburg, where he entered the Saint Petersburg Imperial University to study mathematics, becoming at the same time secretary to the geography section of the Russian Geographical Society, his departure from a family tradition of military service prompted his father to disinherit him, "leaving him a'prince' with no visible means of support". In 1871, Kropotkin explored the glacial deposits of Sweden for the Society. In 1873, he published an important contribution to science, a map and paper in which he showed that the existing maps misrepresented the physical features of Asia. During this work, he was offered the secretaryship of the Society, but he had decided that it was his duty not to work at fresh discoveries but to aid in diffusing existin