Well the programme has finally been aired and a new star has appeared on the BBC. I refer of course to the screening tonight of Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys and the guest star appearance in it by Les French, long time Maghull resident and Chairman of the Frank Hornby Trust.
Getting off the train from Liverpool
As a trustee of the Frank Hornby Trust I had been aware of the filming for the past 3 months, indeed back in October of last year I met with the BBC production team as they planned their work, taking them around the places in Maghull that Frank Hornby was associated with. Fellow trustee Les was on holiday when that first phase happened but all went well and a couple of weeks later the filming took place.
For probably less than 10 minutes on Maghull in the screened programme many hours were put in on the two visits to the Town, the first one being without Michael Portillo. I would guess 6 to 7 hours were spent in Maghull over the two visits.
It was fascinating to see how a TV programme like this is filmed and I took some photo’s during the work of the BBC team. However, they asked for any publicity about the filming to be left until after the Radio Times had run the programme in the appropriate edition. Apart from some obvious spotting of Michael Portillo on Maghull Station which led to the sightings being referenced on Facebook we kept to our undertaking not to publish anything.
So that’s how it happened and didn’t Les do well, seems that a place on the stage is meant for him. Here are some of the many photo’s I took:-
Leaving the Station
In the Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre
Michael & Les playing trains
Two chaps talking about model railways
With thanks to the BBC, Merseyrail, the owners of Frank Hornby’s former house on Station Road, the staff at Meadows Leisure Centre and to Michael Portillo who is as engaging in conversation as he comfortable in his presentation role.
The second photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-