The same applies to volunteers like Nicholas Hellewell. A fireman in the original film, he, and his daughter Frances Hartley, are amongst the steam engine drivers to feature in the eagerly-awaited remake.
And it is a very fitting honour given the extent to which Yorkshire’s heritage lines do depend on generations of goodwill from families like the Hellewells just to continue chugging along.
Without them, it simply would not be possible to film The Railway Children Return in the Worth Valley – or for the equally renowned North Yorkshire Moors Railway to be the setting for two new Hollywood productions featuring, amongst others, Tom Cruise. He, too, will know that the real heroes are not his fellow stars of stage and screen, but the volunteers who maintain these lines.
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