Set in the 1950s, Love on a Branchline was a four part BBC TV series based on John Hadfield (only) novel of the same name and shown on UK television in June 1994. Filmed in various Norfolk locations, including Heydon and Oxburgh Hall, the story revolves around the eccentric Lord Flamborough (Leslie Phillips) and his equally odd wife and three daughters who own Arcady Hall but which is actually occupied by just three civil servants as the long forgotten Government Department of Output Statistics. Lord Flamborough prefers to live on his train which runs on its own isolated length of track.

The "hero", Jasper Pye (Michael Maloney), is sent by Whitehall to inspect and report back with the intention of recommending it be closed down. He is however, caught by the magic of its rural lifestyle - as well as by the charms of Lord Flamborough's daughters.

One of these daughters is married to alcohol loving and lovable rogue Lionel Virley (David Haig) who nearly succeeds in ensuring that both he and Jasper miss the climax of the saga - the local cricket match. The cricket match was filmed at Hillington & Flitcham Cricket Club's ground at Hillington Hall and a number of Flitcham and local members were employed as extras for the match: Kevin Ely, John Farrow, Neil Farrow, Andrew Jarvis, Mark Jarvis, David Manning & Peter Scarffe. These pages are a record of their involvement.

The series is still available on DVD (Certificate 12 - try Amazon) but it is surely time for the BBC to consider reshowing this series - it really is very good and David Haig's portrayal of Lionel is a delight - as one of the main characters, why he is not featured in the cover credits is a bit of a mystery.

(The original story was reputedly based on the fourth Earl of Cranbrook in Suffolk although Hadfield apparently never divulged the source of his inspiration).

Main cast members

Michael Maloney ... Jasper Pye Cathryn Harrison ... Chloe
Leslie Phillips ... Lord Flamborough Abigail Cruttenden ... Belinda
Maria Aitken ... Lady Flamborough Charlotte Williams ... Matilda
Graham Crowden ... Professor Pollux Gillian Raine ... Miss Tidy
Stephen Moore ... Quirk Joe Melia ... Mr. Jones
Amanda Root... Miss Mounsey Maggie Wells ... Dimple Potts
David Haig ... Lionel Virley Ken Sharrock ... Charley Aspall

Click here to go to the first page of photographs