1 9 6 0 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
1 9 6 1 (UK)
5 x 30 minute episodes
This Tuesday afternoon ITV series was based on the children’s novel Danger On The Old Pull ‘N Push by future Wombles creator Elisabeth Beresford and produced by Associated-Rediffusion.
Debuting on 1 November 1960, the series revolved around a little steam engine and the fight by two children – Judith (Waveney Lee) and Andrew (John Pike) – to keep the single-track (hence “pull” and “push”) railway line between Coudhurst and Mill End from closing.
Other characters included kindly station master Uncle Horatio (Joe Gibbons), Miss Bunch the gossipy postmistress (Ann Wrigg) and Signor Perelli (Nicholas Amer), an Italian who was the erstwhile villain in the first series but reforms for the second series.
The series returned in May 1961 as The Return of the Old Pull ‘N Push.
Having saved the railway line, Judith and Andrew now had to find a way to make it pay. Keeping the railway on the right financial track involved the cast in action-packed episodes, with suspense created by an efficiency expert, some smuggling and a mystery about hush-hush passengers.
Location scenes were shot on the real-life (now defunct) single-track line at Goudhurst in Kent. The theme tune was adapted from an American railroad tune called The Wreck of the Old ’97.