L For Lester

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L for Lester was a short-lived (6 episodes) BBC2 sit-com first broadcast in 1982, written by Dudley Long, directed by John B.Hobbs and produced by Dennis Main-Wilson. The comedy featured the misfortunes of driving instructor Lester Small who was played by Brian Murphy, best known as George from the earlier sit-com 'George and Mildred'.[1]

For the opening sequence of episode 2, the BBC required a Western Class 52 diesel in BRBritish Rail or British Railways Blue with a matching rake of BRBritish Rail or British Railways blue coaches.[2] The SVRSevern Valley Railway was able to oblige, having recently acquired a number of ex-BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mark 1 coaches in working order and still in original livery. D1013 Western Ranger was the locomotive used. The episode was first broadcast on 15 October 1982.[3]

Filming locations included Northwood Lane level crossing, which was fitted with barriers for the occasion, Victoria Bridge and Arley station, renamed Barrow Gurney[note 1]. Scenes were mostly filmed moving north, although the scene at Arley is filmed moving south. The complete sequence can be seen on this YouTube clip.

Arley Station Bridge also features briefly in Episode 1 when a pupil approaches too fast and takes off. YouTube clip


  1. Barrow Gurney is a village in North Somerset that has never been rail connected.

See also

List of film and TV productions filmed on the Severn Valley Railway


  1. British Comedy Guide Retrieved 25 November 2015
  2. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 65
  3. Internet Movie Data Base (retrieved 24 December 2018)