The Ghost Train

A comedy thriller by Arnold Ridley
Wednesday 6 April 1949
Faringdon Corn Exchange, Corn Market, Faringdon SN7 7JA
Directed by Dorothy Woodfield

Performances start 8:00 pm.

The action of the play takes place in the General Waiting Room of Fal Vale Junction, an isolated railway station somewhere in Cornwall, during the course of four hours after the last train of the night has gone.

A very silly young man accidentally strands six passengers at a small Cornish wayside station. Despite the psychic stationmaster’s weird stories of a ghost train, they decide to stay the night in the waiting room. Soon, they regret this decision. First, the stationmaster is found dead, then a glamorous lady appears, followed by her brother and so-called doctor. This lady feels a psychic attraction to the station whenever the ghost train is due, and when at dead of night this apparition rushes through, she becomes hysterical. Next, ghostly forms materialise and one is shot by the silly young man. It turns out to be the hysterical lady’s brother. Now, the young man takes command, exposing these late arrivals as gunrunners, associates of the stationmaster, who all this time has only shammed death.

Arnold RidleyThe author Arnold Ridley later achieved fame as Private Charles Godfrey, the gentle platoon medic, in the BBC comedy-sitcom, Dad’s Army from 1968 to 1977.

ghost-train-1949-photoThis is the very first play performed by Faringdon Dramatic Society.

The Dramatic Society was formed in 1948 from an evening class run by Bill Reeves. The first performances were in the Corn Exchange, while the rehearsals were held in the Friends Meeting House opposite the Duke of Wellington in the Lechlade Road and sets were built in garages and back gardens. More history…

Photo: Moving the scenery into the Corn Exchange for the first show.
On top: Bill Reeves.
Below L to R: ??; Stanley Mills; Nancy Reeves; G. Gregson; Margaret Carter; Ron Venn; George Young; ??.

Cast (in order of appearance):

Saul Hodgkin - William Reeves
Richard Winthrop - William Perkins
Elsie Winthrop - Gaynor Williams
Charles Murdock - Fredric Wright
Peggy Murdock - Kathleen Allanson
Miss Bourne - Joan Perkins
Teddie Deakin - Rees Dee
Julia Price - Nancy Reeves
Herbert Price - Arthur Probert
John Sterling - Llewellyn Williams
Jackson - Frank East

See programme for further details.

Production No.1 (1 show was performed over 1 day)