In 1945 David Lean filmed “Brief Encounter” at Carnforth Station - chosen for safety during WWII. The Romantic classic stars Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard and famous landmarks include the station clock and the heavily featured Refreshment room.
The Carnforth Station Heritage Centre opened in 1996 following a £1.5 million renovation project that also received the cooperation of Railtrack.
The Centre celebrates the steam rail age and the work of David Lean, particularly Brief Encounter which as its own exhibition and visitors can take an old fashioned cinema seat and watch the movie.
Brief Encounter Exhibition
The classic romantic drama charts an episode in British suburban life and the meeting of a stranger in a railway station, where a respectable middle class woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.
The exhibition contains a recreation of the cafe on the railway station where housewife Laura Jesson meets doctor Alec Harvey. Both already married, they gradually begin a love affair as they continue to meet weekly in the small cafe, although they know their love is impossible.
The Refreshment room - recreated - is where their tension packed and heart-rending final meeting takes place.
The 'Clock' station clock features prominently in the film as it tracks time. The clock by Joyce of Whitchurch in the late 19th century was nearly lost to the station when in the late 1970's it was sold, only later to be tracked down, refurbished and hung as a centerpiece to the refurbished station.
The Age of Steam
Multiple The Age of Steam galleries provide fascinating insight into the by-gone age of steam through railway artifacts and memorabilia such as engine numbers, signage and prints adorning the walls and floors.