After being evicted from the family car-repair business, the Carters get involved in the re-opening and running of the Flockton to Lane End railway, an old branch line that's been disused for years. The star of the show is a vintage ex-Great Western locomotive called, for the series, "The Flockton Flyer".
After the eviction, the Carters set up home in Flockton Station, meeting up with a tramp by the name of Bill Jelly, who's been living in a track-side hut. Before being allowed to move in to the station, Bob Carter makes an agreement with Commander Frost (Chairman of the railway re-opening society) that he'll get the engine and the track ready for re-opening. Some of the locals are not happy about the re-opening plans, and there's a falling-out with farmer Joe Pratt, and vandalism to be dealt with too. One adventure involves a train robbery, where "The Flyer" is used to trap the crooks until the local police can be summoned. In the final episode of series 1, all's ready for the opening day, complete with band, bunting and cakes, but "The Flyer" goes missing!
The second series (by when the Carters have moved out to Crowcombe, because Flockton Station is now in use) involves an argument with local landowner, The Duke of Flockton, resolved by a memorable race between "The Flockton Flyer" and the Duke's locomotive. Later episodes concern the visit of a film crew to the Flockton line, cattle rustling, a dispute with the local fox hunters, the running away of Jessica, the younger Carter daughter, and finally a story about the Carters helping a group of travelling families to find a home after they'd been made unwelcome elsewhere.
Much of the filming was done on the West Somerset Railway, set in the glorious countryside between the Quantock Hills and Exmoor. The resulting images are memorable for their high visual quality. The locomotive, otherwise known, prosaically, as No 6412, really looks the part.
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