With the Romney, Hythe &
Dymchurch Railway also in the adjacent area it doesn’t take a giant leap
of imagination to believe Ian Fleming fashioned ‘Pistols’ Scaramanga’s
narrow-gauge railway, on which Bond fights for his life in the climax of
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, from the world’s smallest public railway. One
can imagine the author sitting in the train’s miniature carriage drawing
on his Morland’s three rings in his cigarette holder during a sedate
journey from Hythe to the fisherman’s cottages and lighthouses of
Dungeness and back again, blocking out the action of his novel in his
mind’s eye and jotting down ideas in his ever-present notebook. And surely
too, it’s no coincidence that the National Express coach service from
London Victoria to Deal is number SH-007!
Special thanks to Fred Bryant for his assistance with the
preparation of this article.