One of my favourite children’s stories, in book and film format, this stage adaptation of E Nesbit's book has the best of both worlds.

It remains faithful to its era of the very early 20th century and just tells the story.

Stewart Wright in the role of the station master is the very able and personable narrator. He fills in the gaps which the author’s descriptive narrative in the original book would have covered and which would be difficult to translate to the stage.

The story is of a family whose father mysteriously disappears, apparently on government business, and who are forced through poverty to move from a prosperous London address to a cottage next to a railway line in the north of England.

The children are convinced their father is in London and wave to every passing train, sending him their love.

Joy Brook as the mother, with Katherine Carlton, Vinay Lad and Millie Turner as her children is perfect as the middle class suburban woman, maintaining a stiff upper lip while she conceals the true fate of her husband. The children are all very convincingly played, not least Vinay Lad for whom this production is his professional debut.

Callum Goulden is a treasure as John the station master’s son who mocks the children’s ‘posh’ accents at first but eventually becomes a firm friend.

The axis of the set is the station platform and point changing levers which are used to change the scenes. There are picturesque backdrops where tiny trains are hauled across the landscape growing bigger as they approach the station, in a finely judged measure of perspective. Huge steam engines are projected on to a back screen and very realistically clatter into the station with much hissing and steaming. There is a sense of fun in the improvisation.

This warm hearted and energetic production will not disappoint fans of the story. It runs until October 29.