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Meet the prop guy who created platform 9¾ in 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

From stunt doubles to costume designers, we talk to the people who've helped make some of London's most iconic films. King’s Cross station has become a mecca for ‘Harry Potter’ fans, thanks to the legendary platform 9¾. But transforming one of London’s busiest stations into the magical gateway to Hogwarts is no easy feat – prop master Barry Wilkinson talks us through it.

How was it filming platform 9¾ in King’s Cross station?

‘It was manic. You’ve only got those two platforms for a certain time when the trains aren’t running and people aren’t there. You’ve got to do it through the night. Once it closes down, you can start bringing all your dressing in, and the trunks, period trolleys and the 9¾ signs.’ 

How did you get the train in?

‘These lads brought it down from up north – they were proper rail enthusiasts. They parked it up in a goods yard in Hornsey then stoked it up to bring it down when we were ready. It created a real atmosphere, with all the steam and the noise, but every time it came in it was covered in soot so we had to have a team on hand so it was all gleaming.’

Was it difficult working within such a strict timeframe?

‘Of course. We had the big clock in there and the minute they say: “You’re out, we’re opening”, you’ve got to get out, whatever you’re doing. It was a big old number to do during the night.’ 

Want more iconic London films? Check out our top 30 list.

Or read our interview with the woman who was Renée Zellweger’s stunt double in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'.

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