John Hinson wrote:
I do not know whether the L&NWR's practice of using Key Interlocking frames as signalboxes applied at Bethesda but it seems unlikely. However, to be clear, its purpose was not to economise in staff but to economise in signalling costs. The desire to save staff by combining platform staff's jobs with that of signalman didn't really flourish until after nationalisation, when labour costs were becoming exp*, ensive.
Perhaps I can quote Richard Foster writing in his article in British Railway Journal no.50 (winter 1994) entitled The Train Services on the Anglesey Central Line* "The old LNW practice at small stations, such as Holland Arms, was to combine the signalman's duties with those of a porter, shunter or even station master in order to reduce staff costs." (Note that Holland Arms was a junction station.) Certainly the Southern Railway, from early in its existence, followed the same route, and it is perhaps not a coincidence that its General Manager was a former LNW man.
* The article not only covers train services but includes full signalling diagrams, all of the stations including the junction at Holland Arms having typical LNW open frames with the instruments in the booking office. Associated articles on the Red Wharf Bay branch and on the signalling on the Central Anglesey Line appeared in British Railway Journals no.1 and no.38 respectively.
As I have indicated before, these economical arrangements were certainly very typical of the LNW throughout North Wales although perhaps less ubiquitous in England - the LNW didn't get where it did by spending money unnecessarily.