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Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

British signalling of the past (UK, excepting Northern Ireland)

Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Fosse Road » Mon May 14, 2012 4:33 pm

You should be aware that one of the requirements of Network Rail is that you clear the site when removing the building - no leaving bits behind that you don't want! You'll also need to arrange (and probably pay for) a T3 Line Possession for the duration of the work, and this will be at NR's convenience. I would imagine that means either at night over a weekend or possibly while the line is closed during the commissioning of the new signalling. Afew years ago a friend of mine was involved with the removal of the box from Pinxton to Barrow Hill, and you wouldn't believe the amount of grief the group had with the site engineer. Don't get me wrong, it's do-able, but don't expect it to be easy! As for the original windows going to the SVR, I doubt it they've got them anymore unless they're hidden away somewhere, as none of the SVR boxes have windows of that pattern. It might be worth making enquiries though.
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Save our signal box » Wed May 30, 2012 10:22 pm

Sorry it's taken so long to answer this, Peter - we've been trying to work out our next steps. First intention was to move it to the other side of the tracks, near to the Railway Cottages - the land owner was ready to let us have the land, until we realised just how tall the box is, and how it would dominate the buildings on that side. Next idea - we're trying to persuade BT to let us have some land where their exchange is. It's a dilapidated 1950s concrete building, now almost empty - we're trying to appeal to their charitable giving programme, although not sure it'll work. It currently looks asthough we'll have to take the box down and store it until we can either find a suitable location near the tracks in the village - I've got contacts with the Black Country Museum who are experts at taking down buildings ready to reassemble, - or find a suitable museum / heritage railway to take it. But the next task will be to persuade Network Rail to go through the hassle of working with us over a longer period than the day they were planning to demolish it. It'll also cost - although they were contracting the job out, so the budget will have been reasonable, diverting it to deconstruction instead of demolition may need some negotiation. So it's happening, we hope, but still quite a few obstacles to surmount.

Interesting comment about the Douglas box - ours looks solid enough to be able to do that, and there's a building at Avoncroft where they've done the same thing. I'll follow that up - but we need to have somewhere to put it down first....

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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Save our signal box » Wed May 30, 2012 10:29 pm

Thanks for the advice Fosse Road - we're concerned that it's not going to be a quick job, and that we'll need scaffoliding to get the roof off safely. As I said in my last post, there'll be a fair amount of negotiation needed, and Network Rail will need to cap off the services etc., so we'll have to negotiate a detailed schedule. But, as you say, it's doable, with some cooperation!
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Sidmouth » Sat Jul 7, 2012 7:46 am

Good Morning all

Last week I had the pleasure of an escorted visit through the kindness of Network Rail to see the Stourbridge Line Signal Boxes

I've uploaded some images from the vist to Churchill and Blakedown to start and will add others as i process them

http://www.flickr.com/photos/martincree ... 459910026/

As i did with the North Warwicks Boxes there will be a companion book as well which I'l do through Blurb

Once again many thanks to everyone at Network Rail

regards
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Sidmouth » Sun Jul 8, 2012 7:50 am

I've now updated my Blog with the story of my visit

http://martincreese.blogspot.co.uk/2012 ... chill.html
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby DFS » Mon Aug 6, 2012 8:40 am

Save our signal box wrote:...... It currently looks asthough we'll have to take the box down and store it until we can either find a suitable location near the tracks in the village - I've got contacts with the Black Country Museum who are experts at taking down buildings ready to reassemble, - or find a suitable museum / heritage railway to take it. But the next task will be to persuade Network Rail to go through the hassle of working with us over a longer period than the day they were planning to demolish it. It'll also cost - although they were contracting the job out, so the budget will have been reasonable, diverting it to deconstruction instead of demolition may need some negotiation. So it's happening, we hope, but still quite a few obstacles to surmount.
......
Sue


Do you have any updates Sue? It sounds as though you are having some success. The latest noises I have been hearing suggest that now only Hartlebury and Kidderminster Junction boxes, along with what is left of Kingswinford, are scheduled for demolition. It would appear that Stourbridge Junction Middle will be retained and converted into mess accommodation.
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Fosse Road » Wed Aug 8, 2012 3:29 pm

I'm told by fairly senior sources within NR that Stourbridge Jct. Middle box has been sold to Chiltern Railways for the princely sum of £1! It will become a Mess Room and Booking-on point for their Stourbridge-based train crew.
Last edited by Fosse Road on Wed Aug 8, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Fosse Road » Wed Aug 8, 2012 3:35 pm

DFS wrote:
The latest noises I have been hearing suggest that now only Hartlebury and Kidderminster Junction boxes, along with what is left of Kingswinford, are scheduled for demolition.David


I suspect there will be very few people mourning the loss of what replaced Kingswinford Jct South box after the fire. That container must be like a sauna on the rare hot days we occasionally get. I gather the local scrotes even tried to set fire to that!! :evil:

http://tillyweb.biz/gallery/kk/kingswinford.htm
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Ex-BR_S&T_Tech » Tue Sep 4, 2012 4:53 am

I have not heard anything more about Blakedown SB and whether the rescue bid by the locals continues to be active and on course. Does anyone have an update on this?

I understand that the Blakedown nameplate was designated by the Railway Heritage Committee back in 2011 and so I presume that it must have now been removed by Network Rail and has followed the route of other SB nameplates similarly designated (nameplates off the North Warwick SBs - Henley-in-Arden & Bearley West Junction) in that it has gone to the WMSC.

I hope that perhaps the opportunity may be afforded in that a copy could be taken from the original at some point to refit back to Blakedown SB.

If the various issues with the site of the SB in its new role as a preserved SB can be resolved and completed then this could be a very interesting project. I’m sure that top of the list of jobs will be the manufacture of some replacement Type 4 windows in order to return the SB to its correct external appearance.

A longer term goal could be to locate and refit a suitable lever frame and gate wheel. Blakedown had a 22-lever frame from 1901 - 1937 which was either a Double Twist or a Stud frame - the SRS Register does not say. In 1937 a 5-bar VT frame was fitted and perhaps examples of this type of frame would be easier to locate for Blakedown.

I wish the people behind the plan to save the SB every success and I hope that we will receive some more news in the near future about Blakedown.
Andy Dickinson - Former S&T Technician of this parish (and others)
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby John Hinson » Tue Sep 4, 2012 7:34 am

The saving of the signal box is very much a local community project and we do not know what purpose they intend to put the box to or whether they intend to move it or leave it in situ. Their plans may not correspond with that of the die-hard signalling enthusiast so replacement of the lever frame and gate wheel or even the windows might not necessarily be on the agenda.

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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby WembYard » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:06 am

Blakedown box was still standing last Monday (10th September), complete with nameplate.
Signal box photos dating from the 1970s here, many more to be added when time permits.
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Save our signal box » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:22 pm

Sorry not to have followed up with news of the signalbox campaign. We are still working on the project: we have a meeting with Wyre Forest DC and the Housing Association in January to get procedures started to approve its relocation to a garden on the other side of the road (which will be behind the station platform, so more than the regulation 2m from the track). Network Rail Heritage team have been very helpful, and have agreed to subsidise the dismantling of the box -we gave them a cost just for the dismantling by a contractor who has in the past taken buildings down and rebuilt them for the Black Country Living Museum. However, we're waiting now to hear from the asset protection team how much 'possessions' will cost (we need 3, and the contractor is understandably very nervous about potential fines for handing back the track late); for a site supervisor whilst the work is carried out; and for scaffolding and a protective barrier using a Network Rail approved provider. When we've got that detail - we have to work out how we're going to raise that money. Hopefully we can persuade Network Rail to meet the costs ( we did tell them that the price we quoted was just for dismantling and removal, because we had no idea of what their costs would be), which will mean that we can finally start moving. Any ideas of other potential funding sources (quick access) would be very welcome! For the reconstruction, we're planning to put in a bid to the Heritage Lottery fund, but have split that out from the dismantling because of the time it takes for approval, and the fact that you can't start any work until the application has been approved (although it's taken so long we could probably have started by now).

When we've finally moved it (and by the way, we've found the original windows - they're down at the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster), we're hoping to use the box as a community meeting place, and a mini museum - plans for that are still developing. But that all seems a long way ahead at the moment.....
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Peter Gibbons » Tue Jan 1, 2013 10:07 am

When I looked yesterday on 31/12/12, Kidderminster Junction signal box had definitely been demolished. It looks like that the dismanted remains of the lever frame are temporarily partly lying under a tarpaulin on the SVR side of the fence opposite the former box. Blakedown is still in place but I don't know about Hartlebury though.
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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Tue Jan 1, 2013 10:48 am

A friend who passed there recently informed me that Hartlebury has been demolished.

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Re: Stourbridge - Hartlebury Signalbox History

Unread postby Save our signal box » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:58 pm

A very late update on the Churchill and Blakedown Box. After an unbelievably long process, we have finally taken the Box down, and the materials are in storage until we get the funds to put it all back together again. Huge thanks to Network Rail for their support (financial and physical) in taking it down - the contractors who have carried out similar work at the Black Country Musem took 9 days and 2 overnight possessions to take it all apart, working under NR supervision (which was a bit of a shock to the system!) - they all did a great job.

We've got planning permission to rebuild the Box just behind the station platform in a garden on the other side of the road - so we're moving it about 40 feet in total. Community Housing have agreed to give us the land; now we just need the money. Target completion date - end of March 2014 - so fingers crossed for a mild winter. It won't be totally in it's original state - it'll be used as a community meeting room / museum / store, and will be modified to allow, for example, disabled access - but we'll keep it as close to the original in appearance as we can, given the site and the consideration of its neighbours.

I'll let you know when it's finished and receiving visitors.

Thank you all for all your help in providing information, advice and experience.

Best regards,

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