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L&SWR 'flap' ground signals

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

L&SWR 'flap' ground signals

Unread postby Chris Osment » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:30 pm

I know that on the S&DJR there were some of the old Stevens 'flap' type of ground signal which survived well into BR days, at least a couple until the line closed in 1966. But how many, if any, survived late elsewhere on the wider ex-L&SWR system?

Specifically, were there any which were either still in place when their controlling signal-box was closed, or else were amongst the last ground-signals to be removed at any location where the SB then continued in use without any ground signals?
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Re: L&SWR 'flap' ground signals

Unread postby scarpa » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:52 pm

According to the excellent Southern Region signals book by G Pryer on page 69 a signal photographed at Sunbury in 1952 said it was among the last survivors.What date did Sunbury box close?Assuming the signal survived to closure in its original form.
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Re: L&SWR 'flap' ground signals

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:58 pm

It did indeed survive in its original form until closure and I believe that the box survived until around 1966 but an exact date I don't have.
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Re: L&SWR 'flap' ground signals

Unread postby Chris Osment » Tue Mar 7, 2017 12:54 pm

Some more questions on this subject...

AIUI the original design of the ‘flap’ signal had simply a red glass in the flap; when the flap was lowered then it revealed the ‘white’ light set into the main pillar. At some later date the design was modified to provide a red+green spectacle plate on the pillar in front of the light, but behind the flap, which moved as the flap was lowered or raised. Consequently in later years the red glass in the flap was omitted, presumably as now superfluous (whether this was removed deliberately, or simply never replaced if/when it broke, is unclear). It has been suggested to me that the modification arose because the original red glass was prone to damage (from flying ballast and/or the ‘bang’ as the flap was lowered), eventually cracking and falling out thereby displaying a false ‘clear’ light. Am I correct so far ?

I have seen an example in preservation without the spectacle plate on which the area of pillar around the lamp has been painted green, so as to display a green ‘face’ when the flap was lowered. Was this prototypical, and if so then did the practice continue after the introduction of the spectacle plate? Also that example, allegedly from a Scottish source, has a pillar marked ‘LMS’ on the front, suggesting that it was installed/replaced/repaired in the post-Grouping era. Was it still common by that time to perpetuate the use the style without spectacle-plates?
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Re: L&SWR 'flap' ground signals

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Mar 9, 2017 1:30 pm

You must not forget that there was not an instant change inn 1923. All the new designs of signals, lever frames, signal boxes and everything else, came in progressively over quite a few years. Therefore it was "business as usual" until then. So what you are looking at is a part that would have been cast for the Caledonian Railway (or whoever, until 1923) that has been made post-1923.

I don't suppose they were too fussed on the detail of moving spectacle or no spectacle for outwardly they looked the same to drivers.

Whether they were painted green is perhaps a difficult question as most photographs of that era were monochrome. Purely as opinion I would have said not but have you checked out the Caledonian signalling book?

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