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Bathampton 1942-1956

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

Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Sep 2, 2017 6:11 am

In 1942 a new box was erected at Bathampton West. Normal GWR naming conventions of that period were that when a second box opened such as in this instance, the other box would be renamed geographically, i.e. the original Bathampton would become Bathampton East. But in this instance, evidence of that is cloudy - the SRS do not record such in their Signal Box Register although I have seen drawings so-titled, including in George Pryer's Signal Box Diagrams book for the area. The SRS diagrams CD-ROM incorrectly combines the West box with the original Bathampton as the same location but provides no diagram for the latter at this period. It would be highly unconventional for the GWR to have two boxes named "Bathampton" and "Bathampton West" although some other railways frequently did so.

It is a long shot, but does anybody have firm evidence of the naming of the box between 1942 and 1956 (when a new box replaced both)?

John
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Re: Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby JRB » Sat Sep 2, 2017 8:24 am

I have personal experience of differences between nameplates and drawings, including the box diagram, on WR boxes. An incomplete renaming is quite possible.
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Re: Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby StevieG » Sat Sep 2, 2017 10:45 am

John Hinson wrote: " .... Normal GWR naming conventions of that period were that when a second box opened such as in this instance, the other box would be renamed geographically, i.e. the original Bathampton would become Bathampton East. .... "

" .... It would be highly unconventional for the GWR to have two boxes named "Bathampton" and "Bathampton West" .... "
FWIW John,
not Bathampton, but I recall seeing Thatcham West box (a WWII provision I/c/w the Royal Ordnance Depot, between there and the station ? ) from a distance just prior to its closure around 1963/4, while the nameplate of the box of older appearance at the station still read "THATCHAM SIGNAL BOX", and I'm pretty sure that this latter box's diagram's title was "THATCHAM STATION" - (sorry to mention a different slight anomaly).
On showing, prior to 'West's recovery, to one friendly signalman at the time, my schoolboy 'observations from the stations / crossings / trains' amateur drawing of the Theale-Thatcham area's signalling (which I came to know quite well in those days), he was uncharacteristically insistent that my compromise rendition thereon of a code for 'Thatcham' box's signals (all semaphore) as "T(E)" was not correct, and there should be no 'East' about it!
Last edited by StevieG on Sat Sep 2, 2017 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Sep 2, 2017 12:00 pm

StevieG wrote:" (sorry to mention a different slight anomaly).

That's not really a different anomoly, actually, because that makes another possibility . . . that the original box at Bathampton formally became "Bathampton Station" without the nameboard being changed. The SRS takes nameplates as the ultimate proof of a box name from the nameplate (risky to be that inflexible, in my opinion) so it is certainly one possibility.

Andy guess what? The SRS Signal Box Register shows the name as "Thatcham" for the box's entire life. An interesting parallel.

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Re: Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby GarthTilt » Sat Sep 2, 2017 12:35 pm

The service timetables for May 1946, May 1948 and September 1951 all list the two boxes as 'Bathampton' and 'Bathampton West'. What's in a name!!
I recall various drawings for the new 1959 box at Danygraig in Swansea Docks as 'Danygraig' 'Dan y Graig' or 'Danygraig Junction'. The nameplate read
DANYGRAIG the box diagram Danygraig Junction. A subject on its own. There must be many other examples. Both GW and BRWR timetables listed boxes
with names which didn't agree with that on the nameplate or the box diagram.
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Re: Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Sep 2, 2017 3:38 pm

GarthTilt wrote:The service timetables for May 1946, May 1948 and September 1951 all list the two boxes as 'Bathampton' and 'Bathampton West'. What's in a name!!

Thanks Garth.

There is "quite a lot in a neme" actually, a serious siingle line irregularity occurred with confusion between Mallaig and Mallaig Junction. Mallaig Junction box was re-named after that.

Best regards,

John
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Re: Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Sat Sep 2, 2017 4:40 pm

John Hinson wrote:There is "quite a lot in a neme" actually, a serious siingle line irregularity occurred with confusion between Mallaig and Mallaig Junction. Mallaig Junction box was re-named after that.
Yes I suppose what it says on a single line token is yet another point where there could be a discrepancy as against the box board, the diagram, and the appendices, but you are presumably talking RETB here? Some Irish tokens showed just a 2-letter abbreviation of the two token stations, so that could potentially have caused problems too.
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Re: Bathampton 1942-1956

Unread postby JRB » Sat Sep 2, 2017 6:34 pm

StevieG wrote:
not Bathampton, but I recall seeing Thatcham West box (a WWII provision I/c/w the Royal Ordnance Depot, between there and the station ? ) from a distance just prior to its closure around 1963/4, while the nameplate of the box of older appearance at the station still read "THATCHAM SIGNAL BOX", and I'm pretty sure that this latter box's diagram's title was "THATCHAM STATION"!


That's typical of what I found. The nameplate book reliably recorded nameplate ordering. When the drawings were different, they got altered as without any 'official' ruling, I changed the drawings (possible) rather than the nameplate (impossible). Not everyone (anyone?) bothered.
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