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Hadlow Road

Signalling on heritage railways

Hadlow Road

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:13 pm

The station building at Hadlow Road, on the former Hooton - West Kirby branch of the Birkenhead Joint, was restored in the early 1970s as part of the Wirral Country Park. I have fond memories of visiting it soon after that. Back then, any signalling equipment was conspicuous by its absence, so I was intrigued to stumble across recent pictures (here, for instance) which show that sometime in the last forty years the station has acquired a signal box, although it clearly wasn't much like the original.

Google was not my friend when it came to finding our where it came from, but the invaluable Signalling Atlas reveals that it is a North Stafford type 2 box formerly at Hassall Green. It seems to have been planted in a rather strange place, much too close to the platform edge, and contains what is presumably its original frame. The levers have been given labels which do not start at 1, the diagram doesn't match any known style, and the painting of the levers doesn't make a lot of sense.

A lot of effort must have gone into this, but there's no trace of it on the web. What is particuiarly concerning is that an awful lot of people now seem to believe that this is the original Hadlow Road box. Can anyone shed light on what was intended here, and whether there is anything at the site to warn the unwary that what they are looking at is not a good representation of what would have been there when the line was open, and should not be regarded as representing any railway's signalling practice? It's really quite worrying just how quickly false impressions can turn into accepted wisdom, with almost everything that can be found on line about this installation leaving a lot to be desired. Even the normally reliable Disused Stations site hasn't picked up the substitution.
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Re: Hadlow Road

Unread postby beast66606 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:34 pm

If I remember correctly there was an intention to try and restore the whole look of the station, to do this required a platform mounted box and as the original had been demolished the council had to make do with what was available and Hassall Green met the criteria. Because the site of the cabin was under a lot of debris, HG was mounted near but not exactly on the spot. I think the frame came along later, I seem to remember there was a time when the frame wasn't there but I might be wrong.
Better to be thought a fool than to type a response that confirms it.

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Re: Hadlow Road

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:06 pm

Thanks, that's very enlightening.
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