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Re: St Albans South Box - works and occurrences in 2017

Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:12 pm
by John Hinson
No problem.

Just for info, apparently the links Photobucket give under "Direct" time-expire but a direct URL to the page copied from the browser URL would appear to work - more info at viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8002 .


Re: St Albans South Box - works and occurrences in 2017

Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:01 pm
by John Webb
Sunday 24th July saw a remarkable 102 visitors to the box over the 3 hours we were open - the highest recorded for an ordinary Sunday afternoon opening.

Repainting the outside of the box, for the second time since the original restoration in early 2008, has been started by a professional painter. Work has also started on applying fresh preservative to the fence around our site. Photos will be published in due course on our News 2017 page at

We have received some information on the intended rebuild of the west side of St Albans City station next to us. As yet insufficient for us to work out how to get a 'Visitor Centre' for the Trust adjacent to our site with any certainty. We watch and wait!

Re: St Albans South Box - works and occurrences in 2017

Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:07 pm
by John Webb
Well, a lot has been happening since I wrote in July. The 102 visitors in one Sunday afternoon then was topped on October 22nd by 103 coming. Heritage Open Days in September saw over 400 people through the box over two days; Sunday, the busier of the two days, saw 20 demonstrations given upstairs - we actually kept count for once!

With one more Open Afternoon to go, on December 10th, the visitor numbers this year already total over 2,700 - some 300+ above last year's total. As a result we are closely approaching our 20,000 visitor since October 2008.

The box was completely repainted over the Summer by a professional painter, and included some replacement woodwork at the back of the box. The exterior of the boundary fence has been sprayed with preservative - the inside awaits clearance of undergrowth to gain access to it. The garden shed has also had a coating of preservative.
Inside the box work has continued on replacing downrod operated microswitches by magnetically operated switches for improved reliability; Midland Railway pegger and non-pegger instruments have been cleaned up and linked together for demonstration purposes, particularly for exhibitions outside the box; a further two bells have been overhauled and wired together to supplement our original two, and our sales area is being rearranged.

Other works planned (or already started) for the Winter season include double-tracking the garden railway, as this seems to have been a catalyst in the increased visitor numbers; replacing rotten timbers supporting our two ground frames; replacement of timber supports for our 1970s 4-aspect signals with permanent metal stands, similar to those we used for the LED signals, and a complete rewire and recontrol of them. All the while the garden requires being kept in order, of course!

Re: St Albans South Box - works and occurrences in 2017

Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 am
by John Webb
Four hardy visitors made their way through the snow on Sunday, to be met by three similar volunteers, to complete this year's Openings, and to see the total number of visitors top just over 2,700, a new record for us.

We've been working closely with Elstree and Borehamwood Museum over their special exhibition regarding the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Midland Railway "London Extension" - I'll post more about that separately - and are lending them some items from our collection. Our own celebration of the 150th anniversary will be concentrated around the Heritage Open Days at the second weekend of September.

Re: St Albans South Box - works and occurrences in 2017

Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:03 am
by John Webb
May seem odd mentioning 2017 when we're now in 2018, but I've carried out a major update of our "News 2017" page on the box website to cover the September-December part of 2017; see Work covered includes the major repaint of the box, preserving the boundary fence, and renewing timbers supporting our MR ground frame, plus other bits and pieces.