The Latest Input Archive goes back to June 2011, which means that the Archive is now ten years old and still growing. It has been master-minded throughout that time by Keith Jenkin. Congratulations go to Keith and his assistants for reaching this major milestone with hardly a day passing without more news to be added and a resulting collection of marvellous photographs old and new. It has became a daily ritual to open up my laptop after breakfast and log on to the CRS website to see what's new in Latest Input; I am sure I am not alone.
KJ Writes :- Thank you for reminding us Mike. I am a little embarrassed to put this on our website as praise is due not only to me but of course to Roger Winnen who has been a very major contributor and editor of the website. And many others far and wide. Mick House has been in the wings ready to help.
The website has in fact been going for a little longer than the News Column Archives would suggest. It started off at the suggestion of the CRS committee who thought that perhaps the society needed more publicly and what better way than by means of the world wide web – from our post we seem to reach the far corners of the earth far better than by just the local press adverts we had in the past.
It is very true to say that the web site is as good as its contributors I don’t want to mention names, however the very first branch line to be covered on the website was what I regard as my local line – the long gone Chacewater – Newquay branch and many contributions to that section and other parts came from the author of the foregoing praise none other than Michael L Roach. Thanks Mike for your support over the years
I must also mention and offer my sincere thanks to our son Peter who set up our website and who has patiently come to our rescue many times when either my lap top or Rogers PC collapsed due to our lack of technical know-how.
The majority of our contributors include many names well known to you all through the website, but also to those listed who contributed perhaps a little gem – I have tried to keep the list of contributors which you will find on the home page up to date.
Anyway very many thanks to you all, you are all part of the website.
Exminster 'box closed on 14th November 1986 as part of the Exter area resignalling scheme. It was originally intended to be converted to a birdwatching 'hide' for the RSPB but it quickly turned out that noise from passing trains made this idea unviable. The 'box (which was a listed building) received some cosmetic restoration but inevitably deteriorated and in 2006 arrangements were made to dismantle and remove it for eventual restoration and use at Broadway on the Glos Warks Railway. According to the blog I referred to the removal of the 'box was organised by one GWR director without the approval of the board as a whole. The board later decided not to support the rebuilding of the structure at Broadway and the unnamed director had to take responsibility for the box on his own. It seems it was then his decision to scrap it. No publicity seems to have been made at the time of this saga and I suggest anyone interested reads the comments on the blog as I have done. broadway.gwsr.blogspot.com or simply search 'Exminster Signal Box Broadway'.
Broadway now has a new signal box, brick-built in the style of an early 20th century box similar to the now demolished example that formerly stood at Shirley, West Midlands. It seems the main frame from the well-known 'box that formerly stood at Aller Junction is now installed here.
Attached are two photos taken on 29th April 1996 shortly after the signal box had recently received a full renovation.
In response to the question about the fate of Exminster signalbox. See down the page here: http://broadwaygwsr.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-broadway-signal-box.html
I have some photographs taken inside the signalbox in 2004 when it was being looked at to be moved to the Didcot Railway Centre. If I find them I'll send you copies.
Retired S&T Engineer
Here are a few notes about the box:
The original box here was a small, brick built one, which supervised just a crossover and a siding. The latterday structure dated from 1924, when the layout was expanded on the down side. It had 36 levers. The box, however was little more than half the size that it later became. In 1931 new island platforms were added, necessitating a new frame of 56 levers. In world war 2, new loops and sidings came along and in March 1941 yet another new frame was installed -this time of 80 levers. It was necessary to extend the box from 25 feet to 41 feet in length. The 1960s saw the usual reductions and on the eve of MAS the layout was back to that of 1894 - a crossover and a siding. Full circle.