Roy says The photos which appear today are not of the frame at the wharves box, but of the ground frame which replaced it in 1964. This was not a new frame, but was 'secondhand' from somewhere, for it had the 'stud' type interlocking, which was obsolete before the first world war! From Roy Hart
Thank you gentlemen
Regards, Martin Well done Martin, you deserve a medal!
Recollections from Craig Munday
I have a picture of Hayle box after it was rewired with standard WR block instruments (just visible on top the cupboards in Julian's picture). It was remarkable really. Hayle was given an illuminated diagram including the "lozenge" light style track circuit indications and the spagnolletti blocks (not a spaghetti dish) replaced in around 1980. The box only saw traffic for a further 18 months before it was mothballed, most of which it was switched out of circuit of course, and demolished in 1983. I think the last Hayle Wharves branch trip was 1981 from memory.
One piece of equipment I can vaguely recall was an over-ride for the red / green crossing lights which prevented the crossing lights turning red for the Wharves train. In normal operation, the red lights came on when an Up train entered Hayle cutting. The branch train would diverge before the crossing and trundle around the back of the box. There was an over-ride switch (which Percy Brookes always seem to curse each time he set it)!
Another amusing story concerns a warm day with the box switched out of circuit. A Driver mentioned to the St Erth Signalman that Hayle's down distant was showing yellow. One of the Hayle station staff investigated and noticed that the down advance starter (Section signal) had dropped to "Wrong". He thought he was being helpful by dropping the distant back into the frame, and taking the Starter signal lever back to tighten the wires. Unfortunately he put the down starter too far into the frame and the lock caught. In a panic he then tried re-clearing it, but a line-clear from St Erth was required! With the box switched out of circuit, there was no option but to place all the down line signals to danger, and get a qualified Signalman to open the box and pull off properly. A good turn can often cause implications!!
Thanks for the info and story Craig
Having read the ‘Headlines’ item about Probus, I decided to look in the relevant Register from the Signalling Record Society, and based on the information gleaned from it.....
1. The box from Probus Siding went to Yealmpton. As the latter had a large frame (23 levers rather than 11), then I would guess that only the superstructure was re-used.
2. Probus East had come second-hand from Bristol (exact location unknown).
3. Probus West was constructed using the top from the former box at St Brides (in South Wales) and the lever-frame from Tresulgan (though it is not known whether East or West there).
The late John Fill
With reference to the St Austell S Box frame, this is no longer in the box. It was removed shortly after the box closed and sold to me as 'scrap' for £80. I used the frame to build my own signal box (in Norfolk) just like Bill Carne did at the Farm Museum. I sent pictures to Frank Speritt when I put it all together. I attach a photo of my self putting 1/2 the frame together at my house.
I eventually sold the frame to a Cornish Lad in St Austell who then resold it to one of the railway societies for spare parts. So it is still out there in parts somewhere. A scrap dealer also wanted the frame but BR sold it to me ! I did manage to keep some (about 5) of the remaining brass lever plates which I still have.
There is no mention of the cast iron name plate being ordered in M Dunn's book 'GWR Signal Box Name Plates'. (An excellent reference book). It may have been removed when St Austell was no longer a level crossing? The general thoughts were (back in the 70s) that the plate was broken when removed during WW2 but there is no evidence to support this. Many thanks for this info Julian.