New Barnet North Signalbox

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davet
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by davet » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:15 pm

Yeah,I remember Cliff Eales - great guy.I also went to Hatfield school to learn single needle and Cliff was with me for a while. Mick Reeder was instructor there and at the end of proceedings sent me to see "the Undertaker" for a grilling on rules but it went OK - Johnny May was a real gentleman, wish we had the likes of him around now. I lost contact with Cliff as I went to Harringay Up Goods after finishing at Hatfield
I believe Cliff eventually went to work on the Settle and Carlisle.

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:11 am

Harringay Up Goods eh dave?.

Harringay Up Goods (box) was a tall brick built structure situated along side the Up Goods lines immediately just to the east of Harringay (West) station at the bottom of the 'Harringay flyover' which carried the single line to & from Ferme Park North Down (box) also there was a number of Goods lines that came Up from Ferme Park Up sidings via Ferme Park South Up (box). To the south the box worked with Finsbury Park No.6 (box).

The box had a tall brick built bottom half to the structure (so the signalman could get a clear view of the railway heading south towards Finsbury Park over the footbridge right outside the box) the upper part of the box incorporating the opertating floor, lever frame, block shelf & track diagram was of wood topped off with a shallow slatted gabled style roof. The box it's self was probably one of the tallest s/boxes between Kings Cross & Peterborough along with Goods And Mineral Junction, maybe Ferme Park South Down?, Hitchin Yard & Cresent Junction (Peterborough).

I didn't like it much when they put control of the Up fast & Up slow lines onto Harringay Up Goods after Harringay (passenger box) was closed in August 1973 which it had control of for a couple of years before it to was closed, it didn't seem quite right somehow the box working those lines??.

Sorry to deviate from the topic thread.

Mickey

davet
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by davet » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:51 pm

I left Harringay in 1968,only a year after I passed out for the box - went back onto the GE on promotion. I missed all the "old GN gang" though, there were some really good signalmen in the KX area, some of whom are still around (Dave "Tilly" Tilbury for example who I sometimes see at our twice - yearly "bashes" at Mc Glynns pub just off Euston Road). Also Dave Wootton,Joe Thornton,Geoff Brook just to name a few.I believe most, if not all the old D Is are now long since departed, as well as the guv'nors that were around in the late 60s,eg Bill Stirling (used to strike fear into would - be signalmen at interviews),also his associate Charlie Wort, latterly AM at KX. At least even if you didn't like 'em you respected them as they achieved their positions through their years of knowledge and experience, not like the railway bosses of today.

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:41 pm

davet wrote:I left Harringay in 1968,only a year after I passed out for the box
dave did you work with Ferme Park South Up (box) when you was at Harringay Up Goods because i remember seeing it still standing there but closed and empty around the late summer of 1967 near to where the Harringay flyover passed overhead a small box a bit like Hornsey No.1 (box).
davet wrote:I missed all the "old GN gang" though, there were some really good signalmen in the KX area, some of whom are still around (Dave "Tilly" Tilbury for example who I sometimes see at our twice - yearly "bashes" at Mc Glynns pub just off Euston Road). Also Dave Wootton,Joe Thornton,Geoff Brook just to name a few.I believe most, if not all the old D Is are now long since departed, as well as the guv'nors that were around in the late 60s,eg Bill Stirling (used to strike fear into would - be signalmen at interviews),also his associate Charlie Wort, latterly AM at KX. At least even if you didn't like 'em you respected them as they achieved their positions through their years of knowledge and experience, not like the railway bosses of today.
Yes many of them were good signalmen (GN signalmen were always rated highly) i worked with Dave Tilbury a number of times as his telegraph lad when he worked Welwyn Garden City (box) on the relief although i havan't seen Dave since about 1973 another signalman on the Midland who knew Dave once told back in the early 1980s that Dave wasn't in the best of health back then but he's still around and Dave Wootton he retired from Kings Cross PSB about 13 or 14 years ago now as for the other's they were alittle bit before my time but several of the names sound familiar like Geoff Brook and Charlie Wort.

As for the last part of your post the people and the job has changed totally since the 1950s, 60s & 70s most of the people in signalling these days havan't got any interest or background in railways it's just 'a job' to them plus theres a fair number of women 'signallers' around these days although still small compared to the number of male signaller's but theres enough of them about though, they started to appear during the late 1980s and the numbers picked up during the 1990s & 2000s.

Good old days...

Mickey

davet
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by davet » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:13 pm

If I remember I believe it was Bill? Mawson,popularly known as the Milky Bar Kid! at South Up,Jim Mooney was at Finsbury Pk 6 - these were my regular neighbours though, of course.other names appeared from time to time.Jim Cragg came on the scene at Harringay just before I left (he learnt the box with me)Jim eventually finished up on the ex LT&S if I can recall.Happy days indeed!!!

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:02 am

Stevie who comes on here regular and who was 'bunking into' boxes around the London area from around 1968 onwards knows of a number of signalmen from around the Kings Cross area from the late 1960s & 1970s including at Harringay Up Goods i believe?. The only person i got to know a bit in the London area cos he let me go into several boxes that he was working in the early 1970s was a bloke called Jim Churcher a Finsbury Park relief signalman (i'm guessing that Finsbury Park was his home station?) he let me 'bunk into' Holloway North Down, Finsbury Park 4 & 5, Hornsey No.1 & Wood Green No.1 then i lost contact with Jim and i didn't see him again until he turned up years later on the London Midland Region as a manager during the mid 1980s, the last time i saw Jim was around early 1986 when he told me that he had got a manager's position at Victoria on the Southern Regoin but after that i never heard no more of him, i believe he use to live around the Highbury area during the 1980s.

Another ex GN signalman who at different times worked Wood Green Up Box No.4 & Holloway North Up (probably during the 1950s & 1960s?) was a bloke called George Croft he became a Operations Manager on the North London line during the 1980s.

There was a west Indian bloke who worked Harringay (passenger box) regular maybe in the late 1960s but he was certainly at the box in the early 1970s for atleast a couple of years before that box closed in August 1973 his surname was called Sergeant i remember although i never met him i just remember hearing his surname being mientioned.

Mickey

davet
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by davet » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:25 pm

Jim Churcher was one of the signalmen I learnt Harringay Up Gds.with,I remember he worked several boxes in the Kings X area so he was not at any one place for any length of time.I believe he suffered health problems some time after I left the area but was pleased to learn that he progressed to "higher things" as he was a keen and competent signalman.

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:22 am

Sorry hi-jacking your New Barnet North Box thread Eddie.

With regards to Jim Churcher (a relief-signalman around the London area during the 1960s & early 1970s) i really can't remember how i met him now but it must have been around 1971 cos i remember going into Holloway North Down, Finsbury Park 4, Finsbury Park 5, Hornsey 1 & Wood Green 1 with him for a couple of hours in each box all around 1971/72. I remember him telling me he was into cameras & photography in his spare time and that his first box he worked as a signalman was Hornsey 1 but other than that i don't remember that much else about him other than as previously said by me that he turned up on the North London line(s) during the early/mid 1980s then he got a manager's position at Victoria (early 1986) and disappeared and the next i heard of him was someone told me that they had spoken to him sometime around the late 1990s or early 2000s and that he was still on the railways somewhere but other than that thats it.

Mickey

EddieBN
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by EddieBN » Mon May 02, 2016 4:53 pm

I've been looking back at some old 'postings' from 2013/14 and noticed the name of DI Tim Hatton mentioned. Could this be the same Tim Hatton who was a relief s/man in the early 60's ? As far as I know he only came to Barnet North (BN) on very few occasions covering rest days when Stan Colbert wasn't available. If it is the same Tim, I bought my first motorbike from him, a 1952 BSA 'Bantam' 125cc for £5! ...it would probably be worth a fortune today. Also Bill Axelby came to BN covering rest days. Another name from the distant past was Bill Kilby.....covering someone's rest day, Bill arrived to cover the late turn one summer's afternoon ( was 1963 I think ) Once the early turn staff had gone, Bill turned to me ( still only 15 ) and says 'I won't be a minute' and disappears down the steps. Thinking he was going to the loo ( under the 'box steps ) the next thing I noticed he was heading for the open gate on the down dock to the street beyond. Ten minutes later he returns with his tobacco and betting slips! Everything had gone smoothly while he was out thank goodness! That was the only shift I ever worked with Bill but it was nice to meet him as he remembered my Grandad who worked New Barnet South 'box from the early 30's until he was taken ill in the 'box in 1941 and died soon after.

Eddie

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Mon May 02, 2016 6:20 pm

EddieBN wrote:I've been looking back at some old 'postings' from 2013/14 and noticed the name of DI Tim Hatton mentioned. Could this be the same Tim Hatton who was a relief s/man in the early 60's?.
Yeah thats the same bloke Eddie i believe he was still alive a year or two ago cos another forum member hq1hitchin who himself use to come on here fairly regular until the last year or so said he still use to show up at re-unions until recent years.

Tim Hatton showed up a couple of times when i was a box lad at 'Garden City' box in the early 1970s although i had heard of his name being mentioned back in the late 1960s via a friend of mine called Alan Dollimore who was another telegraph lad at WGC box circa 1962-63 although i lost contact with Alan about 36 years ago in 1980?.

Tim Hatton was the first person that i heard it said of the sometimes related railway story by other's since of if an incident had happened at his box that he was working at (after the job has come to a stand) Tim would supposedly put the kettle on the stove and make himself a cup of tea and sit back in the armchair to take account of the situation before being rushed into making a wrong decision about what to do next?.

That sort of advice was pretty sound back in the 1950s, 60s & 70s but probably not so wise or valid in this day and age when dealing with the likes of Network Rail & TOCs (Train Operating Companies) when train delays and who's responsible for the delay is everything??.

Mickey

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StevieG
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by StevieG » Thu May 05, 2016 12:40 am

Yes Mickey, AFAIK 'Tim' Hatton is still 'with us' though suffers severely, ambulatory-wise.
Though a DI from about the mid-60s, he continued as one for quite a while, then becoming one of the original Shift Supervisors when KX new power box opened, changing job again later to become a senior DI also covering the GE because he was 'passing out', and doing the 'bi-annuals' for, signalmen for at least LV IECC into the early 1990s.
BZOH

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Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Thu May 05, 2016 1:43 am

With Regards to Tim Hatton Stevie (& Eddie) who i knew of (not very well i mite add) i was only ever in his company on a couple of occasions inside Welwyn Garden City box and also with Dave Tilbury a relief-signalman who sometimes worked Welwyn Garden City box during the 1960s & early 1970s because i knew of those two individuals and had met them as a 15 & 16 years old teenager at WGC box circa 1972-73 they both appeared to me back then as 'old people' it was over 40 years ago now not meaning any disrespect to either of them but now that i am 59 years old myself and they are both still alive it's kinda funny to think they're both still around if that kinda makes sense without sounding dispespectful to either of them both?.

It would be like being told that Cecil White at 'Garden City' back in 1972-73 was still alive today and still living in Woolmer Green cos Cecil was about 65 years old over 40 years ago!!!.

Mickey
Last edited by Mickey on Thu May 05, 2016 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Thu May 05, 2016 10:15 pm

I vaguely recall fairly late and dark one Sunday night way back in the early 1970s when riding on a diesel hauled Up express as a passenger from either Peterborough or Doncaster being stopped in the Up fast line platform at a deserted New Barnet station and then possibly either being 'turned in' along the Up slow line or staying signalled along the Up fast line it's all to vague a memory to be totally accurate on what happened next that night about 45 years ago but it was a fairly unusual event either way to be stopped in the Up fast line platform at New Barnet back then anyway.

Re-thinking about the above post again i think we may have been stopped in the Up fast line platform for a few minutes then departed and stayed signalled along the Up fast line maybe the driver had been given a 'Special Stop Order' for New Barnet for some reason from the guard at Peterborough??.

Mickey

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thesignalman
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by thesignalman » Fri May 13, 2016 9:39 am

davet wrote:Yeah,I remember Cliff Eales - great guy.I also went to Hatfield school to learn single needle and Cliff was with me for a while. Mick Reeder was instructor there and at the end of proceedings sent me to see "the Undertaker" for a grilling on rules but it went OK - Johnny May was a real gentleman, wish we had the likes of him around now. I lost contact with Cliff as I went to Harringay Up Goods after finishing at Hatfield
I believe Cliff eventually went to work on the Settle and Carlisle.
Cliff went driving at Fort William and was still there "not so long ago" (but time flies, so it probably was actually a long time ago!). In those days it was rare to transfer from signalling to footplate. I should guess he has probably reached retirement by now.
Edit - somebody else confirms Cliff went on the S&C and not to Fort William driving - I must be mixing him up with another from the GN. I'm not so good with names from 45+ years ago. Not so good with names from last week, come to that!

Mention is also made above of George Croft and Jim Churcher who were both Relief Signalmen covering Kings Cross when I worked there. I also worked with both of these after they transferred to the LMR as inspectors but I feel certain they will now be long retired. They were more-or-less my last contact with the GN world but I have lost touch since retiring in 2002.

John
Last edited by thesignalman on Fri May 13, 2016 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Fri May 13, 2016 11:27 am

thesignalman wrote:In those days it was rare to transfer from signalling to footplate.
When I left WGC box as a telegraph lad in March 1974 (the position was abolished) I had it in writing that I had one of the vacant telegraph lads positions at Finsbury Park 6 (box) but I never took it up instead I decided to transfer onto the loco at Kings Cross as a secondman (which lasted about 20 months) but around the summer of either 1974 or 1975 I actually applied in writing to a vacant position as a signalman at Hertford East (box) but I received a letter back saying that it wasn't in my line of promotion. I presume if I had 'got it' I would have gone through the Ilford signalling school before taking up the position.
thesignalman wrote:Mention is also made above of George Croft and Jim Churcher who were both Relief Signalmen covering Kings Cross when I worked there. I also worked with both of these after they transferred to the LMR as inspectors but I feel certain they will now be long retired.
Obviously I remember you John being a relief signalman around the North London lines around the mid/late 1980s.

As you said Jim Churcher was a London Midland Region Inspector when I first went to Junction Road Junction (box) in 1981 and he remained around the North London lines until about the early part of 1986 when he transferred to Victoria on the southern region but I never heard anymore of him after that?. As for George Croft another London Midland Region Inspector George 'turned up' around the North London lines in the early 1980s that I can remember and remained until about the mid 1990s when I believe he possibly retired to the USA(?) because he was always going over to the US on holidays during the late 1980s & early 1990s. After the privatisation of the railways circa 1995/96 there was quite a few changes around the North London lines all the former London Midland Region managers were replaced with ex GE & LT&S staff & managers and people like George Croft virtually 'disappeared' overnight I never really did hear whatever happened to him it was a good 20 years ago now, I do remember George use to live somewhere around the Bletchley/Wolverton area in Buckinghamshire.

Mickey
Last edited by Mickey on Fri May 13, 2016 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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