New Barnet North Signalbox

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thesignalman
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by thesignalman » Fri May 13, 2016 3:26 pm

FINSBURY PARK 5 wrote: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 I suspect he could be dead by now it was 20 years ago?. Anyway with regards to George Croft I do remember he use to live somewhere around the Bletchley/Wolverton area in Buckinghamshire and he mentioned that he had a sister as well on a couple of occasions.
I think Jim must have come back to Euston as I knew him as a Divisional Inspector there. He was the only inspector to ever give me a Bi-Annual Rules Exam in my whole career . . . I felt insulted! Those were the days, eh?

I don't know as much as you did about "Lofty Crofty" (he was called that on the GN owing to his height) - my main memory of latter days is of his always grabbing the Sunday day piloting work on the North London and leaving me the Sunday night turn which included freezing my wotsits off at South Acton waiting for a Southampton freightliner that would turn up when it suited it, to back across the crossover (on a blind curve, non-driver's side, with no assistance - which was no joke) before going wrong road to Kensal Green. I couldn't give you a date for that but this would have been when they were putting the overheads up, I reckon.

That was the train booked round the Harringay curve on a Sunday night when Harringay Park Junction wasn't open.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: http://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling photographs: http://shop.studio433.co.uk/

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sat May 14, 2016 7:05 am

thesignalman wrote:I don't know as much as you did about "Lofty Crofty" (he was called that on the GN owing to his height)
When George was on the North London line during the 1980s and into 1990s his nickname was 'the farmer' for some reason maybe cos he lived out Wolverton way in Buckinghamshire plus he did have a bit of a 'farmer' look about him lol ha ha ha... Also he told me he had been a regular signalman at both Wood Green Up Box No.4 & Holloway North Up at various times probably during the 1950s & 1960s?.
thesignalman wrote:- my main memory of latter days is of his always grabbing the Sunday day piloting work on the North London...
Ha ha ha... thats the 'old school' railwayman making sure he had a 'Sunday in' to start the week off on a good note. Rumour had it that old George if he was on annual leave and away somewhere (he travelled a fair bit to the USA during the 1980s & 1990s) he would always make sure he was back in time to work a Sunday shift!.

* * *I spoke to a WCML bloke this morning (14/05/16) who knows of George Croft and he told me that although he hasn't spoken to George himself for many years he believes he's still alive and still living somewhere around the Wolverton area.* * *

Going back to Jim Churcher something I remember about Jim after he had left signalling on the GN circa 1975 was I remember meeting him by chance one day around 1975 and chatting with him on Finsbury Park station when apparently he was working as a 'Up side station Inspector' on the Up platforms. That day Jim was dressed in one of those B.R. black great coats with silver buttons and a B.R. black peaked hat with the yellow 'scrambled egg' around it. After that chance meeting I didn't see Jim again until I went to Junction Road Junction (box) in 1981 when Jim was at that time a signalling manager on the London Midland Region as previously posted.

Mickey

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thesignalman
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by thesignalman » Sat May 14, 2016 10:04 am

FINSBURY PARK 5 wrote:When George was on the North London line during the 1980s and into 1990s his nickname was 'the farmer' for some reason maybe cos he lived out Wolverton way in Buckinghamshire plus he did have a bit of a 'farmer' look about him lol ha ha ha... Also he told me he had been a regular signalman at both Wood Green Up Box No.4 & Holloway North Up at various times probably during the 1950s & 1960s?.
Mid-sixties, I suspect. Like many GN signalmen in the London area, I believe George came up to London from the "sticks" (in his case Lincolnshire, I think) for better grades, which could have something to do with that nickname.

No reason at all why he shouldn't still be with us, Wolverton isn't a million miles from here so I'll keep my eyes peeled when I'm there. Not too many farms in Wolverton . . . its a railway town. :o)

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: http://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling photographs: http://shop.studio433.co.uk/

Mickey
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Posts: 4068
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:49 am

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sat May 14, 2016 11:57 am

thesignalman wrote: Mid-sixties, I suspect. Like many GN signalmen in the London area, I believe George came up to London from the "sticks" (in his case Lincolnshire, I think) for better grades, which could have something to do with that nickname.

No reason at all why he shouldn't still be with us, Wolverton isn't a million miles from here so I'll keep my eyes peeled when I'm there. Not too many farms in Wolverton . . . its a railway town. :o)
Yeah I liked 'old Crofty' he was alright he had a bit of a father figure personally about him.

...back to New Barnet

I use to like New Barnet South Box I wouldn't have minded being a regular signalman at the box (if i had been old enough to have been?).

I believe that wasn't the original 'South Box' theres a picture in the book Great Northern Railway Signalling by Michael Vanns that features a Down express (hauled by either a Stirling 7ft single or a 8ft single I can't remember which without looking again?) storming passed an earlier New Barnet South Box which looks vaguely like it was built in stone but i'm not 100% certain about that without having another look at the picture?.

Mickey

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thesignalman
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by thesignalman » Sat May 14, 2016 12:03 pm

The latter South box was the third there, as far as I know, and was built in 1906 as New Barnet No1, becoming "South" in 1924.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: http://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling photographs: http://shop.studio433.co.uk/

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sat May 14, 2016 12:13 pm

Ok John. From the same book Great Northern Rilway Signalling (you've probably seen it) there is also a picture of a new plain looking box standing at the south end of the Up platforms at New Barnet between the Up fast & Up slow lines circa 1900 (I presume that only signalled the Up lines) do you know when that particular box closed John?.

Mickey

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thesignalman
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by thesignalman » Sat May 14, 2016 12:30 pm

FINSBURY PARK 5 wrote:Ok John. From the same book Great Northern Rilway Signalling (you've probably seen it) there is also a picture of a new plain looking box standing at the south end of the Up platforms at New Barnet between the Up fast & Up slow lines circa 1900 (I presume that only signalled the Up lines) do you know when that particular box closed John?
I think I have that book but it is a long time since I have looked at it.

I think the other box you are referring to will be New Barnet No2, 1895-1924. Unlike some of the other big stations around there, New Barnet seems to have never had more than three boxes so they aren't numbered the same way as Wood Green, Hatfield etc. Many were thinned out in the 1920s, New Southgate was another rationalised around that time.

Best regards,

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: http://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling photographs: http://shop.studio433.co.uk/

Mickey
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 4068
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:49 am

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sat May 14, 2016 12:57 pm

thesignalman wrote:
FINSBURY PARK 5 wrote:Ok John. From the same book Great Northern Rilway Signalling (you've probably seen it) there is also a picture of a new plain looking box standing at the south end of the Up platforms at New Barnet between the Up fast & Up slow lines circa 1900 (I presume that only signalled the Up lines) do you know when that particular box closed John?
I think I have that book but it is a long time since I have looked at it.

I think the other box you are referring to will be New Barnet No2, 1895-1924. Unlike some of the other big stations around there, New Barnet seems to have never had more than three boxes so they aren't numbered the same way as Wood Green, Hatfield etc. Many were thinned out in the 1920s, New Southgate was another rationalised around that time.
Thanks John i've wondered a few times when i've looked at the picture of that box when did it close and now that you mention it I believe it does have a number [2] written on a small sqaure board attached to the lower part of the box wall but i'm pretty sure it doesn't actually carry a New Barnet nameboard atleast not on the gable ends of the box. The structure it's self looks fairly clean and new'ish but also unusually 'plain' for a signal box from the late victorian era and not ornate at all?.

Mickey

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thesignalman
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by thesignalman » Sat May 14, 2016 5:17 pm

Unfortunately my memory doesn't seem to work well for that many years ago so I don't really remember what Barnet South looked like but I have recently acquired a huge (80,000-ish) collection of photographs and (mostly) colour slides from a late friend and whilst it seems he didn't get into proper signal box photography until the GN ones were on their last legs, he does seem to have photographed most - albeit with trains in the picture too. If Barnet South crops up as I work my way through scanning them (it isn't a five-minute job with that many!) I'll post it up.

Best regards,

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: http://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling photographs: http://shop.studio433.co.uk/

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sat May 14, 2016 5:24 pm

Yeah thanks John, it's always good to see some of our 'old friends' (GN s/boxes) especially (for me) between Kings Cross & Hitchin in particular.

Mickey

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StevieG
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by StevieG » Mon May 16, 2016 1:58 am

FINSBURY PARK 5 wrote:Yeah thanks John, it's always good to see some of our 'old friends' (GN s/boxes) especially (for me) between Kings Cross & Hitchin in particular.

Mickey
[img]F:\My%20Pictures\GN%20&%20BRER%20-C\scanned%20slides\scan.Color%20N.Barnet%20Sth.box%20from%20SW%20(dark)%20800dpi%20(3)%20(Adj'd).JPG[/img]
This one of any help Mickey ? ..... Sorry. Hardly a good shot, ..... but .........


Another GN box that looks a bit too small for the lever frame that it contained (55).

This place was my introduction to signalling on 'the GN' : Quite a shock - Having become familiar with a GW 84-lever frame at a 4-track box (2 of which lines weren't often used, and I never actually saw a move along them), youthful initial over-confidence on seeing the 55 levers here as to being able to quickly grasp the working was soon replaced by a worry that I had entered Bedlam ! :)

[ P.S. - A bit conflicted that all this is in the "LNER People" forum.]
Attachments
scan.Color N.Barnet Sth.box from SW (dark) 800dpi (3) (Adj'd).JPG
scan.Color N.Barnet Sth.box from SW (dark) 800dpi (3) (Adj'd).JPG
BZOH

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StevieG
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Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by StevieG » Mon May 16, 2016 9:21 am

[ ...... Hmmm. Haven't yet been able to work out why my 196-ish photo in my last post appears twice or how to correct it ! ]
BZOH

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StevieG
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Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by StevieG » Mon May 16, 2016 9:25 am

[ ...... Hmmm. Haven't yet been able to work out why my 1968-ish photo in my last post appears twice or how to correct this ! ]
BZOH

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Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Mon May 16, 2016 5:19 pm

A nice picture all the same of New Barnet South Box cos you don't usually come across hardly any pictures of the box anywhere and on a snowy day as well it makes a nice change from a sunny day.

I notice the word BOX is included in the actual name on the nameboard I thought it was (obviously the same as it was written on the New Barnet North box nameboard as well) thats why whenever I write either New Barnet South Box or New Barnet North Box I always include the word 'box' in the name some GN boxes didn't have the word 'box' included on there namboards.

A 55 lever frame. Yes it must that been a bit of a squeeze for the lever frame to fit in no doubt there was a little gap at either end of the frame so the signalman could get to the window sash and slide it open if necessary i pesume?.

Mickey

Mickey
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Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:46 pm

"1969-70. I sometimes use to like riding on an occasional early evening peak hour service from Kings Cross to WGC in a 'block ender' set (inner suburban coaching stock usually in BR blue livery by 1969-70) behind a Brush type 2 and after a slow'ish departure from Oakleigh Park station on the Down slow line with the locos controller wide open a short time later we would be rocking & bouncing along approaching New Barnet station as the locos power controller was closed just before we rumbled passed New Barnet South Box and we rolled on into New Barnet station".

Mickey

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