EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

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Mickey

Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by Mickey » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:00 am

hq1hitchin wrote:I remember Sid, he was one of a few signalmen on loan to the KX Division from the early 1970s onwards, a gentleman and well thought of, hence the sign in his honour. Came from Yorkshire, quietly spoken and affable, that's about all I can remember. Others were at,for instance, Biggleswade, both on twelve hours and lodging locally. Sign of the times then
Yes i thought that you may well remember him uncle Frank. :wink: Dave Cockle probably does as well but Dave don't come on here to often.

I remember one day it must have been towards the end (of mechanical signalling as we knew it up the London end in 1973) a 'London relief-signalman' showed up at WGC box and old Harry Fitzgerald says to him-

"Whats a out of work London relief man doing down here?".

And this relief-signalman says- "Iv'e been sent down here to learn and pass out Woolmer Green usually i'm working Harringay Up goods?".
Last edited by Mickey on Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mickey

Re: EL CID

Post by Mickey » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:20 am

thesignalman wrote:The only amusing story I recall about No6 was when an enthusiastic telegraph lad cleared a Goods Line distant for some Empty Stock. So surprised was the driver that he pulled up and reported that vandals had been fiddling with the distant!.
Yes i heard a similar story John but it concerned Finsbury Park no.1s Down Cannonbury line distant on the entrance to Cannonbury tunnel where apparently it was showing off one day or night and a driver of a freightliner stopped outside Finsbury Park no.1 and remarked to the signalman that it made a change to get the distant off!.
thesignalman wrote:I think I've told the story before but I was sent to No3 one day on overtime without notice and I had never set foot in the place before. I stood at the desk and did my best to record activity but being green I was struggling to figure what was going on and I got no help whatsoever from the signalman who wouldn't even speak to me. I later learnt this hostility was due to my not working 79 and 80 levers. He need only have asked because such a pleasure would have delighted me as a keen youngster.
Yes i remember you posting that story recently John, most signalmen didn't mind the telegraph lad working on the lever frame (although one or two didn't like them touching the frame & block instruments) but thats how the 'tele lads' use to learn the job back then (on the job training they call it nowadays) and quite a few years ago now back in the 1980s a signalling manager on the former London Midland Region at the time said to me that the BEST signalmen we every had on the railways were the signalmen who had all started as booking boys (telegraph lads on the G.N.R.) they had already spent 2 or 3 years in the box mastering the booking and watching and learning from the signalman working the box before they to became signalmen themselves and by the time they had passed out for signalling they were already 'seasond men' and all of them went on to become top-class signalmen.

Never a truer observation made by a signalling manager. :wink:

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StevieG
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Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by StevieG » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:19 pm

Talking of Telegraph Lads working on the frame, one signalman acquaintance who knew Goods & Mineral box (at King's Cross Goods Yard, and also governing locos to/from King's Cross 'Top Shed'; 100 levers with only one or two Spares : Controlled no passenger lines), said that when the yard had been busy, no later than about 1960 I'd think, and there were several 'pilots' (shunting locos) working at the same time (apparently varied anywhere from 3 to 6 in number according to who he spoke to), the Lad was expected to assist the signalman in working the box, and this was recognised to the extent that it continued during District Inspector visits and no signalman was taken to task for allowing it.
thesignalman wrote: " .... The move to No3 box makes financial sense, that box and Kings Cross were considered busy enough to grant porter's wages rather than boy's. .... " John
As a quick aside to this, anyone remember if I'm correct with a tiny piece of late 1960's memory that, of the route's London & Home counties boxes, the only two graded higher than the standard signalmen's pay scale were Fins.Park 3 at ("Special"?) A + 20/- per week, and King's Cross at ("Special"?) A + 40/- p.w.?


P.S.: - Micky, as this topic is not "Non-LNER", which 'Railway Chat' is supposed to be for, I think you could've started it in 'General Discussion'.
BZOH

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Mickey

Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by Mickey » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:21 pm

StevieG wrote:Micky, as this topic is not "Non-LNER", which 'Railway Chat' is supposed to be for, I think you could've started it in 'General Discussion'.
I must admit Stevie i did originally think of putting it in the General Discussion topic thread but i didn't think that there would be much of a response about the EL CID sign at Finsbury Park no.6 so i slightly hid it in the Railway Chat thread, maybe Richard mite move it.

Mickey
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Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by Mickey » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:32 am

https://railwayana.me.uk/hand-made-mini ... mall-item/

Nice try but not totally correct I'm afraid. Your name board is possibly to wide for the letters or the letters are to small for the name board also from memory the letters (and number) weren't 'raised up' but were flat printed/painted on the name board as well as the number 6 numeral was. Also your No.6 board wasn't prefixed with the No.6 from memory is was just a plain number 6 on it's own on a square wooden board. Another minor issue is it looks like a brilliant black and white enamel paint has been used for both the letters and number?. A more realistic look would have been if a dull matt black paint had been used for both the letters and the number along with the edging of the name board (I have a feeling that the number [6] board wasn't edged in black?) and a white matt paint had been used for the background of both name & number boards.

From a vague memory the square number [6] board was positioned underneath the [FINSBURY PARK] name board as shown in the picture although I believe both the name board [FINSBURY PARK] and the square number [6] board were both separate boards and were not actually physically attached to each other but I could be wrong?.

Finally 'for a laugh' during the early 1970s a homemade 'unofficial' name board appeared fixed above the doorway with the words [EL CID] on it a picture of which does exist on one of these posts showing the sign above the doorway located to the left of the name board as you would look at it.

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thesignalman
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Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by thesignalman » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:08 am

Cropped photograph of Finsbury Park No6, taken 5/6/75 by N L Cadge, showing the nameboard in detal plus the "EL CID" sign:
finsburypk5-6-75~NC7093 (cropped).jpg
Click on image to enlarge.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: https://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling and other railway photographs: https://433shop.co.uk/

Mickey
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Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by Mickey » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:29 pm

Thanks for posting the above picture John that helps a lot.

On a personal note I actually had it 'in writing' from B.R. (ER) that I had got the then vacant telegraph lads position at Finsbury Park 6 in March 1974 when my then position as a telegraph lad at Welwyn Garden City was to be abolished but I never took the position up as I applied to transfer onto the footplate as a secondman (fireman) at Kings Cross and went to Kings Cross for 18 months before leaving the railway at the end of 1975 before returning to B.R. again in 1979. Anyway I have sometimes wondered over the last 45 years what mite have happened if I had gone to Finsbury Park 6 as a 'box lad' and if I could have become a signalman for the last 12-18 months in the London area before the lot was finally abolished and was transferred into the current Kings Cross PSB?. On 'paper' if I had done about a year at Finsbury Park 6 as a box lad maybe when I was 18 years old in early 1975 I could have gone up in front of Johnny May the District Signalling Inspector (or gone through the Ilford Signalling School?) and passed out as a signalman around the spring of 1975 and then maybe (if a position was a available?) done a year as a resident signalman at either Holloway South Down or Holloway North Down until the summer of 1976?.

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thesignalman
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Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by thesignalman » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:46 am

Nothing at all may have happened, Mickey. I applied for and was given a couple of signalman's positions (Palmers Green, then Goods & Mineral) but the Telegraph Lad situation was so dire they wouldn't release me to train. In the end I gave up and applied for a transfer to the LMR. Even then they wouldn't release me so I resigned from the ER one Saturday and started as a new recruit on the LM on the Monday.

And guess what? The phone rang . . . could I do a Sunday? Nothing could be heard from my end other than the sound of a large raspberry.

My oppo at Kings Cross later did the same and we even worked in the same box on the Midland. There was no future in signalling on the GN by then - the senior men had a chance of getting into the power box bus us youngsters would have had no hope.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: https://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling and other railway photographs: https://433shop.co.uk/

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Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by StevieG » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:16 am

Interesting John. Who was your 'oppo' : I'd no idea that two of you went over to the same part of the MR.
BZOH

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Re: EL CID sign of Finsbury Park no.6 s/box

Post by Mickey » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:35 am

A interesting post John. I remember someone telling me around the time that I got the vacant telegraph lads position at Finsbury Park 6 in February/March of 1974 that I would probably be transferred into the current Kings Cross PSB which was only about 4 years old at the time (opening in late 1971) as a 'train recorder' who's duties were to record train times and movements in the s/box train register book and who also answered the telephones the same as what the telegraph lads did anyway.

What you said John about resigning your position on the Eastern region to transfer to the London Midland region well I wanted to do a similar kind of thing and leave Victoria Park box and transfer to Junction Road Junction box on the Gospel Oak (originally Kentish Town) to Barking line which at that time came under the London Midland region and was a nice little Midland Railway s/box with about a 30 lever frame anyway I submitted a application for a 'Inter regional transfer' from the Eastern region to the London Midland region in the summer/autumn of 1981 which meant dropping temporally from a signalman to a railman and losing my seniority (not my railway service) then on passing out at Junction Road Junction box becoming a signalman again with a new seniority starting date on the London Midland region.

Around April of 1979 I did visit Kensington Olympia and saw a B.R. manager with a view to maybe seeing if any signalmen's vacancies existed on the West London line at any of those boxes (I would still have to go through the signalling school) such as at Latchmere Junction, Chelsea & Fulham, Kensington South Main, Kensington North Main, North Pole Junction & Mitre Bridge Junction and was told by this manager that any vacancies were being held open for redundant signalmen off the Midland main line out of St Pancras which was fair enough.

Back on the GN in 1975/76 by the spring of 1975 a number of GN boxes still existed in the London area so 'on paper' the thought of myself working Goods And Mineral Junction or also Ferme Park North Down which didn't finally close until the end of 1975 is both an appealing thought along with both Holloway South Down and Holloway North Down which both lasted the longest finally both closing around August 1976.

Finally back to Finsbury Park 6 and I still occasionally wonder to this day what would have happened if I had took up that telegraph lads position at the box back in April 1974 maybe I mite have got into Kings Cross PSB when Finsbury Park 6 finally closed and then spent the last 45 years as a signalman (or signaller as they are referred to these days) at the box?.

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