Palmers Green s/box

This forum is for the discussion of all railway subjects that do not include the LNER, and its constituent companies.

Moderators: 52D, Tom F, Rlangham, Atlantic 3279, Blink Bonny, Saint Johnstoun, richard

Mickey
LNER Thompson B1 4-6-0 'Antelope'
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am
Location: London

Re: Palmers Green s/box

Post by Mickey »

thesignalman wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:13 am Hi Mickey,

According to the thread about the "Ashburton Grove Pullman" the gentleman you and Dave mentioned was "Clem" which is certainly a name I recall from the patch but I'm sure it wasn't he at Asburton Grove when i was working at Holloway South Up in 1972/3. The odd thing is that my memory is telling me that this particular Creek (who we, naturally, called Creaky!) was a fixture at Ashburton Grove for many years. So something doesn't quite follow there, which just shows how memory can convince you of the impossible. It is nigh on fifty years ago!
With regards to the signalman at Ashburton Grove on the day a railway friend and myself visited the box back in the summer of 1971 yes Clem was his name that Dave said his name was. With regards to the actual visit to the Ashburton Grove box I was only thinking about it again the other day I believe we both must have just walked off the station platform at Finsbury Park and took a stroll down to the box without wearing any yellow jackets and just wandering around the railway and crossing 'open roads' especially the Down Canonbury line and the Up Goods line at Ashburton Grove box and then taking a close look at the box it's self and taking a photograph before inviting ourselves into the box and chatting with the signalman and taking another photograph in side the box!. Nowadays if anyone was to do that they would have the police helicopter up above and flying around Finsbury Park plus the railway MOM along with the British Transport Police running along the side of the railway chasing those couple of trespassers!!.

By the way those two photographs taken at Ashburton Grove box are still posted on this forum just look under Ashburton Grove box in 1971.

With regards to the Creek brothers Harry Fitzgerald at Welwyn Garden City mentioned them a couple of times because Harry was at Wood Green No.1 and Wood Green Tunnel box at past times before being at WGC in the 1960s.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
User avatar
StevieG
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 2231
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: Palmers Green s/box

Post by StevieG »

thesignalman wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:13 am Hi Mickey,

According to the thread about the "Ashburton Grove Pullman" the gentleman you and Dave mentioned was "Clem" which is certainly a name I recall from the patch but I'm sure it wasn't he at Asburton Grove when i was working at Holloway South Up in 1972/3. The odd thing is that my memory is telling me that this particular Creek (who we, naturally, called Creaky!) was a fixture at Ashburton Grove for many years. So something doesn't quite follow there, which just shows how memory can convince you of the impossible. It is nigh on fifty years ago!

John
Yes this is a tricky one John.

I feel I remember one man being the single mainstay man at Ashburton, but also think that I link the names Creek and Clem with the box for some reason.
I do think, as Mickey has mentioned, that I heard of Clem as having Indian origins, but then with Harry Creek appearing to be of longer established English stock, would an 'Ashburton Creek' have been the same : - It's a conundrum for sure (and not of the Countdown type).

Whenever the 'Hatfield' KX Area staff reunions restart, I will have to try to remember to ask around for clarification, although having lost Dave Tilbury, Joe Thornton and Wally Howe over the last couple of years, and with one or two others not in the best of health, the number of those still around who might've known those gents is rather small: Will have to try such as Brian Barr, Dick Bradley, Geoff Brook, Frank Cheevers.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
Mickey
LNER Thompson B1 4-6-0 'Antelope'
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am
Location: London

Re: Palmers Green s/box

Post by Mickey »

thesignalman wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 5:10 am Prior to 1929 there had been a cramped "under-the-stairs" signal box like the nearby Winchmore Hill, but the top portion of the later "proper" box came second-hand from the old "Cowbridge" station at Hertford on what we later regarded as the link between the GN and GE stations there. It was built on a new brick base and the 20-lever frame came from Foxton where are larger frame had been fitted.
The next s/box along from Palmers Green on the Down line was Winchmore Hill which I believe I read years ago that Winchmore Hill s/box was a porter/signalman's job possibly only 'switching in' on the Up line in the morning peak and only 'switching in' on the Down line in the evening peak Monday-Friday only.

When I did a short time at Kings Cross loco as a secondman between 1974-1975 I was on a number of Hertford North & Cuffley weekday morning peak hours jobs on Brush type 2s hauling rakes of 'block ender' trains up to Kings Cross and also Moorgate over the Widen lines and during that time I remember when we use to run into Winchmore Hill on the Up line I was trying to workout where the s/box had been which I thought may have been on the end of the Up platform (where the loco stopped) because from vague memory a wooden and glass fronted structure ran along the Up platform for a short distance roughly where the loco stopped although behind the wooden and glass (dirty glass) fronted structure I believe was where the Up platform met the staircase leading up to the station booking office and street level.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
User avatar
StevieG
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 2231
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: Palmers Green s/box

Post by StevieG »

Mickey wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 10:48 pm
thesignalman wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 5:10 am Prior to 1929 there had been a cramped "under-the-stairs" signal box like the nearby Winchmore Hill, but the top portion of the later "proper" box came second-hand from the old "Cowbridge" station at Hertford on what we later regarded as the link between the GN and GE stations there. It was built on a new brick base and the 20-lever frame came from Foxton where are larger frame had been fitted.
The next s/box along from Palmers Green on the Down line was Winchmore Hill which I believe I read years ago that Winchmore Hill s/box was a porter/signalman's job possibly only 'switching in' on the Up line in the morning peak and only 'switching in' on the Down line in the evening peak Monday-Friday only.

When I did a short time at Kings Cross loco as a secondman between 1974-1975 I was on a number of Hertford North & Cuffley weekday morning peak hours jobs on Brush type 2s hauling rakes of 'block ender' trains up to Kings Cross and also Moorgate over the Widen lines and during that time I remember when we use to run into Winchmore Hill on the Up line I was trying to workout where the s/box had been which I thought may have been on the end of the Up platform (where the loco stopped) because from vague memory a wooden and glass fronted structure ran along the Up platform for a short distance roughly where the loco stopped although behind the wooden and glass (dirty glass) fronted structure I believe was where the Up platform met the staircase leading up to the station booking office and street level.
That sounds like the Box Mickey.
As seen from an Up train it was about 10-15 yards past where the covered brick wall & windowed stairway rose from the canopied platform area.

The Box's operating space was mostly under the stairway, with the frame and Block shelf in what I think I recall was really a brick arch-fronted area
(though that wasn't too conspicuously so when inside), with a small window at the back, but with the 'arch' all enclosed on the platform side by a white-painted, much-windowed, wooden, flat-roofed structure extending about 2.5 - 3 feet towards the track, across the platform end from the brick work; so the box looked very narrow from an approaching train as all you saw was the white door frame and the entrance door (dark blue?) with its inevitable plate "PRIVATE".

IIRC correctly, in 1968/9 there were no TCs so that views through/from the door/way were essential to observe where trains were in relation to the stop signals : -
- to the north, the Up Home (3, beyond the Vicar's Moor Lane overbridge), and Down Starter (6; at the platform end, with Grange Park's Distant below it).
- to the south, the Down Home (7); [ the Up Starter (4) could also be seen of course, but being only about 50 yards away, there was usually no need to purposely going to look for Up trains having passed 4 as there was little problem in adequately knowing where they were in that direction as you could well judge when 4 could be Normalised from their length and speed when passing the windows.]

By then at least, pretty sure there was only the one Block Switch, so when opened for the 'peaks' it was signalling trains on both lines.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
Mickey
LNER Thompson B1 4-6-0 'Antelope'
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am
Location: London

Re: Palmers Green s/box

Post by Mickey »

Very interesting and thanks for the clarification Stevie.

With regards to the box switching out on either the Up or Down lines I could be wrong about that but I believe the box was a porter/signalman's job so I just assumed that to give the porter/signalman more time on the station platform rather than in the box the box may have been able to switch out (or switch in?) on one line?.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
User avatar
StevieG
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 2231
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: Palmers Green s/box

Post by StevieG »

Mickey wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:47 pm Very interesting and thanks for the clarification Stevie.

With regards to the box switching out on either the Up or Down lines I could be wrong about that but I believe the box was a porter/signalman's job so I just assumed that to give the porter/signalman more time on the station platform rather than in the box the box may have been able to switch out (or switch in?) on one line?.
Don't know about that for sure Mickey, but by the late '60s I only knew it to be manned by Signalmen (no resident men so normally Relief).
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
Post Reply