New Barnet North Signalbox

This forum is for the discussion of LNER personalities, and for use by people researching their ancestors.

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

mickj.signalman
NER Y7 0-4-0T
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:05 pm

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by mickj.signalman » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:11 pm

Was this the George Croft who was in Ilford Hostel in the 1970's. A Relief Signalman in the Finsbury Park area I think. ?

laurie1951
GER J70 0-6-0T Tram
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by laurie1951 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:46 pm

Hi Eddie ,
Hope you still browse the forum. I remember you very well . I was a telegraph lad at Barnet North 1966 with Alan curtis ( remember him ) you used to pop up to BN to chat to Brian Barr . I remember Frank Mosey and went to his retirement do at Potter bar . I recall you being at Oakleigh park Box and also Larry Haigh at BS also Alan Curtis went to Barnet south after qualifying as a signalman .
I see mention was made of cliff loveland and the air crash which he was sadly involved in . The other Signalmen were Pete lindstrom, Albert Henty ( pilot) and cliff loveland , Very sad.
Lawrence King

Mickey

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:55 am

mickj.signalman wrote:Was this the George Croft who was in Ilford Hostel in the 1970's. A Relief Signalman in the Finsbury Park area I think. ?
Yes George Croft the same. I remember him saying that he had once worked both Holloway North Up & Wood Green Up Box No.4 probably either during the late 1950s or the early/mid 1960s I assume?. George appeared on the North London line during the early 1980s as a local Ops manager working out of the old Willesden offices and stayed around the North London line until he retired around 1996 I believe.

About 4-5 months ago towards the end of 2016 I spoke to someone on the WCML who knows George and they said he's still around living somewhere around Wolverton in Buckinghamshire on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. George must be up in his 80s by now I reckon.

Mickey
Last edited by Mickey on Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

EddieBN
LNER J94 0-6-0ST Austerity
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:53 pm
Location: Bedfordshire

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by EddieBN » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:35 pm

Hi Laurie,
How nice to hear from you....it's a long time ! Yes, it was good old days at BN. When I started in 1962, the signalmen were Brian Barr, Frank Moisey and Peter Carroll. Later on Brian went on to the new BX power box and I visited him there in 1987. Peter went to Finsbury Park No.3 (EO). Larry Haig was the other t/lad at BN when I started and later on I remember going to visit him when he was s/man at Hornsey No.2 (up box). I later went as Finsbury Park t/lad relief and spent quite a lot of time at Finsbury Park No.5 and Potters Bar boxes. I later went as s/man at Marshmoor (MF) and then ended up at Oakleigh Park (OH). My cousin still lives in York Road , New Barnet and her house overlooks the station.....nothing like it was in the old days !!
Cheers, Eddie.

Jeffers
NER Y7 0-4-0T
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:10 am

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Jeffers » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:18 am

Hello, I came across your forum whilst researching my granddad. My granddad worked in the Greenwood signal box during the 1940s and 50s I think. His name was Geoffrey Giles. He was one of the 2 subjects used in the sketch drawings and subsequent painting by Terence Cuneo 'On Early Shift'. I'm not sure if anyone is around any more who remembers him, but I'd welcome any memories or tales. Best regards, Jeff

Mickey

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:00 am

There use to be a relief signalman called Morris Cantor (usually known as Mo by other signalmen) who was around the WGC-Hitchin areas during the 1960s & the first half of the 1970s who once mentioned to me that he had once worked Greenwood box although no date was mentioned although I presume it would have been sometime during the 1950s?. I believe Mo died maybe about 10 years ago or more?.

One of the Greenwood s/box name boards survived for a number of years mounted on two posts at the end of someone's back garden in one of those houses that backs on to the Down side of the line a couple of hundred yards before Hadley Wood south tunnel where it overlooked the place where Greenwood box once stood until it disappeared around 1968.

Mickey

laurie1951
GER J70 0-6-0T Tram
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by laurie1951 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Hi I was a telegraph Lad at New Barnet north in 1966 , i went to Hatfield Signal school to learn Telegraph then posted to New barnet north . Signalmen were frank Moisey , Brian Barr, and on one shift it seemed a vacancy which was eventually taken by Brian Long , and after him A guy with a surname of Mills . After that i believe John Saggers . Telegraph lad around at that time in 1966 were myself , Alan curtis. I also remeber training a guy called Keith Challen often wonder what happened to him . I remember Eddie Arden at Oakleigh park box he had been a telegraph lad at New barnet . At New Barnet south was a signalman called Larry Haag . Relief signalman at the time were Fred Robinson, Stan colbert, Dave Tilbury , Albert Henty, Jim Burnett , Norman Greenwood George Green . I left BR in 1969 and went onto London Underground as a signalman until medical retirement in 1998

Mickey

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:52 am

laurie1951 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:03 pm
Hi I was a telegraph Lad at New Barnet north in 1966 , i went to Hatfield Signal school to learn Telegraph then posted to New barnet north . Signalmen were frank Moisey , Brian Barr, and on one shift it seemed a vacancy which was eventually taken by Brian Long , and after him A guy with a surname of Mills . After that i believe John Saggers . Telegraph lad around at that time in 1966 were myself , Alan curtis. I also remeber training a guy called Keith Challen often wonder what happened to him . I remember Eddie Arden at Oakleigh park box he had been a telegraph lad at New barnet . At New Barnet south was a signalman called Larry Haag . Relief signalman at the time were Fred Robinson, Stan colbert, Dave Tilbury , Albert Henty, Jim Burnett , Norman Greenwood George Green . I left BR in 1969 and went onto London Underground as a signalman until medical retirement in 1998

John Saggers became a regular signalman at New Barnet North Box during the early 1970s and also got fairly high up in the NUR (forerunner to the RMT union) I believe John was still around working somewhere around Euston station up to about 10 or 11 years ago although I presume he's probably been retired for awhile by now?.

Keith Challen became a regular signalman at Holloway North Down box during the early 1970s before becoming a passenger guard on the suburban routes out of Kings Cross around 1974-75.

Fred Robinson was a relief signalman who quite often worked both Hatfield No.1 & No.2 boxes during the early 1970s also I understand he use to perform 'magic tricks' as a magician for children and I believe he may even have appeared on television back then I vaguely recall hearing?.

Stan Colbert was a relief signalman and a LDC man (Local Departmental Committee) I think Stan may have worked Hatfield No.1, Potters Bar and possibly Marshmoor boxes.

Dave Tilbury was a relief signalman and as far as I know maybe still alive?. I believe Dave use to work mainly 'up the London end' of the main line but sometimes he would go a bit further northwards and work Welwyn Garden City box during the late 1960s & early 1970s.

Jim Burnett was a relief signalman along with his brother Dave Burnett. I don't know what happened to Jim but Dave went into Kings Cross PSB back around 1974/75 but is probably long gone out of that place years ago.

Norman Greenwood was a relief signalman who I believe worked around the Hertford branch quite often but he occasionally showed up on the main line. Norman was also known for his 'bug' that he use to fit onto the 'control phone' in any box that he was working at and would then listen into the conversations between the controller speaking to other signalmen to gain 'train running information' plus he use to carry all his gear around in a big old rucksack slung over his shoulder. I believe Norman died a number of years ago now possibly back in the 1990s?.


Mickey Tele-lad at Welwyn Garden City box between 1972-74.

User avatar
StevieG
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 2063
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by StevieG » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:45 pm

I'm sure that Brian Barr has in the past, mentioned that Wilf Stockley (later of Finsbury Park No.3 and Kirby Cross Boxes) was also a Greenwood signalman around the time of the Cuneo painting.

[Hello (again) Laurie. We never met in those times, though I do recall in 1969/'70 seeing that the old staff names and addresses card on the notice board at 'Barnet North' included you and Keith as 'Lads'.
(Although I feel sure that it must have been you on duty when once, and I forget how it was arranged, I was allowed to visit Oakwood cabin?)]
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \

laurie1951
GER J70 0-6-0T Tram
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by laurie1951 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:46 pm

Hi StevieG , Yes the Cuneo painting of Greenwood is famous , i have a poster copy which i bought at the National Railway Museum Last Year .
I seem to remember Brian Barr telling me that the bottom half of Signalman was a guy called Geoff Giles , and top half was Brian . Whatever it still a great painting and i wonder where the original is .
You may well be right that you visited Oakwood Box and it was me on Duty , it may well have been arranged with Brian Barr as i was friendly with Brian for many years . I moved off the Piccadilly line in 1977 and went on the Metropolitan line at Amersham and then relief signalman then signalman at Rickmansworth until Medical retirement in 1996/97 . Still keep in touch with few guys i worked with and last year went on a visit to some Metropolitan cabins i worked . Soon they will, like BR boxes , be disappearing as technology marches on . Great to see the threads on the forum many names from past that i remember so well . A name that haunts me and i have seen it mentioned a few times is that of Keith Challen , who i trained as a telegraph Lad at Barnet North. I know he went to Hornsey as a Signalman and then as a Guard at KX but what of him since . I would like to know???

User avatar
StevieG
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 2063
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by StevieG » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:45 pm

Hi Laurie.
I last saw Keith as a signalman, on a normal visit (well at least, not strictly illicit, as by then, I was a KX Division controller in GN House at the time, 'looking around the area') at Holloway North Down (maybe he was Relief by then), where functions had been drastically reduced just prior to resignalling, so around 1976.
Saw him fleetingly a few times around the area while he was a guard over the subsequent few years but after that, no idea I'm afraid.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \

laurie1951
GER J70 0-6-0T Tram
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by laurie1951 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:49 pm

Hi steveG
thanks for the info about keith Challen , Most people i have asked say same as you , he went as a guard and then they lose contact . I guess now he would be retired anyway a she was about same age as me . i trained him at Barnet North as a Telegraph Lad , then he was a raw recruit .

I spoke to Brian Barr about a year ago as i got his telephone number from Dave cockle . I think Brian and i have spent to many years out of contact so apart from telephone call we have not revived the friendship . Eddie arden who has posted on here , i knew him well when he was at Oakleigh Park .
It is good to see so many names from the past and many from nearly 50 years ago when i was a boy at New Barnet North .
There was a guy who came from yorkshire who was a controller at GN house , his name was Alan and he went on to bigger things as i saw his photo and name in a railway magazine a few years ago . Time has misted my memory so i cannot definitely remember his name but the Name Alan peel comes to mind. i knew Alan quite well he visited Barnet north few times and i saw him after i went to LT . In fact i recall organising a visit for him to Oakwood , Cockfosters and Arnos Grove cabins .
Happy days lots of memories , thanks for your info

Chime Whistle
NER Y7 0-4-0T
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:49 pm

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Chime Whistle » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:07 pm

laurie1951 wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:46 pm
Hi StevieG , Yes the Cuneo painting of Greenwood is famous , i have a poster copy which i bought at the National Railway Museum Last Year .
I seem to remember Brian Barr telling me that the bottom half of Signalman was a guy called Geoff Giles , and top half was Brian . Whatever it still a great painting and i wonder where the original is .
You may well be right that you visited Oakwood Box and it was me on Duty , it may well have been arranged with Brian Barr as i was friendly with Brian for many years . I moved off the Piccadilly line in 1977 and went on the Metropolitan line at Amersham and then relief signalman then signalman at Rickmansworth until Medical retirement in 1996/97 . Still keep in touch with few guys i worked with and last year went on a visit to some Metropolitan cabins i worked . Soon they will, like BR boxes , be disappearing as technology marches on . Great to see the threads on the forum many names from past that i remember so well . A name that haunts me and i have seen it mentioned a few times is that of Keith Challen , who i trained as a telegraph Lad at Barnet North. I know he went to Hornsey as a Signalman and then as a Guard at KX but what of him since . I would like to know???
In Cuneo's painting Wilf Stockley is shown as reversing distant lever 18, however I've seen John Hinson's detailed drawing of the diagram and it shows 14 as being the distant for the down fast and 18 as being the distant for the down slow. I've also seen it mentioned by someone that he worked with,that Wilf said that Cuneo asked him to pose with lever 18 as it was better from a composition point of view. On the Early Shift painting 14 is shown as white (spare) yet on Cuneo's pencil sketch, he notes two distant signal repeaters on the block shelf, one above 14 and one above 18. Finally(!) the levers 12 and 13 are the home signals for the down fast (so it makes sense for 14 to be the down fast distant) and lever 17 is the home signal for coming off the DS and onto the DF, again, making 18 the obvious choice for the DS distant. So, did Cuneo get it wrong?

Mickey
NER J27 0-6-0
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by Mickey » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:45 pm

New Barnet North Box located about 10 miles north of Kings Cross and shown on a misty day in 1976 when the box was nearly at the end of it's life and with the overhead wires already in place.

http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/03/ ... 6ce773.jpg

On one memorable occasion possibly during 1972 I am fairly certain that on one dark Saturday evening New Barnet North Box was working on the Down lines back to Finsbury Park No.3 which would have been about a 8 miles block section with all the intervening boxes appearing to have been 'switched out' including Finsbury Park No.5, Harringay, Hornsey No.1, Wood Green No.1, New Southgate & Cemetery boxes although it wasn't unusual for Harringay to be switched out on a Saturday but strangely Finsbury Park No.5, Hornsey No.1 & Wood Green No.1 had all of there signals 'pulled off' on all there Down running lines and those three named boxes were in total darkness on passing them on a Cravens unit bound for Welwyn Garden City which was very odd because usually a light would be left switched on in a closed signal box over the desk where the train register book was kept and on passing both New Southgate & Cemetery boxes again they had all there Up & Down lines signals pulled off and on passing both boxes they appeared to have been empty and lifeless of a signalman because usually you could see if a signalman was present in the box because usually they would be seen standing at the lever frame and block shelf and I have a vague feeling that when my train ran into Oakleigh Park station both the Up fast & Up slow line colour light 'starting signals' for New Barnet North Box were both showing red and I didn't recall seeing any trains running along the Up fast & Up slow lines between New Southgate and Oakleigh Park although I admit I could have missed any train on the Up fast & Up slow line while travelling through New Barnet tunnel I suppose?.
Last edited by Mickey on Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
StevieG
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 2063
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.

Re: New Barnet North Signalbox

Post by StevieG » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:26 pm

Chime Whistle wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:07 pm

In Cuneo's painting Wilf Stockley is shown as reversing distant lever 18, however I've seen John Hinson's detailed drawing of the diagram and it shows 14 as being the distant for the down fast and 18 as being the distant for the down slow. I've also seen it mentioned by someone that he worked with,that Wilf said that Cuneo asked him to pose with lever 18 as it was better from a composition point of view. On the Early Shift painting 14 is shown as white (spare) yet on Cuneo's pencil sketch, he notes two distant signal repeaters on the block shelf, one above 14 and one above 18. Finally(!) the levers 12 and 13 are the home signals for the down fast (so it makes sense for 14 to be the down fast distant) and lever 17 is the home signal for coming off the DS and onto the DF, again, making 18 the obvious choice for the DS distant. So, did Cuneo get it wrong?

Chime Whistle,
Firstly, for the record, the second Down line from New Barnet North box to Greenwood was the Down Goods, which enabled non-passenger trains to be accepted by Greenwood (and incidentally, was worked by 'Permissive' Block, allowing more than one train to be in-section) without needing the line to be clear to a Clearing Point by setting the DG - Down Main points Reverse to obtain the customary 1/4-mile safety overrun beyond the Home signal, as normally required in the Block Telegraph 'Absolute' Block Regulations for passenger lines, which a true Slow line would normally have been.

I wonder if the JH diagram that you saw represented Greenwood before 1932. I believe that was the year (it was certainly around that time) when Hadley Wood, Ganwick and Mimms boxes were abolished/demoted from Block Post status by the LNER and colour-light signalling was installed between Greenwood and Potters Bar.
I say this because, as you say, lever 14 was right to be, and had been, the Down Main Distant. But the LNER sometimes opted to make Distant signals work automatically in appropriate circumstances, for which they obviously had to be operable electrically, and so were either colour-lights or motor-worked semaphores.
Now I believe that at some point, either when the colour-lights went through to PB or later, Greenwood's DM Distant was made 'Auto', thus making 14 lever redundant (hence being painted white), but it still needed a signal repeater of course for the signalman to check for its correct operation.
Lever 18 remained the DG Distant.

Did you know that there exists somewhere, a 1930s (I think) photo that I once saw, taken inside Welwyn North box at virtually the same angle as On Early Shift, and with a Down main line train passing while the signalman is hands-on to the DG-DM Distant lever (the layout and signalling was almost identical there), presenting a very similar image to Cuneo's painting, and I believe was Cuneo's inspiration - perhaps he selected the photo from many (actually taken by him?) as an image suitable to be the subject of the painting.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \

Post Reply