The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

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StevieG
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by StevieG »

Many thanks Dave. And we'll done for spotting the missing 'e' (I didn't !).
Be interesting to see how George responds to such a communication ! :D
BZOH

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StevieG
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by StevieG »

Thank you so much for the photos of the NBR 1906 book 52A. Good of you to have gone to the trouble of scanning those. I think that's the earliest dated such publication that I've ever seen.
👍
BZOH

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R. pike
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by R. pike »

At least my batteries are correctly labelled..
IMG_4523.jpg
This came with a job lot of labels that i thought looked good and were later identified as ex Cadwell signalbox.
Mickey
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by Mickey »

As shown above.

Those Traffolyte designed labels were to be found everywhere in s/boxes at onetime and were usually to be found on 'lever badges' describing the individual lever number and what that individual lever actually worked and any other lever numbers which worked off that same lever that may needed to be either pulled or reversed in conjunction with the lever also the inscribed labels were fixed on the B.R. 'plastic' block instruments inscribed either 'Up Line' or 'Down Line' and also they were fixed on the block shelf under individual wooden block instruments and block bells and they were also fixed to signal or point indicators on the block shelf and also any 'Light Out' indicators for signal lamps in the box and any other S&T s/box equipment.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
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R. pike
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by R. pike »

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StevieG
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by StevieG »

'The oldest telegraph circuit?' Sounds like a reasonable claim R. Pike.
HD / BG, the Hatfield No.1 - Biggleswade South circuit.
BZOH

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S&T
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by S&T »

Can someone provide a list of the circuits into KX please?
Many thanks
S&T
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StevieG
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by StevieG »

As far as the single-needle circuits in the signal boxes reaching KX went S&T, I only know of : -
KC-BN
KC-UF
KC-HT
KC-FO.
I have no info on any others or any other types of circuits that KX Telegraph Office may have had.
BZOH

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S&T
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by S&T »

Thanks for the info Steve.
Mickey
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by Mickey »

StevieG wrote: Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:05 am 'The oldest telegraph circuit?' Sounds like a reasonable claim R. Pike.
HD / BG, the Hatfield No.1 - Biggleswade South circuit.
At Welwyn Garden City box during 1972-73 before the s/n telegraph instrument was abolished it was marked underneath the single needle x4 dial concentrator Hatfield-Sandy and occasionally Sandy would 'send on' to Hatfield No.1 and I presume it depended on who the signalman was at Sandy at the time?. The other three s/n circuits were Kings Cross-Hitchin and two disconnected s/n circuits which were unmarked but which I presume were the old Hatfield-Luton West and the Hatfield-Hertford North circuits(?) but that is just an assumption on my part?.
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Grandad
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by Grandad »

When I was a telegraph lad (box boy) at crescent jnct,Peterborough in 1967/8 and early 69, kings cross was informed by the needle of all up expresses on passing,also other boxes all the way to Sandy were told about freight or parcel workings and passenger trains running out of course.We had telephones but it was always done this way I suppose.You could pick up the phone and find most signalmen at the wayside boxes on the circuit anyway and give them their messages that way.At crescent we received times of trains from Grantham by the essendine signalman,always by phone,I preferred it.Later as a signalman further up the GN main line we received info by phone for the goods shed foreman from Peterborough office,I was told off for being "cheeky" to the lady operator,I knew her from my time in 'borough , who threatened to send messages by telegraph as a punishment,but she did'nt.
The needle was fine though as with practice you could hear and understand messages being sent for traffic regulating purposes by your fellow signalmen doing their duty.
Mickey
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by Mickey »

Hello Grandad.

Interesting to note that you worked a box or boxes possibly north of Peterborough because hardly anything has been posted regarding the signalling in particular between Peterborough & Grantham. I have a old B.R. S&T track diagram of the box track diagram of Corby Glenn that I have had for 50 years.

The s/n telegraph was an intriguing instrument that sent and received Morse code messages between a certain number of signal boxes on a telegraph circuit. For the most part the Morse code messages were fairly rudimentary usually regarding a particular train along with a time although some of the 'old boys' could hold a basic 'conversation' between themselves in different boxes on the telegraph instrument if they wanted to but it probably rarely happened?.

Numerals sent on the telegraph instrument were fairly easy to recognise for example each numeral between 1 & 10 had it's own 'ringing pattern' for example number one or number eight had very distinctive 'ringing patterns' in Morse code.

I would say it was a bit of a unrecognised skill to be able to read a single needle telegraph instrument which set GN signalmen apart from other railways signalmen and in my estimation and as the late author O.S.Nock once wrote "GNR signalmen were the best in the country" and I would second that.
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Dave Cockle
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by Dave Cockle »

Having worked a signalman on the Great Northern and Great Eastern (West Anglia) it always seemed to me that the GN signalmen were
more professional in the manner they undertook their duties.

Even some of the District Inspectors on the Great Eastern had a casual attitude towards the job and did not wear full uniform. They were
meant to be setting an example.

I always put it down to the GN signalmen dealing with high speed trains whereas the GE trains were relatively slower. There was more
slack working on the GE whereas the GN men tended to stick strictly to the rules. Well anyway that was experience.
Mickey
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by Mickey »

I liked your above post Dave and being a former telegraph lad off the GN 50 years ago during the early 1970s myself and also being in the signalling grade for over 40+ years and still working a box it gives me a good 'inner feeling' of knowing I was a small part of a GN signalling tradition. One former GN signalman during the 1950s & 1960s who was a local Ops manager during the 1980s & early 1990s once told me that the best signalmen we ever had on the job were all former box lads they all made good signalmen he said. I'd second that George ha ha ha...

Getting back to the topic thread I wonder whatever happened to all those old single needle telegraph instruments in all the boxes between Kings Cross & Shaftholme Junction and the associated branches?. The telegraph instruments themselves were beautifully made all varnished wooden construction with some metal/brass fittings and most and if not all the London boxes between Kings Cross & Wood Green possibly had two telegraph instruments with the Finsbury Park boxes having a extra instrument on the block shelf for the separate Finsbury Park telegraph circuit. I presume many telegraph instruments went into private collections around the country after being withdrawn during the early/mid 1970s plus a few probably made there way to the York NRM and into storage.
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Grandad
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Re: The Last Years of Single-needle Telegraph on the LNER & Herts.

Post by Grandad »

At crescent we sent trains to the great eastern via nene jnct box and i was told ,jokingly,that on that railway,known as the” Swedey” they had truck trains as they could’nt say “goods”.
As an aside i remember once my signalman ,harold,going down to track level with a shovel to help the secondman of a whitemoor-new england freight spread ballast under the wheels of a brush2 that was making heavy going of the incline up to the north station.
In those days the midland lines ran behind us to nene jnct avoiding the north station for freight and summer holiday extras.
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