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Monday, October 25, 2021

Villagers go full steam ahead to save Victorian signal box

Among locals who want to see it saved is Claire Slater, who said: “When I heard it was going to be demolished I thought it was such a shame, and when I posted it on the local Facebook page so did many others. 

“It’s been part of the village for more than 130 years, and there really aren’t many of them left.”

Mrs Slater, a retired former senior school matron, added: “I’m not campaigning against the automation – just the loss of our lovely signal box. If the application to have it listed is not successful and it has to go, then we can look at ways of perhaps relocating it in the village, where it can have some kind of community use or even be a little cafe.”

Dr Tim Clark, the parish council chairman, said the authority was having talks with Network Rail about the future of the building and checking the feasibility of moving it to another location.

He added: “We see it as an iconic landmark in the village and would hope that it can ideally be retained in its current location or moved elsewhere if that is possible. We have not discussed future use in any depth in the parish council until we have more information.”

A Network Rail spokesman said the organisation remained committed to automating the three remaining manual crossing gates for safety reasons and it was not worth maintaining an unused building.

The spokesman added: “While we understand a desire to preserve the box, we have also communicated the disbenefits in maintaining an unused asset at a cost and the impact it may unintentionally have on investment to benefit rail users. The signal box is not listed and is currently planned for removal as part of the plan to convert the crossing.”

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