A RAIL37 Churnet Valley Railway picture report

 Elton Crossing Signal Box
Paperwork recovered from site

 Signal Box

The document was issued by a Mr Gillett, who appears to have been the Station Manager at Congleton, and it reads:

"SECURITY OF H.M.MAIL
In the event of any of the above-mentioned trains being 5 minutes or more overtime in any section, the signalman concerned must immediately advise the District Control office of the circumstances, who will in turn promptly inform "999" and the railway police."

Various train times etc. listed, then

"Signalmen not directly concerned with these trains must be prepared for the same action to be taken in the event of diversions."

 The Great Train Robbery took place on 8th August 1963 and it's interesting to note that this document is dated 30th August 1966. Surely it didn't take three years for the railways to react to the mail train being robbed- did it?   Explanations welcomed. This document was found in Elton Crossing box on the Sandbach branch so which of these mail trains used the branch? I would love to know the relevance to Elton Crossing.

 Mr Winkle was a signalman at Elton Crossing and kindly gave me some photographs taken from the box when it was still in use. I will reproduce them at a later date.

 It makes you wonder how the signalmen coped with all these instructions.

 The box now seems to be taking instruction from Longport (or Longpoty even).

 Seeing Lawton Station listed above reminds me of another small growing pain in the history of the formation of the N.S.R.C..  Lawton crossing is on the Sandbach Branch which closed in 1971 and you will appreciate that that was the time we started the movement - no significance between the two. The line had been lifted and the roadway filled in when I noticed a section of track on the old trackbed opposite the station house where there is now a market garden. We wrote to the owner and asked if we could have the track but were politely told to go away. That track section lay there for years and eventually disappeared in the undergrowth and what eventually became of it I have no idea. Sadly it would have become our first piece of track even though we had no means of lifting let alone transporting the thing!

 This one is from Mr George Dow and I'm sure everyone knows the history of his career on the railways. Apologies if I have already related this one but back in the 1970's Mr Dow agreed to open a sales "event" that we held at a church hall in Hanley, courtesy of the late John Ruane. This he did and gave us a fine speech beforehand, we later took him out for lunch at The Grand in Hanley where he was kind enough to sign my copy of "The North Staffordshire Album". He was, of course, responsible for the restoration of NSR No.2.   A fascinating and most interesting gentleman who kept us entertained with his railway anecdotes. If I remember correctly he held office with the heritage Midland Railway Centre at Butterley and their house magazine was entitled "The Wyvern" - Mr Dow's house carried the same name. I understand that the mythical Wyvern formed part of the original Midland coat of arms.

 They were already beginning to bite in 1968 and then we got the Health & Safety at Work Etc. Act..............!

 I'm amazed that this had to be issued!

 Remember Chatterley Whitfield Colliery?

 No clamping in those days.

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