July 24, 2015
SO THAT'S it . . . The idea
of retaining the Nantwich railway station signal box has
run out of steam.
Limited, a railway training establishment situated in
Crewe, is to provide a site for the preservation of the
Nantwich landmark. The apprentices
will use the signal box in their training for work
on the railways.
Well done them,
some might say. I'm sorry, but I'm not one of them.
True, their offer of land will save the signal box for
posterity, but - while Crewe is a railway town - it's
will be a sign declaring that the structure is - or was
- "Nantwich Signal Box". But it won't be the same thing
as it being sited prominently in Nantwich, where such a label would
not have been needed.
The box was
threatened with demolition by Network Rail with level
crossings being remotely controlled in 12 regions.
I'm not saying
that OSL should not have made their offer to "host" the
box, just that it should have been possible for the box
to remain in Nantwich, somehow.
For those who
do not know - and I was one of them - OSL is half of the
Railway Exchange Training Academy, together with record
producer and songwriter, Dr Pete
Waterman, who also has an interest in Crewe's
railway "museum", the Heritage Centre.
The academy trains apprentices for
the railway industry.
I could just
about have accepted the position if an alternative offer
from Nantwich Marina - the Basin End base for
canal enthusiasts off Chester Road, Acton - had been
agreed. A different form of transport but still in the correct town.
Well, almost. The marina is just
over the Nantwich town
A GROUP called the
Friends of Nantwich Signal Box (Ltd), led by Nantwich
Methodist Church member, Eddie George (right) has not given up
the fight completely.
reportedly hoping to be able to acquire a piece of land
at the end of an access lane which leads to the rear of
Nantwich Methodist Church in Hospital Street.
The lane, which runs along the front of houses in Grocott's Row, is adjacent to
Morrison's supermarket in Pratchitt's Row.
would build a scale model of the signal box as part of
the church's miniature railway. (See this
Letter from Nantwich).
In an intriguing message on the Nantwich Film Club
website, Mr George wrote: "Hi, The Friends of the
Nantwich Signal Box Ltd. are attempting to re-use the
signal box as a projection box for an outdoor
cinema based of the car park at the back of the
latest news was broken
in the July 22, 2015, edition of the Nantwich Chronicle,
a month after the June 24 edition had said that the
Nantwich Miniature Railway Group (the same people as the
Friends of Nantwich Signal Box, I believe) had just a week, to
the end of June, to find a new site for the railway
A problem had arisen with one of the two sites
they had in mind.
The matter went before the
Finance Committee of
Nantwich Town Council for
had imposed a deadline for the demolition of the
now-defunct signal box.
crossing barriers at the boundary between Pillory Street
and Wellington Road are remotely
controlled by railway staff
in Cardiff via CCTV.
site for the old signal box was one of two car parks
that the church owns. The second was acquired
in 2014. This is used by people with parking permits
during the week and by church members at the weekend.
the large signal box
would have taken up a good proportion of the car park if that
site had been chosen for the original signal box. Not
that that matters now. Perhaps a scale model on other
land is not such a
bad idea after all.
picture of Eddie George, above, was taken (by "A
Dabber's Nantwich" website) with the permission of
Network Rail in 2014.