Blocklesbury Station (Lincolnshire)

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by RichmondCommu, 21 Aug 2015.

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  1. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    G'day everyone,

    A few weeks a go my wife and I had a very enjoyable day searching out signal boxes in North Lincolnshire. Close to Ulceby and its station we came across what I now understand to be Blocklesbury station. I'm curious to know why the station closed when every other station on the route appears to be still open. From what we could see the station's only customers would have been livestock (not literally) but that hasn't stopped other stations up and down the country from being kept open! Anyone got any ideas; I know there are a fair few very helpful locals on this forum!

    Any information would be gratefully received.

    Kind regards,

    Richmond Commuter!
     
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  3. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    Off the top of my head, Brocklesby, to give it is proper name, lies on an estate that belonged to the earl of yarborough.
    In its day it was a busy location but it was always mainly for livestock etc. Years after the earl shuffled off, traffic and usage declined. The remote location didnt help and the increase of immingham dock freight led to the station closing in 1993.
    The house is in private hands, the signalbox will stay in use till december this year. Im sure i will be corrected.
     
  4. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Many thanks for this, much appreciated. Also, have you seen a copy of a book called Lincolnshire Signal Boxes? I'm searching for an independent book review in which case I would be interested in trying to get hold of a copy.
     
  5. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    My friend wrote that book. There are many books on the north lincs railways. I also recommend a book from around 1994 called Railways in north lincolnshire. It has a pic of barnetby on the front. Google it.
    Also for south lincs pix, theres one called lincolnshire after beeching by graham jelly. Mostly 1970s pics but fantastic.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2015
  6. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Will do, thanks for the tip! Also, many thanks for telling me about Roxton Sidings in another thread. The location is amazing, as is the little box and its crossing gates. Now I know where it is I'll be back to take more pictures. Thanks again for all the information!
     
  7. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    Go up there before december. Soon gone! :(
     
  8. muddythefish

    muddythefish On Moderation

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    I wonder whose idea that was? And what did you have to do in return to ensure matrimonial harmony ?

    :D:D
     
  9. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Well you see my dear wife currently has a hair line fracture in her right foot sustained whilst we were back in the East Midlands so I was doing the driving! I have to say that we were damn lucky with the weather which always helps and she likes exploring which is roughly what we were doing! I can't stand musicals but I think its fair to say I will be dragged to one in the next few months by my better half!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I aim to be back up there before the end of September. Ideally I would love to visit one of the boxes but with the signal staff no doubt about to lose their jobs I don't suppose they will be in the mood for pre-arranged visits. As you say its so very sad on so many different levels :(
     
  10. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    Brocklesby Station was used by the Earl of Yarborough who had his own waiting room in the building oppersite the signal box. So i think the station was provided because of the Earl of Yarborough,s land was crossed by the railway and in return he got a station and own waiting room.There was also buildings on the signal box side too years ago.
    Yes can remember when trains stopped, not many people got on or off before the station shut, as its a bit out the way to most places.

    The signal box was a bit of an oddity as it was in the middle of the platform, you walked past the box to the far end went down a few steps to enter the box, opened the door and went inside then you went up the stairs into the signal box, over the stairs was a trap door balanced with weights which you pushed up to get into the box.
    Another box with a large frame in them days, now got a panel now I believe, not sure if any leavers are still there or not.
     
  11. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    Theres no levers in the box now. Just a medium nx panel at the western end that was installed in the late 1990s.
    The rest of the box is pretty bare, empty enough to hold a kids birthday party! I think read that it wont be knocked down. Good!
     
  12. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    I was not sure if all the levers and frame had gone , I knew they had an NX panel installed and colour lights etc installed etc.

    Holding a kids birthday party in there! 40 years ago one of the signalman was a proper old miserable father less child or another name for a type of file. He would,t have anyone in unless he was absolutely forced and even then he wanted rid of them asap.
    We could get in as he had no choice if he wanted things repairing but the P.Way it was window open and what do you want before they got to the door of the box.
     
  13. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    We shouldnt really talk like this about signallers. After all they are doing their job. It would be like someone hassling me when i was working.
    That said, over the last 10 years or so ive met some marvellous signallers. Ive been lucky to meet so many who love the railways and their job. For others tho, it is just a job, and i respect that. I must admit, i hate my job but then again its not railway related.

    Back on topic now eh?
     
  14. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    This signaller will have been signalling trains in heaven for a good few years now so I doubt any will remember him in the area. Would not have talked about recent ones and ones still working as you say thats un fair.

    Years ago there was all sorts of characters in that grade that we used to meet in our rounds while at work, the lonely ones where you had a job to get away from due to them not seeing many people to the ones that had hobbies at work.
    Think you find you don,t get the same characters as you did in the past so not such an interesting set of people.
     
  15. trentside

    trentside Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

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    I think the current 'HR' driven recruitment processes weed out some of the 'characters' before they get near the railway. Whether that's a good or bad thing is a point of debate, but I still think there are plenty of characters left and the job certainly still attracts them.

    Pass Brocklesby quite regularly, such an interesting box and busy location at times.

    Here's an interior shot taken by John Illingworth, on Flickr.
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2015
  16. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    I think the above is right. Im pretty sure that NR just want people who will be 'yesmen or women'.
    Lets face it, in a few years time, signallers wont even see the trains they signal. It will be real life simsig!
     
  17. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

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    The Earl of Yarborough was the Chairman of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway.

    Both the station building and the disused signal box hold Grade II listed status.
     
  18. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.

    Hey! Dont condemn the box yet! <(
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2015
  19. trentside

    trentside Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

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    I've visited the EMICC at Derby. Personally, I didn't find it a pleasant environment that I'd enjoy working in - each to their own I know, but it was a far removed from the traditional signal box as you could get. Being sat in front of a bank of monitors doesn't appeal like the country signal box does, but that might just be the traditionalist in me?
     
  20. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    Sounds a bit like Rugby SCC. Thats the largest control centre ive visited. There was about 12 workstations in a row. Everyone i spoke to was friendly enough but it really wasnt signalling. Most of the signallers said it was all automatic and their involvement was minimal.
    I wont name names but 2 psbs ive visited stick out in my head for being nice environments. At one of them, when a forgotten 47 went by, everyone ran to the window! Anoraks eh?;)
     
  21. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    Class 47 hauled freight heading for Immingham Docks at Brocklesby. Photo taken on the 23rd June 1990, just over three years before the BRB closed the Station on the 4th October 1993. (Photo from personal collection). M E Quick Ref book has the station opening on the 1st November 1848 by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company which would tie in with Paul's post above.
     

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    Last edited: 23 Aug 2015
  22. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Good find! I opened that link and for some reason I thought straight away that I just love that shot. It looks a comfy, busy and interesting sort of workplace. It certainly has character. In fact, it almost looks like a signalling enthusiast's private lounge! ;) Yes, I know it's not the same as levers, but it's a bit better than a sprawling and rather more characterless signalling centre.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2015
  23. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    Just a point of interest on Brocklesby - I understand that the current panel was, in fact, only intended to be a slave panel, with the layout to be controlled from Ulceby. Maybe it entered service as stageworks, maybe the full resignalling was canned before the panel even went in, or maybe it's a rather rural myth - but, either way, it's clearly still there :) . That would certainly explain the block bell which sits rather awkwardly on the desk next to the computer though - an interesting contrast!

    On the atmosphere - nothing beats a proper mechanical box, but there's still plenty of character to be found around single manned 20th/21st Century panels in 19th Century structures! Even the 'conventional' powerboxes had something about them, whereas the operating floor in the ROCs seems little different to a call centre.

    Just by way of illustration, a couple of my own (of another single-manned panel) attached below...
     

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  24. rick pike

    rick pike Member

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    I cant say iv ever heard that rumour before. The block bell is still needed to describe trains on the Down Goods towards Barnetby East. This pic on Flickr also by John Illingworth explains the signalling instruments. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43709405@N07/15897079193/
     
    Last edited: 26 Aug 2015
  25. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    I don't know whether it's true or not - just something that I heard locally. The arrangement does look and feel very temporary though! Presumably, in the event of the apparently proposed resignalling to Ulceby (no idea how extensive it'd have been), a train described would've been provided to Barnetby rather than describing by bell on both Down lines (and AB would've been converted to TCB on the Up). Thinking about it a little more though, I'm not convinced!
     
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