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Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by telstarbox, 5 Aug 2015.
Indeed.The flap boards were far better than the electronic displays.
They were still quite common in Luxembourg when I was travelling on CFL last year:
In Germany they have died out somewhat in more recent years though.
Depended on the route and station - there were 1, 2 or 3 flap versions although the 2 flap were most common so not always space to include every station. At somewhere like London Bridge,:the top flap was usually the destination (sometimes with route); and the bottom flap the calling pattern - so from memory it might have read:
Not calling at St Johns
Fast to Sevenoaks
Much rather a full colour LED monitor, one of which has been installed at Twickenham, showing a list of departures and basic calling pattern. Having said that, the new boards SWT have installed at North Sheen are of excellent quality.
Certainly at Ashford (Kent) they managed to show all the station's for the stoppers on all routes.
They even had peculiarities, such as the very rare train to Folkestone Harbour and the 'Maidstone East, Otford, Chiselhurst, London Bridge' which was really only of use when Sevenoaks tunnel was being worked on.
So glad you brought this up, I remember those boards too ...... loved the sound they made - give me those and the NSE clock .... heaven!
I have a Solari panel in my garage. It came from Victoria and was recovered from the skip when the board was replaced. The motor was completely seized by the time I got it and the 20 years of dust, dirt and pigeon s**t hadn't done it any favours. I removed the motor cleaned it up and was able to turn the gears manually to rotate the flaps. I've just fitted a meccano gear and handle to make it much easier to rotate. I'll post photos if anyone is interested.
It's gone. Was taken down last year. Been out of use for years though.
I used to love the old Solari boards, the one at Waterloo being particularly impressive. Often the flaps would get stuck though displaying an erroneous calling pattern.
The original electronic (plasma screens iirc) were particularly difficult to read during daylight. I seem to remember Waterloo and Paddington were particularly bad and had to be replaced pretty quickly by the newer style LED displays which we have to this day which, to be honest, and pretty was to read even in bright light.
Did Euston ever have a Solari board? I can only ever remember a very primitive electronic display which looks as though it could have been in place since the 1960's rebuild. It was very difficult to read and was replaced by the current board in the early 2000's iirc.
Is it a Solari - the original one with 40 flaps - or a Krone with 80 flaps? I have an original 40 flap Solari and a controller to operate it. It was originally installed in my office in Croydon in BR days, the flaps are printed with things like "Coffee", "Do Not Disturb" and the names of my staff at the time. I used it as a bit of fun when wanting to talk to my people and the like. I must get it out of the garage and make it work again, just for fun. Don't think the other half would respond kindly if I installed it above the study door and moved it to Coffee without speaking to her!
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The majority of flap indicators were Solari, Krone started to be popular because they produced an 80 flap - instead of 40 flap - system but Solari then followed suit. There was a third supplier but I'm struggling to remember their name, it was something like Infoteck or Infotron, they supplied the Kings Cross, Hertford Loop Stations and Hounslow Loop Stations. Then there was Liverpool St which at one time had an Omega system before it was replaced by the sideways on system from Krone as part of the Broadgate redevelopment. Birmingham also had a Solari at one time, the only other one like it in the UK was at Glasgow Airport, and I had to go and buy it for BR after it had been replaced as spares, that was an interesting experience!
I could also bore you all with a story about why Liverpool St commuters ended up at the wrong stations because the Russians invaded Afghanistan because it affected the Omega system!
Euston did have one, although it was replaced with a prototype electronic display in the late 80s I think - like most London terminals it also had the single flap repeaters at the ticket barriers which just showed the time and destination. I've struggled to find any photos (film was expensive back then!) but have found one of part of the Euston board on Flickr from 1981
I also found an interesting photo from Birmingham New Street of the display for a Harwich boat train in 1986 - not a selection of destinations you saw in the West Midlands everyday
Credit of course to the owners of those photographs
Did they ever have those old flappy board displays up north, such as in Leeds. I always associate them with London terminals.
I only recall the old dot matrix display at Leeds that used to be above the ticket barriers, looked like the screen from Les Dennis era Family Fortunes.
Well that depends on how quickly you could peek at them flapping past!
There was a big grey board at Nottingham (fifteen years ago now) which sounds something similar - which I'm eager to get a picture of if anyone has one. I'm interested to know also what was there before it.
This was the one at Leeds
The green colour makes it look like they've taken it from Centre Court at Wimbledon from a similar era.
Amazing that's all we had up to 15 years ago, just the next 12 trains, final destination only.
I think there's another example at Sevenoaks in this photo.
Remember Kings Cross's one was on speed. It went like the clappers lterally and when the 1st train departed it did an impressive showing when all the departures moved along one.
This technology did indeed extend further north than London. This is the one formerly in Edinburgh Waverley which I stood watching often enough awaiting a platform number.
Its a Solari, it has some rather odd pairings of flaps such as change at Shoreham by Sea for Balcombe! The flaps either side pair up correctly so its not as if a wrong one has been inserted. It also has red coloured flaps for Buffet service and Apologies for. All the stations are Central Division apart from one flap which has Bellingham and Catford on it.
I like the idea of 'Coffee' and 'do not disturb'.