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Sunday, 22 May 2016

A busy open day

In many ways, the 21st of May was a big event for us at Romsey Signal box. The first is that we handed out our 10,000th ticket (meaning we've had 10,000 visitors since we opened in October 1992) which was good news. Here is the lucky recipient of the 10,000th ticket with an enlarged ticket and the first of our new design tickets which are now being handed out to all visitors.

The more anticipated event was the passing of 60103, "Flying Scotsman" twice in one day. A video of the two passing has been published to YouTube where you can find other videos of Scotsman in the Romsey area. Here is the video and it will also be placed in our gallery in the near future, its surprising how poor the view of the track is from the signal box site.

Flying Scotsman also brought many additional visitors to the signal box and this meant we had 65 visitors which I believe is out highest number of visitors in one day since our reopening event last year.

We all had an enjoyable day despite the weather and it was good to see so many people taking an interest. We also went up to Romsey station and handed out a load of leaflets to all the people on the platform so hopefully we'll get more visitors in the coming months.

Next open day will be June 5th

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

interesting TV series

There's a very interesting series on channel 4 at the moment: Paul Merton's Secret Stations. This week Paul Merton visited Newton St Cyres which was a neighboring signal box to Cowley Bridge Junction, our model signal box. Worth a watch if you have the time. Follow the link below to catch up on the latest episodes.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Signal box progress

You may be thinking to yourselves, "whats been going on with blog, we haven't had an update in ages". Well, worry no more, here is the latest update with all the latest news!

As you may know, we are currently working on a new display to utilise three colour light signals that we have on site. They weren't in a good state so they're currently in the 'workshop' (lean-to) being renovated. The latest success is the completion of smallest of the three signals, the two aspect signal. 2 aspect means it can only display red and green (go and stop) unlike the three and four aspect signals which have amber and double amber states (respectively). This is believed to be an old underground signal and although in real life it wouldn't be seen in a sequence with 2 main line signals, it will do for us.

When we started on this signal it was in a pretty bad way and it has been completely stripped down and restored to working order. On Sunday we completed the restoration when we reassembled it and fitted the lenses. We still have to fit a new lamp holder (we're converting the lights to low voltage LED lamps) but we did simulate a light in the signal by using a torch. Its great to see something like this come together and it gives a real sense of achievement. There are just a few finishing touches and this will be ready to go on display (once we finish the other two signals).

The main body of the three aspect signal has been cleaned and given two coats of paint along with most of the other bits and pieces that need to be reattached. There are just two pieces of metalwork that need painting, but we need to drill out some of the bolt holes in these pieces that have bolts stuck in them from when we disassembled it. Once this is complete and we design a way to hold the new low voltage LED lamps, the signal can be reassembled.

The control circuit for this has already been completed and tested ready for action once the signals are all completed.

In the pavilion, Dave has continued to construct shelving around the TV area that allows us to store things under the TV and keep the various video players safe.

Keith has continued to repaint the outside of the pavilion to keep the wood sealed from water damage.

Dick has constructed a new ramp into the toilet area using slabs as the old wooden one was rotting away. This means it will last much longer and require less maintenance.

Neil's hard work and dedication to the garden's is paying off and all the bluebells and tulips are making the garden's look really good this year. He was out there again on Sunday weeding the lawns and at the end of the day gave me a bunch of rhubarb from our vegetable patch which is really staring to give us some produce.

On Sunday a committee meeting was held and many decisions were made around the plans for a new building. We have now (for the third time) changed the plans and hopefully finalised the location of the new building which will house visitor displays and also a secure member's area where they will be able to eat lunch and store personal belongings.  various other things were discussed and decisions were made. It involved a lot of standing around outside and we have now perfected our impressions of windmills!

The highlight of the day was the unexpected fly-over from a spitfire. There was obviously and event on at Broadlands as the aircraft was doing stunts and tricks. The pictures don't really do it justice.

Otherwise we had another successful open day and we're all looking forward to next month when Flying Scotsman will be passing through Romsey twice in one day. Why not combine going to see Scotsman with a visit to the Signal box and see what it would have been like to Signal Scotsman through the Romsey area and clear the signals so as not to hold the train up!