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Friday, 10 June 2022

The Signal Box Has a Natural Spring?

Well, perhaps not a real one!

I constructed a water feature in the garden railway area recently and have been "tweaking" it from time to time.

It is a work in progress, as is the remainder of the landscaping. There are possible plans to extend the railway to the other side of the site. This would be a great attraction for the children (and me!). We need to decide exactly how this will be developed.

This photo shows a close-up of the "spring" with the water running down the stream.

I have heard children say "Oh look, there's a river" while watching James the red engine trundling around the track.

Well, it keeps me amused anyway!


Monday, 30 May 2022

This blog entry is aimed at giving you an insight into our regular Wednesday working group.

On our last Wednesday working day I took several videos and have hopefully edited them so you can see what happens. Please do have a look using the link below. If the link doesn't work just copy and paste it into you browser.



Sunday, 22 May 2022


Sunday the 5th June Open Day

Romsey Signal Box will celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a special display entitled 

"Romsey, Railways and Royalty" 

The implications for the signalman of the passage of a royal train will be explained, with a history of the connections of Romsey's railways with royalty.

This should prove to be a very interesting day.

Saturday, 14 May 2022


It's time to tell you about some work that's been going on at the signal box site...

There has been quite a lot happening and the next few posts will not be in chronological order, merely as I think of them.

Several years ago I bought some cheap self adhesive vinyl floor tiles and laid them on a base of hardboard in the kitchen and toilet areas. Recently they have been looking very "tired" with gaps appearing and getting discoloured.

Just Floors of Romsey very kindly donated some commercial quality vinyl sheeting, with us just paying for the plywood base and the fitting. We removed all the old floor tiles and hardboard and took off the doors etc to give them good access, refitting them after the new flooring was laid.

New Flooring In Kitchen

The result has made a tremendous difference with the floors now looking very professional. It also has the bonus of being easily cleaned - particularly important in the cafe kitchen, where our motto is "Keep It Clean".

New Flooring In Toilet

This flooring is high quality and should last us for many years.

We have already received compliments from our visitors about the lovely clean and well presented toilet.

Next update to follow soon.


Wednesday, 11 May 2022

 We're Back!


Yes, we are back. The blog has been inactive for a long time, certainly right through Covid, and some time before that. Please accept our apologies but we are now trying to resurrect it and keep everyone up to date with what's going on at the signal box, which has been quite a lot.

Please come back regularly to see what's going on "at the coal face" as it were.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Latest news!

Inside the new building
The site may be closed to the public during the Coronavirus pandemic, but exciting developments continue behind the scenes at Romsey Signal Box.  Our new education centre is well on the way to completion, with the target of having it available to visitors soon after the eventual re-opening of the local attraction.

The new building has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (£10,000) and Test Valley Borough Council (£6,000), with further support from Hampshire County and Romsey Town Councils.  The application to funders was fully supported by the headteachers of both Romsey Abbey Primary School and Romsey School, after a visit by teachers identified a wealth of opportunities for learning around the site.

Looking from the entrance through to the exit
The eventual opening of the education building will at last fulfill the original aims of the project when it started in the early 1980s.  When the signal box in Romsey was closed in October 1982, Audrey Gebbie, the headteacher of the neighboring Romsey Infants School, suggested saving the signal box as an educational resource. Unfortunately the arrival of the box in 1987 coincided with the introduction of the new National Curriculum, and the signal box did not then fit any of the syllabus.  However changes to the National Curriculum over the years have now made the signal box much more relevant, and we have been delighted to have constructed this building which is now being fitted out with a range of railway equipment which can be investigated by visitors of all ages.  Local schools will be invited to use the facilities, with the assistance of our volunteers.

In tandem with the new building, the we will also be opening a new garden railway, where children can watch "James the Red Engine" and other trains in action.  Visitors who haven’t been for some time will be surprised at all the new attractions.

Dick Hewett says: “It has taken us many years to get to this stage, but the effort has been worthwhile.  I know Audrey Gebbie herself will be delighted with news of the latest developments.”

Jamie Brooker says: "We all look forward to being able to get back to the signal box allowing work to continue. We won't be able to open to the public until restrictions are suitably relaxed. Social distancing would be a difficult problem to overcome in the signal box as space is limited so we think it could be a while before we see any open days.

Stay home and stay safe everyone"
To get your regular dose of signal box action, be sure to follow us on twitter and like us on Facebook. We will be posting lots of new content in the near future

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

New building update

In December of  last year, our new education building was erected on site. Since then work has progressed steadily to wire up, insulate and line out the building. Today we took a step closer to finishing the interior work as we completed boarding the walls and progressed onto the ceiling. This should be completed over the next few weeks when we can start to add the quadrant and trim to make good the joins between the boards before painting begins.

In the background, work continues to make the displays that will go in the building to engage and educate our visitors. The space will be divided into two, the first half of the building will house displays about interlocking, train detection and mechanical signals. There will also be a fully signalled model railway showing visitors what the driver sees and also a selection of videos which visitors can choose.

In the other half of the building will be a display showing two neighbouring signal boxes allowing members of the public to observe the communications between signal boxes and see how trains are passed between different signalmen.

Be sure to keep a lookout for further updates and progress reports!