On 21st and 22nd September the Trust fielded a display stand at the St Albans South Signalbox as part of nationwide Heritage Open Weekend celebrations.
Established in 1994, the annual Heritage Open Days are England’s contribution to the European Heritage Days and have since grown into the country’s largest heritage festival.
The St Albans South Signalbox is a Grade 2 listed signalbox, restoration of which from derelict condition was initiated by local residents and completed in 2008 to an exceptionally high standard. Sitting right beside the four-track mainline station at St Albans (Thameslink), the ‘box, in its original position, is now a free-entry attraction for kids, families and railway enthusiasts of all ages. With a garden model railway, hands-on levers to work signals and a point, bells to ring, historic railway artefacts to browse, demonstrations of signalling over the past 100 years, and garden and seating areas for watching the mainline trains glide by, it is a fascinating place to spend a few hours, and an inspirational story of how local vision can be turned into reality, much like we are doing at Bricket Wood station.
Do visit http://www.tlr.ltd.uk/sigbox/home.eb for more information about the signalbox.
Kindly loaned to us by one of the Signalbox trustees were some historic artefacts from the Abbey Line, including ‘totem’ station signs from Watford Junction, Bricket Wood and St Albans Abbey, and of greatest note perhaps was the wooden black and white signalbox nameboard and ‘distant’ signal arm from Bricket Wood itself, in the days when it still had a passing loop, second platform and goods sidings.
We are very grateful to the St Albans Signalbox Preservation Trust for their hospitality.