The Signal Box

Photo:The Signal Box at Meldreth Station

The Signal Box at Meldreth Station

Photo:A View of Meldreth Station ~1946 showing the position of the signal box relative to the goods yard

A View of Meldreth Station ~1946 showing the position of the signal box relative to the goods yard

Mary Findlay

Photo:Sid Fost, signal man 1940 - 60 standing in the Shepreth signal box

Sid Fost, signal man 1940 - 60 standing in the Shepreth signal box

Mary Findlay

- essential to control the railway traffic through Meldreth station and in and out of the goods yard.

By Tim Gane

The signal box stood on the ‘Up’ side of the railway opposite the goods yard.  There were a number of points both in the yard but also linking the two main railway lines to facilitate trains passing from either line in and out of the goods yard.  These were all controlled from the signal box.

The goods yard closed to rail traffic in 1964 and the signal box had been demolished by 1971.  The bricks were used to build a large barn in the garden of a railway enthusiast in Foxton.

 

Signal Box ‘Peggers’

We are indebted to Mike Sharman for the two photographs below showing the peggers that were in use in Royston (or Shepreth) and Meldreth signal boxes up to the time of the demolition of the Meldreth signal box.

A pegger is an indicator which tells the signalman the status of the line between himself and the two stations up and down the line.  A three position indicator shows whether the railway track between the two stations is: Line Blocked (the normal indication), Line Clear or if there was a Train On Line.  This became the standard indicator after 1876.  The signal man would move the handle on his pegger to transmit the status of the line between his station and the one up or down the line.  The receiving pegger in the other station would move to the appropriate segment informing the signalman there of the line status.

These instruments used the same kind of handle as the speaking telegraph instrument, which had to be held over in its indication by a brass peg on a chain. Hence the slang term "pegger".and signalmen sometimes talked of "pegging over" the indication.

Photo:Pegger from the Royston (or Shepreth) signal box.  This pegger indicates the status of the line to Meldreth

Pegger from the Royston (or Shepreth) signal box. This pegger indicates the status of the line to Meldreth

Photo by Tim Gane courtesy of Mike Sharman

The Meldreth ‘pegger’ on the right would have been located in either the Royston or Shepreth signal box to indicate the status of the line to Meldreth. 

Photo:The Meldreth to Royston Pegger.  This pegger was actually installed in the Meldreth signal box.

The Meldreth to Royston Pegger. This pegger was actually installed in the Meldreth signal box.

Photo by Tim Gane, courtesy of Mike Sharman

The Royston ‘pegger’ (right) was actually installed in the Meldreth signal box to show the status of the line to Royston.

This was a receiving pegger, i.e. it simply showed the status of the line to Royston as transmitted by the Royston signalman moving the handle on his transmitting pegger to the appropriate position.

Photo:Keith Fost standing on the steps to the signal box in 1936

Keith Fost standing on the steps to the signal box in 1936

Enid Martin

Photo:Fender from the fireplace in Meldreth signal box.  Note the GNR logo.

Fender from the fireplace in Meldreth signal box. Note the GNR logo.

Photo by Tim Gane, courtesy of Mike Sharman

This page was added by Tim Gane on 13/03/2011.
Comments about this page

The photograph of my father Sid Fost was taken in Shepreth Signal Box, not Meldreth. I worked at Meldreth Station as a relief booking clerk.

By Terry Dash on behalf of Enid Martin (nee Fost)
On 04/05/2011

Thanks Enid, I've changed the caption to Shepreth.

By Tim Gane
On 04/05/2011

Meldreth Railway Station (Late 1940s)

Meldreth had a busy goods yard handling fruit, sugar beet and bags of potatoes, etc. The Atlas Stone Company would send a lot of merchandise away from there. There was a signal box with two signalmen. 

The Puffing Billy line took fibre and merchandise to the Atlas from the bottom of Station Hill.

A horse was permanently on hand to shunt the wagons into place for the 5pm goods train.

Mail used to come by train and the postman would collect the mail from the train in the morning. It was sent away late afternoon.

A siding was built in 1942 to receive American war wounded who were taken to the American camp. The siding is still there to this day.

 

 

.

By Joan Gane on behalf of Enid Martin (nee Fost)
On 19/03/2017

Very interesting information. Thanks to all who contributed.

By Helen Segura
On 28/05/2017

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.