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Wednesday, 15 March 2017


On the 15th March we took delivery of the new tables and chairs for the cafe.

They look very smart and give a much more professional look to the cafe.

When we have the volunteer's "mess hut" I should be able to really sort out the cafe and make it so much more inviting.  Anyone who has visited will know that it's only a very small area, but with proper organisation it's surprising what you can do.

On your next visit please call in.  We have a great range of hot and cold drinks, light snacks and home made cakes, all at fantastic value for money.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016


Sunday the 30th of October 2016 saw a first for us as we hosted our very first coach tour.

Bluebird Holidays of Weymouth included us on a weekend mystery tour.  We were "invaded" by 48 people, which is by far the most we have coped with all at once.

Our main concern was that of access along the narrow and winding entrance road.  The driver stopped outside and walked up to the box to assess the situation.  He then managed to manoeuvre the coach and even turn and reverse it into our car park.  This was quite a feat as the coach is the longest you can buy!

There were seven of us volunteers on site and we managed to "feed and water" all our visitors, show them around and even let them have a go at the signal levers in the box.

They were all lovely people and certainly seemed to enjoy the experience.

This was obviously a special visit and not an ordinary open day.  I'm sure the volunteers found the experience rewarding, as hopefully our visitors did.

We would like to thank Bluebird Holidays for including us on their tour, and all our visitors for putting up with our occasional shortcomings in trying to manage so many people all at once.  We have made a few notes for improvements the next time.


Monday, 22 August 2016

Latest news

I should really be posting to this blog more often but things often get in the way. I will be trying to make more effort in the future!

Drilling the new sleepers ready for the bolts
After our sleeper delivery, we had a second visit from the mid hants railway (MHR) guys to install the sleepers, it was very kind of them to do this as originally we were only offered the sleepers. They spent a log day at the signal box in very warm weather but they did a brilliant job and it would've taken us a year to do what they did in just one day. They also brought all the proper tools for the job (as you'll see in the photos) yet something we don't have.

Inserting the new sleeper
As this was all done for free we felt it our duty to provide them with lunch, so Dave and I brought along some camping stoves and did burgers, sausages and bacon. Oh, I almost forgot, Dave did onions too!


We are so great full for the sleepers and all the time the volunteers from the MHR have given up, but it felt like we all had a good time and a laugh while we (they) were working. Although no money was asked for, we shall be making a donation to the railway as they've done so much for us. But thanks is also due to our volunteers who helped by removing the ballast around the sleepers that were due to be changed. This saved some much time on the day of the sleeper change and saved the MHR guys having to make a second visit. now just a case of putting it all back in.

Adrian and Allan replacing the ballast

In more recent news, Dave has installed a form of shelving in the pavilion to display all our merchandise. He has built some 'rustic' boxes which we have screwed to the wall. They really suit the room, display the products nicely and seem to be able to take the weight. The only flaw we found was that we had to install some Perspex in the boxes to stop the products falling through the gaps. The only thing left to install will be some lighting as it looks a bit dull in this area.

Painting the signal box exterior continues and Dave and Keith are on the final side of the signal box. The wood has been primed and under coated and certain parts now even have a top coat of gloss paint. If the weather is nice this week they predict that the majority of it will be completed on Wednesday, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Cowely Bridge signal box has also had some work done. I spent the best part of a day polishing the lever tops to make them shiny as they would've been in a real signal box. Only trouble with this is that touching the levers without a cloth would now mean they will start to rust, and an authentic lever cloth is far too big for the 1/4 sized levers. So I fired up the sewing machine and a day later had produced a scale lever cloth! I didn't stop there though, I also produced some lever collars which would've been an important part of the signalling equipment.

On the more technical side of things, we had visit from Alan on Saturday (the system designer) and the lever from interlocking has also had an update and now makes much more sense and the code itself is easier to read. We have also had the first run of the new automated simulator! It seems to work fine but has not been left with us yet as there are still a few alterations to make.

The members also had their AGM on Saturday where many information about the project was fed back from the committee to the members, the minuets of this meeting will be published in our next newsletter.

We hope that you'll find time in the near future to visit the signal box and see all these developments for yourself. Also, all members are invited to attend our social evening in September. If you're a member and haven't heard about this and/or now want to attend, get in contact with the usual people.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Lying down on the job? Must be sleepers

Today we had deliver of sleepers from the mid-hants railway. Recently the mid-hants has been changing a lot of their sleepers and although the ones they have removed are no longer fit to run trains over, they are in a much better state than the ones we have so we are 'recycling' them. The team turned up today to drop off the sleepers and will return next Monday to install them.

These new sleepers should improve the look of the track we have and also make it safer for the volunteers who have to walk on the sleepers. 

More pictures will be uploaded next week showing the changeover process.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Newsletter release

The latest edition of our newsletter "The Signal" is now available on our 'downloads' page. A very interesting read with all the latest info and an article on the pneumatic signalling system that was installed in the Salisbury area. This weekend is also our first Sunday of the month open day so pop along to that to see the developments for yourself!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Latest Developments.

Work continues at the signal box between open days and on Wednesday we had the first use of our new scaffolding tower. It has been assembled by the extension part of the signal box to allow our work force (Dave and Keith) to start stripping the paint from the box ready for it to be repainted. Unfortunately due to the British weather, they didn't get very far and soon had a stop because of the rain. Hopefully the scaffolding will make it easier for them to do the work and, more importantly, safer.

Don't forget we're open on Saturday and we also have our members social event going on but this will not effect our open day.

Don't forget to keep an eye out for the next edition of our newsletter coming early next week.

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