Burnham-On-Sea’s original railway signal box has recently been moved from its home in Somerset.
Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust says the building was collected from Washford on the West Somerset Railway line, headed for Mid-Hants Railway on the Watercress Line.
A spokesman for Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust, Rod Ormston, says the location of the box has moved several times over the last few decades.
He says: “The Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust moved to Washford in 1976 and the Burnham signal box was acquired by another organisation, which subsequently moved it to Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway and in the ownership of a small heritage organisation called the North Gloucestershire Railway Company Ltd. The box was later in need of urgent restoration work which the owners were unable to commit to and so they offered it to the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust.”
The box moved to Washford in September 1988 where it has been located ever since. However, in 2020, the West Somerset Railway gave the S&DRT a ‘Notice to Quit’ the Washford site and since then, they have been steadily relocating items from the site.
Rod says: “Many items have found a home on the Mid-Hants Railway (Watercress Line) including a proportion of our large collection of station name boards, and many vans have also gone there. The Burnham box has been moved to Ropley where it may become part of a future signalling display. The box is accessible from the picnic area there.”
This is the original box, pictured below at the Burnham-On-Sea Railway Station. The current box in Burnham’s Old Station Approach is a replica, as featured here.
Photos: The box being moved from Washford (photo: Ted Lambe) and arriving at Ropley (photo: Mid-Hants Railway); how the box looked on the platform in 1961 at Burnham-On-Sea station (photo: S&DRT collection).