After a long break in production of newsletters, we’ve appointed a new editor and pan to get back “on track” publishing newletters quarterly. Issue 56 is dominated by the update on progress with fitting out our third building on the site, our educational centre which should open by summer 2020. A look back at statistics for 2019 shows it’s been our most successful year to date, and with the plans for 2020, including opening for three weekends of the Romsey festival, we hope to break the records again this year. There’s even pictures of progress with our garden railway, another attraction to keep younger visitors entertained.
Issue 55 demonstrates the range of activities that go on at the Signal Box. There’s news of the renewal of many of the sleepers under the track, done for us by friends from the Mid-Hants Railway; of a visit by the Swindon Panel Society and of the talk by Mike Walshaw on the Swanage Railway’s extension to Wareham. Restoration of the mechanical signals is under way and the latest round of painting of the signal box’s woodwork has been completed. There’s an interview with Dave Trewern, another dive into Neil Kearn’s archives of information about the area around Cowley Bridge and news about the progress with expansion of the visitor facilities. Finally comes the news that our chairman of the past 12 years, Peter Chatfield, will be standing down at the AGM in August.
Issue 54 brings news of plans for more development on the site, to broaden the scope of what we offer to people visiting the site. Our twice-monthly opening has increased the foot-fall around the site, including a bumper day when Flying Scotsman passed Romsey – there’s a picture of this on the cover – and our 10,000th visitor. We report also on the ongoing work to maintain the site, with the news that Jamie Brooker has taken over responsibility for this – there’s a profile of Jamie for those who don’t know him. For those interested in the history of signalling, Neil Kearns has provided some material from his archives.
Issue 53 reports on the successful re-opening of the site in September 2015. This includes the return of the Cowley Bridge exhibit and the public opening of the new hut it is located in. The whole site has been tidied up during the last few months before the reopening, and much of the magazine reports on this. The rest looks to the future and the possibilities of doing yet more with the site, subject to volunteer support and funding.
Issue 52 is jam packed with features about developments at the site including the new visitor centre, the progress with the Cowley Bridge miniature frame and also the construction of the new housing estate on the adjacent former school. It also looks at the 150th anniversary of the Spratt & Winkle line that Romsey was part of and reports on the members visit to the Swanage Railway.
We have an archive of older editions of the Newsletter available for those interested in the history of the Friends of Romsey Signal Box. Please click here for more information.
Current Operating Instructions
The latest version of the operating instructions for the signal box.