Nottinghamshire Victorian signal box reopens as museum

  • Published
Media caption,

The signal box was saved by a charity

A man who helped to save a dilapidated Victorian signal box has said it will reopen as a museum this weekend.

David Moore, who lives in the former station building in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, is a trustee of a charity set up to save the structure.

Network Rail said the group had done a "fantastic job".

'Hands on'

Mr Moore, a former volunteer signalman on a heritage railway, helped set up the Lowdham Railway Heritage charity and donated some land near his garden as a site for the museum.

"I've lived in Lowdham's old station for the last 30 years," he said.

"Up until last October, I could see the signal box out of my bedroom window.

"Now it's just a few yards from my back door."

Mr Moore said volunteers had spent over 1,000 hours refurbishing the signal box - which dates back to 1896.

He said it had been restored to how it would have looked in the late 1950s.

Image source, Lowdham Railway Heritage
Image caption,
The signal box still overlooks the Nottingham to Lincoln line, although it is non-operational

Its opening coincides with the 175th anniversary of the George Stephenson-engineered Nottingham to Lincoln line, which still runs past the signal box's new location.

Mr Moore said visitors to the attraction, which will open during a week in August and then on selected weekends, would be able to climb inside the signal box and operate the levers.

"Because it's not operational, it's hands-on," he said.

"You can ring the bells, you can pull the levers - some of which we have connected to signals outside - and operate the instruments.

"What we have done is interpret what life was like for a village signalman in the last century."

Gary Walsh, East Midlands route director for Network Rail, said: "Lowdham Railway Heritage have done a fantastic job to fully restore Lowdham signal box to its former glory, so it can be enjoyed by people in the community and visitors to the village for years to come.

"The signal box closed in 2016 as part of a major project to upgrade the signalling system and bring more reliable journeys for passengers.

"Since then, we've worked closely with the charity so they can preserve it as a museum."

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