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Aire Valley Railway



Hi All.

I am hoping to publish a series of blogs which are not about models. They do however have a tenuous connection to the building of the AVR. When the 44 hour week was introduced on BR it created a bit of a problem regarding signal boxes which were open 24 hours 7 days a week. The solution was to give each signalman one day off every other week though it did not work out at every other week as Rest Days as they became known were not taken on the night shift so as not to disrupt sleep patterns. New Relief Signalmen's posts were created just to cover these rest days as opposed to general relief posts which covered holidays, sickness and vacancies. I applied for and got one of the new RD relief positions.This covered eleven boxes from Bradford Goods Yard Box through to Keighley North Box. There were some boxes on this stretch of line that were not covered by this new relief position. In the parsimonious way of management one and two shift boxes had their week rostered at 7 hours and 20 minuits a day. (=44 hours). Things changed again with the introduction of the 40 hour week but that is out of the remit of this blog. The connection with the AVR is that it developed over this period. In the full flush of getting this new post as I learned each box I copied the diagram and special instructions into a standard exercise book of the period. In further relief positions over the years I never did it again. Some considerable time later I lent the book to a fellow relief signalman (fatal) and never got it back until he passed away recently and willed it along with other memorabilia to a friend who knew it was mine and passed it over to me. . Having got all this off my chest I am hoping the drawings will be of interest to members which I will post with my comments of odd bits about each box. The quality is not of the best. They would not fit on the printer scanner so I have photographed them to upload.The first one is Bradford Goods Yard. This was the Midland (Valley) goods yard. Not a lot to note. It had a standard Midland 20 lever frame including two spares There were no block instruments between it and Manningham Station Jcn, which was off to the right. and the signalmen at both boxes had to put a collar on the signal controlling entry to the section. Under the Permissive block regulations a further train could be allowed into the section under caution.Off to the left was Trafalger Crossing and permission had to be obtained by telephone to let a train into the yard.This crossing was a yard road across all the sidings and was a disabled workers post usually shunters who had lost a limb. Sorry if this offends but that's.how it was then .For departures from the yard the yard inspector telephoned the description of the train In later years I also worked Bradford Foster Square passenger box ,sorry no diagram. I only mention this as it had 90 lever frame and lever number one when off locked number ninety and vice verser. They were both ground signals at either end of the West Carriage Sidings which were all through sidings.

That's it for now. Cheers, Derek


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