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The question arose on ANTB about whether a WR banner should have a finial. My gut feel was ‘No’ but I couldn’t be absolutely sure.  Having been looking for something else, I stumbled upon a location with a (G)WR banner and then thought of other ways to determine an answer.  I’m posting my logic here in case anyone wishes to confirm or challenge my conclusion.

The case for the prosecution(!) is as follows:

GWR 1936 General Appendix has colour drawings of signals. Semaphore and colour light running signals are shown with finials but banners are not.  Photographic evidence comes from Wolverhampton where there was a banner on the Up Main just prior to Wednesfield Road Bridge. It can be seen in a photo on disused stations taken outside North Box in 1967 (not conclusive on its own) and also in Rail Centres Wolverhampton (p104).  Therefore I am happy to state that a (G)WR banner would not have had a finial.

Case rests M’lud.

Paul.

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Ah, so how do we account for the one that did have a finial?  I have never seen, or seen a photo of, a Western splitting banner repeater with a finial/finials but I have seen a banner repeating a stop signal and a lower arm distant with a finial.  Just the one and with a finial because the two banners were sited in front of an ordinary tubular steel signal post bracketed off it (presumably with ordinary metal angle iron) to keep them at a sensible vertical separation and in the same vertical plane which would not have been possible if one had been mounted on top of the post.   Probably done like that because the signal was between two running lines and of course in some respects similar to the GWR pattern colour light signals with finials.

 

I can't find a photo of it anywhere and it is only visible at all on a film in which you can't see the top of the signal post because it is behind the upper banner (and even then it is a very fleeting glimpse).  Might have been unique of course and it was definitely a pretty high position for a banner - probably 17ft, or more, above rail level.   It repeated High Wycombe Middle's Down Main Home Signal/Wycombe North's Down Distant.

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Given that the mounting of a banner (or banners) on a post with a finial was quite exceptional (although it is perhaps dangerous to say that the one at Wycombe was the only example), it is probable that the instructions given to the GWR's S&T painting gangs didn't cover the situation and so they would improvise. Unless the banners had coloured arms (and I am not sure that there were any on the GWR system although they existed on the Southern, for example), it seems unlikely that a finial would acquire coloured paint, so either all white or a black ball with the rest white would seem the likely choice.

 

Incidentally, careful study of the painting of the same S&T equipment (and especially boxes) over the years has led me to the conclusion that the instructions given to the painting gangs were not quite as clear cut as might be imagined, especially in respect of precisely which areas on signal boxes were painted which of the standard colours - and this was within the GWR post-grouping era, not as a result of wartime or post-1948 changes. (The same can be observed on the Southern where the otherwise precise instructions failed to specify finial/cap colours, with the result that white, black and grey can all be seen in photos.)

Edited by bécasse
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12 hours ago, bécasse said:

Given that the mounting of a banner (or banners) on a post with a finial was quite exceptional (although it is perhaps dangerous to say that the one at Wycombe was the only example), it is probable that the instructions given to the GWR's S&T painting gangs didn't cover the situation and so they would improvise. Unless the banners had coloured arms (and I am not sure that there were any on the GWR system although they existed on the Southern, for example), it seems unlikely that a finial would acquire coloured paint, so either all white or a black ball with the rest white would seem the likely choice.

 

Incidentally, careful study of the painting of the same S&T equipment (and especially boxes) over the years has led me to the conclusion that the instructions given to the painting gangs were not quite as clear cut as might be imagined, especially in respect of precisely which areas on signal boxes were painted which of the standard colours - and this was within the GWR post-grouping era, not as a result of wartime or post-1948 changes. (The same can be observed on the Southern where the otherwise precise instructions failed to specify finial/cap colours, with the result that white, black and grey can all be seen in photos.)

The Western did in fact use banner signals (the ones with a red arm) although they weren't all that common - I think the final survivors were the ground disc signals at Newton abbot although banner signals had been used as running signals on the GWR.  Far more common was the mechanical version, which looked like a very large shunting disc signal, and which were known as 'banjo signals' and I believe one of the Worcester examples still survives although i can't off hand tghink of any banjo signals which weren't suspended underneath platform canopies so they definitely didn't have finials.

 

Wr signal painting gangs were relatively few in number - probably no more than a couple unlike the Civil Engineer's painting gangs where each District had its own gang. The Signal Dept painting gang toured the network, presumably to a set programme, in their own accommodation train which was composed of a variety of old stock although unlike other parts of the S&T Dept seems to have been wholly bogie vehicles by the early-mid 1960s (a four wheeler, in black 'livery' was still being used by one of the New Works gangs in1965).  This meant that Signal Dept painting was generally consistent to whatever the current Instructions were.  The only difference which could usually be seen was where odd new signals had been erected and the local S&T gang had painted them and on back blinders of ground discs where no doubt things might be done to 'help out' the Signalman's view of the back blinder on the disc.

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I spotted this on BBC Four last night, while watching "Flying Scotsman: Sounds from the Footplate":

1935073288_SVRFSiPlayer.png.6133572d68297826f4caf2f82770cddd.png

Not only on it's own post but with a finial! :wink_mini:

 

This is on the SVR so may not reflect true (G)WR practice but I thought it might be interesting.

 

If you want to see it in the context of the film and the driver's comments about it, go here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b087k5rf/flying-scotsman-sounds-from-the-footplate

and click the timeline at around 38 minutes.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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On 30/12/2019 at 11:57, Harlequin said:

I spotted this on BBC Four last night, while watching "Flying Scotsman: Sounds from the Footplate":

1935073288_SVRFSiPlayer.png.6133572d68297826f4caf2f82770cddd.png

Not only on it's own post but with a finial! :wink_mini:

 

This is on the SVR so may not reflect true (G)WR practice but I thought it might be interesting.

 

If you want to see it in the context of the film and the driver's comments about it, go here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b087k5rf/flying-scotsman-sounds-from-the-footplate

and click the timeline at around 38 minutes.

 

Interesting that its on the SVR, as another location with a banner signal (two, actually) with a finial is WInchcombe on the GWRS, see here:

https://depositphotos.com/294436902/stock-photo-winchcombe-gloucestershire-england-august-2019.html

They are quite recent (2019, I think) and appear to be a result of mounting the banner signals on the posts previously used by the starter signals when the latter were moved to the other side of the road bridge (that is just speculation on my part, I do not know it for certain).

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Also, unlike the SVR examples, those at Winchcombe appear to be purely mechanical and in effect just discs signals painted differently.

 

Does anyone on here know please how, if at all, the main arm is proven off before the repeater operates, or do they just co-act off the same wire?

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This topic interests me as I’m considering building a GWR ( late era ) banner repeator. I’struggling to find pictures , were they similar to the BR black armed electric

 

i just saw now a picture on Flickr , after the end of steam at  Worcester shed , this had a mechanical banner repeater with a white finial.  However this may not be an original 

Worcester Shed, mechanical banner repeater signal going to Worcester Forgate Street

 

Edited by Junctionmad
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Historically being lit by an oil lamp was the normal practice, but I can't think of one that I have examined closely that wasn't worked electro-mechanically and this example certainly looks to be.BannerRepeater.jpg.8f9d33ce8c171d3bcd51caaefe390745.jpg

 

Edited by bécasse
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On 05/01/2020 at 16:55, eastglosmog said:

Interesting that its on the SVR, as another location with a banner signal (two, actually) with a finial is WInchcombe on the GWRS, see here:

https://depositphotos.com/294436902/stock-photo-winchcombe-gloucestershire-england-august-2019.html

They are quite recent (2019, I think) and appear to be a result of mounting the banner signals on the posts previously used by the starter signals when the latter were moved to the other side of the road bridge (that is just speculation on my part, I do not know it for certain).

Bury Bolton Street has a similar signal at the north end of Platform 3. The platform starter had a disc banner alongside to repeat the signal beyond the bridge. It is mechanically operated and slotted by the main arm.

 

755503718_Burysignal.JPG.4f58c2b2f34f4245ec520d1d573f1a93.JPG

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On 14/01/2020 at 02:20, Junctionmad said:

This topic interests me as I’m considering building a GWR ( late era ) banner repeator. I’struggling to find pictures , were they similar to the BR black armed electric

 

i just saw now a picture on Flickr , after the end of steam at  Worcester shed , this had a mechanical banner repeater with a white finial.  However this may not be an original 

Worcester Shed, mechanical banner repeater signal going to Worcester Forgate Street

 

 

That banner is on a post that previously belonged to home/distant arms which may confuse the issue...

 

http://www.miac.org.uk/worcestershedsrnp.html

 

Cheers

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3 hours ago, Tim V said:

How about this one?

 

 

High_Wycombe_October_1978_OM1_156-_014.jpg

Well done - something I couldn't find - a picture of the one at High Wycombe.  As I mentioned previously it repeated High Wycombe Middle's Down Main Home Signal with another repeater below it repeating High Wycombe North's Down Distant.

Standard Reading lamp case.

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4 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Depends on when the photo was taken ;)

 

Reckon it post dates this one Mike looking at the state of demolition  of the good loco shed... caption says ? 68/69

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/48919828412/in/photolist-2hwSUDs-2bkKiZZ-26UWjCx-2bkKjte-NYguh4-2hyqoKK-8rxiD7-AHd1dk-SDokG1-26F9CZT-zBPHiK-otxVeb-RZxuQn-9mRJmY-eUyo6Z-stmooF-zMsKcS-J9XTRC-2cMGMv1-n1jYF-2f95HvV-VAmL3n-QgpZTj-2cJYwWZ-CMZBgJ-SmJ3kf-Lir3jq-oSopFN-ReWfhu-GCcmSH-LziaUY-YVn9bA-rfMipb-Yx2GTR-GwbSgS-bSERRn-aBY7it-TKdXwH-UhnotU-2hhM558-ESDuHo-PecNC9-KbgCcD-VYfc7y-Ca9npP-oSpQQ1-oS6XUu-gpLCSC-wK5s1a-SBeQR3

 

Rainbow Hill box went in 1973 - was that one of your schemes Mike?
 

http://www.signallingnotices.org.uk/scans//HOLD 507/1973 43 w 2705.pdf

 

But looking at the motive power a GSYP Hymek and two 204s would be unusual by that date...there were only 350s on the books so maybe before then?

 

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17 hours ago, Phil Bullock said:

 

Reckon it post dates this one Mike looking at the state of demolition  of the good loco shed... caption says ? 68/69

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/48919828412/in/photolist-2hwSUDs-2bkKiZZ-26UWjCx-2bkKjte-NYguh4-2hyqoKK-8rxiD7-AHd1dk-SDokG1-26F9CZT-zBPHiK-otxVeb-RZxuQn-9mRJmY-eUyo6Z-stmooF-zMsKcS-J9XTRC-2cMGMv1-n1jYF-2f95HvV-VAmL3n-QgpZTj-2cJYwWZ-CMZBgJ-SmJ3kf-Lir3jq-oSopFN-ReWfhu-GCcmSH-LziaUY-YVn9bA-rfMipb-Yx2GTR-GwbSgS-bSERRn-aBY7it-TKdXwH-UhnotU-2hhM558-ESDuHo-PecNC9-KbgCcD-VYfc7y-Ca9npP-oSpQQ1-oS6XUu-gpLCSC-wK5s1a-SBeQR3

 

Rainbow Hill box went in 1973 - was that one of your schemes Mike?
 

http://www.signallingnotices.org.uk/scans//HOLD 507/1973 43 w 2705.pdf

 

But looking at the motive power a GSYP Hymek and two 204s would be unusual by that date...there were only 350s on the books so maybe before then?

 

The date is definitely post this latest pic Phil but I suspect that it predates the 1973 alterations and I reckon that banner was there before then but might have  been altered at some time by removing the lower repeater for a distant arm.  It probably went with the Rainbow Hill scheme?

 

And Rainbow Hill predates my various Worcester efforts as I drew my first plan in 1984, the last one was nearly 20 years later!

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