Many people will be familiar with the traditional signal box, controlling a level crossing or at a local station. For those with a love of railways, they have always been a special place, somewhat mysterious in that they are strictly private, and the `dark arts' that these signalmen practice, with their bells and levers, has never been expansively covered in the railway press. However, Network Rail have embarked on a major resignalling programme that will see the abolition of all their traditional signal boxes and crossing cabins and concentrate all train control into twelve Rail Operating Centres. The loss of these traditional boxes will bring to an end a way of life stretching back over 250 years.
In this book, Dafydd Whyles records the signal boxes of Central England, covering Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and North-East Derbyshire before they are lost for good.
Dafydd Whyles has been a signalman for 18 years and currently works at a traditional signal box in Lincolnshire. His partner Dorothy also worked as a signaller and crossing keeper at several locations across Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire until retirement in 2014 when the box closures started in Lincolnshire. Today, they spend their spare time travelling the country recording this fast disappearing way of life.