Community support ‘can rebuild signal box’ in Deeping St James

Signal Box Meeting, Waterton Arms, Deeping St James'front are Phil Dilks, Andy Pelling, Andrew Bowell, Julie Bowell, Stuart Hill, David Parsons - UKIP candidate, Rob Gibson UKIP ANL-150216-220045009
Signal Box Meeting, Waterton Arms, Deeping St James'front are Phil Dilks, Andy Pelling, Andrew Bowell, Julie Bowell, Stuart Hill, David Parsons - UKIP candidate, Rob Gibson UKIP ANL-150216-220045009

Almost 50 people showed their support for a scheme to rebuild a historic railway signal box at a public meeting this week.

A committee has now been formed to figure out the best plan for the Deeping St James landmark, which was taken down brick-by-brick by Network Rail in October.

Stuart Hall has been fighting to save the signal box since plans to demolish it emerged in July. He said he was “amazed” by the turnout at Monday’s meeting, which took place at the Waterton Arms.

“I’m really happy,” he added. “I couldn’t believe so many people were there.

“I do believe it is something that the community can push forward and make happen.”

Network Rail agreed to keep the materials that made up the signal box in Station Road after a campaign by residents, councillors and Deepings MP John Hayes (Con). The newly-formed committee now needs to find a suitable site on which to rebuild the box. It also needs to find the funds to buy the land, and recruit volunteers and businesses to help with the reconstruction. Manor Roofing has agreed to carry out the tiling.

Network Rail has already offered a site next to the old station master’s house.

Mr Hayes was unable to attend Monday’s meeting, but said: “The priceless heritage of the signal box is such that we must all pull together and do all we can to rebuild and preserve it for future generations.”

The signal box committee is looking for help and ideas on how to raise funds for the rebuild. To get in touch, e-mail saveoursignalbox@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/saveoursignalbox.