work party 7th January

Today was our first work party of 2018, in bright but cold and windy conditions. Our first job was to clear the steps leading up to the platforms of leaves and moss. The steps are not actually our responsibility, but we sweep them a couple of times every year to make them safer and more welcoming for visitors. Then we divided our efforts between weeding some of the flower beds, and starting work clearing the foundations of the old signal box. The signal box work is one of our projects for 2018, and we plan to reveal and preserve the foundations and provide an information panel detailing its history and explaining how it worked. Basically, it was built around 1901 when double track was laid. It was probably a Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway Type 2 signal box and cost £450 to install. The nine lever frame controlled the signals as well as the crossover between the two tracks. However, it saw very little use and seemed to have been allowed to deteriorate into a poor condition, and was permanently closed on 10th August 1952. Other projects for this year include spelling the name SPETISBURY in rock on the bank behind the ‘up’ platform, as seen in old photographs of the station, also constructing a replica disc and crossbar signal which was a feature of the station in its early years. A replica gradient post has already been made, and just awaits final painting before it is fixed into position.

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