St Albans signalmen reunited

Steve Lake and Geoff Ryland

Steve Lake and Geoff Ryland - Credit: Archant

OVER 30 years after they last completed their shift on the final working day of a St Albans signal box, Steve Lake and colleague Geoff Ryland have been reunited.

It was a cold day in December 1979 when signalman Steve finished his shift at St Albans South Signal Box and handed over to his colleague Geoff.

It was to be the last day that the signal box was operational controlling trains through St Albans.

When Geoff finished his shift eight hours later, the engineers took over, closed the box down and switched on the new colour light signals.

Steve and Geoff went their separate ways and did not meet again until last Sunday when they both revisited the old signal box.


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Steve is still a signalman operating the signal box at Llandudno in North Wales whilst Geoff has retired and lives near Kidderminster.

Both made special journeys to attend the recent open day.

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The afternoon was spent reminiscing about days gone by and entertaining the other visitors with their stories of how the signal box operated in days gone by.

The award-winning Grade 2 listed signal box is on Ridgmont Road close to St Albans City Station and is open to the public on a regular basis. Entry is free.

The next open day will be Sunday, August 24, and from 10am to 4pm on September 14 annd 15, the signal box will be open during the Heritage Open Weekend.

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