After 110 years of faithful service,
it was time to say good-bye to the last relic of Mow Cop's once busy station.
However all is not lost.
The signal box was due for demolition on May 19th at 4:00am that was until a local man and long time friend of mine Craig Bounford got wind of it.
Craig approached Railtrack and asked
if he could preserve the box as part of our unique village heritage.
Railtrack agreed and gave Craig until October 2002 to come up with a safe plan for removing the box.
Craig was over the moon and had to work quick to formulate a plan
Things were soon to change. A few days after the initial agreement Railtrack contacted Craig and told him that they were to demolish the box and replace it with a new unmanned crossing point the following week.
Craig quickly arranged for a local haulage firm to lift the box, this idea was refused by Railtrack on safety grounds. Craig persisted in his pursuit of saving the box and managed to persuade Railtrack that his was a just cause.
Railtrack eventually agreed to have the box removed and even stumped up the cash, whether or not that was down to the fact that the story was being covered by Signal Radio (no pun intended), Radio Stoke and Granada Television I will let you decide. However stump for a 29 tonne crane and a team of workers they did, so they can be joint heroes of this story.
Craig now has a signal box in storage
that he will try and preserve. He wishes to put it in his garden in Mow Cop,
so that it can still be seen and visited, for now though it remains hidden
away. To reach the goal of preserving the signal box and moving it into the
garden, it may take the help of loans similar to small business loans.
Well done Craig and thank you Railtrack for keeping one more piece of our heritage safe.