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Step back in time to the 1960s at signal box at Cromer train station

Visitors can look inside Cromer railway's former signal box during the Heritage Opens Day event. Picture: Archant

Visitors can look inside Cromer railway's former signal box during the Heritage Opens Day event. Picture: Archant

Archant

It has been a familiar sight to passing train passengers for more than 90 years.

Now there is a chance to take a look inside the former signal box at Cromer train station.

It is one of thousands of hidden places open to view as part of next month’s Heritage Open Days event.

Built in 1922 for the Midland and Great Northern Railway, the grade two listed building has been painstakingly restored as a 1960s railway time capsule by the Cromer Railway Signalling group, part of the North Norfolk Railway, following its closure 18 years ago.

It is the only surviving Marriott signal box, which is made of reinforced concrete and named after William Marriott who built the line in 1887.

Signalling group spokesman Rose King said: “It’s quite a rare opportunity to take a look inside the former signal box. The last time it was open was a year ago, again for Heritage Open Days.”

The signal box was used until 2000 to control trains between Cromer and Sheringham/Gunton.

In 1965 a signalman would have been responsible for at least 16 passenger steam trains as well as numerous freight trains on his shift.

Trains are now controlled by Trowse Bridge signal box, near Norwich.

Visitors will be able to see a working mechanical lever frame, signals and a pair of points which visitors can try out. There is also a collection of railway memorabilia to view.

Children may need a hand from mum or dad, as it’s a big boys’ toy, and the staff will be on hand to answer any railway-related questions.

The signal box entrance is between the delivery parking lot for Argos and Halfords and the old cemetery on Holt Road. Nearest parking is at Argos.

Dogs are welcome, but the entrance is stepped and the operating room of the signal box is upstairs so it is not suitable for wheelchair users.

The signal box will be open between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8, and no booking is required.

Full details are available on the Heritage Open Days website:

www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/cromer-signal-box

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