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Signal box is moving home

PUBLISHED: 07:15 05 September 2007 | UPDATED: 13:29 22 October 2010

The Victorian signal box being moved from  North Wootton to Leeming Bar Station in Yorkshire.

The Victorian signal box being moved from North Wootton to Leeming Bar Station in Yorkshire.

A historical reminder of the days when trains were still a feature along the west Norfolk coast has been delivered to its new home far from the sound of seagulls and shanties.

A historical reminder of the days when trains were still a feature along the west Norfolk coast has been delivered to its new home far from the sound of seagulls and shanties.

North Wootton's 19th- century Victorian signal box once presided over the start of the Lynn to Hunstanton branch line, from where the royal family once got the train to Wolferton, the royal station, and you could travel as far as Wells.

It has stood neglected for years as the lines have long been closed.

But now it is set for a new lease of life with rail enthusiasts in Yorkshire after its owners, the 14th Woottons Scout Group, decided to give it away because they could not afford to restore or insure it or even sell it on Ebay.

At the weekend, rail enthus-iasts from the Wensleydale Railway Association installed it at its new home, Leeming Bar Station.

Moving it cost about £5,000 and about £30,000 will be spent restoring it over about 18 months.

David Smith, group scout leader, said: "They had to split the box in two and then swing it over the scout hut. It weighed around eight tonnes.

"It has been worth all the effort. My biggest concern was that it if it had stayed it would have been set on fire by vandals.

"We had a number of inquiries for it, but at the end of the day it has gone to the best place for it. It was mixed emotions and I was sad to see it go, but this is the best option for the old girl."

Angus Maude, chairman of the Wensleydale Railway Association, said: "Obviously we are delighted to receive the signal box which will be restored and become a full working signal box at Leeming Bar Station."

The box is a Great Eastern Railway Type 7 (1896) and it controlled trains on the former Hunstanton branch. It is of historical value both as a building in its own right and as an example of Victorian operational railway infrastructure.

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