Great Northern Railway


Opened: 1889

Closed: 1989

Location code: E9/15

East Ville signal boxAlthough the rest of the Great Northern network was being provided with all-timber, standard design boxes from 1883 onwards, earlier practice continued on the East Lincolnshire lines, doubtless because they had their own workshops and organisation based at Boston.

Between 1887 and 1890, many boxes to the design shown here were erected on the lines between Boston and Grimsby. These were in the traditional brick style but with steeper than normal roofs and their own individual trademark of bargeboard design. Windows were four panes high, but did not reach completely into the eaves. The rectangular locking-room windows had stone lintels and sills. A similar box, built at ground level, is illustrated at High Ferry.

Inside East Ville signal boxThe layout at this quiet wayside station was controlled from a 25-lever frame that was manufactured at the Great Northern's works in Boston. These frames, of basic design, served their purpose well and a few still survive on the Skegness line.

This admittedly poor quality picture shows the untidy appearance of the levers, which seem unable to all stand in the same position!

After the station closed in 1961, the layout was rationalised and eventually the sole function of East Ville box was to protect the level crossing. This led to, in 1973, the box being reduced to "gate box" status, which explains the limited number of working levers and the near-empty instrument shelf.

On 5th March 1989 the level crossing was converted from hand-operated gates to automatic half-barriers supervised from Bellwater Junction and East Ville box closed.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated