The Nantwich Market Drayton Junction sign from the signal box which used to control that railway junction has returned to Nantwich after almost 50 years and is now displayed at the museum. Donated to the museum by Jeremy Nicholls, whose family have cared for the sign for the last 48 years it features cast iron letters on a wooden background and has been restored to its original LNWR colours.
It was early in 1969, when the 15 years old Jeremy woke one Sunday morning to see a demolition gang dismantling the signal box. It had become redundant when the line to Market Drayton and Wellington closed in May 1967. As a standard LNWR cabin, it was constructed of wood on a brick base and the demolition of the superstructure did not take long. Jeremy asked the foreman if he could have one of the name boards and was told "yes, if he could carry it off". A friend helped him carry the board the few hundred yards to his home.
Jeremy had the board restored four years ago and says "I'm delighted that its now back in Nantwich, where it belongs and that, thanks to the museum, others will be able to see the sign and perhaps learn something of Nantwich's railway past".
A Research Booklet "Nantwich Railways" written by Jeremy Nicholls is available from the museum shop. Its describes how the Nantwich Market Drayton Junction signal box was located about 100 metres west of the bridge over the River Weaver where the Wellington line parted from the Shrewsbury line. It was the most complex of the signal boxes at Nantwich having contact with those at Wrenbury, Shrewbridge Road Crossing and Hack Green.
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