A TRANSPORT museum that lets visitors get hands on with a working signal will be soon be welcoming schools as it plans to open a new educational building.

After battling delays due to Covid, through open days and heritage lottery funding Romsey Signal Box is finally due to open an educational building in October.

It is holding open days in the run up to the opening, and the volunteer group that runs the attraction is urging people to visit and show their support.

Hampshire Chronicle: Romsey Signal Box

Romsey Signal Box is open 11am until 4pm every first Sunday and every third Saturday of the month for visitors to come and operate the box, pulling levers, clearing signals and ringing bells to control a simulation of trains passing through Romsey.

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Dick Hewett, chairman of the museum’s volunteer group Friends of Romsey Signal Box, said: “There will be hands on things for people to play around with. And learn about not just signalling but electronics and engineering too.

“The educational building will predominantly be for local Romsey schools to come and visit and use to learn.”

The Signal Box closed in 1982 due to a major resignalling scheme by British Rail. The box was therefore scheduled for demolition before the head teacher of Romsey Infants school at the time, Audrey Gebbie, called for the box to be saved as an educational resource.

Romsey and District Buildings Preservation Trust bought the box for £10 as well as covering the costs of removal in 1983 but it wasn’t until 1992 that the box was restored to be operational.

Thirty years on, the educational building is nearly ready to fulfil the ex-headteacher’s wishes.

Hampshire Chronicle: Romsey Signal Box

In the meantime, the working museum is still open on its designated open days for visitors to get involved, watch demonstrations and learn about the railway’s heritage.

The volunteers recently hosted a special Jubilee event named Romsey, Railway and Royalty telling the tales of Romsey’s royal connections.

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Dick said: “Our open days are always well received with people coming away having enjoyed and seen more than they expected to.”

The site also includes a garden and small café available for drinks, cakes and biscuits. Children can visit the museum for free while admission for adults costs £2.50.

Romsey Signal Box is hoping to open the education facility on October 15, 2022. To find out more visit romseysignalbox.org.uk/.

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