Learn about and experience the work of a signalman
The view the signalman gets from inside the box. The levers are colour coded by their use.
The signalman uses the cloth to protect the levers from sweaty hands.
The levers and equipment on the shelf are roughly divided into two halves. The left hand side is used for trains travelling from Forest Row to Ashurst Junction (left to right in front of the box). The right hand side for the opposite direction. The bell would advise the signalman that a train had left Forest Row and the plunger would be used to confirm receipt of the bell message. The indicator shows the state of the distant signal..
The stove is provided to keep the signalman warm and provide him a way of making tea. The wheel is NOT from Withyham box but would have been used on a larger box to open and close the Crossing Gates. At Withyham the signalman left the box and opened and closed the gates by hand.
The line between Forest Row and Ashurst Junction was single with no passing loops. To travel on the line the driver must obtain a single line staff from the signalman at either Forest Row or Ashurst Junction. This allowed his train, and only his train, to be on the line at any one time.
If the train needed to enter the Goods Yard the driver had to give the staff to the signalman so he could unlock and operate the point into the yard. The picture shows the staff locked into the frame.
The pictures above show the plates on the staff. Staffs are also colour coded either red, blue or yellow. No two adjoining sections were the same colour.