13 thoughts on “Belasis Lane Signal Box

  1. I’d forgotten I’d submitted this picture! I’d just like to add that the signalman who can just be seen through the end windows of the signalbox (having his tea) is my father-in-law the late Harry Robinson, who came here from Greatham box when he was 65 and stayed here until he retired at age 67 in 1980.

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    • I knew your father-in-law very well, lovely man though his accent was so thick I could never understand him, great character. My dad was friends with him when they had allotments near the old co-op club at Fairfield.

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      • Hello Gordon – yes my father-in-law was a lovely man, but very fierce! When he went back north to visit his family in Bedlington, the northumbrian accent came out very strongly and I could barely understand any of them. I thoroughly enjoyed it when when he showed me how to work Hartburn in the early 1970s, but I did worry when he took himself off to the bookies in Oxbridge Lane…funnily it was the threat of the phone ringing that concerned me, not the working of the box! Happy days.

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    • Having been given the chance to visit the Belasis box when i was nine years old i recall in the centre was a desk it was full of large note books they were filled with all the engine numbers going back years some the locos were rare Gorden i wonder if those books are in the archives somewere love to see them the year 1949

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      • Hi Peter I suppose these would have been the train register books or before them train occurrence books I am afraid that these books were stored in any old cupboard and then in time destroyed I can never remember any great credence was set in them the old occurrence books listed everything and anything and were really interesting to read, I wish I had the foresight to save some but I didn’t I suppose the rail museums might have some. I have some old train register records from a signal box at Redmarshall West but those are from 1894.

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  2. Sorry to be misleading, I realise this photo is of Belasis box. What I was referring to was that it was Bells Bank Foot that burnt down, not Port Clarence box. Once again, apologies.

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  3. This is not Port Clarence box but Bells Bank Foot, Port Clarence was further up the line about opposite the Royal pub. It controlled the entrance onto the single line where the old Port Clarence station used to be. I was the last person to work this box, they shut it down in 1964. This is the only box I worked in that had an 0 lever and in 1963 I had a derailment of a rail special there when the engine came off at a pair of out of gauge points.

    gordon armes

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  4. Port Clarence Signal Box was last used as accomodation for the Chargeman and staff looking after Port Clarence Sidings and yard. When the yard was de-staffed in the 1990s it was used as a location for mobile staff to work from when in the area. Unfortunatly some kids set fire to the cabin and owing to the anti-vandal measures that were installed to protect the building, it prevented the fire brigade from entry and the place was gutted.

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  5. It appears that the signal box further down the line, adjacent to The Transporter Bridge, has been burned out by vandals. Judging from aerial photos of the area on Virtual Earth. It was intact last time I saw it in 2005.

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  6. Although Belasis Lane box is still in use there is very little traffic using the branch at present – Petroleum tanker trains from the Petroplus sidings at Port Clarence to Bedworth are the only regular traffic, the Hydrocyanic acid train from BASF on Seal Sands has not run for a number of years & the Seal Sands branch is very rarely used, in some places rusted & overgrown with weeds. The box still controls access to the remains of the old ICI east grid sidings which still sees regular empty coal trains stabled over the weekend.

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  7. Yes the SB is still there, it controls the very low amount of traffic into and out of ICI/Sabic and all the way down past Port Clarance at the other end of the Transporter Bridge into Seal Sands Complex. The reason it is still there is mainly for the Arsenic traffic as it is many thousands of times safer to put it on the rails than on the roads, and the Arsenic that”s needed by ICI is produced by Monsanto on Seal Sands. There”s also a large fuel depot that gets tank trains – on your right as you travel North from Port Clarance… Also there”s Simon Storage that do all sorts of chemicals. Type into Google Maps 54.599552,-1.269465 and zoom right in, that”s the SB from above.

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  8. This box is located alongside the iron bridge in Billingham, that carries Belasis Avenue across the Haverton Hill branch. It still exists, according to the aerial view on Google Earth.

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