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Tales from the Signal Box

I’m putting together a collection of poems written by my Dad, Charles T Broughton. He was a railway signalman and in between his busy lever pulling and wire messaging he would write down in verse his thoughts about his work and colleagues up and down the line. At some point I hope to make it into a book, to include copies of  his handwritten verses. (You can see one of these in the gallery. It may be of interest to railway workers and signalmen, or anyone interested in railwayana in Sheffield area. The poems were written from his box at Orgreave between 1939 and 1953. (on the back of British Rail and LNER report paper!)

If interested you can contact me and I can send you a link to download the PDF

He later worked at Tinsley Marshalling Yard box, from it opening in 1965. He died in 1974, age 63

Charlie at Tinsley Yard Signal Box


Here’s a sample from “Controllers”  from 1945

A signalman down at Woodhouse West

Has made himself an awful pest

He wrote the super every day

To get the job he sought as a



The super said “His face haunts me

Lets give him the job so that he

don’t worry me about his brain

Let him be a bally* train



Since he had the job he sought

Trains have not run as they ought

I’ll tell you about it in a bit

But drivers say that they can spit



*bally – my dad’s only curse word. Crops up often!

There’s another three verses to this one.

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