Islington Junction Box


If you’ve ever found yourself stuck at Clyde Street lights as a coal train lumbers past (OK, so that’s everyone in Newcastle) then you’ll have had a few moments to contemplate the Islington Junction box.

Poor old thing! The Wife and I were discussing it just the other day, trying to remember when it stopped being manned. (She said “staffed”, though when I challenged her to name a single lady signalperson she knew she was cornered. Ha!) She certainly remembers seeing the “signalperson’s” car parked down the side in recent years, but no more.

Islington Signal Box

Then, in the strange way that these things happen, some scamps sent me these pics of the inside. So that’s what it looks like! I’d bet a dollar that very few signal ladies would be able to wrassle any of those levers back and forth. Is that an iron spiral staircase in the background? And a comfy viewing armchair? All very intriguing.


I’ll take it that this is the reverse view, not that there’s another entire bank of levers.


I got a few pics of discarded rubbish and general detritus too. It’s all very poignant, a whole stack of attendance books that were probably filled in with great care and diligence over many months and years.


And, I’m not sure if this is reassuring or not, a list of instructions.

ISB instructions

“Noooo! DOWN! I said 164.500 down, not 164.376 up!”