Llanelli West Signal Box Saved
Thanks to quick work by Ken Jones, heritage officer for the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust, the signal box at the railway crossing on the west side of the station came one step nearer to being preserved, when it was recently granted listed building status by CADW.
Llanelli West Signal Box, which was built in 1877 on the South Wales Rail way line connecting Chepstow with Fishguard, is the only surviving example of a Great Western Railway type 2 signal box in Wales, and it is believed to be the fourth oldest surviving signal box in Wales.
On hearing about Network Rail’s plans to demolish the signal box -as they modernise their signalling system - Mr Jones set to work to make a strong case to CADW for listing.
He enlisted the support of well-known local historians such as Michael Denman, author of “Railways Around Llanelli”; John Edwards, author of “Remembrance of a Riot – the story of the Llanelli Railway Strike Riots of 1911”; Byron Davies, author of the “Glanmor Foundry and Engineering Company Ltd,” - and Alwyn Jones, Benita Afan Rees and William Rees of the Glanymor and Tyisha History Group.
Mr Ken Jones explained: -
“I would like to thank all those who wrote letters of support or provided me with information to help me make the case to CADW for listing. The fact of the matter is that only 50 or 60 years ago, there were 5 signal boxes in the Llanelli area, but this is now the only one left, which just goes to show how easy it is to let our heritage disappear before our very eyes. This listing is a very important safeguard for the signal box because it means that nothing can be done to the building without seeking all the necessary consents.”
Nia Griffith MP, who chairs the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust added, “I am absolutely delighted to hear that the Llanelli West Signal Box has been listed by CADW. Now that it has been listed, we need to find out the risks, practicalities and costs of either keeping it or moving it to a suitable location in the Llanelli area. The recent feasibility study for the Goods Shed, which is also listed, has identified the potential future use of the building as a community arts hub, arts in the broadest sense, and we on the Goods Shed Trust are very anxious that the project should include a heritage area. The Signal Box is only a short distance from the Goods Shed and could be incorporated within our plans. “
Photo: Officers of the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust delighted at the listing of the Llanelli West Signal Box – Martin Doe (treasurer), Richard Roper (secretary), Ken Jones (heritage officer) and Nia Griffith MP (chair)
For further information, please contact Ken Jones on 07580 570927
Richard Roper, Secretary of the Trust on 07952 564342
Or Rev Eldon Phillips, Press Officer, on 07971 672985
Michael Denman – author of Railways Around Llanelli: A History of the Railways of East Carmarthenshire
John Edwards – author of Remembrance of a Riot – The Story of the Llanelli Railway Strike Riots of 1911
Byron Davies – author of Glanmor Foundry and Engineering Company Ltd
[Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales]