2013 began with a celebration for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Signalling School Railway, as we marked the layouts 100th birthday. 2013 is now ending with a milestone project as the layouts operational handbook is almost complete.
So why do we need a handbook?
Historically, the apprentices who built this layout were skilled in woodwork, electronics, metalwork, and as familiar with the workings of this object as it was possible to be. Over the next 100 years, it was adapted, changed and modified as the company required. One person looked after it and carried the ‘hand book’ in their heads.
Since 1999, the same team of volunteers have lovingly restoring the object to working condition. The focus has been on making it work. Now the work of restoration is almost complete and everyone involved is fourteen years older.
This concentrates the minds of the volunteers and the curator whose collection it forms a part off; resulting in a project that has combined scholarly research, oral history and much professional input.
The result is a working manual that covers every aspect of the layouts wiring, cleaning regime, and operation and conservation requirements. Therefore, when the current team are ready to hand on the batten, their knowledge will not be lost to posterity.
You can experience the magic of the L&Y and help support its future by buying one of our eight operating slots on 28th December 2013. Just follow the link for details.
Associate Curator of Railways