Many years ago, probably before a few of this blog’s readers were even born, a very good friend of mine got a job on the railway. The admin office at Guide Bridge were stunned to say the least that somebody actually applied for the position of signalman at Valehouse, it may look nice in the photo below but it’s bleak in winter. Anyway, they thought they’d better sign him up before he changed his mind.

valehouse 2

Photo from derbysulzers.com/woodhead

Most railwaymen will remember their first jobs with more affection than later posts they may have held, there was a sense of pride in being part of the railway back in the seventies and my mate Andy was definitely pleased as punch with his new job.

Sadly Andy passed away last year.

Today Andy’s partner, Doreen, along with Colin, another old friend and former signalman from the Woodhead route, and I walked up from Hadfield and spread Andy’s ashes at the site of Valehouse signal box. The date was chosen because it is exactly thirty three years since the Woodhead line was closed.


Valehouse is now staffed again, so that’s 5-5-5 on the block bells to Torside and Hadfield, then stoke the fire up and get the kettle on for a brew.

Rest in peace old friend.


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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