There was a public level crossing between Blakesley and Morton Pinkney, complete with a gatehouse.
Does anyone know how this was operated?
Presumably the gates must have been manual and kept closed against road traffic.
Early Working Timetables mention the distant signals on either side which were "connected" to the gates, and that drivers must be prepared to either reduce speed or stop
Does this mean that they were interlocked so that the gates could not be opened unless the signals were cleared?
How was the gatehouse manned - I've never seen a photo so did it include accommodation for a crossing keeper, or was it simply just a shelter?
Any thoughts - or better still a photo !
I have found another reference to Morton Pinkney Gatehouse Crossing in Bill Kendall's recollections of the area - he was around from the 1930s onwards and these have been published in articles in 'British Railways Journal' (on Towcester and Blisworth) and other places.
He notes that-
'At Moreton Pinkney there was another member of the staff, Mrs Higgs, a female crossing keeper at the Gate House. The gates at this one room up, one room down brick cottage backed straight on to the track and the gates operated up and down distant signals.
I remember the first time I was booked for holiday relief at the Gate House at Morton Pinkney. When I arrived, Mrs Higgs refused to have her holidays, saying that she had not been advised of same. But when I did do these duties for a week, including Sunday, I never once opened the gates. I expect this was due to the fact that it was in the summer, so no cattle were being moved at that period and no hunting was on'.
This provides interesting detail of the building itself - a proper brick-built job- and the signals being interlocked with the gates. Also that it seems to have been permanently manned, rather than just sending someone along as and when required to open up, and this was presumably the case right up to closure of the line? Mr Higgs would probably have been a local p-way man and his wife the gatekeeper - the usual arrangement on the railways.
Seems that it was for the use of the local farmers as well as the Hunt.
All we need now is a photo..................
Ian Merivale said:
A chap called Guy Higgs used to live in the crossing keepers house in the late 50's early 60's!