Churnet Valley Railway Stars in TV Documentary

Back at the start of 2021 The North Staffordshire Railway Company was contacted by Brown Bob Productions, enquiring about doing some filming work on the Grade II listed signal box at Leek Brook Junction.

This was as part of filming for the new series of ‘The Architecture The Railways Built’ for which one episode was to focus on The North Staffordshire Railway. Discussions were extended to include Churnet Valley Railway’s Events Manager and an itinerary formulated that complied with social distancing restrictions in place at the time of filming.

And so on one cold Janaury morning presenter Tim Dunn and his film crew arrived at Cheddleton station from where they were transported aboard a specially formed train to move between locations at Cheddleton and Leek Brook – allowing a greater number of shots to be recorded. Once at Leek Brook the team conducted an interview with the CVR’s Head of Signalling who gave Tim the opportunity to operate the ground frames after receiving a tour of the signal box itself.

Leek Brook Junction box is the oldest McKenzie & Holland style of signal box surviving in certainly the UK and possibly the world. It still stands in its original location as built in 1872 with minimum modifications externally to how it would of looked on the day it opened.

The episode was shown for the first time on 1st November on the Yesterday channel, and is due to be repeated on Thursday 4th November at 10pm. It is also available to view online on the UKTV website. In addition to visiting the Churnet Valley Railway, Tim and his team visit both Stoke and Alton Towers stations where NSRC Director Aidan Croft was able to share his knowledge of the history of these fabulous buildings.

Tony Walley
News & Sport Editor

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