Peter Kirton

Peter Kirton on night duty at Normanton Station North signal box. September 1962.

Peter Kirton had a long and successful career on the railways. He started work as a train recorder at Goose Hill Junction signalbox just south of Normanton where the old Manchester and Leeds route diverged from the Midland Main Line.

Later he was a relief signalman based at Woodlesford from 1963 to 1968. He went on to be Chief Trains Inspector on the East Coast Main Line and retired in 1993 from a job at the headquarters in York. He published several books including his railway autobiography – Proceed at Caution. Peter passed away in May 2011 at the age of 76.

Here he talks about his early career and of his time at Woodlesford.

Peter Kirton gets his first job at Normanton

The story of a signalmen’s feud

The routine at Woodlesford box

Peter Kirton’s sketch of the layout of signals and points at Woodlesford in the 1960s.
An unidentified War Department 8F outside Woodlesford signal box. Photo by Derek Rayner.
The 1000 Birmingham to Leeds express passes through a deserted Woodlesford station at about 1330 on a Sunday afternoon in the 1960s. The signal box would have been closed and “locked out” with the signals pulled off to allow trains to run through. In the distance is a gantry across the line for Water Haigh colliery’s ropeway which carried waste to slag heaps adjacent to the canal. Photo by Derek Rayner.