Crossing purposes

Pinfold Crossing HBO

Pinfold crossing, from the other direction, as Ian Pell, who supplied the picture, explains.

Last Sunday I featured here a taster of a photo archive discovered by some of the local history community containing some remarkable and mysterious pictures of the area – and one of those filed under Burntwood – that of a level crossing, caused me some bafflement.

Resident railway expert (no, you are) Ian Pell made a wonderful explanatory comment and also wrote in with the above picture, and explained that this wasn’t Burntwood at all, but Pinfold near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire – this tallies, because I saw a note of ‘Pinfold’ on the attached label, but it made no sense.

Untitled 9

Pinfold, crossing, Uttoxeter – absolutely not Burntwood. So clearly filed wrongly. Great detective work.

Ian explained in his comment on the post:

Hi Bob

Interesting set of photos. How i wished that the top photo was of somewhere close to Burntwood but alas I’m afraid I dont think it is. I believe it to be Pinfold Crossing Box on the North Staffordshire Railway at Uttoxeter. The box was a McKenzied and Holland, Type 1 box. The additional glazing down to the operationg floor is the section in the middle. The locking room has stone lintels. The gates and the crossing keepers cottage are typical NSR in feel. The later was demolished to make way for the new Uttoxeter Box which replaced Pinfold Crossing on 25/1/1981.

Beyond the box is the home & distant signal for the down line (to Stoke) and the catch point and buffer protecting the Down sidings, some of which I believe were still insitu until at least 2005.

pinfold dia

Pinfold crossing track diagram: click for a larger version. Image supplied by Ian Pell.

A signal plan of the 1950’s also shows the crossover in the front of the picture.

Finally, I think the largest clue of all is the 16 Milepost. Mileposts on the NSR were usually started from Stoke-on-Trent Station. The distance for the new box’s position is given as 16.00, I rest my case.

Hope the above is of interest and hopefully correct?
Kind regards

Thanks, Ian, that’s why you’re such a top bloke. He later mailed me the images:

Hi Bob

Unsure whether Don Cope drank Typhoo! However, my friend Nick, assures me that Don carried the Train Register ( the log of all the daily workings) at 09.47 on 9th January 1981 from the old Pinfold Crossing box to the new Uttoxeter box on the opposite side of the crossing.

The accompanying attached photograph shows the box looking towards Uttoxeter, together with the Signalling diagram from the box, which was saved.

Kind regards

Thanks so much Ian – I love hearing from you and featuring your work: being able to feature work like this is an honour and a great pleasure.

This just goes to show – even very trusted sources like state archives get stuff wrong. Always, always be on your guard!


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5 Responses to Crossing purposes

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  4. Neil says:

    Doesn’t look like Pinfold crossing in Uttoxeter either. There wasn’t a cottage by the crossing.

  5. Neil says:

    I stand corrected, it is Uttoxeter, it’s changed a lot

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