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Our Awards

As part of achieving our aims and objectives and promulgating knwoledge of signalling, the Society makes awards each year in two distinct areas.

The first of these are the John T Howard-Turner and Colin Betts awards in respect of articles published in our journal, The Signalling Record. These have been awarded since 1999.

The second award is in the name of Norman Cadge and is given to the model railway layout judged to be the best signalled one exhibited at the Warley Model Railway Show each year.

Each of these awards is described below.

John T Howard-Turner Award

John Howard-Turner (1913-1990) was involved with the Museum of British Transport at Clapham and then the National Railway Museum as their advisor on signalling and permanenet way matters and had a remit to acquire important and significant artifacts for them. In this he was very successful although, sadly, much of the significant material was subsequently disposed of to heritage railways or lost.

John authored a highly regarded three volume history of The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway which was published by Batsford in 1977 (volume 1, Origins & Formation), 1978 (volume 2, Establishment & Growth) and 1979 (volume 3, Completion & Maturity).

In 1997 the Society purchased title and copyright of part of his photohraphic collection and these now form an important part of the Society's collection. Part of the acquisition arrangement was the creation of a biennial award in his name for an article published in the Society journal on the history, development and current practice for railway signalling systems.

The award was first made in 1999 in respect of articles published in The Signalling Record during 1998 and has been awarded every other year since. The award is intended to encourage a high standard amongst our members when writing articles for the journal. Winners are generally announced at the AGM following the year (below) in which the article was published.

Recipients of the award for each year are:

1998 Simon Lowe, Crianlarich, Callander & Oban Railway, issue 72..
2000 Gordon Roberts, Martin Signals of the London & South Western Railway, issue 80.
2002 Daniel Wermser, The Jousselin Bell, issue 96.
2004 Mike Christensen & David Stirling *, Symbols for Sykes Drawings, issue 103.
2004 David Stirling*, Who Controls The Block?, issue 105.
2004 Mike Christensen*, The Dispatching Desk, issue 107.
2006 David Stirling, Charles Walker - The Unsung Hero, issue 118.
2008 John Creed, Early Trials With Axle Counters on the Southern, issue 131.
2010 Simon Lowe, Colour Light Signal Lens Configuration, issue 141.
2012 Raoul Beaman, Weywyn Time Release Units & R E Thompsson & Co., issue 156.
2014 Raoul Beaman, Universal Indicators & R E Thompsson & Co., issue 166.
2016 John Creed, All Change Again, issue 178.
2018 Mick Nicholson, Hull Springhead, Hull & Barnsley Railway, part 1, issue 191.
2020 Garth Tilt, Llanelli Revisited, issues 198 & 199.
2022 Mike Christensen*, Tyer's No.1 Tablet Instruments, issue 208.
2022 John Young*, Walker's Block Instruments, issue 207.
* joint winners.

Colin Betts Award

Colin Betts had been involved with the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway and edited that society's journal The Earl.

He became a Society member in the first few months after the Society was formed and hosted the second AGM at his home. Colin served as Treasurer from 1974 until 1984 and also took on the tasks of back number and publication sales. He was made an Honorary Life Member in 1984 and a regular contributer to the Society journal The Newsletter which was later replaced by The Signalling Record.

Colin was very much a “father figure” to the Society until his death in 1990.

With the Howard-Turner award being inaugurated biennially it was decided to make a similar award in Colin's memory in the other years commencing with the 1999 issues of The Signalling Record.

Recipients of the award for each year are:

1999 Laurence Blundell, Resignalling of Birmingham Snow Hill, September 1960, issue 74.
2001 Nigel Digby, Signal Boxes of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway: Their Design & History, issue 85 & 86.
2003 Michael Walshaw, Signalling The Swanage Railway, issues 99 & 102.
2005 Chris Hall, Bewdley North (1956), issue 111.
2007 Peter Butler, Two Days On The Old Road, issues 123 & 124.
2009 Chris Cock, Edward Davy: Block Signalling Pioneer, issue 138.
2011 Richard Parry, Torpantau: An Accident Waiting To Happen, issue 148.
2013 Michael Walshaw, Signalling The Swanage Railway: Corfe Castle, issue 157.
2015 Francis Voisey, Confessions Of A Signal Box Spotter, issue 174.
2017 Francis Voisey, Ill Signalman Blamed For Accidents, issues 182, 183 & 185.
2019 Simon Lowe, Review of Modern Signalling Practice, issue 193.
2021 Robert Dey & Graham Roberts, 200 miles from Carlisle - Bridge of Dun, issue 202.

Norman Cadge Award

The Society was a stand-holder at the Warley Model Railway Show for a number of years and made an award for the “Best Signalled Layout” out of those exhibited. The show was usually held on the last weekend of November at the National Exhibition Centre alongside Birmingham International station. It was one of the major events in the railway modelling calendar each year.

Key criteria for the award are that the layout has appropriate signals in the appropriate places and, crucially, the signals are operated correctly having regard to the train movements taking place. What constitutes appropriate signals is determined by the railway being modelled and the historic period it is set in.

A small team of our members look at the layouts and compile a short list of candidates that meet the criteria. Second, and sometimes more, visits are made to the short listed layouts to determine which one is worthy of being declared “Best Signalled”.

The award was first made in 2010, then paused until 2013 after which it has been an annual event. In 2016 it was decided to name the award after one of our former members, Norman Cadge.

Recipients of the award for each year are:

2010 Midhurst, Helston & Falmouth Model Railway Club.
2013 Borchester Market, Newhaven & District Model Railway Club.
2014 Alloa, Scottish Region Study Group.
2015 Whitchurch Town, Jeff Geary.
2016 Johnstown Road, Borrowmore Model Railway Group.
2017 Mostyn Station, Borrowmore Model Railway Group.
2018 Broom Junction, Warley Model Railway Club.
2019 Kimble, Leamington & Warwick Model Railway Society.
2020 No Award, the Exhibition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
2021 No Award, the Exhibition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
2022 Plumpton Green, Barry Luck.
2023 South Pelaw, John Donnelly.

Sadly, the Warley Model Railway Club decided to discontinue the show after 2023.


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