Nia Griffith MP, who chairs the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust, has praised Ken Jones, the Trust’s heritage officer for his deft work which has resulted in the Llanelli West Signal Box being granted listed building status by CADW.
“Ken has done a fantastic job. On hearing about Network Rail’s plans to demolish the signal box -as they modernise their signalling system – Ken set to work to make a strong case to CADW for listing. He enlisted the support of well-known local historians such as Michael Denman, author of “Railways Around Llanelli”; John Edwards, author of “Remembrance of a Riot – the story of the Llanelli Railway Strike Riots of 1911”; Byron Davies, author of the “Glanmor Foundry and Engineering Company Ltd, ” – and Benita Afan Rees, William Rees and Alwyn Jones of the Glanymor and Tyisha History Group.
Now that it has been listed, we need to find out the risks, practicalities and costs of either keeping it or moving it to a suitable location in the Llanelli area. The recent feasibility study for the Goods Shed, which is also listed, has identified the potential future use of the building as a community arts hub, arts in the broadest sense, and we on the Goods Shed Trust are very anxious that the project should include a heritage area. The Signal Box is only a short distance from the Goods Shed and could be incorporated within our plans. “
Ken added: –
“I would like to thank all those who wrote letters of support or provided me with information to help me make the case to CADW for listing. The fact of the matter is that only 50 or 60 years ago, there were 5 signal boxes in the Llanelli area, but this is now the only one left, which just goes to show how easy it is to let our heritage disappear before our very eyes. Llanelli West Signal Box, which was built in 1877 on the South Wales Railway line connecting Chepstow with Fishguard, is the only surviving example of a Great Western Railway type 2 signal box in Wales, and it is believed to be the fourth oldest surviving signal box in Wales. This listing is a very important safeguard for the signal box because it means that nothing can be done to the building without seeking all the necessary consents.”