Monthly Archives: September 2023

Reading Panel Information

To keep you all on your toes we will be masquerading as ‘Reading Panel Society’ for the next few weeks!

Long-time Reading Panel signalman Dave Davidson has kindly loaned some paperwork to SPS regarding the arrangements for opening Reading Panel, way back in 1965, so that we can scan it and share it with you.

Although there are a lot of high-level plans, there is also a great deal of fascinating contemporaneous minutiae too, which gives a brilliant window into the thoughts and concerns at the time.

We will post these documents on the Swindon Panel Facebook page.

We will try to post them in timeline order, so that they make sense relative to each other. The first is from 31 March 1965, before the panel opened. It is a note from the F. D. Pattisson, Divisional Manager at Paddington, to District Inspector Rixon at Reading, in what nowadays would be an email note, concerned with the provision of gradient profiles in the new signal box (that being Reading Panel), and asking him to transfer the gradient profiles from the mechanical boxes into the panel.

To be fair to the railway, it does still concern itself with gradient profiles in signal boxes, and when the Reading area moved to TVSC in 2010 large-print gradient profiles were provided. (Admittedly on the backs of the workstations where no-one could see them….) Alas, those were re-prints, unfortunately not the pre-1965 originals!

Thank you to Dave for lending us this paperwork, there is loads more of it to come over the next few weeks!