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S&DJR Ringed Arms
S&DJR Crest Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway
Ringed Signal Arms
S&DJR Crest
Introduction Main Arms Subsidiary Arms


This page deals specifically with the use of Ringed Signal Arms on the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR). General information about the different types of S&DJR signals and signal arms can be found in a separate RailWest page on S&DJR Signals.

S&DJR ringed subsidiary armOne feature of S&DJR signalling was the use in some locations of signal arms which bore a large ring on their face. These signals had a full-size lower-quadrant (LQ) arm painted red with a white spot, surmounted by a black ring, the back of the arm being painted white with a black spot. In the early years this practice was confined almost exclusively to subsidiary arms (ie those mounted below another main arm as shown in the picture), but in later years there were also several examples of rings on the main arms of signals used at the entrance to, or exit from, goods lines.

Most of the subsidiary ringed arms appear to have been provided during a period from the late 1880s to the early 1900s, when many S&DJR locations were having their signalling installations upgraded, but detailed records from that period are scarce and usually do not mention such signals specifically. Consequently it is not known if the ringed arm subsidiary signals showed a 'red' light when in the 'on' position, or if a white light was used as in the replacement striped arms. Most of the surviving S&DJR Signal Instructions (SI) which refer to subsidiary ringed arms relate to their replacement or abolition; the only known Instruction for a new subsidiary ringed arm was SI 251 for Stalbridge No 12 in 1915, but that made no mention of its aspects.

Main Arms

This table lists, in line order, all known examples of a S&DJR main signal arm bearing a ring, where that arm was the only arm on a signal post or bracket doll and not a subsidiary arm. Except where stated otherwise, the signals are assumed to have been provided initially when the relevant signal-box was opened.
(SInnn = the relevant S&DJR Signal Instruction number.)

Register of S&DJR Ringed Main Arms

Location No Description Remarks
TEMPLECOMBE No 2 JCN 23 Up to Down Main Home Ring added 2-Oct-1899 (SI117). Ring removed 24-July-1955 and doll height raised (BR(S) notice).
TEMPLECOMBE No 2 JCN 36 Goods To Up Main Starting Replaced existing signal 27-Aug-1933 (SI341)
TEMPLECOMBE No 2 JCN 37 Goods To Down Main Starting Replaced existing signal 27-Aug-1933 (SI341)
TEMPLECOMBE No 2 JCN 42 Down Main to Goods Home Ring added 12-Feb-1933 (SI328). Replaced by 3'6" arm without ring 27-Jan-1952 (BR(S) notice).
CORFE MULLEN JUNCTION 2 Down Main to Siding Home Ring added 18-Jun-1933 (SI338). Ring removed in BR days (when converted to UQ?).
HIGHBRIDGE 'B' 3 Down Main to GWR Starting Ring removed circa-1950 (signal bracket replacement)
HIGHBRIDGE 'C' 8 PULL Goods Line to Wharf Replaced existing ground signal 2-Dec-1926 (SI282).

Note 1. This signal was provided on 16-January-1887 (S&DJR SI 32) adjacent to the Up Goods line, about mid-way between the Templecombe No 2 Jcn Up Goods Starting and the Templecombe No 3 Jcn Up Goods Home. It was intended as a 'backing out' signal and seems to have been replaced at a later date by a 'wrong-road' signal (No 17 in this diagram).

Note 2. This signal was provided on 16-February-1902 (S&DJR SI 151) adjacent to the Down Goods line, about mid-way between the start of the Goods line and the Templecombe No 2 Jcn Down Goods Home. For some unknown reason it was described specifically as a 'ringed indicating' signal. It is probable that in fact it was the same signal as the Templecombe No 3 Jcn Down Goods Starting (No 6 in this diagram), which was abolished on 12-February-1933 with the closure of Templecombe No 3 Jcn signal-box. It unclear why the signal needed to be distinguished by a ring on the arm.

An analysis of the preceding table will show that, with the exception of signal 23 at Templecombe No 2 Jcn and signal 3 at Highbridge 'B', all the 'main' ringed arms were associated with movements on goods lines. It is unclear why ringed arms were provided for the two exceptions.

Subsidiary Arms

It appears to have been standard S&DJR practice to install a ringed arm for a subsidiary signal, ie a signal arm placed below a main stop arm on the same post. These subsidiary ringed arms were used as 'Calling On' or 'Shunt Ahead' signals, although in practice the S&DJR seems to have described them all as 'Shunt By' signals (eg 'Shunt By Down Home' etc).

There were a number of S&DJR signalling installations on double-track lines, mainly from the 1890s period, where a ringed subsidiary arm was placed below the main stop arm next in rear of the section signal (the stop signal controlling entry to the next block section ahead). At some locations this was done on both Up and Down lines, at others on one line only. In most, but not all, cases this was done where there was a trailing crossover and/or connection to a siding between the two main signals. Also in some, but not all, cases there was 'rotation locking' between the two main signals, so that once the main arm above the subsidiary arm had been cleared to 'off' and then restored to 'on' its lever could not be pulled again until the lever for the section signal had been pulled and then replaced. Whatever the reason for the provision of the subsidiary arms in those locations, most were abolished circa-1913.

During the Southern Railway period some of the ringed-arm subsidiary signals were renewed as a lower-quadrant arm (usually shorter than its predecessor) painted white with horizontal red bands along the top and bottom edges and bearing a large red 'C' or 'S' on their face; the reverse was painted white with a broad horizontal central black band. In later years some signals were renewed as smaller upper-quadrant arms painted in the same style; some of these bore a large red 'S' on their face, while others had an indicator attached to the signal post which, when the arm was 'off', showed an illuminated white 'C' or 'S' to denote the function ('Calling On' or 'Shunt Ahead'). See the separate page on S&DJR signals for more details and some images of such replacement arms.

Register. This table lists, in line order, all known examples of a S&DJR subsidiary signal placed below a main arm on the same post. Except where stated otherwise, the signals are assumed to have been provided initially when the relevant signal-box was opened. All these signals are believed to have been 'ringed' arms originally, although many were renewed subsequently as other patterns. At locations where a subsidiary arm was converted to UQ the alteration appears to have coincided with the conversion of the main arm from LQ to UQ. The table excludes any elevated 'ground signals' mounted beneath a main signal, and also any locations where a ringed arm was placed on a separate doll of a bracket signal (the latter are listed in the table of main arms).

Key to Remark Codes
C Replaced by striped arm with large red 'C'
I Replaced by striped arm with adjacent indicator
S Replaced by striped arm with large red 'S'
SInnn S&DJR Signal Instruction number

Register of S&DJR Ringed Subsidiary Arms

Location No Located Beneath Remarks
MIDFORD 3 PUSH Down Starting Abolished 15-Apr-1913 (SI237)
12 Up Outer Home 'I' 25-July-1948. Abolished 28-Feb-1960. (BR(S) notices). Note 3
WELLOW 5 PUSH Up Starting Provided as 16 PUSH in 1892 box. Re-numbered in 1894 box. Abolished 17-Apr-1913 (SI237).
16 PUSH Down Starting Provided in 1894 box. Abolished 17-Apr-1913 (SI237).
RADSTOCK EAST 5 Up Home Provided by 1929. Removed circa-1947?
14 Down Home Removed by 1929
RADSTOCK WEST 6 Down Home Provided with new box 1908. Note 4
25 Up Starting Existed as 7 in old box in 1894. 'S' (1936?)
BINEGAR 3 PUSH Down Starting Provided 1892? Abolished 20-Apr-1913 (SI237).
22 PUSH Up Starting Provided 1892? Abolished 20-Apr-1913 (SI237).
MASBURY 5 Down Starting Removed 9-Dec-1912 (SI234)
SHEPTON MALLET 8 Up Starting Re-numbered 3PUSH 1893. Abolished 22-Apr-1913 (SI237).
22 Down Starting Re-numbered 24PUSH 1893. Abolished 22-Apr-1913 (SI237)
EVERCREECH JCN NORTH 5 Down Main Home 'S' 4-Feb-1934 (SI347). Renumbered 5PULL 1937.
6 Down Branch Home 'S' 4-Feb-1934 (SI347). Renumbered 5PUSH 1937.
29 Up Main to Branch Home Note 4
EVERCREECH JCN SOUTH 2 Down Home Removed (date ?)
TEMPLECOMBE No 2 JCN 3 PULL From SR Up Home 'I' 16-Sep-1956 (BR(S) notice)
7 From Wimborne Up Outer Home Provided post-1894. Abolished 23-Oct-1904 (SI178)
TEMPLECOMBE 'B' 11 Down Home Transferred to SR box and 'C' 7-May-1933 (SI335)
STALBRIDGE 12 Up Starting Provided 23-Sep-1915 (SI251). 'I' 10-May-1959 (BR(S) notice). Abolished 7-July-1965 (BR(S) notice).
STURMINSTER NEWTON 3 PUSH Down Starting Renumbered 4 by 1930. 'S' 21-Nov-1930 (SI309). 'I' by 1959. Note 5
? Up Starting Abolished 19/22-Dec-1929 (SI299)
BLANDFORD 3 Up Starting Abolished 10-Aug-1930 (SI304)
24 Down Starting Abolished 29-Apr-1913 (SI238)
GLASTONBURY 7 Down Home Provided in 1901 box? Abolished 28-Dec-1929 (SI300).
3 PUSH Down Starting Provided in 1901 box? 'S' 28-Dec-1929 (SI300). Renumbered 4 by circa-1960.
8 Up Main Home Provided in 1901 box? Renumbered 28 by 1930. 'C' 28-Dec-1929 (SI300).
EDINGTON JUNCTION 11 Down Starting Originally elevated disc?
Renumbered 5PUSH in new frame circa-1915.
? Up Home Abolished 1-May-1913 (SI238)
HIGHBRIDGE LOCO 20 'A' Box Up Homes Provided in 1895 box. Removed by 1914.
HIGHBRIDGE 'A' 4 Up Homes Provided in 1895 box. Transferred to GWR box 1914. Replaced by elevated disc (date?).
HIGHBRIDGE 'C' 7 PULL Up Home Provided 1895. Removed 1963?
17 PULL Down Home Provided 1895. 'S' 8-May-1941 (SI385). Removed 1963?

Note 3. Although this signal was described as a 'Calling On' signal in many S&DJR records, the 'Fortnightly Notice' for the conversion to an 'Indicator' pattern in 1948 described it as a 'Warning' signal and stated that the indicator would display a 'W', which subsequently was shown on the signal-box diagram. Nevertheless it was still described as a 'Calling On' signal in the 'Weekly Notice' for its abolition in 1960 (BR(WR) K2/528/60).

Note 4. These were the last two ringed subsidiary arms to remain in use unaltered until the S&DJR closed to passenger traffic in 1966.

Note 5. This was the only ringed subsidiary arm known to have been replaced twice and in both 'S' and 'I' styles.

© CJL Osment 2002-22

Introduction Main Arms Subsidiary Arms