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Sir William McAlpine re-opens Princes Risborough landmark

See above image - as guests start to arrive for the opening ceremony, Marag the dog wonders whether a sandwich might be spared! Although only 3/4 of the 'box can be seen in this view and there is still much restoration yet to be done, the size and atmosphere can be appreciated.

Over the last two years the 'Risborough Box Group of volunteers from the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Association have worked tirelessly to restore the largest surviving GWR signalbox, which closed in 1991. Before restoration began, the building had nearly 200 smashed windows and had been boarded up in the late '90s. Pigeons, weather, a water leak and vandals took their toll. Shifted brickwork and rotting timbers number among the challenges for the volunteers, along with the missing staircase.

A major milestone was reached this autumn with the erection of a newly rebuilt and restored main staircase (the old one had been taken down by Railtrack contractors 15 years ago). On Friday 27 November 2015, Sir William McAlpine opened the newly restored staircase and he was accompanied by senior Network Rail and Chiltern Railways teams, together with representatives from the Railway Heritage Trust.

If you would like to know more, or help in the restoration of the 'box in some way (contributions and volunteers always welcome), please email LeverMessage@RisboroughBox.org.uk

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