Deeping St James Signal Box helps reunite friends

Old friends, Anthea Wray and Jean Jones together after 56 years. EMN-151201-111546001
Old friends, Anthea Wray and Jean Jones together after 56 years. EMN-151201-111546001

Two old friends who knew each other as children have reunited after 56 years thanks to the Deeping St James Signal Box.

Anthea Wray and Jean Jones met for the first time in 56 years after Jean wrote to the Mercury in regards to the signal box campaign.

Jean, 66, who now lives near Sutton-on-Sea, lived in the house that used to be attached to the former Deeping St James Signal Box between 1952 and 
1959.

Jean lived there as a young girl with her parents, Jim and Vera and her older brother Michael.

Her father Jim was the signal man at the former St James Deeping station, and after hearing about the recent decommissioning of the Victorian building, Jean contacted the Mercury to share her memories.

As luck came about, Jean’s old friend Anthea, 66, who still lives in Deeping St James saw the article and contacted Jean through the Mercury to arrange a long-awaited reunion.

Anthea said: “I have often wondered of Jean’s whereabouts as we were good friends, so I was really pleased when I read the article and instantly knew it was her.”

Jean, who travelled to Deeping to see Anthea in December, said: “It was an emotional meeting for us both. We instantly got on as we did all those years ago, and spent the day reminiscing over the years.

“Things in life happen for a reason, and I think the demolition of the box, sad as it is, brought two special friends together.”

The Deeping St James Signal Box was demolished in October, but campaigners in the Deeping hope to have it rebuilt.