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Peg Leg Johnson's Signal Box Opens

Peg Leg Johnson's Signal Box Opens

On Saturday 30th September, as part of the Churnet Valley Railway's "War in the Valley" event, the line opened its latest attraction inside the former Rushton Signal Box on Froghall station – Peg-Leg Johnson’s Sweet Emporium.

Named after local celebrity Robert “Bob” Johnson, who was an employee of the original North Staffordshire Railway Company, Bob came to prominence after losing the use of both his legs following a shunting accident at Burton-upon-Trent. Despite his injuries the NSR offered Bob employment as a signaller at the newly opened Thomas Bolton’s Sidings following his recovery, and to enable him to continue working the NSR provided Bob with two prosthetic legs, as well as modifying the signal box to cater for his disability. After moving to Froghall in 1890, “Peg-Leg” was to see out his career on the railway as a signaller at Bolton’s from where he became one of the most recognisable faces of the NSR and the Churnet Valley.

The Emporium was opened in Peg-Leg's honour on Saturday morning by 91-Year old World War 2 veteran Lance Bombardier Arther Jones – who fought on Normandy in 1944 where he drove a Sherman Tank as part of the D-Day landings on Gold Beach – and Stan Streather, a WW2 re-enactor who portrays Winston Churchill at various events across the UK and was making his debut at the Churnet Valley Railway. They were accompanied by the CVR's long-standing Board Member Tony Hancock and the CVR's new Catering Manager Melanie Pentherby.

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