Down on the Watercress Line

drive (360x224)
Drive mechanism on loco No 92212 Cheltenham

Last Thursday, I had a free day and cast about for something interesting to do.  On the road atlas I noticed a heritage railway that seemed reachable.  This turned out to be the Mid-Hants Railway, aka the Watercress Line.  This railway has featured in Michael Portillo’s Great Railway Journeys, a series of BBC TV documentaries about railways in Britain.  Repeats crop up from time to time.  The name derives from the role of the railway in transporting watercress from Hampshire up to London, where, in Victorian times, it was sold by street vendors in small packets.  It was a source of vitamins and general goodness, essentially a health food, for people whose diet was lacking in basic nutrition.

So, here are a few pictures from my visit.  The line connects with main line railway at Alton, Hampshire.  The other terminus is at Alresford.  The semafore signals have been replaced by light signals.

As someone interested in history in general, being able to experience the way Andrew’s Kindred lived helps to bring my research alive.  As far as I know, I am the only person in my family tree to visit this part of Hampshire, but trains were trains …

Alton

Memorabilia

While the stars of the show are the locomotives, the station furniture adds a great deal to the experience.

Ropley Norborough

A crew was setting up a scene for an episode of Endeavour.  Conditions were far from ideal for photography, but I did manage to catch Constable Morse.  Yes that really is Shaun Evans’ back!

The station name had been changed from Ropley to Norborough, which I believe is a fictional place, presumably in Oxfordshire.

Alresford

That’s all folks.

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