Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Alresford Steam Gala

You may have heard of the Watercress line. This is a steam railway line which is run by volunteers. In its hay day the steam trains carried Watercress from the local farms up to London or as it probably was then - "the Big Smoke".

The train line at one point went from Winchester across country to the market town of Alton. Nowadays the trainline ends at Alresford. The trainline from Alresford to Winchester disappeared a number of years ago and is gradually being repurposed as time goes by.

This week end gone was one of their Steam gala events. People come far and wide to attend and wonder at the steam and the engines from a bygone era.

 We have a lot of fun memories of these trains. When the children were little we lived right next door to the train line

 The children were able to watch the trains from the back bedroom window and inevitably my son as a young child became a train lover.

 The steam line provided him with many years of voluntary work and gave him valuable experience as a teenager. He worked on the platforms, helped in the signal box, helped restore and even clean out the trains. Many a time he came home black with soot from head to toe!

It was this experience that sent him down the engineering route as a career.

 The teashop on the platform provided us with many an hour of entertainment when the children were small. We could sit at the tables outside and sip tea and juice and watch the hustle and bustle in the warm sunshine.

The tearooms had that damp old fashioned smell which reminded me of Lake District holidays when I was a child - but thats another story!

The Watercress line have lots of events all year round- so if you are close by why don't you pop in and take a look!

P.s Apologies for the quality of the photos- I took them on my phone which I recently dropped- hence the poor quality.


Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

The Watercress Line has lots of happy memories of taking H there when small. Not sure whether this was more enjoyed by H or his father who is an incorrigible steam train fanatic! E x

Beth said...

I love the whole volunteer steam train thing, we have a (re-built) line at Bolton Abbey (where I'm from) and we took the boys on the Santa train over Christmas. It's such a lovely thing and I really appreciate the enthusiasm of the people who give up their time to 'work' there. Your day out looks great fun. Bethx (thelinencat)