All aboard the Watercress Line - Alresford to Alton on a historic steam train

16th August 2017: Our second community trip - a journey on a steam train on the Mid-Hants Railway’s Watercress Line – was as popular as before with a fully booked coach setting off from Mansbridge for Alresford. It was great to see many familiar faces who had been on the previous trip to Beaulieu.

On arrival at the beautifully preserved Alresford station the group had some time free to explore the area, have picnics or have lunch and ice cream at the station’s buffet. Basking in the gorgeous sunshine on the pretty platform we were in time to see the earlier train getting ready to depart and, with a huge puff of smoke and whistle, it set off in its journey.

We had a whole carriage for our group which was just special and to top it all, the Education Officer, Sheila, came round to hand out colouring and activity kits to the children and Memory Baskets for the adults. That would keep everybody busy for a while.

The journey through the rolling hills of the Hampshire countryside, two brief halts along the way, lots of chatter, fun and games and before long we had arrived at our destination at Alton where the engine changed ends and we set off on our return journey. There were some great creative artworks entered into the competition and lot of reminiscing triggered by the memory baskets.

All the stations along the route are pretty and lovingly restored by dedicated staff and volunteers of the Watercress Line. Ropley station is picturesque with its manicured topiary and the nearby Loco yard had some interesting locomotives. Sadly, there wasn’t enough time to walk on the ‘Harry Potter bridge’ as we were soon off. Next stop Medstead and Four Marks station is the highest station in southern England!


 A final group photo at Alresford and it was home time again. We certainly had a fantastic time. 

 Written by Padmini Broomfield 


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