You may remember Tony Williams. He is the man who bought Droxford Station on the former Meon Valley line which ran from Fareham to Alton until passenger traffic ceased in 1955.
Until recently Tony ran open days at the quaint old country station to raise funds, but time became an issue because of his business commitments.
However, Tony wants to try to find and place artefacts from the railway’s heyday and has asked me to ask if anyone has any railway memorabilia in their back gardens which he could have.
What Tony is after are old railway benches, semaphore signal arms and posts. Also gas lamps.
If anything else with railway connections lurks in your garden that you want to get rid of please get in touch with him.
He is willing to collect anything from within a reasonable distance.
Tony can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The afternoon and evening of February 6, 1955, was an historic one for this branch line.
For that’s when last train to run the full length of the Meon Valley line and you see it here near West Meon.
I got to know all the young firemen in later years.
I spoke to them about working the last special in a magazine I used to edit, The Woking Grapevine.
Tony Williams organised a special open day for these men 10 years ago and he could not believe he was speaking to men who once worked trains which ran through the station he now owns.
On the front engine is inspector Bollem with driver Tom Harding and fireman Gordon Ballard. On the rear engine are driver Frank Tickner and fireman Roy Vigas.
Believe it or not but if you see this scene today you would be in front of the arches along the west side of Broad Street, Old Portsmouth.
This is what it looked like pre-1847 when the buildings were demolished for an extension to Point Barracks.
It comes from a 1930s’ edition of The Evening News but the artist is not mentioned.
The picture of the sailors paiting a funnel is one I have on file but do not know who sent it to me. Sorry about that.
In the photo we see sailors on planks slung over the funnel while they painted it.
There appears to be no back rope to lean into to stop the men from falling backwards. They just had to make sure they hung on and paid attention to what they were doing.
Can you imagine modern sailors having to do this. There would be a mutiny I think.