A TINY railway station in Hampshire was host to a special event to mark 180 years since the opening of the railway.

The event at Micheldever Station on Sunday, May 8, had been postponed since 2020.

Micheldever Station is host to a tiny rural station, steeped in railway history, which continues to play its part in the modern transport scene.

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In 1840 the difficult engineering work of tunnelling and construction of the embankment over the Dever River had been completed enabling trains to run from Nine Elms, uninterrupted to Southampton.

Sir Thomas Baring, local landowner and chairman of London & South Western Railway, supported a grand opening party. The event on Sunday, organised by local resident Sue Bell, looked to replicate this party, 180 (+2) years on.

Sue said: “The day was so well worth waiting for. It exceeded all my expectations. Horse-drawn vehicles, Test Valley Brass Band took the place of the Hurstbourne Tarrant Band of 1840, the Western Road Hotel has become The Dove Inn but continues to provide a most hospitable welcome to all, the trains continue to provide a service, and the community can be justly proud of celebrating Micheldever Station in style."

Winchester MP, Steve Brine, along with Peter Williams, Commercial Director of South Western Railway, ably assisted young Harvey Jarrad as he unveiled the information board entitled ‘Micheldever station - the station that created the community’.

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The celebrations were kicked off by Howard Sprenger’s excellent talk on Micheldever Station in the context of this railway line and with reference to Parson’s & Prawns by Peter L Clarke. There was also an exhibition in Warren Hall; a Micheldever Station Trail, which included a visit into the Old Post Cottage, built to handle the increased amount of mail which could no longer be handled by the Western Road Hotel; and The Old Stores, a Lutyens-designed property built in 1896, where visitors were invited to try some Victorian sweets.

The most recent addition to the recreational facilities enjoyed by the community is the Petanque Terrain officially opened by Patrick Cunningham, Winchester City Councillor for this ward. The terrain was constructed to the memory of Tony Hooper, a much loved and missed local resident and skilful Petanque player.

Mr Brine said: “A pleasure to be in Micheldever Station to take part in this special celebation of its history and I’m proud to have been asked to unveil their new history information board. A really important station and truly lovely community.”

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