AN HISTORIC railway line has put out a plea for help after callous thieves unscrewed signs and stole them from one of its stations.

The Watercress Line were calling for information after vintage metal signs were stolen from the wall on June 4 from Ropley station.

The signs, which all date back to pre-1960, are valuable to the station as an important piece of heritage and to the visitor experience.

READ MORE: Watercress Line honoured by the Queen

The railway has told the public to look out for the signs on eBay or specific railway auction sites.

So far, the tourist attraction in New Alresford has received lots of support and suggestions via social media but no successful leads to finding the signs at present.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ropley station- vintage metal signs

Acting managing director of the line, Alison Houghton said: “It is very upsetting that someone has mindlessly stolen the signs as they form part of our visitor experience.

"They also feature in our education package as we compare historic advertising with more modern approaches.

"Direct replacements may possibly be found for some of the signs but that is not guaranteed. Other vintage metal signs are available to buy but they are expensive and like many other visitor attractions we are still feeling the financial impacts of the pandemic.”

Alison is encouraging the public share the social media posts and generally keep an eye open.

SEE ALSO: Thomas the Tank Engine back on track for fun-packed Hampshire adventure on the Watercress Line

She said: “The signs are distinctive, and we are carefully monitoring selling platforms such as eBay and bespoke railway auction sites in case they are offered for sale. Mostly however, I would like to appeal to whoever took the signs to find the empathy to return them.”

The Watercress Line, which runs over 10 miles from Alresford to Alton, is run by a large army of volunteers and it was recently honoured with The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

It hosts many popular events throughout the year such as its Day Out With Thomas events for families, its Summer Sizzler, Diesel Gala and 50s and 60s Weekends.

For more go to

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support.

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from your area by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page.