W.I. Newsletter November 2016

WI Logo2

For some of us at this month’s meeting it was if our life was flashing before our very eyes.  Our speaker this month was Jill Hannington, who shared her memories of Andover during her childhood in the 1940s and 50s.

Our journey back in time started at Hundred Acre Corner at the top of Weyhill Road travelling into town past Gallagher’s butcher’s shop, Gill’s Café, Burbidge’s Bakery and the Linga Longa Café.  We crossed over the railway bridge, where we could glimpse the grain silos which were at one time served by their own railway track, subsequently joining the main line in Andover.  We saw images of a newly built St Michael and All Angels Church replacing the little Mission Hall, just beyond that was the huge printing works of Kelly’s Directories (aka Chapel River Press), one of the largest employers in Andover, in its heyday employing 900 people. The Kelly’s Sports and Social Club at times hosted some well-known ‘names’ and raised substantial amounts of money for charity.    One member can recall paying 6d for Ann Sidney’s autograph – Miss World in 1964.

We went on to hear how so many lovely old buildings in and around the town were demolished to make way for road widening schemes, dual carriageways, shops and offices.  Jill had many photographs of the town centre, explaining all the buildings and reviving many, many memories for those of our Members who have resided in the area for decades – not necessarily back to the 1940s though!

There were photographs of Andover Junction (now the Railway Station), a very important and busy junction serving trains travelling from London to the West Country and Southampton. Jill recalls the circus animals being transported by rail to Andover for the annual Circus held on The Walled Meadow, with the elephants being walked through the town. The original Ticket Office of Andover Station (then in Bridge Street) is now stored at the Railway Museum in York awaiting a suitable place to re-assemble it.

Memories were awakened when Jill mentioned Daisy Dell – not only as a picnic spot, but also a favourite venue for courting couples and the talk finished with a picture of Andover’s most famous pop group, The Troggs! 

We will be back in the Village Hall very shortly for our next meeting on Thursday 8th December at 7.30 p.m. for Nick Crump’s amazing instruments followed by a festive buffet supper.  


Diary Dates:

06 December     –              Reading Group

08 December     –              Monthly Meeting – 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall

10 December     –              Walking Group

20 December     –              Coffee Morning