All aboard! Residents take rail journey back in time

Three rail enthusiasts spent an afternoon reliving train journeys of days gone-by at a former station in the New Forest
Anthony Coombes, Peter Clark and Edward Stone, enjoyed a visit to the Old Station Tea Rooms in Holmsley, Hampshire.

Holmsley Station House was opened in 1874 and was a vital line for Dorset at the time.

In the late 1800s, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, Prince Edward, frequently disembarked at Holmsley with his then mistress, Lillie Langtry, on the way to their love nest in Bournemouth.

In 1899, Robert Louis Stephenson, who was a local resident, cast Holmsley Station as ‘Browndean’ the fictional station in his novel ‘The Wrong Box’.

During World War 2, the station played an instrumental part of the troop and freight deployment to the aerodrome at Holmsley South. And in May 1944, with preparations for the D-Day landings underway, Eisenhower and senior government officials were frequently seen there.

Sadly, Holmsley was one of 2200 casualties of the infamous ‘Beeching Cuts’ and closed for good in 1964. But it still retains some fascinating memorabilia of times-gone-by and this was greatly enjoyed by Anthony, Peter and Edward.
Our Colten Companion Justin Corder explained: “All of the gentlemen have had an interest in trains throughout their lives and were very keen to visit Holmsley.
“We had some pictures taken with the old signal post and a crossing sign in the sunshine and then we visited the Tea Rooms for refreshments and a lively discussion about the different railways they had visited in their life in Yorkshire and Devon to name a few.

[caption id="attachment_5214" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Edward ‘Ted’ Stone, a resident at Colten Care’s Canford Chase case home visited the Holmsley Station House[/caption]

“Before we left, the gents also posed with some of the British Rail hats on show, which they greatly enjoyed.”
Edward ‘Ted’ Stone said: “I fell in love with trains as a child, going with my Dad to see the steam engines.
“I really enjoyed the trip to Holmsley, including seeing the model train in the entrance and the luggage on display that would be have been found on the good old British Rail trains.”