Watercress Line

Distemper outbreak at Alresford

At Alresford we have recently put up the second replica Halls Distemper sign in memory of MHR stalwart  Jim Pitt. The firm were originally known as Sissons and the sign replicates one in Leatherhead Museum where Brian Dolton took some photographs of the original. These were used by Paul Bryant at Parc Signs of St Austell to produce the excellent replica on Platform 2 at Alresford, where it can be seen to greater advantage both by visitors on the platforms and passengers on the trains both arriving and departing. Jim Pitt was always very keen to put up these Halls Distemper signs on the Railway, the first of which is at Ropley, when he was with us as he felt they were always part of the railway scene he remembered. The first sign was installed last year on the down-side embankment at Ropley and is a large free-standing cut-out type, numerously seen in country locations in those bygone days.


Also at Alresford the new staff toilet being constructed within a storage cupboard has progressed well with additional plumbing work being carried out and initial painting completed. It has also been decided that whilst we are undertaking this job we will also renovate the staff kitchen area which badly needed an up-grade as it hasn’t been touched since it was installed, goodness know when. These alterations will give the staff who work in the station much better staff only facilities without having to walk outside. The ASSET team have been involved with this job, which certainly helps move the scheme forward quicker.


The Medstead Goods Shed project moves along nicely with internal painting and fitting out progressing well. The project attracted encouraging comments from passengers that called in when the building was used by the Wagon Group during the Pre-Spring Gala for their stalls. Obviously with painting you don’t see a great lot of difference for a while as the various coats are applied and allowed to dry but the storage cabinets are now going in and something a bit more substantial can be seen now. The roof beams have been stained and the brackets are primed ready for black top gloss and give a bit more of a rustic look to the interior.


At Ropley our presence in the Education Room/ Viewing Gallery continues with a new foot step being constructed and installed for our younger visitors to stand on to look into the loco shed to see the restoration work being undertaken on our fleet of locomotives. The step has been  designed to fit the smaller feet of this class of visitor and the first operational test proved successful.



Bob Brooks

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