The Watercress Walk

Compton & Shawford Walker’s Group: The Watercress Walk

November 10th: Eight Walkers set off from the Pavilion to walk the Watercress line in Alresford.

There was a choice of walks. Fortunately we all elected to walk the Medstead / Four Marks to Alresford section, some 5 miles.

The organizers had arranged for all walkers to be bussed to Medstead / Four Marks on a vintage bus provided by King Alfred Bus Company.

We were required to register and were given a numbered ticket, which we had to present when we either left the line or reached the end to ensure that we did not get lost! (quite difficult when following a railway line).

Refreshments were provided at the stations along the route free of charge.

Most of the walk was along the railway line stepping between the sleepers and occasionally negotiating obstacles. The views across the undulating countryside, especially when the track was elevated, were outstanding.

The glorious autumn colours, the wide range of birds and badger setts added to the occasion.

We had full access to the railway stations/public rooms, displays and steam engines. At Ropley we were able to mount the footplates of some of the steam engines and examine many of the engines under repair.

The keenness of the men folk came through, with Mike Everett enthusing over the engines / rolling stock and Ken Staunton acting the role of ticket collector.

The walk lasted 3 hours and lunch was taken by some in the café on Alresford railway station.

Bob Jordan