|An Indian summer provided a very warm sunny day, which made the event very enjoyable indeed. A record thirty-six cars arrived making an interesting puzzle trying to fit everyone in the allocated parking area. After some expert manoeuvring by their drivers, each car found space and everyone made their way to the Ropley Station platform.
Ropley sidings had an amazing display of steam trains including, much to the delight of our younger members, Thomas the Tank Engine. Older participants reminisced, then pondered over the staggering topiary next to the signal box.
The train arrived on time and carried us down the line to Alresford in style. Lunch was provided in two sittings at the station, allowing those waiting to dine a look around the attractions or a walk in to the town.
For those brave enough to venture on to the footplate or into the signal box, a full demonstration was given with the opportunity to pull the levers. All went to plan and the next train arrived safely. After a hearty meal we returned to Ropley via the last train. A few travelled on to Alton and returned a short while later, having taken in the delightful views and an extended ride in First Class!
A big thank you to the Watercress staff and BW Chris Tween for organising the day.
Darren Collins - Section STO