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Thursday 7 December 2023


As you can see from these photos the Discovery Centre continues to develop.

More information and photos to follow as things progress further.

We are now closed to the public for the Christmas and new year period. Work will still carry on in the background during this time.


Thursday 9 November 2023


 After months of hard work, our Discovery Centre informally opened on November 5th. We had two sunny days with a diverse range of visitors. On the open day, we had 36 visitors of all ages, and the next day, a small group of retired people.

Our track circuit display and model railway were a big hit. Some visitors watched our 'Mini History of Railway Signalling' video, while others used interactive computer displays.

The informal opening provided valuable feedback for improvement. Volunteers will focus on enhancing the model railway, adding more interactive exhibits, and expanding signage.

Thanks to all volunteers and friends for their contributions and dedication to this unique learning experience.

Thanks to Malcolm Moore for the above.

Thursday 2 November 2023


On Sunday the 5th November our discovery centre will be open to the public for the first time.

A great deal of work has been carried out in this building for many months by a dedicated team of volunteers. The public can now come in and try the interactive items and hopefully give us feed-back.

Good luck and I'm sure everyone will join me in thanking all those involved.

Thursday 26 October 2023


Throughout the year we hold special visits by groups such as U3A, Scouts, Cubs and anyone else that is interested in a group visit. These can range from small groups up to about 30 or so. Normally a visit will include tea or coffee, sometimes biscuits or even a full cream tea, depending what is requested.

Photographs by permission

The above photos were taken on the 17th October 2023 when we had a visit by the HSBC Pensioners group. This was a tea, coffee and biscuits visit.

Group visits require just a few of us volunteers to assist. They are always very enjoyable and friendly and, if time permits, some very interesting chats and a lot of banter takes place. We usually get some very positive feedback from these visits which is very rewarding.

If you know of anyone who would be interested please ask them to get in touch - it's a great way to spend a couple of hours or so.

Monday 18 September 2023


(16TH & 17TH SEPTEMBER 2023)

We didn't have quite as many visitors as usual this year but it was still worthwhile opening. Saturday there were the normal demonstrations in the signal box, and Sunday we were running a full timetable. We enjoyed good weather on Saturday but Sunday we had some heavy rain in the middle part of the day.
The Buffer Stop cafe proved popular. I had baked three cakes and 16 sausage rolls and everything was sold by the end of Sunday.

Here are two of our visitors enjoying watching Edward pulling his coaches and trucks around the garden railway.

Visitors in the signal box are helping to operate the signal levers.

All photographs by permission.

Tuesday 22 August 2023


On Wednesday the 16th August there were no less than 15 - yes, 15 - volunteers working at the signal box.
That's me (Dave) behind young Charlie in the top photo.

Here it's Dick behind Charlie, with me taking the photo.

It's really good to see so many people coming to help on Wednesdays. It means that various things progress quite quickly. One problem is that we now need to "fire up" the water urn instead of using the kettle in order to water the troops.

Well Done Lads! A huge Thank You To Everyone.

Friday 23 June 2023


On Wednesday the 21st June The Buffer Stop cafe was inspected by a Test Valley Borough Council hygiene inspector.

I am pleased to report that there were no issues whatsoever and we have retained the highest hygiene level of 5.

I do tend to be very insistent on keeping the cafe and kitchen very clean and tidy, but hopefully for a very good reason. Well, I seem to be doing something right! Anyway, great news and thank you to everyone who helps with my "quest".

Keep and eye out for more news soon.