One of HAT’s grant funded projects has finally been completed despite the obstacles the last couple of years has thrown up due to the pandemic. The Micheldever Station community celebration project was originally planned for 180 years after its creation in 2020, but was much delayed by Covid and the social restrictions. The crowning event in a range of activities was a community event renamed as Micheldever 180 + 2 years that came to fruition on 8 May 2022 on a glorious spring day.
The whole project included the publication ‘Parsons and Prawns’ – the story of the coming of the railway – by Peter Clarke (sadly deceased and much missed). The eye catching title was taken from a derogatory remark by Brunel (who didn’t want the London and South Western railway to be built as he perceived it as a threat to his Great Western Railway. Why Parsons and Prawns? It was meant to refer to services which would carry clergy to Winchester and prawns from Southampton, both of which he considered of little merit! It was possible to publish this during the pandemic but the finale event for the celebrations was always meant to include a display (which is to travel to various venues), a talk (from Howard Sprenger, Chairman of the Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society) and the unveiling of the information board at Micheldever station. Howard’s excellent talk was well attended and much enjoyed with it seemed like the whole village there, and the celebrations at the pub with a hog roast (the Dove Inn originally built by the railway as a coaching inn) were much enjoyed too. There are to be lasting legacies from the commemoration including the display, the information board at the station and material on the Dever Society website and not least the community pride.
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