My hunt for “Buggleskelly” started back in 2016 when my 92-year-old Grandfather, Kenneth Albert George Sole told me a story about the time, as a child, he walked from Basingstoke to Cliddesden Station to watch the filming of the 1937 classic “Oh Mr. Porter!” starring Will Hay…
Intrigued by the fact that I didn’t even know there had been a railway station at Cliddesden, or a line that connected Basingstoke with Alton, I set about conducting some market research to see what I could find out about the forgotten track.
Although the station and its building have long since been demolished, there are quite a few indicators of the existence of the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway.
Market research both online and field revealed:
In its heyday, the single-track railway line ran from Basingstoke railway station, past Thorneycrofts (site of Morrison’s supermarket) and Viables Farm (Viables Craft Centre) heading out towards Cliddesden. There was even a track that went via Park Prewett.
So if you’ve wondered why there is a piece of track in the middle of one of Basingstoke’s many roundabouts – that’s why!
In 2018 a commemorative bench was constructed in Cliddesden village (see below) – I’ll leave you to find its location.
I wonder what other treasures of yesteryear exist in the local area? I heard the other day that there is an ancient well situated somewhere in Oakridge that dates back to 1AD! – perhaps this historic tale will feature in a future brevity blog!
Read our other recent ‘Basingstoke history’ inspired blogs: