Women at work

The Mid-Hants Railway, nicknamed The Watercress Line, has created six new informative talks that groups can choose from on their next visit to the steam railway.

All talk topics are related to the Heritage Lottery Funded Canadian Pacific Project, which is restoring the railway’s flagship steam locomotive, the 35005 Canadian Pacific.

Each talk is approximately one hour long, and some include a PowerPoint presentation and film. Talks must be booked in advance. GTOs can choose from the following subjects:

Women’s Work – Women on the Railway

This talk will explore the varying roles of women on the railway between 1940 and 1960, from building and maintenance to the running of Britain's railways. Groups will also learn how women’s roles on the railway changed from the end of World War Two to the 1960s.

Southern Railway Servant’s Orphanage

Groups opting to hear about this topic will learn about Southern Railway’s Servant Orphanage in Woking; its strong connection to the railway, and what it is today. The talk covers much of the orphanage’s history, including its humble start as a fatherless girl’s home in 1885 and its development into The London and South Western Railway Servant’s Orphanage.

The Birth of Eastleigh – Eastleigh Works

This talk explains why the town of Eastleigh owes its existence to the railway works, focusing on the history of Eastleigh Works and how the establishment drove the development of the town.

Canadian Pacific Project – Engineering a Future from the Past

Groups interested in the Canadian Pacific Project can take this talk, which covers everything from what the project is about and what will be achieved by it, to how visitors to the Mid-Hants Railway can take part in it.

Battle of the Atlantic

The Battle of the Atlantic was one of the longest continuous campaigns during World War Two, and this talk covers the role of merchant shipping lines during the battle and the dreadful losses suffered.

Over the Alps – The History of the Watercress Line

Opt for this talk to learn why the Mid-Hants Railway became known as the Watercress Line. Groups will discover the history of the railway from its opening in 1865 through to its closure and near extinction in 1973.

Group travel organisers should call 01962-733810 to make a booking.

For further information visit www.watercressline.co.uk.

Pictured: A photo from the Women on the Railway talk. (Photo credit: Dennis Holdaway).