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Album of the week

Photos of Romsey Carnival events and processions over the last 65 years

New Romsey Railway book

“Eastleigh to Romsey and Salisbury” by Nigel Bray  

If anyone wants to purchase a copy of the "Eastleigh to Romsey and Salisbury" railway book by Nigel Bray and support Romsey Signal Box Working Museum, the Signal Box will be open on dates below.

The railway line that opened between Eastleigh and Romsey 160 years ago on 1st March 1847 was part of Salisbury’s first rail link with Southampton, and at Romsey it became intertwined with the “Sprat and Winkle Line” (Andover to Redbridge) when it arrived nearly 20 years later.  In this new book, which complements his books on the Andover to Redbridge and the Salisbury & Dorset Junction railways, Nigel Bray draws on his local knowledge and experience as a career railwayman to tell the complete story of the line.  

In 120 pages, Nigel tells how the line came to be built, its subsequent history, and its effect on the local economies of Salisbury and Romsey.  The story of the demise and rebirth of Chandlers Ford station is told, together with the replacement of the old level crossing at Halterworth, the saving of Romsey signal box and the development of the MoD sidings at Dean Hill.  

Around 160 photographs cover various periods in the line’s life, and show early views of Romsey, Dean and Dunbridge stations and Crampmoor Crossing.  There are also pictures of interloping Great Western Railway locomotives in Southern Railway territory at Romsey, as well as more recent photographs of the various types of steam and diesel trains, that have used the route over the years.  

This fascinating book will appeal to anyone interested in Romsey’s local history, its railway network or both.  Copies are available from Romsey Signal Box Working Museum and the Heritage Centre at King John’s House.  It can also be ordered from any bookshop (ISBN: 978-1-905505-42-5) or for £17.95 post-free from Kestrel Railway Books, PO Box 269, Southampton, SO30 4XR.  Further information is on their website: 

Romsey Signal Box Open Days 2018

January 2018 Saturday 20th
February Sunday 4th; Saturday 17th
March Saturday 3rd; Sunday 4th; Saturday 17th
April Sunday 1st (Easter Sunday); Saturday 21st
May Sunday 6th; Saturday 19th
June Sunday 3rd; Saturday 16th
July Sunday 1st; Saturday 21st
August Sunday 5th; Saturday 18th
September Sunday 2nd; Saturday 15th; Sunday 16th;
October Sunday 7th; Saturday 20th
November Sunday 4th; Saturday 17th
December Sunday 2nd


Susan K Moore

and her Reg Calvert Books

This is a well-written account of the early business and family life of Reg Calvert by his daughter Susan who lived for a while in a flat over Tates TV shop in Church St, Romsey.
He was well known for the dances he organised in the Drill Hall in Station Rd, Romsey. A must read

Book Two (CLIFTON HALL School of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and book Three (SHIVERING SANDS) are now available in one book "Life and Death of a Pirate"at Amazon.

Romsey's Pocket Microscope inventor

In 2014 Richard Williams (Romsey) and Andrew Monk patented the iolight Magnificent Mobile Microscope. 

Their microscope is easily portable - it fits in a rucksack or jacket pocket - and captures beautiful images of plant and animal cells, Images are displayed instantly on your tablet or smartphone making them simple to share or paste into your homework or Nobel Prize winning paper.  Resolution is better than 1 micron (1 thousandth of a mm) and gives x200 magnification on a 10" tablet screen and even more on a larger screen.  In summary the ioLight microscope is the perfect pocket partner for any scientist, student or educator

Watch ioLight microscope demonstration HERE 10th on playlist


Abbotswood Community Centre update

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) and Abbotswood Community Association (ACA) are working closely on the transfer of the legal ownership of Abbotswood Community Centre from the Abbotswood Development Consortium. Unfortunately delays with the legal transfer between the consortium of developers for the Abbotswood Community Centre means TVBC is unable to grant ACA occupation of the building until this legal transfer has been completed.

Click or tap above for latest photos

ACA are extremely disappointed in the delay to the delivery of this centre. We ask that local residents and potential centre users please bear with us at this time and as soon as we have confirmation of the hand over we will let you know, we are optimistic to move this forward as soon as possible. On completion of the handover ACA will need time to equip the Centre and ensure it is fit for purpose for hirers and users.

TO READ MORE  Click Here

Woodley Village Hall history in photos

Please click or tap above

Plaza Romsey Secondary School Reunion May 2017

click or tap above for photos


In 2014 Richard Williams (Romsey) and Andrew Monk patented the ioLight Mobile Microscope...


Their ioLight microscope is easily portable - it fits in a rucksack or jacket pocket - and captures beautiful images of plant and animal cells, Images are displayed instantly on your iPad, iPhone or Android device making them simple to share or paste into your homework or Nobel Prize winning paper. Resolution is better than 1 micron (1 thousandth of a mm) and gives x200 magnification on a 10" screen and even more on a larger screen. In summary the ioLight microscope is the perfect pocket partner for any scientist, student or educator, ioLight Website


More coloured photos of Romsey in 1947

Click or tap above to view


Romsey's  new author has 2nd book out

Jane Barter Reeves new book Entitlement is another gripping read that follows the astonishing actions of a husband who believes that he is entitled to his former wife's inheritance, and who doesn't take no for an answer!    

If You Click Here, you can find out more about Jane and her books, as well being able to contact the author and visit Amazon to purchase copies for yourself.

Buy on Amazon

Molly Irvine writes about Jane's 1st book

We have a local budding author in Romsey. Her name is JANE BARTER REEVES . This is her first book, just published . I've just finished it, and it's a great read. In fact, I couldn't put it down ! Can't wait for her 2nd book to come out ! I've known Jane all her life, and I know how hard , and what long hours she's been working on this. So I'd love Romsey readers to support Jane, and help her to sell cartloads of books. ! Congratulations Jane, and get on with the next one please ! xxxx    

Buy on Amazon

Greenways (Mandarin Chef) Restaurant in 1963

Click below to view photos


Romsey Good Neighbours

Registered Charity No. 1119751

We are a group of volunteers who offer to take elderly,
infirm or disabled people to attend a hospital, doctor, dentist, optician or any other medical appointment
The service is only provided in Romsey,
Romsey Extra, Ampfield and Braishfield
We can also provide transport to enable
people to visit relatives in hospital


To request Transport

Please telephone a Co-ordinator  on one of the numbers below
between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday if possible giving at
least five days clear notice (not including weekends)

08450 94 96 71       08450 94 96 72

 08450 94 96 73

08450 94 96 74     08450 94 96 75

     08450 94 96 76

Please try an alterative number if you fail to reach your first choice

All co-ordinators work independently from the same client details and list of drivers
so please ensure you make a note of the co-ordinator and drivers names
dealing with your journey


Lockerley Mechanical Society

We are an informal group with interests including trains both real and model, vehicles, boats, planes, farm equipment ... in fact anything involving oil and spanners. We meet at 11.00am on the first Monday of each month at the Coffee Shop in Lockerley Memorial Hall and we also hold a quarterly pub lunch.  We are presently researching the history of Lockerley WW2 US Army camp. New members are very welcome. Contact Ian McKeand on 017 94 34 10 05 or just turn up at the Coffee Shop.

Luzborough Camp memories


Hi Romsonians, Mike Thomas here in the USA. I would like to ask anyone that has pictures and/or information on LUZBOROUGH CAMP from the late 40's and early 50's to send them to me at 


I am preparing to write a memoir and would like to add pictures and to possibly jog my memories of those early days when I lived there. For  photos and history click HERE  Luzborough camp was located at the corner of Luzborough Lane and Botley Rd, just south of Baddesley. Thank you in advance for your help, Regards ... Mike

Click photo for lots more.


US Army in Lockerley 1944


Lockerley was the site of a huge storehouse for the US Army prior to the Invasion of Europe, established in October 1943 and largely obsolete by October 1944 by which time supplies were being sent direct to France. The depot was behind St Johns Church off of East Tytherley Rd and comprised 15 miles of sidings and 134 covered sheds. After the US army left and a period of use by the Royal Army Ordnance Corps it closed in the 1950s and now nothing but slight earth disturbance remains.


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About Romsey UK

Romsey is a small market town in the county of Hampshire, England. It is 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Southampton and 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Winchester, neighbouring the village of North Baddesley. Just under 15,000 people live in Romsey, which has an area of about 4.93 square kilometers. Romsey lies on the River Test, which is famous for fly fishing, predominantly trout. It is one of the principal towns in the Test Valley Borough. A large Norman abbey dominates the centre of the town. Romsey was home of the 20th-century soldier and statesman Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the 19th-century British prime minister Lord Palmerston, and the 17th-century philosopher and economist William Petty. Romsey is twinned with Paimpol in Brittany, France, and Battenberg, Germany.

Romsey History

Middle Ages to the Civil War

The name Romsey is believed to have originated from the term Rūm's Eg, meaning "Rum's area surrounded by marsh". Rum is probably an abbreviated form of a personal name, like Rumwald (glorious leader).

What was to become Romsey Abbey was founded in 907. Nuns, led by Elflaeda daughter of Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great, founded a community — at his direction — in what was then a small village. Later, King Edgar refounded the nunnery, about 960, as a Benedictine house under the rule of St. Ethelflaeda whose devotional acts included chanting psalms while standing naked in the cold water of the River Test.
The village swelled alongside the religious community. The Vikings ran-sacked Romsey in 993, burning down the church. But the village recovered, and the abbey was rebuilt in stone in about 1000. The religious community flourished as a seat of learning, especially for the children of the nobility. A market was established outside the abbey gates.
The Normans built the large current abbey that dominates the town (between c. 1120 and 1140) on the site of the original Saxon church. By 1240, 100 nuns lived in the convent.

King Henry I granted Romsey its first charter. This allowed a market to be held every Sunday, and a four-day annual fair in May. In the 13th century, Henry III permitted an additional fair in October.

The lucrative woollen industry appears to have powered Romsey's growth during the Middle Ages. Wool was woven and then fulled or pounded with wooden hammers whilst being washed. It was dyed, and then exported from nearby Southampton.

Romsey continued to grow and prosper until plague struck the town in 1348-9. The Black Death is thought to have killed up to half of the Romsey's population of 1000. The number of nuns fell as low as 19. Prosperity never returned to the abbey. It was finally suppressed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Many religious buildings were destroyed during this time.
But the abbey was saved from demolition because part of it was a parish church for the people of Romsey. The town purchased the abbey from the Crown for £100 in 1544. Ironically, the part of the abbey that had saved the abbey, the church of St Lawrence, was then demolished.

By the mid-16th century Romsey's population was about 1,500; its woollen and tanning industries fuelled growth. On 6 April 1607 King James I granted the town a charter making it a borough. This gave official status to an informal local government that had been running the affairs of the town since the Dissolution of Romsey Abbey in 1539. Romsey could now have a corporation comprising a mayor, six aldermen and twelve chief burgesses, with a town clerk for 'office work'. Furthermore, there was to be a local law court under a Court Recorder, assisted by two sergeants-at-mace. Over all, was the prestigious position of High Steward, the first of whom was the Earl of Southampton. (Lord Brabourne, grandson of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, is the current High Steward.)

Romsey changed hands several times during the English Civil War. Both Royalist and Parliamentary or Roundhead troops occupied and plundered the town. Royalists remained in control of the borough until January 1645.

18th to 20th centuries

The town's woollen industry survived until the middle of the 18th century, but was beaten by competition from the north of England. However, new fast-growing enterprises soon filled the gap with brewing, papermaking and sack making, all reliant upon the abundant waters of the Test.
By 1794 a canal connected Romsey to Redbridge — at the mouth of the River Test — and Andover to the north but within 50 years had largely fallen into disuse. Industry continued to grow. Romsey was a reasonably large town for the early 19th century: its population was 4,274 in the first census of 1801, compared with just 8,000 for Southampton.

Despite the arrival of the railway in 1847 the expansion slowed and whilst its population had grown to 5,654 in 1851 it then stagnated and by the time of the census half a century later (1901) the population was just 5,597.

Lord Palmerston, the 19th-century British Prime Minister, was born and lived at Broadlands, a large country estate on the outskirts of the town. His statue stands in the Market Place outside the Town Hall.

The Willis Fleming family of North Stoneham Park were major landowners at Romsey from the 17th until early 20th centuries, and were lords of the manors of Romsey Infra and Romsey Extra.

Romsey was famous for making collapsible boats during the 19th and early 20th centuries, invented by the Rev. Edward Lyon Berthon in 1851. The Berthon Boatyard in Romsey made the boats from 1870 until 1917. They were used as lifeboats on ocean-going liners.

Broadlands later became the home of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, known locally as "Lord Louis". He was buried in Romsey Abbey after being killed in an IRA bomb explosion in Ireland on 27 August 1979. In 1947, Mountbatten was given his earldom and the lesser title "Baron Romsey, of Romsey in the County of Southampton".
After Lord Mountbatten of Burma died, his titles passed to his elder daughter, Lady Brabourne, who thus became Lady Mountbatten of Burma. Her eldest son was styled by the courtesy title "Lord Romsey" until he inherited the title of Lord Brabourne in 2005.

The Prince and Princess of Wales spent the first night of their honeymoon at Broadlands.
Embley Park, a country estate located on the outskirts of Romsey was the home of Florence Nightingale, most famous for her pioneering work as a nurse and sanitary reform during the Crimean war and for laying the foundation of modern nursing. Florence is said to have had her calling from God whilst being sat under a giant cedar tree in the grounds of Embley Park on 7 February 1837. The site is now home to a private school, reminders of Florence's formative years are all around the house and estate.
Nightingale is buried in the family vault at St. Margaret Church in East Wellow, located on the outskirts of Romsey. Her coffin was taken by train from London to Romsey Station where a horse drawn carriage completed the journey to the church for a simple funeral at the request of Florence.

During 2007 Romsey celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the granting of its Charter by King James I with a programme of events from March through September, including a visit on 8 June from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Subsequently. the cost of the visit has created some local political controversy


Romsey today appears to be in sound economic health. Whilst there is significant commuting out of the town for work - particularly to Southampton and Winchester, and also, to some extent, London - it could not be described as a dormitory town.
Whilst heavy industry in the town has long since declined, three industrial and trading estates focus mainly on service industries and small-scale manufacturing. Three major scientific and high technology employers — Roke Manor Research, Southampton Science Park and IBM — have large establishments in the nearby countryside.
The recently renovated town centre contains a Waitrose, and Aldi supermarkets, a small department store, and over 100 other retail outlets of various kinds, including both high street chains and local independent shops.
There is concern about the decline of local independent shops due to the high business rates, and threat from large supermarkets.

Sadler's Mill

Watermills have played an important part in Romsey's history as an industrial town. The Doomsday Book of 1086 provides the earliest record of watermills in Romsey, which identifies three (possibly four) mills.
Sadler's Mill is probably the best known of Romsey's surviving mills and is apparently the only mill to be developed on the main course of the River Test. The existence of Sadler's Mill is first recorded in the 16th century, when it was owned by the manor of Great and Little Spursholt. Functioning as a corn and grist mill, it has passed through a succession of owners including Lord Palmerston who rebuilt it in 1747 and sold it in 1777 to one Benjamin Dawkins. Following another succession of owners it returned to the Broadlands estate in 1889. Milling ceased in 1932, when the mill building became redundant. The Broadlands estate sold the building in 2003, at which point it was close to collapse having been derelict for many years. The new owners, Anthony and Sarah de Sigley, restored the building in 2005, rebuilding much of the original structure. During the restoration evidence of an earlier structure was found; carbon 14 dating established the age of this to be circa 1650.

Romsey has its own parliamentary constituency. Its current MP is Caroline Nokes of the Conservative Party. Elected in the general election on 6 May 2010, she ousted the Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley with a 4.5% swing to Conservative from Liberal Democrat and a majority of 4,156 votes. Gidley had held the seat since a by-election in 2000.
Notable buildings

Romsey Abbey

Romsey Abbey is a Norman abbey, originally built as a Benedictine foundation, housing a community of Benedictine nuns. The abbey is open daily to visitors as well as being the Anglican Parish church of Romsey.

King John's House

King John's House & Tudor Cottage was allegedly a hunting lodge used by King John of England whilst hunting in the New Forest. However, the existing building dates from much later. It does contain a number of extremely unusual and exciting historical features, including medieval wall decorations and graffiti, as well as a floor made of animal bones.

Places of interest

Broadlands - Stately home

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens - Gardens and arboretum

Mottisfont Abbey - National Trust property with nationally renowned rose collection

Paultons Park - Children's theme park

Romsey Rapids - Leisure pool and gym


The Mayor's Picnic
takes place in early-mid summer and is held in Romsey's Memorial Park. There is music performed by local schools, a variety of stalls, and the popular Duck Race, in which numbered plastic ducks 'race' each other along the river Test, to be scrupulously retrieved before awarding a prize to whoever chose the winning duck
The Beggars Fair
is held in the streets and pubs of Romsey on the second Saturday in July. It is a free festival featuring all types of music, together with dance and other street entertainment.
Romsey Carnival
takes place during a week in July with the highlight being the procession through the streets of Romsey on the final Sunday afternoon.
The Romsey Show
is a large agricultural show that takes place every September at Broadlands. The show is one of the oldest in England, held annually since 1842. In addition, Broadlands has twice hosted the CLA Game Fair, the largest agricultural show in the world, most recently in July 2006.
The Winter Carnival
takes places each year when Romsey's Christmas lights are switched on.
The Romsey Arts Festival
occurs every 3 years, showcasing talent from in and around the local area.
Romsey Charter Celebrations
1607-2007 Programme of Events ran from 21 March to 30 September 2007.

Romsey Classic Car Show
is a charity event that has been running on Boxing Day since 2002, attracting hundreds of pre-1976 vehicles to the town centre car parks.

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