This photograph was taken by Phil Farlow in 1973, looking down Black Swan Yard towards the entrance into the upper High Street.

On the left is Adam’s cycle shop with its cluster of bicycles outside, and on the right the premises of Redman’s the gents’ outfitters, whose main entrance was in the High Street, and is now that of the Double Discount stores.

This section of the yard was newly-built in 1973 and Redman’s had just moved in.

Beyond, on the same side, was Yates the grocer with its A-board and various signs outside, including one for Lyons Maid on the side of the next building which was Randall’s the hairdresser.

Yates’ buildings were of poor early-1950s vintage and have now been replaced.

Black Swan Yard is one of many such alleyways and thoroughfares that once led from the High Street.

Most, though not all, were means of access from either East Street or West Street and allowed waggons and coach traffic to reach stabling associated with the various inns that fronted the High Street.

These yards took their names from the inns to which they belonged and the name Black Swan was that of the inn sited at 64 and 66 High Street and included the solar cross-wing at first floor level under which the pedestrian can reach the High Street today.

However, at some time before the mid 19th century, the inn became confined to the south side only.

The right-hand side of what we see in the photograph are later structures but opposite is the old inn-stabling.

Where the car is parked, there is timber-framing and, accordingly to Richard Warmington who wrote a pamphlet on Andover’s timber framed buildings in 1970, it dates from the 16th century.

The earliest directory of 1784 lists the licensee as one George Hemmett and probably it was then more important, than in Victorian days.

The development of the railways by the 1850s killed the coaching traffic altogether and the need to keep horses in extensive stabling available for changing when coaches passed through became unnecessary.

By the 1840s, and for many years thereafter, the landlord of the Black Swan was William Pyle.

He doubled as both landlord and butcher and although there was still much coaching traffic through Andover (the London –Exeter railway did not reach Andover on its way west until 1854), none of the regular trade called at the Black Swan.

It is not clear where the butcher’s shop was but the 1873 OS map shows a slaughter house farther up the yard on the north side.

After William Pyle’s lengthy tenure, the licensee was William Hayton in 1871, followed by Henry Clarke in 1875, William Hoflesh in 1878 and George Leach in 1880.

Another change in 1881 saw 21-year-old Walter Newman and his mother move in, the former still there ten years later and then married.

The succession of licensees over a short period suggests the inn was by then of no great status and the end must have come in 1897 when it was sold.

Its final landlord, Walter Newman, traded as a furniture dealer for a few years on the north side of the yard entrance – perhaps his initial stock came from clearing out the inn - but by 1903 it had become a jeweller’s shop under John Bromwich who was there until the Second World War.