This peaceful-looking view of Bridge Street was published by Weaver and Co before the First World War and shows what was almost the western edge of Andover at that time. In those days, huge trees dominated the scene before traffic and development from the 1920s onwards gradually removed them.

In the foreground are the level crossing gates of the Town Station and to the left the steps to the wooden footbridge that spanned the line. That wooden bridge must have been renewed several times as it rotted out, and a new concrete bridge – less attractive but no doubt safer – replaced it during the 1930s.

Recognisable enough is the Station and Railway Hotel, outwardly little changed today, the name altered from the earlier Eight Bells that is said to have recorded the number of church bells in the belfry. Originally the Four Bells, the number gradually increased over time. This was of course in the old Norman church that was demolished in 1840.

But the Eight Bells was not originally here; it was sited near the church at the current Light of Asia restaurant. When the canal was built in 1789, the innkeeper took the name of his establishment down to this new building that was built right next to the canal wharf.

The inn took no new title from the canal during the 60 years of the waterway’s existence but when the railway to Southampton and the Town Station was opened in 1865, the Eight Bells was changed first to the Railway Hotel and then by 1874, the Station and Railway.

Today, with the adjacent station long gone, many visitors and new residents must have wondered about this supposed Station Hotel which is nowhere near a station.

In the distance, half-hidden by trees, is Western Cottage. This was occupied by the Clarke family from at least 1831 when one Turner Poulter Clarke married Elizabeth Parker from Wonston in that year. Turner Poulter Clarke was born in Saffron Walden in 1804 but came to Andover as a young land surveyor and civil engineer. As such, he was involved with many of Andover’s 19th century grand projects and became both influential and wealthy in the process.

He was mayor of Andover four times between 1854 and 1875 and lived to the then great age of 93. Two of his children, twins Edward and Elizabeth, never married and they continued to live in Western Cottage until their deaths in 1925 and 1930 respectively.

At that date, the house and its surrounding grounds were bought by Alphonso Mattia who had arrived from Italy about 1909, and started out as a scrap dealer in Chantry Street. There must be numerous local descendants from Alphonso and Angelina Mattia today as the couple had a large family, though some sadly died as infants.

By the 1920s Alphonso had turned his hand to building and, having bought Western Cottage, put in several sets of plans for development of the site between 1930 and 1932, including the Broadway shops with flats above, as well as the houses at the bottom of Suffolk Road and those in Leicester Place, which was a new road constructed to accommodate them.

On the same Western Cottage land is the current Broadway garage, first built to maintain the Morris Eight delivery vans used by the Post Office and now providing an excellent service of vehicle maintenance.