This photograph will have been taken by Jeffery Saunders while standing on the concrete footbridge over the railway.

In 1964 the branch line linking the Junction Station to the Town Station (and then beyond to Southampton) ceased to operate for passengers, although it was 1967 before it was closed completely for goods traffic, along with the adjacent Town Station Yard.

The area in the foreground is now the site of the complicated inter-section, with its series of pedestrian crossings, that links Bridge Street, Western Avenue and the South Street flyover.

Andover Advertiser:  View from the town station footbridge of Bridge Street, c1965 View from the town station footbridge of Bridge Street, c1965 (Image: Jeffrey Saunders)

But even this does allow the flow of traffic to keep moving relatively quickly.

It was all very different until 60 years ago; out of sight in the picture are the two pairs of level crossing gates that closed Bridge Street to all traffic whenever a train had to pass through.

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As car ownership increased during the 1950s, this became a big problem with extensive queues of traffic, especially in summer, held up at the gates.

A journey to or from the West Country was notable for the hold-up at Andover when a line of stationary cars could stretch a long way up the Weyhill Road on the western side and up to the Iron Bridge on the east.

The final closure of the branch line put an end to all that but it was not until 1971 that the Town Station buildings were demolished, by which time there was some concern over the public eyesore of abandoned buildings left to deteriorate.

The rails themselves had been removed in 1968, perhaps for re-use elsewhere but as scrap metal they would have been of some value and worth retrieving.

Across Bridge Street is Bishops Court House, once a private residence with a garden that stretched along the northern side of Junction Road.

This had been divided by the line of the railway when work started on it in 1859.

In the 1920s, a row of shops was built onto the front of the house.

The occupation of these changed from time to time and the photograph clearly shows W Barlow and Sons Ltd, bakers, A C Stevens, the butcher and Hammond Bros, sports dealers.

Obscured here but part of the same line was F J Cook, ladies’ hairdresser, and Bollom Ltd who were dyers and cleaners.

A final shop, squeezed into the gap between the house and the premises next door was Jennifer’s the sweet shop, run by Ronald and Olive Harvey, who subsequently retired to Christchurch.

When town development came along, any trader displaced by the new plans was given first refusal on other available sites or on the new shops being built, whether in Union Street (a 1968 development) or the precinct, though anything here would not be finished until 1970.

Three of these shopkeepers moved to Union Street – Hammonds, Cook and Bollom – whereas Barlow’s had four scattered shops in the town during the 1960s – two in Bridge Street, one in Winchester Street and another next to the Norman archway at the top of the High Street.

All had been replaced by the early 1970s as this family business which had begun in the mid-1920s just petered out.

Many will remember the remaining shopkeeper in this row; butcher Albert Stevens who lived in Junction Road.

He had occupied the shop at 50 Bridge Street since the late 1940s, having taken over the premises vacated by another butcher, L S Henstridge, who had occupied the shop when it was first constructed.

Albert Stevens subsequently moved along to 8 Bridge Street (next to Humphries the jeweller) which is now the shop of Fireaway pizzas.

In the distance, we can see the rest of Bridge Street.

What is visible has not radically changed since Jeffery Saunders climbed up onto the railway footbridge all those years ago.

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Next to Bishops Court House is another old building, largely untouched for the last 100 years, its frontage once set back from the street and an earlier example of shops built out to the street line.

The cupola on top of the post office remains as it was, its copper top covered in green verdigris, even if the building beneath is no longer open to send letters and parcels.

The White Hart in the distance still stands out today as it has for the last 200 years or more, while almost opposite, the Valley Church building, formerly the library and before that the Catherine Wheel inn, is familiar enough.

Some things change, some do not.

If you are interested in local history, why not join Andover History and Archaeology Society? Details can be found at