THIS unusual view looking out over Bridge Street with the beginning of Suffolk Road in the foreground was taken around 1951, possibly by somebody doing work to the roof of the telephone exchange - the extreme corner can just be seen here.

That building was erected in 1939, a pleasant, late example of what the new edition of Pevsner calls ‘Lutyens- Wrenaissance’ style. It still stands today - alongside its lofty Brutalist extension to the rear - but seems sadly neglected and in need of renovation; a shame indeed, because it is a pleasantly proportioned building of a type soon to be superseded in Andover by structures of pre-cast concrete. Indeed, the stark contrast between local architecture of 1939 compared to 1969 is no better demonstrated than those two very different buildings set side by side.

The large house in the foreground stands on land that is now occupied by the tower block. This was the residence of Dr Maurice Hope, a house that was built in the mid-1930s, which he named St Anne’s Well, after the old well that lay nearby.

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Andover Advertiser: View from the telephone exchange building in Suffolk Road, c. 1951Dr Hope’s practice was at Elvin House in the High Street, and at this period he was in partnership with Dr Allan Walden who lived at Elvin House. A third doctor, Gordon Pack, joined the practice in the early 1950s. Though no more than 25-years-old, the house in Suffolk Road was demolished by 1959, having been bought by the Post Office as a site for future expansion, and Dr Hope moved to Anna Valley.

On the left of the photograph can be seen the premises of Anna Valley Motors which had moved its pre-First World War premises from Anna Valley to Bridge Street in 1924, taking over the omnibus depot of Mobility Ltd.

Early bus services run by private individuals were risky ventures with limited capital chasing considerable outlay on vehicles and premises, and many small firms folded soon after inception. Anna Valley Motors continued the bus operation initially but soon gave it up in favour of their main business – selling and servicing motor vehicles. The firm remained in Bridge Street until 1962, when the premises were sold to Kennedy’s, the builders’ merchants. The latter were then in West Street but needed to move because of town development plans.

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In the centre of the photograph is the concrete pedestrian bridge over the branch line that ran from Andover Junction to Southampton. This had replaced a former wooden bridge in the 1930s, and was a standard construction all over the country. The town station itself lies just to the right of the bridge, first opened in 1865, and lasting just short of 100 years. The final passenger train, with some fanfare and to lasting regret, ran its final journey in 1964, though the line continued to be used for goods traffic until 1967. For more than three years afterwards, the station lay derelict until finally demolished in 1971.   

We can also see the Station Hotel, with its stable buildings to the rear. Many will remember Mr Alan Rice who sold and repaired washing machines; he occupied the steep-roofed stable building which backed onto the station and which still stands today, a good marker to exactly where the station was.

Other landmarks in view are the sturdy Bishops Court House with a row of shops built on its frontage and farther on, the Post Office building of 1913, with its copper-clad dome, and finally, just in sight, the White Hart Hotel.

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