Step Back In Time At War On The Line - The Directory Group

Step back in time at War on the Line

This June, visitors to the Watercress Line’s ‘War on the Line’ will step back to the 1940s and experience a taste of railway life during World War II - a time when American soldiers were in Alresford preparing to fight alongside their British allies on D-Day.

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June, 40s aficionados and families alike can fully immerse themselves into life on the Home Front with a twist, with an American theme! There will be military re-enactments, period displays, vintage vehicles, retro market stalls, singing and dancing to live wartime music at every station, and unlimited day travel on the Watercress Line’s steam trains.

‘Pearl’s Pin-up Parlour’ will be on hand at Ropley Station to give guests the 40s look, with nostalgic hair-dos and vintage make-up and there will be an American-styled Donut Wagon for all those visitors with a sweet tooth. There will also be a wartime theme in the Buffet at Alresford station for all those hungry tums.

A self-guided walk will explore the local market town; exploring places with links to American troops, passing an exhibition in the Goods Shed at Alresford Station and visiting the war memorials. Ropley station will be decorated with vibrant, crochet poppies to commemorate wartime soldiers and the Saturday event will even feature an exciting Spitfire flying over Ropley Station.

Woodies Mountford, Marketing Manager at the Watercress Line, said: “We are delighted to offer our visitors something a little different to the norm this summer at our War on the Line event. Guests will be able to fully immerse themselves in the 1940s railway experience, with service men and women dashing about, loved ones saying goodbye, evacuees boarding trains, ‘spivs' peddling their black market wares whilst avoiding the police, and there are even rumours of an inspection by Churchill himself!

“Christmas Leave, a similar event that we held in December, was highly popular with 40s fans and the local community alike, so we are expecting this summer event to be an even bigger hit.

“We hope everyone will dress up in 40s attire, join in a jive, mingle with re-enactors, marvel over vintage vehicles and embrace the atmosphere at War on the Line. It’s as much about reliving this period as enjoying the rush of the steam engine, so be sure to jump on board one of our locomotives to experience the entire event.”

Local Alresford businesses are also immersing themselves in the event, by dressing their shop window displays with an ‘Americans in Alresford’. There will be a competition for the best-dressed, most creative period display, which will be judged by Major 5X5 and the Now That’s Jive dance troop.

Tickets for ‘War on the Line’ are £18 per adult and £10 per child, with family options available. For more information, visit:

The Directory Group covers the following areas within Hampshire and West Sussex: Petersfield, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Denmead, Purbrook, Widley, Farlington, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne, Bosham, and Meon Valley