Apart from being a village in Hampshire, Ropley has a station at the top of it’s hill that has become renown throughout the preservation movement as being a hub for steam; it being both a home to a large fleet of large steam engines but also a place where steam engines are re-born. These delights for a steam enthusiast can soon become intoxicating and as ever it can be good to take a metaphorical step back and see the other thing the station is famous for – it’s topiary!
The yew topiary is nothing new here (that’s a bit of a tongue-twister!); in fact it dates back to at least 1898. That’s not to say the topiary as it stands was handed to the volunteers on a plate, as by the 1960’s it was largely overgrown.
The signal box is also not original, but my research here come to a sudden stop due to the complexity of some discussions I read on forums. I never realised how big a subject signal boxes are! I believe that Ropley’s signal box came from Netley, although uses a frame from Barnstaple. Please correct me if I am wrong!
Hopefully these pictures have given you a taste of a different side of Ropley station and an interesting one too.
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