An interesting book was published at the turn of the Century by the Alresford Historical
and Literary Society (http://www.alresfordhistandlit.co.uk), entitled “The Story of
Alresford”. This was written by the late Arthur Stowell, who came to live in Alresford, in
the Riverside Cottages in The Dean, in around 1980: actually around the same time as
your Editor. But Arthur was a teacher, and had a deep interest in history, so the book
sums up the many documents and accounts of the history of Alresford that Arthur found
and read over the years, to see what story he could make of life in the town over the years.
Some extracts from the book have already been used on this site, for example in
identifying a lot of people in the picture of the Alresford Home Guard in WW2. It will be
a useful source for future articles. Possibly because he was a teacher Arthur wanted to
pass on some of his enthusiasm for the town history, and finding out about history in
general, to future generations. So he has endowed a fund, that is administered by the New
Alresford Town Trustees (http://www.towntrust.org.uk), to make financial awards to
school projects that encourage children to take an interest in history, particularly the
history of the area of Alresford.
Typically the grants are up to £250. One recent donation was made to Cheriton school
for help with an activity sand-pit, where I understand the children use metal detectors
or similar to locate items buried in the sand!
The aspect of Arthur’s book that has become obvious to me is that he was looking for
any effects of the railway on the town: whereas it had significant impact on the
watercress industry and possibly the sheep sales, there do not seem to be that many
comments about it: nor of the effect when the line through Alresford closed. This might
be an interesting area for further study too.