Railway Club of the New Forest

  Railway Club of the New Forest 

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May 27th  2022                        (this meeting will be held online via Zoom**)          

Phil Benstead presented  “The Man Behind 'The Old Road’    aka    ‘Castleman’s Corkscrew'  ”



Rural Dorset in the 1840’s, a period of ‘Railway Mania’, was sparsely populated and unlikely to attract a railway. There were huge financial crashes so it was unlikely to get financed and built. Step forward local solicitor, Charles Castleman.

It proved necessary to deliberately meander via quiet market towns and follow valleys to minimise costs; hence the popular name ‘Castleman’s Corkscrew’. To railway folk it is ‘The Old Road’.  

The presentation included a tour of the line, the political and economic scene, Charles Castleman’s quiet passion and a major force in the southern railway, reasons for closure and how it looks now.


 As this meeting was held online, members were able to provide their favourite refreshments in the comfort of their own home.

 (** Members were  circulated with Zoom invitations a week in advance. 

        Visitors were to contact the Club via this website by 21st May, to arrange payment and collect the Zoom link to join the meeting)

  A club trip is being organised for  September   - details to be circulated - booking fees needed soon.

Reminder - For those of you who are into Railway Modelling - the New Forest Model Railway Society holds its annual exhibition on 28th/29th in the Brockenhurst Village Hall - promising to be a most prestigious event!

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