Fleet Station, Fleet Pond And A Near Thing!

Fleet Pond has an interesting history including it’s relationship with the railway station at Fleet.

Here are some extracts from an article on this subject on the web (see here):

The original station was named Fleetpond and located on the west of the current Fleet Road Bridge across the railway.

However, the amount of traffic at the station was so little that in 1858 there was a proposal to abolish the station completely although this never happened.

In 1854 the War Department had purchased Fleet Pond and much of the surrounding area as a training ground. A successful temporary training camp on nearby Chobham common in 1853, just prior to the Crimea War (1854-56) had led to the army looking for a permanent training site in the area. In 1897 the LSWR purchased a further area of land from the War Department to allow the widening of the line, construct the new station and a goods yard.

The new station at Fleet came into use in 1904. At the time the population in Fleet had grown to about 2,000 and the first local council had been formed in the same year. The council, generally formed of local businessmen appeared to have some regard to maintaining the rural nature of the area. It is perhaps with some irony that when the LSWR applied to build a works at Fleet the request was refused. Instead the LSWR would build their works at Eastleigh; this would become one of the world’s most famous locomotive works.

It’s startling to imagine what a different future Fleet and Fleet Pond would have had if this decision had gone the other way!

Picture credit: web site above.

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