This week, Sarah Lindsell, one of our wonderful volunteers has been kind enough to share her perspectives on Andover:

I don’t have many specific memories of Andover’s recent past. However, I have a few thoughts that hopefully will start some conversations. They certainly have in our house!

My family moved to Andover in 1974 due to my father’s job. He worked in the Highways department of Test Valley Borough Council. I was born in 1980 and apart from a few months staying in Salisbury have lived here all my life. I went to Anton and Winton Schools and later Cricklade College (as it was). Back then the theatre was part of the college rather than a separate organisation. My first job was in Hammick’s Bookshop, which after a couple of name changes in now Waterstones.

During all this time the most noticeable difference has been to the town centre. I have vague memories of the Winchester road roundabout being built.  On Winchester road there used to be the Wellington Arms pub and opposite a builder’s merchants where the retirement flats are now (incidentally, there are Roman burials in this general area).

One aspect of the past that people seem to remember well are the shops. I remember the Co-op, although not what came between that and Wilkinson’s. There was the Safeway and Bejam supermarkets and Harvey’s sweetshop in the Upper High Street.

Not many grand events spring to mind. I’m sure there were plenty over the past 40 years. I did see the Queen drive past in 1993, and watched the Tour de France come up London road in 1994, and of course saw the Olympic torch in 2012.

The Olympic torch in 2012

More recent history is also part of Andover’s past. I can’t believe how quickly the new housing estates have grown. On the industrial front, who remembers the ‘Megashed’ controversy?  There was a minor train derailment in 2012, and even the more serious Ocado fire this year will be written about in local histories of the future.

The future of Andover is part of the Asking Andover project too. As residents we make the town what it is, for good or ill. How do you want Andover in the 21st century to be remembered?

A huge thank you to Sarah for sharing her thoughts. Royal visits seems to be an emerging theme in terms of memories – Do you recall the Queen or members of the Royal Family visiting? Share your memories with Asking Andover!