Do you know there is a Rev. Wilbert Awdry Bridge in Chandler’s Ford?
The Rev. Wilbert Awdry (15 June 1911 – 21 March 1997) was an Anglican minister who created Thomas the Tank Engine (and other engines). In interviews he said his son Christopher (aged 3) had measles, so he came up with stories to amuse him.
Last week while walking to Valley Park, I saw the gold plaque on the Chandler’s Ford to Valley Park footbridge across the railway line.
The footbridge is at the level crossing by Sutherlands Way in Chandler’s Ford.
I’m not sure when the sign was put up, but it was new to me.
According to the archive of Chandler’s Ford parish church, “As part of Chandler’s Ford was still in Ampfield Parish, the first preacher was the Vicar of Ampfield, the Rev. Vere Awdry. His son, Wilbert, who followed his father into the ministry is remembered for the famous children’s books about Thomas the Tank Engine.” (Source: Parish of Chandler’s Ford). St Boniface was dedicated by the Bishop of Winchester on 4 October 1904.
The graffiti on the bridge is quite disappointing, however. Both sides are covered with graffiti with unpleasant messages.
When I first saw the footbridge in January, it looked completely different.