Before we get straight into things, I mentioned at the end of the last entry that I'll be discussing an alternate history of the area in the next (this) post. That will now be postponed, and form a later, separate entry - this one has already got a lot of content and sketches for you to digest!
Inspirational locations further afield
Looking at New Forest coastal industries
Above: I've grouped these together not just because they were right next to one another (you can see the tide mill in the left background of the right hand sketch), but also because they are both obviously mills of some description. Despite that, they are vastly different in design, clearly!
Above: Of particular interest is Eling Wharf, and it's many industries over the years. This was served via a short (1/2 mile) branch from Totton station. Whilst the Burt, Boulton & Haywood timber yard and the South Western Tar Distilleries creosote works were the two main users of the line (certainly from 1923 onwards), the last rail-served industry there was a stone (crushing?) plant which closed around 1993 (see this photo for a stone train in 1988). Whilst there is no longer any rail access, some of the rails within the wharf are still embedded in the concrete, including a section along Eling foreshore, which once connected, via a wagon turntable, the wharf to Mumford's Steam Mill (adjacent to the tide mill).
Above: The Husband family moved from London to start a yacht building company here at Cracknore Hard. When WWII arrived, the shipyard was used for the war effort, including for the construction of Mulberrry Harbour components, although a bombing run in 1940 set both building sheds alight, together with the boats within. Other than yacht building, they also serviced oil tankers from Fawley refinery.
Above: The refinery construction started in 1921. Amazingly, despite the sprawling site, it survived WWII bombing runs unscathed, although refining ceased during the war. Postwar, further expansion occured between 1949-51. Despite previous plans for a railway line to Stone Point, it was the construction of the Fawley Oil Refinery that kickstarted the Fawley branch. There were numerous reception sidings in Fawley, as well as the loading racks. The refinery also had its own extensive narrow gauge railway, as well as an aerial ropeway and jetty to transport drummed asphalt. Sadly, due to new pipelines which are able to transport 70% of all oil, rail traffic dwindled, resulting in the last train leaving Fawley in 2016. The internal narrow gauge line was dismantled long before this, in 1961, although the dual gauge loco shed still remains. Much of the original AGWI refinery has been abandoned in favour of the more modern areas of the site; whilst the jetty visible above still remains, it is no longer used, and the aerial ropeway and asphalt plant are long gone.
Above: The New Forest has a long history of military presence, not least on Calshot Spit. Since the building of Calshot Castle in 1539, right up until the RAF base closed in 1961, the spit has been in military use. When the RAF base opened in 1913, a narrow gauge railway was built from Eaglehurst Camp to the end of the spit, and serviced many of the workshops and hangars - bringing personnel and stores down the line. The railway was abandoned in 1960 after the wagons were found to be in a poor state of repair. The base was predominantly a seaplane/flying boat base, being ideally suited on the sheltered waters of the Solent.