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The Final Curtain.

The old Downton building survived until the very late 1990's, looking much lika any other light industrial unit on the outskirts of almost any town. I stopped by with a friend of mine and took these two pictures of our cars parked outside. You can still see the original brick effect on the wall behind the cars. Little did we know that the developers moved in only a couple of days after these pictures were taken.

Maybe my 1071 was the very last Mini to visit Downton Engineering?

A New Begining?

On the site of the old Downton Engineering Works now stands a selection of faceless light industrial units. Passing by them there is no sign of the exciting history that passed before.

Some things don't change.

The old Downton building may be long gone, but some of the sites from the heyday of Downton and the "Downton Social Club" seem to have changed not one bit!

Bill Abbotts old shed where select members of the "Downton social club" spent so much time seems to have changed little. . . . . . . . . . .

it even had an old mini shell around the back!

Some things don't change.

After leaving Bills we (The "Downton social club" Members) would then go down the road to Johnny Austin’s pub, The Kings Head. Apart from the cars I don't imagine this has changed much in 200 years, let alone 30!

"The Homestead"

Barry Hawkins writes;

Last week I drove to Downton and thought it might help to give an idea of the Downton atmosphere so I went on up to Castle Hill where I took the enclosed photo of the river Avon where Daniel spent a lot of his time fishing, then only a few hundred yards along the road is where they lived, "The Homestead" at Godshill, a small scattering of New Forest cottages.

Daniel and Bunty kept the cottage very private, Roy Vincent's wife Diana was the lady that looked after it for them and only a few people ever got invites, so I was luck as I was asked to take my family there a couple of times for lunch. I think the Richmond's where intrigued by my young family as it was one of the few times they ever had contact with children.

The Richmond's home was full of antiques and wonderful memorabilia, not only from the motoring world, I was shown Daniel's childhood family photo's in India, in very palatial surroundings, very aristocratic with hundreds of servants etc. I think this may help give you a little more feel and background to the whole Downton atmosphere.

Its hard to believe, but it's now over 30 years since the Downton story came to an end. Apart from the wide variety of former Downton employees who have made names for themselves in a variety of different fields, there is little evidence that this story ever happened. I have gathered together a small selection of pictures of how things look today. I hope you find them interesting.

The first two are particularly close to my heart, as these pictures were taken by me about a fortnight before the bulldozers moved in and totally destroyed the original site to make way for a new development.

After Downton
Time moves on & nearly 40 years after the “Works” closed down, things have changed quite a bit.