The Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway was not entirely without traffic, it ran through the agricultural land of the Avon Valley with a steady passage of produce. In addition, the Crane valley leading to Cranborne Chase sent copious amounts of watercress and soft fruits to the London and Midlands markets by rail.
Neaves Baby Foods at Fordingbridge consumed both coal and tinplate for their cannery but sent considerable quantities of canned products by rail. The food was packaged in Ashford Mill that is still to be seen, now used by Corintech, behind The Railway Hotel pub
Corintech factory at Ashford Mill
The factory can be seen in the old black and white image, just on the left of the Railway Hotel.
Neaves farinaceous food was flour based and was sold in airtight tins for one shilling. It was expertly marketed as a nutritious food for infants and growing children but was also aimed at invalids, nursing mothers, aged persons and as a cure for dyspepsia and indigestion.
The factory was located to take advantage of the nearby railway station which opened in 1866. This meant that Neaves Food could be transported all over the world and that the Neaves became very wealthy.