Gudge Heath Lane

A road which doesn't really live up to the rural connotations it gives, "Gudgeheath Lane" as it was originally known (oh the power of a space) was once a trackway up to the Highlands. It deviated from Titchfield Road just before its turnpike and then took an easy course up the hill, which can still be seen today. Its existence may well be to provide an uncomfortable but free road towards Southampton - a route which went on to be preserved in bus routes to this day. At the corner of the Tichfield Road junction was The Buccaneer public house (previously The Berkeley Hotel), which went on to become a chain restaurant. The junction here was signalised in the 1990s.

Save some space for the houses. The Gudgeheath Brickworks, at the end of Blackbrook Road, closed down at the end of the 20th Century and made way for several cottages. The inter-war building boom, coupled with wealthy landowners looking to gain more returns than farming offered, saw housing appear along the lower east side of the route, benefiting from easy-access to the growing West End end of town. Some of these, at the far south-eastern end of the road, were demolished in 2008 to form Craigbank Court, again promoting its close links with the centre.

The closure of Blackbrook Farm saw its old trackway developed in to Blackbrook Farm Road (now Blackbrook Road), with several spurs taking their names from the wooded suroundings (Oak Road, Beech Road). By the 1960s, speeding development saw Brook Farm closed too, becoming Brook Farm Avenue and Nicholas Crescent.

Oak Road held the Co-op Dairy, delivering milk to the area, as well as Heatley and Evans builders merchants and Kingfisher frozen foods. At the junction of Oak Road and Gudge Heath Lane stood Vic Haley's corner shop.

By now the road was almost fully developed, leaving only 'pack 'em in' changes such as Harlequin Grove in 1990.

The Southern Mainline was piped through under the humped bridge at the start of the century. In 1934 the Co-op Laundry was built, becoming Sunlight and, in 2007, demolished to make way for Sunlight Gardens. There was an oil storage depot here too. Selling of the old railway embankment used by the Deviation Line created room for Heather Gardens in the 1990s. The boundary between these houses and those actually on Gudge Heath Lane itself isn't straight at all, a reminder that it was once cleared for a railway line.

The circle in the middle of Hammond Road was popular with children setting bonfires in the 1960s. At the top of the road we have a few 1930s cottages on the east side, taking us up to the Highlands Shops.