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Andover began as a Saxon village. Andover first appears in history in 950 AD when the king built a royal hunting lodge there.  In the year 962 another king called a meeting of the Saxon 'parliament', the Witanegemot, at his lodge in Andover. Andover had its own church and it was here that a Viking called Olaf Trygvason was confirmed as a Christian. He later became king of Norway and helped to convert his country to Christianity. At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) Andover had 107 male inhabitants and probably had a total population of about 500. It was quite a large settlement by the standards of the time. (Most villages had only 100 to 150 people). Andover also had 6 watermills which ground grain to flour to make bread for the villagers. Later in the Middle Ages Andover grew larger. In fact it grew into a small market town. By the 14th century it probably had a population of about 1,200.


In 1960 Andover was still a small town of about 17,000 people. However in that year it was decided that Andover should become an overspill town for London. In 1961 a plan was drawn up to greatly expand Andover. It was planned that the population should rise to 47,000 by 1982 and about 9,000 new houses would be built. About 20,000 of the extra population, it was decided, would be 'immigrants' from London.


The first new council houses were built in Floral Way and were ready by 1964. By 1968 4,000 'immigrants' had arrived from London. By 1968 the council had built over 1,000 houses and 5 new schools. Council houses were built north of the town at Cricketers Way, River Way and Admiral Way. About 500 new private houses were built in Andover by 1968. By 1981 the population of Andover had risen to 51,000.



Taskers of Andover - A History

For 170 years, Taskers were a leading manufacturer of a wide range of agricultural implements and machinery, steam and stationary engines and road vehicles

The story began near Andover, in the early years of the 19th century, when Robert Tasker and his brother, William, began what was to become the Waterloo Ironworks.

At the heart of those ironworks was a forge, which must have reminded them of the blacksmith's shop run by their father in Stanton-St-Bernard in Wiltshire. As the eldest son, Robert Tasker would have been brought up to be a blacksmith. But he was ambitious, and left Wiltshire in February 1806.

The cottage in Abbotts Ann where Robert Tasker lived, and in which he hosted prayer meetings.  In Abbotts Ann, near Andover, there was a forge owned by a smith called Thomas Maslen. Robert became his assistant. In 1809, he took over the business.


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