A POPULAR Hampshire steam railway has cancelled its annual wartime re-enactment amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 

Bosses at the Alresford based Watercress Line decided to shelve the 1940s themed event 'War on the Line' on Friday (March 4) after "careful" deliberations.

Members of the board concluded it would send a "wholly inappropriate message" for it to go ahead as planned under the current circumstances, with masses of Ukrainian citizens still seeking to flee the country as Russia's assault continues. 

In a statement posted on its website, the Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society board said: "The tragic events that are currently taking place in Ukraine have led the Watercress Line to consider whether to continue with plans to hold our annual 1940s event 'War on the Line'. 

"The MHR Board has looked very carefully at the issue and has decided that to proceed under the current circumstances would send a wholly inappropriate message to our customers and the wider public. We have therefore taken the decision to cancel these events until further notice.

"We appreciate that this will be disappointing to many, particularly as significant planning has already been carried out for the 2022 event. However, we strongly believe that this is the right thing to do for the railway and to continue with these events at the present time would be morally wrong."

'War on the Line', which was due to take place from June 18 to 19, is an annual event which offers railway travellers the chance to experience the 'Blitz Spirit', mingling with civilian and military re-enactors against the backdrop of the Second World War.

Attendees are offered the chance to hop off at each station to explore period displays, music, dancing, vintage vehicles and historic exhibitions.

'War on the Line' forms part of a full seasonal programme of events which includes family-friendly Days Out With Thomas, now featuring Sir Topham Hatt and three new entertainment shows, a 50s and 60s weekend and a vintage vehicles event, displaying locomotives, cars, motorbikes and tractors.