FROM a brothel to one of the UK’s leading Americana music hubs – this Winchester venue has a deep history that continues to be written.

In his latest book Loco-Motion, Oliver Gray talks about the Railway Inn’s past in more detail than ever before.

He has also decided to donate all proceeds to the locale in St Paul’s Hill as the coronavirus crisis has seen most near-future events cancelled.

Loco-Motion brings together dozens of photos of the building, performers and visitors to help illustrate its interesting history.

Oliver, who lives in Twyford and runs gig organisers sc4m, says in his blurb: “UK music depends heavily on the success of small, grass roots venues such as the Railway Inn in Winchester, which is one of the UK’s leading Americana music hubs.

“Built in the 1800s as a watering hole for railroad workers, the inn (which has served as a livestock barn and - reputedly - a brothel in its time), is said to be haunted by a Victorian lady. She must like music, because the building contains two separate venues, used for music, poetry, comedy and drama.

“The 1970s saw a flourishing folk club which was frequented by a young Robyn Hitchcock, and became a fully-fledged music venue in the early 1980s post-punk era. Now it is a magnet for local musicians and also major artists who love its cosy atmosphere and perfect acoustics.

“The regular Roots night started the careers of Frank Turner, Alison Goldfrapp, Laura Marling and Kate Stables, while recent years have seen appearances from the likes of Kasabian, Ed Sheeran and The Feeling. Not bad for a 120 capacity room.

“For over 20 years the Railway has championed the Americana genre, with appearances from hundreds of artists including Old Crow Medicine Show, Richmond Fontaine, Jesse Malin and Hurray For The Riff Raff.

Loco-Motion is available from