Record Numbers Visit Eerie British Ghost Town
An abandoned ghost town that's been unoccupied since 1943 has seen record numbers of tourists visit the hamlet, that's only open to the public for 50 days of the year.
The BBC reports that vintage Routemaster buses were arranged to take hordes of tourists to the small town of Imber, near Salisbury this Saturday. The buses have been ferrying visitors to the village since 2009.
Evacuated in 1943 due to the impending invasion of Europe during World War II, residents were told to leave their homes just before Christmas and its ruins still fascinate people wanting a glimpse into the past.
Ordered to pack up and leave the town, Imber became a training area for troops as the Nazis pushed ever closer.
Residents were never given permission to return to the settlement, with it essentially vanishing off the map. Since then the MoD has opened it up to the public for 50 days a year - including five days in August.
Neil Skelton, custodian of the village's St Giles Church, said: "It was the most we've ever had, we were almost at breaking point.
"We had a very busy day [on Saturday] with the buses, we had about 5,000 visitors.
"They were running more buses than ever this year, about 28 buses. We were almost at breaking point at one point."
Tourists can be seen looking into vintage homes and drinking old-fashioned lemonade from a vintage bus. St Giles Church is probably the main attraction - and the only building left intact in the village.
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy, who is a member of Imberbus which runs the bus service, said the village was the 'most obscure place you could possibly run a bus service'.
He said: "It's not open most of the time, nobody lives there, so it's the absolutely perfect place to run a quarter-of-an-hour bus service one day a year."
"Last year, we raised £13,000 ($16,000) and the money goes to the church."
For the first time in 20 years the church will also be used for a Christening.
"It's an army officer, who's serving on the plain," said Mr Skelton.
"There aren't any pews in the church and the font was taken out in 1950, so the rector will be bringing a bowl with him and some water."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: uk news