When people talk of the ‘Hayling Billy’, they often speak of it as one single locomotive or train, much as they would the ‘Flying Scotsman’ or Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’. But in fact nothing could be further from the truth as over the years many engines worked on the Havant to Hayling Island branch line, indeed in later years working the busy summer timetable required up to three locomotives at a time!
Initial motive power on opening was provided by a motley selection of ‘industrial’ and ‘contractors’ locomotives, hastily acquired by the original Hayling Railway company. When services were taken over by the main line London Brighton & South Coast Railway, after a period when a varied collection of locomotive oddities were provided from the depths of their stockbook, the branch was worked almost exclusively by members of William Stroudley’s ‘A1’ class and later ‘A1/x’ rebuilds, 50 of which built at their Brighton locomotive works and popularly known as ‘Terriers’ or ‘Rooters’.
These diminutive machines continued to serve the line, throughout it’s subsequent ownership by the Southern Railway and British Railways (Southern Region), as they were the only engines in their inventory light enough to work over the timber Langston Viaduct. It was due to this fact that when the Hayling line finally closed in 1963, the ‘Stroudley Terriers’ had become the oldest locomotives on British Railway, and that no fewer than TEN of these delightful Victorian engines have survived for our enjoyment to the present day.
All 50 of William Stroudley’s ‘Terrier’ locomotives have a fascinating story to tell, none more so than the 10 members of the type which have survived to the present day, on Heritage Railways and Railway Museums. Many still in steam and working as hard now as they did in the days of Victoria’s Empire!
Here they are listed by their original London Brighton & South Coast Railway names and numbers, although as you will see from the attached links, each had a long and fascinating careers in which they assumed a variety of identities. Most but not all of them worked the Hayling line at some stage in their careers.
40 ‘Brighton’ (1878). Having been engineer William Stroudley’s prized Paris Gold Medal winning exhibition loco, named after its prestigious birthplace, did not save this ‘Terrier’ from sale to the lowly Isle of Wight Central Railway. Where the Southern Railway later named it ‘Newport’ after the Island’s capital. Nationalisation found the now unnamed engine back in mainland service, and a frequent visitor to the Hayling Island branch where it served until the 1963 closure, when it was saved from the scrapyard by Billy Butlin. One of three ‘Terriers’ restored for static display at his well known holiday camps. Now preserved at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet IOW. http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/
46 ‘Newington’ (1876). A much travelled ‘Terrier’. Sold out of LB&SCR service to the neighbouring London & South Western Railway, for use on their Lyme Regis branch, the now unnamed engine was subsequently re-sold to the Isle of Wight’s Freshwater Yarmouth & Newport Railway. Where on that line’s ‘grouping’ into the Southern Railway, it acquired the name ‘Freshwater’, a name it lost on return to mainland service upon nationalisation. Regarded by many as THE ‘Hayling Billy’ on account the many years it spent on display outside of Mengham’s ‘Hayling Billy’ pub, ‘Newington’ was first preserved at Droxford on the disused Meon Valley line, before its sale to Brickwoods Brewery and restoration to Stroudley’s ‘Improved Engine Green’ livery. Actually a rather fetching shade of golden ochre! Now preserved at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet IOW. http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/
50 ‘Whitechapel’ (1876). This engine’s career followed the more usual course for ‘Brighton Terriers’. Built by the LB&SCR as ‘Class A1’ resplendent in full ‘Stroudley’ livery with its name emblazoned on its tank sides. The Edwardian era saw its rebuilding to ‘Class A1/x’ by Locomotive Superintendent Douglas Earle Marsh, loosing its name while adopting that engineers more sombre Umber/Brown colour scheme. With the exception of a period of service on the Southern Railway’s’ Isle of Wight lines under the name ‘Fishbourne’. Whitechapel’ was a regular visitor to Hayling Island throughout its service to the LB&SCR, Southern and British Railways, including the final day of passenger services Saturday 2nd November 1963. Withdrawal following the 1963 closure of the line saw the engine saved for posterity by the London Borough of Sutton, for display in a new Civic Centre that was never built. Assuming the name ‘Sutton’, as ‘Terrier’ No: 61 which originally bore that title had already been scrapped. After many years at the Kent & East Sussex Railway now to be found at the Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/
54 ‘Waddon’ (1875). Sold by the LB&SCR to the neighbouring South Eastern & Chatham Railway, for use on their Isle of Sheppy Light Railway, loosing its name in the process. Return to the Southern Railway saw the engine rebuilt with a ‘Class A1/x’ boiler, but retaining its original ‘A1’ smokebox. Used mainly in ‘Departmental’ service at locomotive works and engine sheds, on its withdrawal from service by British Railways, its near original appearance saw its donation to the people of Canada, for restoration to original livery and display at their National Railway Museum. Now preserved at the National Railway Museum of Canada. http://www.exporail.org/
55 ‘Stepney’ (1875). Following the usual career path for ‘Terriers’, with service with the LB&SCR, Southern and British Railways, ‘Stepney’ was a regular performer on the Hayling Island branch. Fame beckoned in 1960 when the engine was sold by B.R. to the fledgling Bluebell Railway in Sussex, to be their first locomotive and the first ‘mainline’ engine to be sold direct to a ‘preserved’ railway. Subsequently immortalised by ‘Thomas’ creator the Rev W. Awdrey as ‘Stepney the Bluebell Engine’, in his famous children’s story books. Now preserved at the Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park, Sussex. http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/
62 ‘Martello’ (1875). A regular Hayling Island engine during its service with the LB&SCR, Southern and British Railways, ‘Martello’ was one of the locomotives in service on the final day of public passenger trains, Saturday the 2nd November 1963. The engine became one of three ‘Terriers’ sold to Billy Butlin, for static display at his holiday camps. Now based at the Bressingham Steam Museum, Norfolk. http://www.bressingham.co.uk/Default.aspx
70 ‘Poplar’ (1872). Sold by the LB&SCR to ‘Light Railway’ entrepreneur Colonel H.F. Stephens for service on his Kent & East Sussex Light Railway and renamed ‘Bodiam’, a name it lost on the nationalisation of that line in 1948. One of three ‘Terriers’ to work the line on its final day of regular passenger services Saturday 2nd November 1963, along with sister locomotive ‘Fenchurch’ it was to No:70 that the honour fell the following day after regular passenger services had ceased, of hauling the final excursion train from Havant to Hayling Island and return. Now preserved at the Kent and East Sussex Railway, Rolvenden, Kent. http://www.kesr.org.uk/
72 ‘Fenchurch’ (1872). Sold by the LB&SCR to its subsidiary the Newhaven Harbour Company, until absorbed back into the mainline stock of the Southern Railway at the 1923 ‘grouping’. Unusually taking the first vacant number in the ‘Terrier’ series, becoming SR No:B636, rather than the more obvious B672 which was also available. The oldest engine on British Railways at the time of its withdrawal, the engine became a regular performer in the later years of the Hayling Branch, hauling the final excursion train in company with ‘Poplar’. After which ‘Fenchurch’ was sold direct from service to the Bluebell Railway, the last engine to travel there under its own steam. Now preserved at the Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park, Sussex. http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/
78 ‘Knowle’ (1880). After the usual ‘Terrier’ career serving the LB&SCR and the early years of the Southern Railway, ‘Knowle’ was transferred to that companies’ Isle of Wight system, gaining the name ‘Bembridge’. Resuming its mainline duties a few years later, the now unnamed engine was a frequent visitor to Hayling Island, until withdrawal on closure saw its sale to Billy Butlin, for display at his holiday camps. Now preserved at the Kent and East Sussex Railway, Rolvenden, Kent. http://www.kesr.org.uk/
82 ‘Boxhill’ (1880). Early transfer to the LB&SCR’s ‘Service’ fleet, working in locomotive works and engine sheds, saw ‘Boxhill’ become the only ‘Terrier’ to survive in close to as built ‘Class A1’ condition. This led to its preservation in the final years of the Southern Railway, subsequently becoming part of the National Collection of railway artefacts, and display in the National Railway Museums at Clapham, York and Shildon. Now preserved at the National Railway Museum, York. http://www.nrm.org.uk/