Eastoke Corner Miniature Railway

Back in the late 1940’s one of many miniature railways in the Island’s railway history, ran immediately in front of the Lifeboat Inn, at pretty much the same location as today’s Hayling Seaside Railway’s Eastoke Corner terminus. The little pyramid roofed building just left of centre of the picture survived until very recently, and was at one time used as a Tourist Information Kiosk.

Meet the Author

Ian Edwards
3 comments… add one
  • Marmaduke 25 January, 2013, 9:51 pm

    I lived with my parents on Hayling Island from 1947 to August 1957 and I remember with great affection, the miniature railway at Eastoke Corner. So much so, that I started a correspondence (1990) about it in a splendid monthly, glossy magazine called ‘Yesterday,’ which covered Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight.

    Sadly, the magazine demised, but not before a Mr. Alan Brindley had responded to my enquiries, together with the photo that Ian Edwards has downloaded. Mr. Brindley went on to to affirm that the locomotive was a Freelance design 4-4-2.

    The photo shows the starting point – the driver having just collected the sixpences from the young passengers, for which they were rewarded with two circuits of the eliptical track, the first at high speed, with a blast on the whistle to thrill parents and children alike, usually as the train passed through the corrugated iron engine shed (out of vision, but to the left of the picture), which served as a rudimentary tunnel.

    As others have commented, careful examination of the car park will reveal the shadow of the track bed, at least it did up to four years ago.

    So, who was the enterprising engineer who owned and ran this splendid little railway ? Drawing from my childhood memories, I muted that his name may have been Mr. Smart, but no ‘Yesterday’ reader responded. Maybe a Hayling steam buff who is a member of this site can come up with the answer and/or more information?

  • Marmaduke 25 January, 2013, 10:12 pm

    I lived with my parents on Hayling Island from 1947 to August 1957. I have extremely affectionate memories of this little railway, so much so that I started correspondence about it in a splendid monthly, glossy magazine called ‘Yesterday’ which covered Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight. in the 1990s.

    Sadly, the magazine demised, but not before a Mr. Alan Brindley had written in to confirm that the locomotive was a Freelance Design 4-4-2, appending to his reply the postcard photo downloaded by Ian Edwards.

    In the photo, the train is at its starting bpoint, the driver having collected sixpences from his passengers, which gave them a two circuit run round the eliptical track, the first at high speed, complete with whistle blow as the loco rushed through the corrugated iron engine shed (out of shot, to the left of the picture).

    The remains of the trackbed could be discerned in the carpark up until about for years ago.

    But who was the driver/owner ? I muted that his name may have been Mr. Smart, but no ‘Yesterday’ reader responded – perhaps a steam buff on this site can help with more information ?

  • Marmaduke 30 January, 2013, 10:38 pm

    In the Summer of 1990, I enquired about the Eastoke Miniature Railway in the Letters Column of a splendid, but short-lived magazine called ‘Yesterday,’ which covered Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight.

    The response came from a Mr. Alan Brindley, who supplied the same postcard/photograph as Ian Edwards and informed us that the locomotive was a Freelance design 4-4-2

    Being taken to ride on it by my grandmother was a real treat. Two circuits of the eliptical track cost 6d, the first was at high speed, with the whistle sounding as the train went through the engine shed (to the left in the picture, but out of shot), the second was the slowing down, stopping run. A little boyhood imagination and the resonant corrugated iron engine shed made a thrilling tunnel.

    In the shot, the train is just about to pull away, the 6ds having been collected by the driver, whose name I thought somebody might know, but no luck. I have a notion that his name was Mr. Smart, but it is 60 years ago now. Despite this passage of time, I identified the trackbed traversing the car-park, on a visit about four years ago.

    When I got older, the Hayling Billy became a great draw and I in 1957, I spurned the South Down buses to Havant, on the first leg of my journey to school in Portsmouth, in favour of the Billy.

    I shall watch this website with interest in the coming months of this year.