When I was about 15, I was working for a local newspaper shop collecting the national papers from the freight office at the railway station. I got to know the station porter and we would chat to pass the time of day.
When the porter retired, about 3 years later, he bought the bungalow next door to my girlfriend and we continued to chat about his time on the railway and he told me about the following strange happenings at the station that he was aware of from the past.
All these events happened on December 24, and involved the freight office gate at the station.
The little boy
There was news report, about 1900, about a small boy standing on the station late at night, he had bare feet and dirty clothes. He was aged about 5 to 7. The boy was looking up and down the platform, then turned and passed through the gate leading to the freight office.
The last train had gone and the porter was locking up before going home. It was late, about 10:30pm. He called out to the boy, but when he got to the gate the boy had disappeared.
The porter looked all over the station but the boy was nowhere, to be seen.
The sighting was reported to the local police station and also the station master at Havant station.
A few years later, towards the end of December 1914 between 10 and 11 o’clock, the porter had locked up the station and was cycling away. He looked back towards the station and saw someone on the platform. He returned to the station and as he got closer to the person, he noticed that he was in uniform, carrying his rifle on one shoulder and had a sling on the other arm.
As the porter got even closer the soldier turned, went through the freight office gate, and disappeared. The porter looked high and low for the soldier, but he was never found.
The next day the porter made a report out to the station master, and was never to talk about it again.
About 2 weeks later, during a clean-up of the railway sidings, a brass 1914 tobacco tin was found near to the freight gate. It contained roll-up papers, a little bit of tobacco and a brown piece of paper with sergeants stripes inside.
The soldier must have dropped this when he returned back through the gate, but he never came back, but where did he go? Then again where did he come from?
The porter gave me the tobacco case in the 1960s.
The mysterious lady
He told me about one night, about 1960, they would have a late train for commuters coming back from London and he was working the late shift at the station.
He saw a woman, dressed in black of the style common of the 1930s, with a veil over her face, standing just in front of the freight gate.
After a short while, the lady turned around and was gone.