Childhood memories by Martin Hughes

Triggs house behind the station buildings where Martin and others had their bicycles stored for 3d per week.

Martin moved from Birmingham to Hayling Island because his sister was sick with asthma; she went to St Patrick’s the open-air school.

St Patricks open air convent

St Patricks open air convent

She came down two years before the family, but her asthma was so much better that the whole family decided to move.

The locals were fascinated by the family’s ‘Brummie’ accent, which was very old-fashioned, using words like ‘thoust’.

In 1956 he went to Churches College in Petersfield on the train. With his friends he paid the Trigg family who lived on the corner by the station 3d a week to leave their bikes in the shelter there. Then they would catch the train to Petersfield. They got to know the guard Ray Woolgar really well.

Ray Woolgar, 2nd from left

If one of them was late they would cycle along the platform as the train was pulling out while the others held the train door open, and then leap into the train, often allowing the bikes to fall to the tracks. Ray the guard would gather the bike up and take them to Triggs.

One day his friends threw his shoes out of the window, and he told the guard Ray, who allowed him to stand barefoot on the running plate to look for his shoes. They stopped the train to allow him to pick them up when he spotted them.

The fireman would walk down the outside of the train when it was moving, from one door handle and step to the next. He remembered the drivers (?) taking hot coals from the train to light the braziers on the station.

In 1963-66 he had to go to Petersfield by bus. He didn’t like that at all.

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