Memories by Alan Hakim

In about 1946 or 47, my late wife came on holiday from Bolton, Lancs, to stay with a couple on the island. Her brother had been stationed at Eastney during the war, and had got to know them.
She told me she had travelled down on the Hayling Billy. Little did she think that 20 years later she would come to live in Havant, only a few yards from the Billy line. When we first arrived, the line was closed, but Langston station and the crossing gates were still there. Not long afterwards, the Langstone Road from the bypass to the bridge was widened, and they disappeared, though of course the crossing keeper’s cottage is still there.
And in 1974, we bought my son his first Hornby train set. It came with that year’s catalogue, and the cover was the famous shot of the Billy train on the bridge, silhouetted against the sunset.

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