Memories by Brian Boxall

What excitement for my two sisters and me when we caught the train from Portchester to Havant and then waited to board the Hayling Billy.

This would be a regular summer treat at the weekend or during the school holidays for the family in the 1950s, with Dad loaded up with towels and bathing costumes, and sharing food and drink transportation with Mum.

I remember chugging over the water on the bridge and eventually arriving at Hayling Station. A not-too-long walk and we reached the sand dunes and the sandy beach.

After swimming, building sand castles and enjoying our sandwiches and drink it was time to make our way back to the little engine. Back to Havant and then the big steam train to Portchester.

As I cross Hayling Bridge now by car and walk along the disused railway track, memories of sun-filled days, a perfect sandy beach, tasty food and of course the little chugging train come flooding back. They were much simpler days when expectations were not so high

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