Memories by Rowena Dowse

Rowena lived in West Lane and could see the train across her garden.

As a child aged 7, Rowena and her sisters loved to watch the trains go by; they also used the trains as clocks as they used to run regularly. She has memories of the crackling of the corn; this happened because the cinders would set the corn alight.

One day the fire came towards the house and their mother took them downstairs so she couldn’t see the flames. All the fire engines and farmworkers were fighting the fire.

Rowena also remembers using the Billy line to get to Havant to then go into Portsmouth to go Christmas shopping in Woolworths in Havant with her sisters. The train was very important to the family, as they used the Billy Line a lot to go further afield for family days out. Her dad knew all the drivers.

Rowena has very fond memories of the Billy Line.

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