When I was a child in the late 1950s and early 1960s our family would visit Hayling on day trips, catching the No. 68 Southdown bus to Havant and then going by train to Hayling. On leaving Hayling Station we would walk down Staunton Avenue to the beach. We would spend the day in the sand dunes and on the sandy beach. Sometimes we would take a picnic with us and I remember on one occasion the boy next door accompanied us, carrying his food and beach wear in a small suitcase. When we arrived at the beach he opened his case to find the bottle of milk he had brought with him had spilt all over his food, bathing trunks and towel.
In the late afternoon we would walk to the fun fair and go on the boating lake and little train ride, which was my brother’s and my favourite ride when we were small as each train had a bell to ring as the train went around the track. I remember there were two boating lakes which were subsequently drained of water and other attractions sited within the old lake walls.
I remember on one occasion my Dad’s cousins from America were visiting England and joined us on a trip to Hayling fun fair. They bought their son a hot dog which he immediately smothered in hot English mustard, thinking it was the sweet mustard that he was used to back home in America. He took one bite and, tasting the hot mustard, threw the hot dog to the ground.
After we visited the fun fair we would walk back to the railway station. I remember on the way there was a small shop which sold post cards and we would stop there to buy one each to add to our collection (unfortunately given away a long time ago). We would also pop into Hayling Park and have a go on the old large slide that used to be there.
When the trains stopped running we continued with our day trips to Hayling taking the bus from Havant to Beachlands. Eventually I was allowed to visit Hayling with my brother and our older sister and then, in due course, my brother and I would come over with our friends and spend the day in the fun fair, going home with chalk ornaments that we had won on the pellet gun stall.