The rescue of a station lamp

At a recent visit to a Hayling Island couple, I was told an interesting story behind a Rochester station lamp in their garden:- ‘My husband and I went to get fish and chips from Taffs Plaice opposite South Hayling Station. Demolition was in progress and, while my husband collected our supper, I walked over to talk to the workmen. The station lamps on the platform caught my attention and I asked what would happen to them. I was told that they were being removed for scrap but, if I was interested, I could place an offer to purchase one or more of them. We made an offer, the following day, of £2 for one lamp which we considered would be the scrap value. We were told that we would be informed if our offer was accepted. We heard nothing for a few weeks and thought we had lost the chance. A letter eventually arrived telling us that, if we paid £2.50, the lamp would be ours. With great excitement, we dashed off to the offices and paid the money. We were given a receipt and told to collect the lamp at the station. When we arrived at the station we were told that the lamp did bot exist. We showed our payment receipt and asked him to jolly well look again. After a while he returned with a rather red face, apologising for not finding it earlier. He told us that it had been hidden because it was the only lamp that came out intact. The other two were destroyed during removal.’

Note:- At the time of closure, this lamp had been modified by the railway when it was converted from gas to electric lighting. The original gas mantle style housing was restored following purchase. This new housing was specially made by a craftsman from supplied drawings.

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