Angela sadly does not remember much about her father, but has kindly shared the little she does know about his life and work on the Billy Line:
My Dad, Robert William Welch (Known as Jack on the railway), was born on 30 November 1911; he lived his whole life in Portsmouth. From what I understand he started working for the railways when he left school. At some point he drove and worked on the Hayling Billy line.
In 1956 he developed lung cancer, the last time he drove the Hayling Billy was in 1957, and he worked right up until his death. He died the day before his 45th birthday on 29 November 1957. He left behind my mum Violet and us five children. The drivers he worked with made a collection for us and gave the family £22!
Like I say, I don’t remember much about my dad, but I’d like to think the memory of him lives on. I remember vaguely riding the Billy train, getting off at the station and a path that led
us to the beach.’
When Mrs Ross’s brother moved to Canada some years ago the family had the above painting of The Billy Line created for him so as he has a memento of his father’s work and life.