50 years on and the Hayling Billy line was commemorated with an exhibition at the Havant Spring Arts and Heritage Centre this weekend. Hundreds of visitors turned out to learn about the railway line that linked Hayling to Havant.
After operating for almost half a century the service was terminated in 1963 during the famous Beeching cull where many train lines were decommissioned across the country. Many island residents and visitors alike remember the puffing trains fondly and have happy memories of steaming along next to Langstone Harbour.
For those too young to have experienced the Hayling Billy first hand the exhibition was a way of understanding the importance the line once played in the islands history. If you made trips on the steam train then this was a chance to relive those memories.
Adding a nostalgic flavour to the days activities; there was a tea dance South Hants Model Railway Club were on hand with a model display 1940s hair styling 1950s make up two Hayling Billy exhibitions and the Hayling Billy 50 area.
Peter Drury the retired BAE Systems project manager who kick started the 50th anniversary celebrations said: This is what we had always wanted to do and I think what we have achieved is to get a broad range of people to visit. Theres so much here