There must have been thousands of words written about the Hayling Island railway line and especially in the past few months which saw the 50th anniversary of its closure.
I have reviewed several books on the Hayling Billy line over the years and thought there was nothing left to write about it, but now comes a new booklet of 96 pages which, I must say, is a delight.
It was compiled and written by a local man who used to live next to the line at Waterloo Road, Havant, and whose back garden overlooked the station platform and the shunting area next to the running line.
Ralph Cousins is well known around Havant as he had a newsagents in the town for many years.
He is also an alderman. There is also a contribution by Richard Barton.
There are many unpublished photographs which are a delight after seeing so many reprinted in other books time and again.
Many come from Ralph’s private collection plus some from other contributors.
There are many in colour as well. There is one cleverly superimposed shot of the train passing over the modern road at Langstone crossing. There is also a brief history of the remaining 10, of an original 50, Stroudley locomotives several of which worked the line.
The book is available from the Spring Arts Centre, Havant, and at just £5, or £6 including p&p from Ralph on (023) 9248 4024.
It would make a worthy Christmas present for any railway fan.