Havant train crash 1939

The wreckage of the rear carriage of the train which came from Chichester. The injured were all in this coach.
The wreckage of the rear carriage of the train which came from Chichester. The injured were all in this coach.

THIS WEEK IN 1976: Big crowds for the big band sound

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On July 23, I wrote about a train crash at New Lane level crossing east of Havant station in 1939.

These photographs were sent to me by Pauline Jenkins (née Markham) of Portchester who tells me she was involved in the crash... in a way.

Here can be seen the damaged flight of steps leading  up to the  footbridge crossing.

Here can be seen the damaged flight of steps leading up to the footbridge crossing.

She says: ‘At the time I was in my mum’s tummy travelling down from New Malden in Surrey to visit family on the Isle of Wight.

‘My parents, Cyril and Dorothy, used to make the trip several times a year and of course, as I got older I can remember travelling down as well.’

Pauline’s father told her they had to jump down on to the track and walk to Havant station. He just happened to have a camera with him so he took the photo looking under the damaged footbridge.

In a Daily Telegraph report Pauline sent me, it says trains involved were the 12.36 stopping service from Chichester and the 11.45 express from Waterloo.

Taken at lineside by Paulines father Cyril, we see shocked passengers wandering about  the track.

Taken at lineside by Paulines father Cyril, we see shocked passengers wandering about the track.

What made matters worse at the Portsmouth end was that there were 17 annual outings being held with trains starting from Portsmouth and Southsea station. These outings included 4,500 Handley Page aircraft workers from Cricklewood, north-west London. Many specials were laid on to take them home via Fareham and Eastleigh.