A magnet for all youngsters, whether they lived locally or were spending their fortnight’s holiday in Southsea – the miniature railway on the Common.
It had real engines and tenders with their own station, tunnel and signals. It drew a host of fathers who no doubt envied the fortunate man who was lucky enough to drive this little beauty.
The engine ran on a nine-and-a-half-inch gauge track on its regular excursions around the common.
It was 1929 when a large area was set aside by the council as a children’s park.
The railway, a boating lake, paddling pool, sandpit and swings were a huge success, aided without a doubt by the 1929 guide book issued by the council which included a full-colour, 40-inch panorama of Portsmouth painted by the marine artist William Wyllie.
More than 30,000 guide books were issued that year, many of them sent around the world.