NOSTALGIA: The train now leaving Langstone – is causing long traffic jams

The long-gone but well remembered Hayling Billy prepares to leave Langstone Halt heading for Havant.
The long-gone but well remembered Hayling Billy prepares to leave Langstone Halt heading for Havant.
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We continue today with some of the photographs from my colleague Bob Hind’s new book Portsmouth in Transition.

Below we see the railway viaduct that took trains across to the South Railway Jetty after leaving the mainline just before entering Portsmouth Harbour station platforms.

An early 1950s photograph of the viaduct across the water to South Railway Jetty.  Picture: Barry Cox collection.

An early 1950s photograph of the viaduct across the water to South Railway Jetty. Picture: Barry Cox collection.

Many members of the royal family and dignitaries must have crossed the viaduct to board ships or to be taken from visiting ships.

At the far end there was a swing bridge to allow shipping to enter the waters between the viaduct and The Hard.

It was destroyed during the blitz of the Second World War. The viaduct was used to berth empty coaching stock until it became too unsafe to do so.

In the modern picture you can see the line the viaduct followed by the posts between HMS Warrior and the camera.

The former viaduct followed the line of posts between the camera and HMS Warrior.

The former viaduct followed the line of posts between the camera and HMS Warrior.

HMS Warrior 1860 arrived in 1987 and its stern would have encroached on the viaduct had it still been in service.

Bob tells me: ‘I worked on the ship for a year and climbed the mizzen mast of Warrior shortly after she arrived, just to prove I could still do it.

‘I joined the Royal Navy at HMS Ganges, near Ipswich, in 1966 aged 15.

‘There I had to climb the mast set in the parade ground, no ifs, buts or maybes.

The much-loved and often-vandalised Southsea model village in 1960. Picture: Helen Mabel Smith

The much-loved and often-vandalised Southsea model village in 1960. Picture: Helen Mabel Smith

‘I wanted to see if I still had the nerve. Glad to say, aged 36, I had.’

In the top picture is a long-gone scene but one never to be forgotten by those who remember.

We see the Hayling Billy departing Langstone Halt on an up service to Havant.

Traffic from Hayling Island can be seen queued up and it would have been the same this side of the gates too – and this was long before modern traffic flows. Imagine if the service still ran...

The final picture is another from the collection of the late Helen Mabel Smith.

She took it in 1960 at Southsea model village.

At first glance it could be a photo taken of a real village with one of these new drone cameras we keep hearing so much about.

Having not visited the village for many years I do not know if this scene remains.