The old Black House on Farlington Marshes

The Old Black House, Langstone Harbour
The Old Black House, Langstone Harbour

Saint Roger's halo didn't slip when he gave me interview

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This picture of the old Black House on Farlington Marshes stirred memories for 81-year-old Bill Downer, from Reading.

He says: ‘Our family lived at 1 Hardy Road, Farlington, and we children spent many happy hours on the marshes, where this little island was situated.

‘In 1950 the house had gone leaving just the foundations and brickwork of the lower level. The island was reached by a stony causeway, which at high tide, became covered, and the island was isolated.

‘On the shore edge was a short length of rail track, upon which sat a gantry crane. I imagine that this was built by the Royal Marines, who used the marshes as a training area during the war years. We used to call it Cockle island.’