Remember D-Day landings at Hayling Island this weekend | Nostalgia

Covid has put paid to anyone travelling to Normandy this weekend for the 77th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 6:31 pm
A Mulberry Harbour section under construction. One still remains in Langstone Harbour. Picture: Mike Beel collection.
A Mulberry Harbour section under construction. One still remains in Langstone Harbour. Picture: Mike Beel collection.

However, this coming Sunday there will be perhaps the next best thing.

As you may know, four of the Mulberry Harbour floating piers were constructed off the west side of Hayling Island and one still remains where it sank.

To commemorate the occasion and D-Day itself, Richard Coates and colleagues have organised a military display on the west of the island. There will be six-10 vintage Second World War vehicles in a static display alongside John’s Cafe who has allowed his car park to be used.

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An 80-year-old pillbox still in superb condition at the Kench, Hayling Island. Picture: Mike Beel.

As it is the 100th anniversary of the British Legion a display stand is also hoped to be in attendance.

The event will run from 10am until 3pm.

It may be better for Portsmouth people wishing to attend to travel over on the Hayling Ferry from Eastney as the display’s location is just 100 yards from the ferry’s landing stage. Please check running times.

I will be there so it would be great to meet one or two of you who read my Remember When and Looking Back pages in The News and Weekend magazine.

The D-Day-themed event at Hayling Island on Sunday.

Last waltz

It seems to have gone largely unnoticed but the lyricist Barry Mason, who, along with the arranger Les Reed, wrote the words to many of the most popular sings of the 1960s, has died. He was 85.

The Last Waltz, sung by Engelbert Humperdinck, knocked San Francisco off the top spot in the hit parade to remain at number one for five weeks in 1967.

Mason also wrote the lyrics to Delilah, perhaps Tom Jones’s greatest hit.

Some of his other well-known songs were Love Is All sung by Malcolm Roberts in 1969; There Goes My First Love for the Drifters; Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) for Edison Lighthouse, and I Pretend for Des O’Connor.

Stinging lesson

I don’t suppose for a minute that today’s children know that the antidote for being stung by nettles is a dock leaf?

My nine-year-old granddaughter Verity was stung last week when we were walking the Langstone stretch of the Hayling Billy trail. I pulled some dock leaves, rubbed her legs and the rash was gone in no time.

‘Oh granddad,’ she said 'you are so clever. You must be a doctor as well.’

‘Not quite,’ I replied ‘but thanks for the compliment.’

I wonder if the youngsters who are no longer encouraged to venture into woodland or go on country walks know of this humble cure for the nettle’s sting?

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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