As it’s the last day of the month I thought I would take another trip off Portsea Island and head to Hayling Island and Emsworth, both always worth a visit. The three Hayling Island photographs come from Roger Allen and the Emsworth picture from Barry Cox.
Of course, in days past there were three ways of stepping foot on Hayling Island – by road or railway bridge from Havant and the ferry from Eastney.
Many years ago you could walk to the island on a wadeway to the east of the present road bridge. That was done away with when the canal route from Chichester to Milton, cutting across Langstone Harbour, was built.
I’ve mentioned the Hayling Billy branch line to Hayling many times so will not go into detail once again, but here is a superb view taken on the wooden trestle railway bridge. On the left is the signal box with the Langstone Bridge nameplate displayed. I wonder who got their hands on it when it was demolished?
Ahead can be seen the swing bridge which would allow vessels with tall masts to pass through. It took a while, as fishplates had to be unscrewed and signal wires displaced, and after the bridge had swung back into place the whole operation had to be redone to make the line safe again.
Many fisherman used to illegally use the bridge for fishing when there was mid-water between tides, climbing down on to concrete blocks that held supporting beams in place. I can remember looking out of the carriage window and seeing them and wondering what they did when the tide returned.
After the trains ceased to run in November 1963, I remember walking across it. It was precarious with much of the woodwork missing. It was finally demolished in 1966 by Royal Marines.
•Does anyone remember the pound at Hayling which housed stray animals until they were collected by their owners? This picture was taken about 1900. Anyone know where it was?
•The picture of a rural scene at West Town on the Island is much the same today but without the tree. It looks like a petrol pump on the left but I am sure someone will tell me what it might be. This is a view along Station Road.
•Pubs are disappearing fast and here was one of the finest to go. Emsworth still has a good selection of pubs but you might have missed visiting the Royal Oak to the east of the town right on the Hampshire/West Sussex border.
The road is the old A27, now re-badged as part of the A259.