NOSTALGIA: Hayling islanders rejoice as they’re given freedom to roam

April 11, 1960, and the Stop and Pay sign is put away on Hayling bridge.
April 11, 1960, and the Stop and Pay sign is put away on Hayling bridge.

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It was the day that freed the people of Hayling Island. No longer would they have to pay to get to the mainland.

On the other hand, the lifting of the charge by Hampshire County Council meant those wishing to cross the other way – particularly during the summer – could do so without cost.

A vintage car crosses Hayling bridge on toll-free day...

A vintage car crosses Hayling bridge on toll-free day...

It was April 11, 1960, and each of these pictures of the celebrations on Hayling bridge was taken by a young Stuart Hales.

He says: ‘They were taken when I was doing my own developing and printing while doing a student apprenticeship at Rugby.

‘My parents lived at nearby 53 Langstone Road and I was visiting at the time – probably during the Easter holiday.’

He says his pictures have never been previously published.

A penny farthing  leads  a convoy of  vintage cars across Hayling bridge to celebrate the abolition of tolls in April 1960.

A penny farthing leads a convoy of vintage cars across Hayling bridge to celebrate the abolition of tolls in April 1960.

The new bridge was built in seemingly record time.

Tenders were opened on October 18, 1954, and the winning bid saw the cost come in at £283,918.

It opened less than two years later on September 10, 1956, with the first ‘vehicle’ across being Sir Dymoke White’s coach-and-four.

Tolls were collected by Southern Railway staff on behalf of the county council until April 11, 1960.

A vintage car crosses Hayling bridge on toll-free day...

A vintage car crosses Hayling bridge on toll-free day...

... along with some eye-catching old motorcycles.

... along with some eye-catching old motorcycles.