Trains attracted hundreds to weekend of activities

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THE romance of the railways drew hundreds of people to Hayling Island for a steam and model railway event.

Ian Edwards from Hayling Seaside Railway said the railway’s depot was packed with model railways, displays and stands brought from various railway clubs.

Mr Edwards said he wanted to thank the many volunteers, visitors and organisations who were involved in making the event a big success.

He said: ‘Special thanks to Graham Lee from the Statfold Barn Railway in Staffordshire who provided “Jack Lane” as the steam locomotive for the weekend, and Yorkshire’s Kirkless Light Railway for the technical support and equipment they provided.’

Mr Edwards said he was delighted with the response to the event, despite the fact it was raining for much of the weekend.

He said: ‘The event went very well indeed despite the appalling weather, particularly on the Saturday. We received positive feedback from visitors and participants on the day and from our Hayling Island neighbours via social media.’

Also on display were murals designed by children from Hayling’s Mill Rythe School.

The school held a mural competition, and the winning designs were done by five-year-old Jessica Thompson and eight-year-old Finley Furlong.

Hayling Seaside Railway will be very busy over the next few months as the Hayling Billy Depot is being relocated to Eastoke Corner.

The competition was based on the theme of a British seaside scene and the winning designs were selected by a panel from 28 entries and will be replicated for use on the new depot at Eastoke Corner, after it is built. As well as the relocation, an extension to Beachlands has been approved and construction work is well under way.

Volunteer project manager Cliff Robinson said he was looking forward to the railway’s new base.

He said: ‘It’s full steam ahead to complete a new home for the railway. However, the hard work now begins, so all help is needed over the coming weeks to complete the new depot by the end of the year.’