Thursday 2 February 2012

A Wee Hurl to West Hayling [5]

Blogger (or more likely, fbb) seemed to get in a mess yesterday. An amendment to "A Wee Hurl to West Hayling [4]" had vanished into the ether by evening. It was a photo of a preserved Dennis Falcon that was lighweight enough to cross the original Langstone Bridge. Those who missed the little bit of omnibological nostaligia may wish to return to yesterday's blog (here).
Back to today's offering ...

Beachlands and Back.

The Beachlands area of Hayling Island seafront has been a tourist destination for many years. Originally a holiday spot for the well off who wished to enjoy the medicinal benefits of sea water and fresh air. Beachlands even boasted a seawater bathhouse during the 1820s, constructed shortly after the island was made more accessible by the opening of the new bridge.

Hayling Island was discovered by the masses in the 1930's, when the popularity of the motor car made travelling here more convenient. As the Island grew in popularity as a holiday destination, the attractions of safe sandy beaches and good sunshine records were joined by frequent traveling country fairs held at Beachlands. When the site was bought by Billy Butlin in 1924, these traveling fairs started to become permanent attractions and the forerunner to the modern fairground that sits on the same site today.
One of the biggest attractions of this early fairground was Monkey Island.
Set amid a small boating lake, this sland was a rocky outcrop inhabited by live monkeys.

Buses have always had their own little pull-in adjacent to the main entrance.
In some ways, not a lot has changed in 2012.
As well as being a place of fun, Beachlands has also served a more serious role. Taken over by the Royal Navy in 1939, Beachlands served as a barracks for the armed forces for the duration of WWII.

In addition to fairground-type entertainment (?), Beachlands is one terminus of the recently reborn Hayling Island narrow gauge railway which was in operation (but lightly loaded!!) on the day of fbb's January visit.
Anyway; onwards and upwards on our service 30.
From Beachlands, just off the map, bottom left, we are off via Eastoke to Sandy Point, the south eastern extremity of the Island ...
... where the bus doubles back to Eastoke and on to Mengham. Here the "time point" was, for countless generations (?) named after a very ancient pub, called "The Rose in June" ...
... rebuilt in Victoria times and now boarded up and closed down.
On Elm Grove, the nearest that Hayling Island comes to having a shopping centre, we pass the former Southdown depot ...
... now "recycled" as a shop and garden centre, and return via Langstone Bridge to Havant bus station.
And, when they get it right, the vehicles are branded "The Bridge" ...
... and when they don't get it right, "The Bridge" runs all the way to Cosham on service 23 as seen here at "The Compound" in the snow. Such is both the joy and the jeopardy of labelling your vehicles for a specific route.
And, as is the way with modern marketing, every brand needs a rebrand to keep the graphics designers in gainful employment. Does any one know whether all this "stuff" actually gets more bums on seats?
Does a better bolder bluer "Bridge" badge beckon bonus bods onto the bus?

A few more eclectic "observations" on Hayling Island will follow soon.

 Next Blog : due Friday Febuary 3rd 


  1. Great research and interesting read well done

  2. Great research and interesting read well done