Nostalgia and Steam

Nostalgia and Steam: 100 years of Hayling Billy History was a Heritage open day which commemorated the 50th year of the closure of the Hayling Billy Branch Line. Held on 2 November 2013, it was the last open day funded by HLF and it drew in almost 1000 visitors.

For the Hayling Billy project including the exhibition and open day, we are thrilled to say that we have just been awarded with ‘Best Exhibtion’ at the 2014 Portsmouth Guide Awards; we were up against some tough competition and are genuinely over the moon to have won!

The FREE family open day was designed not only to commemorate the 50th year of the Billy Line’s closure and to celebrate the (almost) 100 years that it ran for, visitors joined us to explore the railway lines past and each of the periods it would have been witness to. From The Victorians to War Time, to the Swinging Sixties we celebrated our local communities past and the life of the much loved Puffing billy Line.

Here are some of the highlights of the day…

The Hayling Billy 50 exhibiton created by Peter Drury of HB50 and Hampshire County Council Museum Services, proved to be extremely popular with visitors throughout the day…

exhibition

We were joined by South Hants Model Railway Club, whose miniture moving trains were very popular with young and old…

mini-railway

We had retro 1940s hair being done in the Museum…

Cass-hair

There was a vintage make-up salon running in our 1950s kitchen…

Grace-makeup

makeup2

We had a range of childrens craft activities running, which were popular with both parents and children!

crafts

crafts-2

louis-craft-2

Our real life Hayling Billy Ticket Inspector was on hand to issue everyone with a replica Billy Line train ticket, which they could then have stamped by the authentic Hayling Billy ticket punch machine…

Ticket-Inspector

We were even visited by a miniture version of our Ticket Inspector…

Child-ticket-inspector

We were joined by Forest Forge Theatre Company who ran a 1930s tea dance in our theatre…

Tea-dance-2

The tea dance had a period atmosphere, aided by the live band play retro tunes…

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Many characters from the Billy Line’s past were present to give the day a period feel. Such as the musicians from FB Pocket Orchestra who are seen here in their 1930s costumes, operating the original ground frame lever from the Billy Line…

FB-Pocket-orchestra

Our Ticket Inspector made jolly good friends with the Victorian railway passenger…

Ticket-Inspector-and-Victor

The face-painting stand was very popular…

Facepainting

Actors from SOOP performed the hilarious railway skit ‘ Chuffed to bits’…

Chuffed-to-bits,-Soop

performance

Even The Spring staff got into the Vintage spirit with retro hair do’s!

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The day was a great success, we were visited by an outstanding 957 people. All had a wonderful time and truely celebrated the history of the Hayling Billy Line in style!