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Memories of the Hayling Billy DVD premiere

22 May 2015

On Friday 29 May at 2.30pm, The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre are hosting the gala premiere screening of a brand-new DVD created to commemorate people’s stories of the Hayling Billy Line.

Working with the local community and Emsworth-based Millstream Productions, The Spring has been collecting oral histories from local residents who have their own  stories about the Hayling Billy Line. This is the first chance for the general public to see the resulting film and purchase a copy of the accompanying book.

Supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund, Havant Borough Council and The Conservation Volunteers, the film has been in production since last Christmas.

Kate Saunders, Participation and Heritage Manager at The Spring, who has been co-ordinating the project, said: “I’m delighted how the local community have really engaged with this project. We originally went to the Daisy Chain club and Hayling Island library to meet people who had come forward with their own reminiscences. From those initial set of interviews, Dan Musty at Millstream Productions then chose six people to come to The Spring so that he could interview them on camera. Those interviews have helped to form the backbone of this DVD.”

The Spring has also commissioned a booklet of memories from those members of the community who the venue met when they went out to Hayling Island and the Watercress Line Spring gala. This booklet has been collated by Jane Gregory and contains a variety of memories and pictures.

The event will be attended by The Mayor, from the project board Peter Drury, Georgina Rogers, Chair of the project board, Rachel Morony from The Conservation Volunteers, Roger Harrison, Chair of the Board of the Spring, and other trustees from The Spring. Director of The Spring, Sophie Fullerlove, will introduce the film.

The gala premiere has already proved so popular that The Spring has had to put on a second screening on the same day at 4pm. Tickets for both screenings have now all been taken.

Editors notes

The Hayling Island Branch was a railway that connected Havant with Hayling Island. It was sometimes known as the Hayling Billy, a name now given to the footpath along the old track.

The line was opened by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) for goods on 19 January 1865, and for passengers on 16 July 1867. It ran from Havant to Hayling Island station until its eventual closure in 1963. 


For further information please contact Kate Saunders at or on 02392 249063. Or Darren Corps at or on 02392 249062.

The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, 56 East Street, Havant, PO9 1BS