As a sixties Midland’s child my travel was limited but as we neared the Langstone bridge in Hampshire my Grandad would cheerily say “we are abroad now” as we left ‘mainland Hampshire’ behind. Grandad would point out the obsolete railway bridge and never tire of saying ‘That’s where Hayling Billy used to travel over “.
As you have probably guessed Hayling Island stirs up fond memories for me and now as an adult I sometimes walk the Hayling Billy trail from bridge to nearly seafront looking over the harbour to Portsmouth and back to the sailing club at Langstone. The wind whistles through the yacht masts on the bridge but once across this open channel you are soon sheltered. The railway bridge or what is left of it is covered in barnacles and seaweed but you can still walk up to the signal, see the old oyster beds and watch the gulls dip and swirl over the water.
It may not have been abroad in the full sense but it was good enough for this sixties child!