11th July 1981

S.H. Homes
(Chichester to Midhurst Centenary Celebrations 1881-1981)

DEMU Used 1126

Route :

DEMU Route
as listed Chichester - Brandy Hole Lane Bridge (Lavant)
as listed Brandy Hole Lane Bridge (Lavant) - Chichester

Notes :
(1) Alan Osborn comments: Train ran on the remaining part of this line still operational - the route which opened 11th July 1881 closing to passengers on 6th July 1935. The line remained open to freight although last service was just one northbound only train per day, 09.30 Chichester-Horsham. The last train was on 19th November 1951 although it wasn't supposed to be the last train, but fell into a collapsed culvert near Midhurst. The train was not recovered until 25th February 1952 but the railway was never repaired and closed north of Cocking. A freight train ran to here until 26th August 1957 after which the line was cut back to Lavant which received services until 5th August 1968 and occasional Sugar Beet trains until January 1970 However following local opposition to lorries travelling through Chichester a freight service of trains of gravel were re-introduced operating from Lavant to Drayton (east of Chichester) from January 1972. Another other station on the line (north of Lavant) was Singleton which had a number of special trains, being the local station for Goodwood race meetings.
(2) Alan Osborn recalls that arrangements had also been made with local landowners for the remains of the trackbed from Midhurst to Lavant to be walked which included walking through Cocking Tunnel - whilst walking the tunnel he could see a light in the distance which he assumed was the far end, only to find it was a hurricane lamp marking a bend in the tunnel!
(3) Was this a one-off return trip or one of a number of shuttles run throughout the day?

Source : Alan Osborn (on the train throughout)

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Alan Osborn)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Chichester 13.20d 13.20   ? 14.05
Brandy Hole Lane ? 13.40   ? 13.45

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