SUMMER 1961 HAYLING ISLAND, HAMPSHIRE
A holiday on the Solent coast with sun, sand and Halfway to Paradise on the transistor radio
To this day Hayling Island remains a popular holiday resort and back in 1961, many visitors will have taken the Hayling Billy branch line from Havant that’s now but a distant memory – thank you, Dr Beeching.
However, judging by this shot of a congested Creek Road, many grockles are now arriving by car. On the right of the frame, the owners of that Morris Eight Series 1 (note the spoked wheels) have clearly succumbed to the lure of 4/6d worth of Mick’s finest cod and chips. Moving towards the seafront, a Ford Thames 300E van is parked on the forecourt of Eastoke Garage where one of the mechanics seems to be attending to an Austin Seven New Ruby. To its right is a fellow Longbridge product, a ‘Counties’ Austin in the formidable guise of an A70 Hereford with those flowing Dick Burzi-styled wings. At the pumps, a Nuffield Oxford taxi is being filled with National Benzole for that essential ‘Mileage Bonus’.
Yet another Austin, this time an A50 Cambridge, is apparently awaiting a service and a Hillman Minx – a Phase V, judging by its tail lamps and rear stone guards – narrowly avoids an oval rear screen Volkswagen Beetle. The Rootes car was reliable transport for countless motorists, although that pair of slightly Teddy Boy looking gentlemen would not have been impressed by its 67mph top speed. As for the VW, the marque had been established in the UK for eight years when this picture was taken, and it was one of the few overseasbuilt cars that would have been a familiar sight. Meanwhile, an Austin 16 and a Standard Companion (one of the few small five-door estate cars of this era) sandwich a group of would be Ton-Up Boys, all probably dreaming of outrunning one of those new London Met Daimler ‘Darts’ on the North Circular. They might also have had ideas of becoming the next Marlon Brando, even though The Wild One would be banned in the UK until 1967.
Inside Mary’s Pantry, the Austin and the Standard owners are meeting for tea, scones and a general grumble about how the end of National Service would bring ruin to Britain.
Next, lured by offers of Lyons cakes and ‘ home cooked’ gammon, we cross the road to encounter an Austin A40 Somerset with a very jaunty external sun visor and a Morris LD van, a form of motoring life that would deliver Wonderloaf until well into the 1970s.
The Ford 100E parked further along the street is a pre-1957 Anglia, before we encounter yet more Austins. The tailfins of the A55 Cambridge MkII bring a discreet touch of Americana to the scene, while what looks like a Ten Colwyn Cabriolet may well have been the first car for one of the younger islanders. The ‘Sit Up and Beg’ Ford Popular 103E looks almost as venerable yet it would have only been out of production for two years and
could that pantechnicon be based on a W- Series Bedford?
Approaching the beach, we have an array of vehicles so utterly splendid that they could have emerged from the pages of The Ladybird Book of
Motor Cars, including a Bedford J-series lorry, a Ford Anglia 105E and a Wolseley 6/80. Another A40 Somerset and a Mini head for the seafront while a Ford Prefect E493A is making for home, laden with buckets, spades and postcard reminders of their vacation, driving past a Standard Atlas, a Hillman Minx Series III and a Bedford CA.
Such cars and commercials would have all been as much part of everyday life as listening to the BBC Home Service or watching that exciting new drama Coronation
Street. The vehicles are part of a landscape so remote from 2017 as to be utterly fascinating.
That Bedford CA is resting next to an emporium proudly offering ‘Self Service’. Back in the early 1960s being attended to by a shop-coated assistant was still the norm in many areas and consumers regarded supermarkets as further evidence of declining standards.
However, one sign of the changing times is that Mini and another is the MoT logo displayed on Eastoke Garage. ‘The Ten Year Test’, as it was then known, was introduced in September of the previous year but by the end of 1961 this would be reduced to cars aged at least seven years, prompting many letters from angry motorists to the national organs of the time.
Alas, some of the pre-war cars here would be scrapped by the end of the decade but, for now, they complete a scene that only needs Del Shannon’s Runaway or John Leyton’s Johnny
Remember Me to make it complete.
This is just what the yanks want, reasoned the austin Motor co as it chased Us sales. Turned out the Japanese were keener – for ckDs. Beetles were quite common in 1961 – but even so, owners used to smile and wave at each other. This old habit probably explains the strength of today’s Vw clubs. The Morris lD van was the perfect two-man delivery mule for town and country. There’s a lot more than fresh bread and cakes in this one. we can’t see the plate clearly, but there’s probably a taxi driver’s holiday going on here with the Nuffield, filling up after a long, slow slog down the congested a3. it’s difficult to say what colours were chosen for this 300e’s finish, but we suspect cream on top and jaunty brown from the waist down. little america vw wave fresh delivery darn sarf two-tone thames
The suitcases are in the B&B, mum’s buying fish and chips, and the rest of the family’s in Hodgson’s – buying lilos and other essentials to load on to the Eight’s roofrack. RACK ’EM UP