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Your Carriages Await, Selsey – 9 March

The photograph above shows CYC trainspotters with Santos, formerly Mabel, a first-class car refurbished as a Pullman and now a Selsey holiday home.
It was all aboard both boats and trains for the last ramble of the winter season on 9th March, which began with a conducted tour of Selsey lifeboat station before it opened that day to the public. RNLI volunteers showed us Selsey’s 25-knot Shannon class lifeboat which is launched from the beach by an impressive piece of kit, a tractor and launching rig, and its inshore D class lifeboat, with videos of recent rescues and the history of the station.
 A brisk stroll east into an even brisker easterly wind took us along Selsey’s East Beach, home to as many as 30 railway carriage cottages many of which retain their original features, some easily recognisable from the front.
They are sited on the Park Estate created in 1920 by “Tommy” Berg and leased to holidaymakers for £10 a year, the price may have gone up but several such as Seabank are still attractive and unusual holiday lets.
 American and Canadian soldiers were billeted there during the Second World War and Winston Churchill attended a meeting at the carriage Stewarton.
After bird spotting along the edge of Pagham Harbour at high water, there was a coffee stop in the grounds of the picturesque 13th century chapel St Wilfrid’s at Church Norton before heading back into Selsey spotting more carriage homes on the way. Lunch was a substantial buffet at Selsey pub The Seal.
David and Amanda Pearce