ORGANISERS of an annual music festival held on the shores of Southampton Water are celebrating the success of this year's event.

Rock the Pier is staged by Hythe Pier Heritage Association (HPHA), which is carrying out repairs to the 700-yard jetty and its narrow-gauge electric railway.

This year's event was called Rock the Train to mark its 100th anniversary.

Daily Echo: Leighton O'Hara, left, presents a cheque to Jill Gower and Anthony Smith from HPHA.Alan TitheridgeLeighton O'Hara, left, presents a cheque to Jill Gower and Anthony Smith from HPHA.Alan Titheridge (Image: Alan Titheridge)

Now members of HPHA have announced that the celebration netted £8,500 - an increase of £1,000 on the sum raised last year.

A spokesperson said: "The festival attracted hundreds of local residents and visitors who enjoyed seven hours of pulsating music in warm sunshine."

Sponsors included the Lord Nelson pub in Hythe High Street.

The proprietor, Leighton O’Hara, has presented a £1,200 cheque to HPHA chairman Anthony Smith and the association's secretary, Jill Gower.

Jill said: "We at HPHA would like to record a big 'thank you' to Leighton for his generous donation."

Leighton added: "A fantastic day was had by all, bringing the community together. It was both a joy and an honour to support such a worthy cause."

Daily Echo: The narrow gauge electric train that operates on Hythe Pier. Picture: HPHAThe narrow gauge electric train that operates on Hythe Pier. Picture: HPHA (Image: HPHA)

Volunteers from a men's group known as Hythe Shed (at the Pier) took part in the anniversary celebrations, which included a model railway exhibition at Hythe and Dibden Community Centre.

The HPHA spokesperson said the group wanted to thank all the people who gave their time for free.

They added: "A big 'thank you' to the sponsors - the Scratch Project, the Lord Nelson, Maples, General Estates, PPL PRS and Zillwoods Signs."

The train takes passengers to and from the Hythe ferry, which berths at the end of the pier.

In 1944 it was used by King George VI, who visited the Southampton area to review preparations for the D-Day landings.

Before the railway was built ferry passengers had to walk the length of the pier to reach the ferry.

The two locomotives that trundle along the jetty were built for use in First World War munitions factories.

The centenary saw them reunited with a similar engine currently housed at Amberley Museum in West Sussex. It was the first time they had been in the same place since 1920.

The pier has been awarded listed building status in a move that could help HPHA secure vital funds.

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