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Saturday, 18 December 2010

It's snowing again!

I was abruptly woken this tediously cold winter morning by a gloved slap in the face. I immediately wondered what I had done wrong now. As there was no follow up to the initial assault, I just laid assessing the situation and realised it was simply a subconscious action from my snoring wife. How such an angelic face can sound like a warthog at feeding time is beyond me. As I laid waiting for the sting to subside, I realised that l was now sleeping with a fully kitted out close relative of ‘Scott of the Antarctic’. To think it was only fifteen years ago that bedtime attire for my wife was only a subtle squirt of perfume, and me just in my ‘furry lounge suit’. These days my wife takes what feels like hours to arrive in bed, going through a ritual process of adding numerous layers of ridiculously coloured warm bedwear. I on the other hand still only wear my ‘furry lounge suit’, although it is quite a different shape & size these days.

As I turned my bruised head towards the window, I could just see though my black eye that it was snowing heavily again. Hmm this weather did not go so well last time.

As I got up to start yet another exciting day, I heard my wife bark two clear instructions from deep within her cocoon of bedding. ‘Before you starting writing any more rubbish on your website, you can clear the drive & de-ice the car’.

This may be harder than it sounds!



Taz is enjoying it though!


*Thanks for the first couple of pictures Penny.

Kids Drawing Competitions in the Village

Two of our children friendly village shops have got into the Christmas spirit by running Drawing Competitions for children. In Inger-Lise’s Coffee Bar, at the ‘Keyhaven end’ of the High Street, any children can draw their pictures at specially prepared tables, whilst mum or dad enjoy anything from a full English breakfast, lunch, sandwich, cake or just a coffee or hot chocolate. The coffee bar even has a children’s menu and baby changing facilities for the very young ones. All entered pictures will be put on display, with the winning picture being judged on Thursday 23rd December. Christine will be providing the winning entry will win a ‘Christmassy Gingerbread House’.

Down at Sullivan Mitchell, one of our local estate agents, there was another ‘Children’s Drawing Competition’ open to any children at pre-school or primary school age. This ended on the 18th December with Lesley awarding a 1st prize of a £10 Milford Models voucher and 2nd prize of a £5 Milford Models vouchers to the winners in two age group categories. It is nice to see are village shops helping to entertain the kids.

Friday, 17 December 2010

White Horse Fundraising closes in on £50,000

The White Horse pub in Milford on Sea has for the past six years entered an enthusiastic team in the 'New Forest Bike & Hike'.

The event allows people to cycle or hike in this ever popular community fun event. Routes are of varying lengths to suit all ages and abilities. Singles and seniors, families and friends, clubs, pubs, schools, youth groups and company teams. There is even a 'Buggy Routes' for Mums, Dads & little ones.  The sponsors are Ringwood Brewery and the event is in aid of Oakhaven Hospice.
 
This year's team of staff, customers and friends from The White Horse raised an amazing £11,307, which makes a total of £49,985 that they have raised over the past six years.

It looks like 2011 will see the £50,000 barrier well and truly smashed! Congratulations to Pat & all from The White Horse for such a great effort.

White Horse Team 2009


Hardeep is coming to Food Week

The planning for Milford on Sea Food Week 2011 (11th to 17th April 2011) is now well underway. We have already had the pleasure to announce 'An Evening with Dick Strawbridge', and we are now delighted to confirm that we have booked Hardeep Singh Kohli, another high level celebrity. Hardeep will be performing his 'Nearly Naked Chef Show' on Saturday 17th April 2011 in our purpose build professional Cookery Theatre which will be in the Community Centre Main Hall.

Tickets will go on sale online soon, and we will also have a 'Box Office' on selected days before Food Week for people without internet access to also buy tickets for the major events.

So, grab a seat and tuck in, as a guest of Hardeep Singh Kohli. This celebrated broadcaster, raconteur, writer and cook combines comedy with inventive cuisine in a wonderfully funny, laid back evening's entertainment.

Just think Ready Steady Cook but with great cooking (Hardeep was runner-up on the first series of Celebrity Masterchef) and funny anecdotes, all delivered by Glaswegian Hardeep in his own unique, articulate and utterly charming way.

Having debuted at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the show played to sell-out audiences, this is an extended, two-course version of The Nearly Naked Chef, combining more of Hardeep’s winning talents and recipes.

‘Kohli’s evening of cookery and anecdotes… left a reassuringly warm aftertaste.’ **** The Times

‘I was mightily impressed by his ability to keep a capacity crowd in the palm of his hand for almost two hours. His concoction on the night? Haggis and butternut squash vindaloo. Even funnier, it was delicious.’ The Sun

Click link to find out more about Hardeep:
http://www.hardeeplive.com/
 
Milford on Sea Food Week: http://www.milfordonseafoodweek.org/

MoS Club Advertising Opportunities

Milford on Sea Club in the High Street, have recently installed a new media system which is all singing and dancing! As well as providing entertainment, the screens have advertising space. Any local business can advertise their services for a very reasonable cost. Companies could have full screen spreads with pictures, videos and logos etc, or just have data in a ‘ticker stream’ on the bottom of the screen.

To receive a price list or to find out more please contact: Mark Ketchen: markdketchen@gmail.com - 07967 547639
Milford on Sea Club, 67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Join in the Guinness World Record Attempt


There is still time to join in the Jack Boothroyd Memorial 5-aside football competition, and to try and set a new Guinness World Record.

A world record attempt football tournament is being organised in memory of Jack Boothroyd. Jack was a popular Milford on Sea teenager who tragically passed away in October. He attended Priestlands School and was a regular member of Milford Youth Club. Friends at the club have asked if the youth room at the new community centre can be renamed to the Booth Room. His friends from school have posted numerous & emotional tributes on Facebook, and Head teacher Chris Willshire sang the praises of Jack, who he described as ‘a lovely boy’. Jack loved caring for animals & spending time on his BMX bike, and from everything we have heard, his mum & dad, Belinda & Mark, must be very proud of their son.

Mark Ketchen and Richard Millbery are organising the Jack Boothroyd Memorial Competition on behalf of Milford on Sea Club. The competition will be a Guinness World Record Attempt to achieve the Largest 5-a-Side Football Tournament. Pre-final matches will start soon and can take place anywhere. A comprehensive guide pack will be issued to all teams that enter. Mark & Richard also hope to raise money for a children’s charity, and they are using all schools in the area to increase the number of participants. The competition can have many categories, so more teams, and volunteers old or young are needed. The competition will be in a mini league format with finals to take place at Priestlands School during the weekend of 5th March 2011.
If you would like to take part or help out please contact:
Mark Ketchen: markdketchen@gmail.com - 07967 547639
or Richard Millbery: 01590 643209
Milford on Sea Club, 67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Saturday, 11 December 2010

New Beer in Milford on Sea

Our friends at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust have let us know that a local Hampshire brewer, Bowman Ales, has just produced a special 50th Anniversary ale for the Trust called 'Warbler'. The beer is described as "A conker coloured premium bitter with an initial sweetness giving way to a dry chestnutty finish, smooth, full bodied & fragrant."

If you fancy a taste, the Co-op in Milford on Sea village will be stocking bottles, and Paul at the Red Lion is going to make it available as well.  We also hope to have the beer featured during Milford on Sea Food Week.

Bowman Ales is a micro brewery based near Droxford in Hampshire.  Find out more here:

William Rickman & Milford House


Recently we received an interesting e-mail from a historian in Charles City County, Virginia, USA. Oh yes, we are now an international resource for historical research! Which is quite a surprise, as I normally make most things up! Anyway, Patrick is researching a certain eighteenth century William Rickman.

William Rickman, was born about 1715, probably in England. William Rickman studied medicine, and is believed to have served as ship’s surgeon on the Launcet, a Royal Navy ship. If so, he left the Royal Navy and settled in Virginia about 1760. At the outbreak of the American Revolution he was appointed director-general of Continental Army Hospitals for the state of Virginia, with the rank of colonel. Dr. William Rickman married sometime before the year 1770; his son Jesse Rickman, was born on May 2 of that year. Jesse was born on his father’s farm near Charles City, Virginia, known as Kittewan. Jesse’s mother died while he was still a small child, and in 1775 his father remarried. Dr. Rickman’s young bride was Elizabeth Harrison, sister of future U.S. President William Henry Harrison. She was 24 when she married the 60 year old Dr. Rickman. After William Rickman died in 1783, her stepson Jesse promptly left the family property, possibly due to a quarrel with his stepmother.

Patrick tells us that William Rickman’s home, which was built in the 1770’s, was called Milford, and wonders if there is any connection with Milford House in Milford on Sea? Our own research found the following: ‘Milford House is a splendid Georgian House in red brick. The central part is the oldest, with castellated parapet being built in about 1730 for William Rickman. He died in 1764 and William Reynolds became the new owner of the Manor’. The dates do not appear to exactly fit, so I have no idea if this is the same ‘William Rickman‘? If you can throw any more light on this story please let me know. david@milfordonsea.org

Magical Milford Monday

A freezing evening chill did not prevent an impressive turn out for the annual ‘Carols on the Green’. Yet again the evening had a wonderful Christmas feel, as Milford on Sea High Street became a winter wonderland. From early evening many of the shops remained open and were serving mulled wine, mince pies and other Christmas goodies. The High Street itself had brave stallholders offering hog roast, paella, crepes, hot chestnuts, candy floss and more. The giant lighted Christmas tree on the green provided the backdrop for the carol service, which was led by village’s own Total Voice Choir. As around 300 people joined in the community singing it was hard not to be moved by the magical atmosphere this created. Everyone that had braved the freezing night certainly felt the effort had been worthwhile. As a great finale, Father Christmas arrived on his sledge. The children’s faces were a picture as he & his helpers handed out sweets to everybody. Well done to the Village Community Committee on organising another great night.

For some the night was still not over as they made their way to the Community Centre to see Milford’s Three Tenors in ‘Mistletoe, Mischief & Mince Pies’. Our own Colin Judson opened the show with ‘O Sole Mio’, with his fellow tenors joining him on stage from various directions as the song progressed. The audience had expected to see ‘Wynne Evans’ and were disappointed to find out that he was stuck in Glasgow due to the snow. I don’t know how Colin managed it, but at the last minute he had been able to get John Hudson to join the team. Colin described John as England’s best tenor for the past ten years, and having heard him who could argue. The great arias kept coming, as people were hypnotised by the power and quality of the singing. The infectious humour of the guys between songs really added to the night. The smooth blend of the individual tenor’s voices mesmerised, and when in harmony they created an incredible sound, espacially when singing Nessun Dorma, which sent a wonderful chill down the spine. It was amazing to think these guys are normally playing the Royal Albert Hall, or international Opera Theatres, yet there we all were, watching them in our own community centre. The Christmas themed second half bought songs for everyone to join in with, and with the words to some of the songs not known by all the tenor’s, their play fighting over the scripts made everyone giggle. Colin had one last closing surprise for us all, but I won’t reveal it now as there is still another show to go. If you are going to the Friday Show be prepared for a spectacular evening!

http://www.colinjudson.co.uk/

Footnote: Having enjoyed Monday evening so much, my wife managed to get two last minute returns to go to the Friday show.  After another spectacular performance she excitedly told me; 'we must do that again'.  'What?, see The Three Tenors?' I asked.  'No, I meant I must always remember to get two single tickets miles apart' she giggled.  Oh, she is so funny, so very funny!

Ravenhurst Planning Update

The planning Inspector rejected the appeal from the developers (Penny Farthing) of the unoccupied NHS site at Ravenhurst (next to the White House on seafront) last week. However, the ‘Protecting Milford's Heritage’ group consider that this has been a hollow victory, because apparently even before the Public Inquiry had ended, Penny Farthing had already lodged a new application with the NFDC to change the planning use to Residential.

Several local residents have again objected to the new application, including our local Parish Council who support the view that the site be restored to its original Greenfield status. The revised application is going before the Planning Committee on Wednesday 8th December (9am: Lyndhurst Council offices). We have been advised that the officers report of the NFDC says the application should be granted despite local objection, and also says the developer could then further amend the plans and application without having to seek any further approvals or consultation! It is also reported to say that only 5 local people have objected. However, the ‘Protecting Milford's Heritage’ advised us that there are 8 letters of objection or expressing concern on the website, and some neighbours have stated their letters sent some weeks ago have not yet been registered on the website, so presumably not counted. Desmond Swayne. our local MP has also asked questions on the groups behalf.

Due to the short notice, it is unlikely that  many cannot attend the planning meeting, but anyone who wishes to support the ‘Protecting Milford's Heritage’ group and add their voice they can attend the Planning committee and object, or email members of the planning Committee, Chief Executive of NFDC and copy the Parish Council to quickly register their protest. 

If you need the e-mail addresses we have a list provided bu PMH available on request.

Milford Fights the Snow


Last week, arctic conditions gripped the whole country, bringing chaos almost everywhere. The stoic people of Milford on Sea were mainly undeterred though. Paul Watson sent us the picture above, as he wasted no time in checking whether the snow had drawn out the ‘Molemen’ living under the green. He reported no sign of our furry Subterranean neighbours, however they seem to have erected a Christmas Tree in the dark of the night.

Terry and Jean Langford send their congratulations to those that kept the village functioning whilst many places drew to a standstill; ”Jean and I would like to commend and congratulate all the people in the various services and shops who turned out to work in Milford and our local area during the severe weather. Of particular mention for us should be the newspaper deliveries, on time on Thursday and Friday (ca 6.30am) as if it had never snowed, and the milkman whose footprints were the first I saw in the snow as I went to get the papers from our gate box. These two deserve medals and our continuing business.”


Another arctic adventurer was Mike Collison, who braved the snow to capture some delightful photographs as shown.





Saturday, 4 December 2010

A Milford Bloke Trapped in Guildford

As some of you may know I have to return to Guildford every now and then to do some occasional ‘real work’ in my business.

Our house in Surrey is on a hill with nice views of Guildford Cathedral and the South Downs. Normally this is a pleasure, but Wednesday turned out to be slightly different. The more observant amongst you will have noticed that there has been snow across the country recently, and we had already been genuinely snowed in for two days. No worries though, provisions were high and my wife was unusually calm and friendly. Wednesday morning greeted us with the delightful scene of the crisp white undulating landscape, and with the glistening snowy rooftops of the town a joy to be seen. In an idyllic family scene the dogs were soon frolicking in the eight inch snow, and the laughter of children rang excitedly across the sparkling snow covered streets. That was of course, until my wife ran screaming into my study, shouting something about a pigeon that was stranded in our garden. I think she is under the misguided impression that I am some kind of ‘Bill Oddy’ style wildlife expert or a professor of ornithology at the local bird school. I helpfully said I would ‘see to it in a minute’ (& as you guys know, this is never the right answer from a husband). Apparently the dogs couldn’t return to the garden due the risk that they would eat our uninvited visitor. However conversely, they needed to go into the garden absolutely immediately, or their bladders would increase to the size of a hot air balloon and they may then disappear into the sky on their way to the industrial North. (Little does she know, that when she is out, I leave them for hours on end without a visit to the garden, and neither of them has exploded yet!) As I did not immediately jump to this mammoth crisis, ‘Eskimo Nell’ kitted herself out with arctic clothing & headgear, and made her way out into the drifts of eight inch snow, all without the aid of snow shoes or the back up of an air ambulance. Once her one lady rescue mission reached her patient - it was stone cold dead. I ignored her sobbing, and helped out by passing my little Inuit a black plastic bag. A hot drink or two later, life had returned to as normal as our life can be.

Well, that was before we saw my wife’s car drive past our house. This was only slightly strange. To explain, my wife’s car had gone in for a service a couple of days earlier & the ice and snow on our hill had made it impossible for it to return the day before. It was also impossible for it to return today, but for some reason the garage hadn’t seen the latest weather report in Guildford. As we were discussing how the car had managed to get up the hill at all, we spotted the man from the garage taking the (unused) temporary hire car he had left with us off of our drive. We watched slightly bemused as he reversed out, and then just slid almost gracefully from view. For some reason we did not spot him passing our house again to get into my wife’s car just a little way up the hill. The first we saw, was when my wife’s car was being driven towards the drive of our house, - and then past it uncontrollably, straight into the back of the temporary hire car. By the time we had donned our outdoor gear to investigate, our friendly ‘garage man’ has left his hire car, which was now at a right angle across the road. He was determined to complete his mission to deliver my wife’s car to her. I think he then wished he hadn’t bothered, especially when he tried to enter the drive again, but just slid and wedged the car against the gate post. My wife was not too happy, but I reminded her that quite a few of her car panels hadn’t been damaged at all. Obviously things could not get worse. That was until I decided to help the guy recue both cars. First we released my wife’s car from the vice like grip of our gate post, discovering in the process that buying a four wheel drive Audi for snowy conditions was actually a waste of money. The best we could do was dump it somewhere near the kerb in the hope no one else fancied taking a chunk out of it. Next, we were off to save the hire car blocking the road. Spade in hand, we dug & pushed to get this little mechanical monster facing the right way. It would be hard to believe that as I went inside to get some gloves, that the ‘garage man’ now managed to lock the keys in the car! A full one & a half hours later the car was released and somehow we had got it to the bottom of the road to let our ‘garage man’ on his way back to wherever he came from.

Thinking the drama was over for the afternoon we settled back down to do some work. So far no cars has made it successfully to the top of our mountainous road. That was until we saw a flash BMW 4x4 stride effortlessly past our house and park further up the hill. The driver then trudged knee deep in the snow past our house, and we gave him a spontaneous round of applause. No sooner had we started clapping, he disappeared without taking a bow. About ten minutes later we saw his BMW 4x4 again. This time he was not in it. The car had simply slid down the hill from its previous parking slot, only stopping when it crunched into the neighbours car opposite. To spectacularly finish the ‘Strictly Come Dancingesque’ manoeuvre, the car then spun gracefully to directly face our house, and conveniently provided a new road block for our cul de sac. My wife had the great idea that ‘I should do something?!’. When I asked what I was supposed to do about the two ton driverless locked car spread across the road? She just said ‘typical, you are useless in a crisis’. Great, all of the sudden the skiing BMW had become my problem, and It wasn’t even our car involved this time! As we watched various unconnected observers visit the scene of destruction there was still no sign of the car’s driver. About an hour later the bewildered man reappeared, and it will come as no surprise that he was shocked to find his car not quite where he had left. Once again I was sent outside under my wife’s instructions ‘to do something’. As I approached the shocked driver he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, so I just asked him ‘have you been driving long?’. I have to admit an undisguised snigger when he told me it was actually his wife’s new car. Our neighbours crushed bumper was still caressing the BMW’s back corner as my new mate from Reading tried to examine the damage. Not being able to see clearly he decided he should try and move his car to see the carnage his lovely wife’s car had caused. All was going to plan, that was until his front wheels were facing down the hill. Before he knew it, the car was on an uncontrolled slalom down the steep incline. I could hear his expletive ridden screams & curses as he missed my wife’s car (just), avoided the stranded BMW 7 Series and finally swerved again to miss the Toyota 4x4 towards the bottom of the hill. If it were not for the enormous crash he made as his new 20 inch alloys hit the kerb with an almighty smash, he may well have ended up in a nice couples garden across the other side of the road at the bottom of ours. Shaken and shocked yet again, he struggled back up the hill, falling over only once, saying ‘I didn’t mean to do that!’. As he left to inform the owner of the innocent and distressed vehicle with a smashed front, I wished him well on explaining to his wife what he had done to her new car.

Later that evening my mate Colin e-mailed me to say Milford on Sea had received a 'dusting' of snow, but they were coping! He didn’t mentioned if his car had survived the day undamaged, but I guessed it had. As the evening drew to a close it was a pleasure to retire to bed, even if it did mean sleeping with ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ dressed in two nighties, woollen socks and a bobble hat.

Food Week Meeting Update

Following an enthusiastic attendance at the Food Week Public Meeting a couple of weeks ago, we now have a good number of Volunteers enlisted to help out during Food Week. We have no idea with what yet, but if you would like to join the list please send your details to david@milfordonsea.org and we will give you the choice to lend a hand somewhere if you would like.

Events for Food Week are now coming in thick and fast, as we try to tie down all of the activities in order to send the programme for printing in January. All of our local charities have also been invited to join in to raise funds for their own good causes. Our local eateries, shops and businesses have been generous in providing support & sponsorship, so everything is well on track.

If you, or your organisation, would like to get involved by running a ‘food related’ event of any kind, just let us know your ideas as soon as possible, the more the merrier! This is truly a ‘real community event’ with no expenses taken and all profits going to local good causes. A complete cross section of the village is involved from The Guides, to local people doing demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre, through to all of our pubs, cafes and restaurants. We are doing everything we can to make next year’s event really special so why not join in, or just make sure you are around from 11th to 17th April 2011 to enjoy the fun!

Are you new to the village?

Each February a ‘Newcomers Supper’ is held at All Saints Church Hall in Milford on Sea. Anyone that is new to the village since February 2010 is able to apply for an invitation and the event is entirely free. The evening consists of two parts. In the first hour or so, there is a ‘mini exhibition’, where you can wander around and informally meet representatives from the many clubs, associations & organisations in the village. They can tell you anything you want to know, and if you fancy getting involved you can. This is then followed by a sit down supper with the chance to meet new people & have a bit of fun.

Most years the event has over a hundred people attending, and it is a great way to meet new people, and to get a warm welcome to your new home. The village is full of friendly people and the ‘Newcomers Supper’ is a fast-track way of getting to know all about our village life.

The ‘Newcomers Supper’ is funded & hosted by all of the churches in the village & tirelessly organised by Ruth Bufton. The event is by invitation only, so if you are new to the village this year & would like to come along please contact: Ruth Bufton on ruth.bufton@btinternet.com or 01590 641875

Christmas comes to Westover Hall

I wandered in Westover Hall the other day for a quick cup of coffee. Always a lovely place to visit anytime of the year, but right now it is like a Milford on Sea Christmas wonderland, with an enormous tree, beautiful decorations and a crackling log fire in the comfortable panelled lounge. As I chatted to Christine the owner, I was impressed to hear that their recent ‘Spanish Night’ held in November has raised £1000 for Naomi House Children's Hospice. David then enticed me into choosing a hot toddy, mulled wine or tea & coffee, as throughout December they all come with a complimentary mince pie from the hotel’s splendid pâtissier Mike. Coffee and a free mince pie was perfect for me.

As the welcome was as warm as ever, and they even humoured me for wearing shorts in the freezing weather, I am now planning to take my wife for a Christmas Lunch, Dinner or Afternoon Tea as I heard that they are serving some special complimentary seasonal canapés. I also found out that they are doing the seasonal canapés for ‘informal get togethers’ or ‘drinks parties with friends’, but I don’t have enough mates for that!

http://www.westoverhallhotel.com/  |  Tel: 01590 643044

Saturday, 27 November 2010

New Island off The Needles

A new island has appeared from the sea, due south of Milford on Sea, and just west of The Needles in Christchurch Bay. Not sure it will be suitable for habitation though, as it is likely to disappear beneath the waves again soon.


For the past week Dolphin Bank has become a temporary home for seabirds and a new local attraction for seafarers and jet skiers.

Approximately 400 metres of Dolphin Bank can be been seen several feet above sea level, with a further 800 meters or so, clearly identifiable by the waves breaking on more of the bank lying just below the surface. Dolphin Bank is made up of predominantly sand & shingle. It is some 7km in length, and 1.4km broad at its maximum breadth, with an elevation of up to 14m above the almost featureless seabed. Dolphin Bank should not be confused with The Shingles Bank, which runs parallel to the Isle of White and into the Solent. Nor, Brambles Bank, which is near Calshot Spit, and where the annual cricket match is played between the Island Sailing Club and the Royal Southern Yacht Club!

The bank has revealed itself due to the current ‘Neap Tide’. Spring and Neap tides are created by the relationship between the Earth and the Moon during each lunar month. Spring tides (high tides) occur shortly after New and Full Moon, and Neap tides (low tides) occur shortly after the Moon is in its First and Third Quarter.

If you are quick you may still see it!

*Map from: www.scopac.org.uk 

Friday, 26 November 2010

Fancy a curry tomorrow?

This Saturday (Tomorrow, 27th November) there is a Curry & Quiz Night at All Saints Church Hall. Everyone is welcome to the fun night, which will include a curry meal, quizzes & games for all ages.  All of the curry chefs are from the All Saints' Church Boys Youth Group.

The lads are really excited about hosting the night, so why not support their enthusiasm by popping along?

Tickets are £10 & £6 for Kids under 12 and available from Claire on 01590 644707 (allsaintsyouthminister@googlemail.com) or All Saints' Church Hall: 01590 644707 & also from Gwen's. There are plenty of tickets still available.

The event is in aid of Friends of Ray of Hope. To find out more about Friends of Ray of Hope please visit:
http://www.friendsofrayofhope.com/

Swap Appeal for Three Tenor Tickets

We have been asked whether anyone would be prepared to swap 2 tickets for the Milford's Three Tenors 'Mince Pies, Mistletoe and Mischief' Show on Friday 10th December? 
A desperate Milford resident has 2 tickets for the same show on Monday 6th December in exchange.

If you can help please e-mail david@milfordonsea.org & we can also explain the ‘sob story’ that goes with the request!

Milford’s Race to Infinity

We ran the story below at the beginning of November, and to date the 'Milford Residents Votes' are now up to 125 votes out of a total of 3,498.  Looks like we will miss out on faster broadband unless more people vote online.

The story below explains:
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We recently heard from two observant, & I have to say intelligent readers, who have made us aware of an opportunity for us all to apply for superfast fibre optic broadband in the village. BT are running a ‘Race to Infinity’ campaign to decide which communities will get superfast broadband. With enough votes, our village connection could increase to speeds of up to 40Mb. In other words, a totally transformed internet, where downloads, uploads, chat and play can all happen at once. Suddenly, all those things that used to take forever on the internet, don't. So far 32 Milford on Sea resident households have voted out of a total 3498.

In order for Milford on Sea to be connected, we need to demonstrate support within our community. So, to ensure we can gain an up to date infrastructure for village homes, businesses and community services, please ‘Vote Now’ using the website link below:


If we are successful in getting the broadband upgrade, all we need next is a mobile phone company who can provide a service where I can get a signal inside my house!

Christmas Shopping & Singing in Village

Late Night Opening in the village shops is on Monday 6th December. Most shops will stay open from 5pm until around 8pm, with the community singing at ‘Carols on the Green’ starting around 7pm. If you haven’t been before, you will find this one of the most enchanting evenings of the year. The village is alive with atmosphere, song & lights, with hot food, Christmas stalls, a hot chestnut stand, & loads of fun for the kids & adults alike.

It is also a great time for your Christmas shopping, The Old Smithy has some really lovely things especially for Christmas, Jabulani has charming gifts & affordable art, and Landfall Gallery has a whole range of unusual contemporary art, gifts & pottery items which would make lovely presents. Brocante Antiques Shop have some lovely small gifts, and for the kids (& adult big kids!) Milford Models & Hobbies have some great games and presents, plus Joy also has a range of specialist soft toys in the same shop. It is also worth checking out the drink offers in Hollands, Wine Shak & Co-Op, there seem to be some great offers in store. For the ladies, Gwen’s has a range of ladies garments of the season. New Seasons Florist is enriched with the sweet smell of Christmas and some beautiful floral arrangements for the home & table, they also, have a specially themed window display. Irene at Ellis Hairdressing also has a charming nativity scheme in her window, which is always a delight for children.

Should like to really pamper someone, you can buy gift vouchers from Lola at The Retreat, and from some of the village hairdressers. If you have some keen DIY’ers to buy for, Hardware @ Milford is certainly worth a look. For the bargain hunters, our two charity shop have a great selection of everything! Christmas cards can be found in the newsagents, post office & gift shops. To support our village butchers, why not this year, order your Christmas turkey & joints, and fruit & vegetables, from The Butchers Shop, DJ Gregory or Marjories Greengrocers. With such a list, it seems we could also complete our Christmas shopping without leaving the village! Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant even has a £10 menu for the evening from 6pm to 9pm. Rather than giving your Christmas cash to the large supermarkets & stores, it would be great if we could support our own village shops as much as possible this Christmas.

If you would like some other gift ideas available in the village, please take a look at ‘Village Services - Health & Beauty’ in:
http://www.milfordonseadirectory.org/

Free ‘Late Night Shopping’ parking in the Sea Road car park from 12.00 midday. (we think!)

If you would like to eat out this Christmas, please click this link: Dining Offer Calendar for December, for Christmas Day & New Years Day events please click here

Sunday, 21 November 2010

They are enormous!

We have just got back from The Dolly Show. Before you stop reading because you are thinking; ‘who in their right mind would go & watch a squeaky woman from Tennessee’, let me explain. My wife was not thrilled when I came home a few weeks ago with two tickets. In fact, she asked if I was taking my mum. She is of course more used to listening to Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith,& N’Dubz. (Never heard of them? They are a band that are named after, and from, my place of birth – North West London.) However, with a bit of persuasion she decided she would come along and humour me.

The first half of the evening’s show was a performance from ‘Dog Ruff’, a band from the village who play a wide range of cover music, & who enjoyed playing as much as we enjoyed listening. The guys have been around along time & their sharp wit provided numerous smiles between numbers. The band are all family members and they really get into the swing when hitting the rock’n roll. Martin on the drums was a last minute replacement from Poland. I thought the band were joking when they announced that he was from Poland, but chatting to Martin in the bar, it was soon evident that he was indeed born in Poland, & even more impressively, when I asked how he knew all the songs?, he told me - he didn’t, he just followed the lead guitar. If anyone noticed that, I will give them a tenner!

The very cheap bar ensured that most of the audience soon got into the spirit of the evening, and after some more top ups at the interval, everyone was ready for ‘Dolly’. She arrived on stage with a top heavy petite frame in a spangly white frock. In true Dolly style she had huge blonde hair, and told us all that; ‘it takes a lot of money to look this trashy!’. Whilst half the audience (the men) were still trying to work out if ‘they’ were real, she was soon banging out the big numbers. My wife, still being (just) in her thirties (Yes true, work that one out! – and she’s not from Thailand!) didn’t think she knew many of her songs. One hour later, she had recognised every number and was waving her arms and singing along with everyone else. ‘Dolly’ not only sang excellently whilst she performed her really polished ‘show’, she also had a warmth, as she chatted to the enthusiastic crowd. Throughout the evening, she often left the stage to mingle in the audience, finding unsuspecting ‘guest singers!’ to join in her songs. Some poor bloke called Terry even got dragged on the stage just because he had a grey beard like Kenny Rogers, he was then forced to duet in ‘Islands in the Stream’. Like everyone else, he got into the spirit of the evening & to everyone’s delight, he simply let himself go and enjoyed himself.

On the way home we were in a jubilant mood & my wife even seemed to like me. We even discussed what most of the men had been trying to work out all night. My wife felt that Dolly was probably doing quite well naturally, but that she had probably given herself just a little extra help. I have no idea how women know these things, but at last my confused mind was at rest. By buying the tickets I had at last got something right, well.......that was until she discovered that I had put the clean duvet cover on the wrong way round and forgotten to put on the bed sheet! Ah well, I had tried.

We have now seen three show’s at the new Community Centre in Milford on Sea, and each time the quality of entertainment was beyond our expectations. If for any reason you have avoided events in past, give it a go - The people are friendly & welcoming, the bar a bargain, the shows great value for money, - and most importantly, the volunteers that work so hard to choose artists to invite, get it spot on!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Food Week Meeting on Monday

Fancy lending an hour or so as a volunteer?, like to run an event? or simply curious what is happening?  Then please come along to the Public Food Week Meeting next Monday (22nd Nov) at the Community Centre.  Starting at 6pm and only lasting around one hour, it would be great if you could be there to show your support for this community event.

*Click image to enlarge

New! Milford on Sea Community Directory

We have now launched the Milford on Sea Community Directory. The new directory contains contact information for all village clubs, classes, organisations, groups, charities, medical services, village shops, restaurants, accommodation, plus services for home and business. In fact anything we could think of, providing it is in Milford on Sea! The directory is designed to be used by everyone in the village, and is a community project.

The idea is to provide everyone with as much information as we can and to keep all of our village social and business activities vibrant. There are no costs involved, so if you have a club, organisation or business in Milford on Sea that you would like added, please let us know.  Contact: david@milfordonsea.org

To take a look at the Milford on Sea Community Directory please click the link below:

If you would like to search for ‘your entry’, please use the instructions below. Should you wish to add or amend details like names / e-mail addresses etc, please just let me know at david@milfordonsea.org
*Click image to enlarge

Coda could win £49,000!

We have been contacted by Rosemary Devereux-Jones, who is the Centre Administrator for Coda Music Trust. The charitable trust work in the community and with groups, and use music therapy to make life better for people. Whilst not based in Milford on Sea, there are volunteers in the village who are members of The Friends of Coda, and they regularly hold quiz nights at All Saint Church Hall.

Coda Music Trust, based in Walkford. have been selected as finalists in The People’s Millions Big Lottery Fund. They are now just one step away from a £49,000 Peoples’ Millions lottery award to convert and refurbish two stables and a garage to a purpose built Music Therapy facility. If successful it will massively benefit the hundreds of local people that go to Coda.

A film about Coda will be shown on ITV Meridian News at 6pm on Monday 22nd November, along with a voting phone number. The phone number is also available at http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/,  
http://www.coda.org.uk/, and in the Daily Mirror. The voting takes place on Monday 22nd November between 9.00am and 6.30pm. It would be great if we could all get behind their bid, by voting on Monday.

If you would like to be kept updated on this project or to make a donation please get in touch on 01425 276161, email: contact@coda.org.uk or visit: http://www.coda.org.uk/

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mole Men head for Whitby Road!

As the Mole Men continue to burrow deep below Milford on Sea village green, we have been contacted by one of the head moles. We suspect that the Mole Men are trying to gain friendships, and that this may be a plan to divert from their work of creating a network of tunnels under the village for their new subterranean community. Jim Stark, who claims to be the Operations Manager for Southern Gas Networks, wrote to us, saying that; ‘following recent gas escapes, works will be starting shortly in Cliff Road to replace a section of main between Cornwallis Road and Whitby Road’. Hmmm, I never smelt any gas leak. Interestingly, Jim contacted me by e-mail, which of course means that they have already installed broadband under a number of houses in the village. If your web connection speed has increased recently, this may be why. I wonder if they have installed their own mobile phone mast yet, as I am sure we will all get a better signal when they do.  I must remember to ask when I next see a Mole Man in the Red Lion.  Indeed, I must also remember to ask them how they are getting on with the underground railway to Hurst Castle that I had requested..

Demonstrating my lack of judgement in understanding women, I  attempted to explain to my wonderful wife the latest development in the Mole Men saga.  As she gazed into my eyes, with what I thought was a stare of wonderment, I felt a sharp pain.  Once again she had demonstrated that a size 10 is more than capable of delivering a perfect kidney punch.  As I laid on the floor, I decided not to retaliate, mainly because she was now emptying the dishwasher, & there were a lot of knives around. 

Undeterred, and now breathing again, I carried on my quest and discovered that the Mole Men had also written to local residents in the area using paper with a Southern Gas Networks letterhead. The various corporate disguises they use always amuses me. They claim the work should be completed within 3 weeks, and by my reckoning they will be able to build underground accommodation for at least forty Mole Men Families in that time. Jim goes on to say that, ‘it is impossible to carry out this essential work without some disruption and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused’. What he actually means is; ‘please do not disturb us, as we have a lot to do & complaints about the noise delays our progress towards our perfect home in the darkness’. It is nice to know the Mole Men are friendly, as once their underground town is complete, & Mole Men from across the country move in, we will all be neighbours!

Campaign for War Memorial

Mike Halliwell, owner of Belle Epoque Wine Bar in Milford on Sea, has started a campaign to have a War Memorial established in the village. We understand that similar efforts have been made in the past, but to no avail. Apparently this was because we have the ‘War Memorial Hospital’, which contains a memorial plaque. This was once on a wall in the village centre. Also, the fact that Keyhaven has a war memorial it could not be agreed that another one was required. Mike makes the point that our ‘own War Memorial’ is seen by few, and that we should all have a permanent reminder of sacrifices made by men in war by the men & women of the village.

Milford on sea certainly played its part during both World Wars, and there are two excellent books written by John Cockram & Richard Williams. The first, ‘Milford on Sea and The Great War’ reminisces how in 1914 the village had 2000 inhabitants (today it is over 5000) and how people were encouraged to support the war effort - be it children knitting scarves for soldiers, women making medical supplies, cottagers growing food or local men enlisting to fight. It was apparently done effectively and without fuss. Over the war years Milford absorbed Indians, Londoners and New Zealanders, soldiers for convalescence with varying degrees of comfort.

The next book, ’Milford on Sea and The Second World War’ was written, in conjunction with the Milford Branch of The Royal British Legion, to recall the role Milford played in the Second World War and remember those who died. The book records people from the village who served, the conditions they endured, and how, why and where they died. The book ensures that their individual histories are not lost.

The above books are available from Mark, at The Village News in the village, or online from:

Throughout the village there must be many stories relating to the war years and Mike is interested in hearing & collecting any of your stories.

We know of a sad story about a local lad, Private Albert Rickman, who served in the First World War with 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was executed on the 15th September 1916 for desertion. Albert had served with his Battalion in Gallipoli from April 1915 until January 1916, the Battalion eventually landing in France on the 19th March 1916. On the 1st July 1916 the Fusiliers advanced at 08.00 in the second wave attacking near Beaumont-Hamel. Heavy German machine-gun fire cut them down before they could pass through the British barbed wire. Casualties were 11 officers and 300 other ranks. On the 2nd July the survivors held the British front line near Auchonvillers, gathering up the dead and wounded and repairing the trenches. Private Rickman deserted and was not arrested until the 20th July on the lines of communication in the rear. By the time of the Court Martial the 29th Division had left the Somme and moved up to the Ypres Salient and on the 7th September 1916 the death sentence was confirmed and on the 15th September 1916 Private Rickman, aged 27, was shot at 06.00 for desertion. His parents, Charles and Anne Rickman lived at 4 Carrington Terrace in Milford on Sea. Albert’s grave is in the Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery (No 12923). There could be many reasons for Albert’s actions, most completely understandable. Today there is a much better understanding of the traumatic stress of soldiers at war. However, such severe punishments were a relatively frequent occurrence in WW1, as much to act as a deterrent to the other troops.

During World War Two, two coastal gun batteries and searchlights were installed at Hurst Castle. The castle was also the billet for troops from 129 Dragon Battery of the Royal Artillery. Milford on Sea beach was a restricted & fortified area, and Pill Boxes, which can still be seen at The White House & on the hill above Taddiford Gap. As one of the few access areas through the cliffs, Taddiford Gap was 'plugged' with concrete obstacles commonly known as 'dragons teeth'. Square-pyramidal fortifications of reinforced concrete, designed to impede the movement of tanks. The idea was to slow down and channel tanks into "killing zones" where they could easily be disposed of by anti-tank weapons. Most have now been removed, but a few of the last remaining concrete obstacles can still be seen.

As in the First World War, many houses in the village were requisitioned for military use, particularly in the cliff area.

Many of us must regularly cross Milford Bridge at the bottom of the High Street by the Pleasure Grounds. The bridge was re-built in 1929 and if you take a close look at the inscription at the top of the brickwork you will spot that the word before 'bridge' has been chiseled out. The missing word of course was 'Milford' & this was removed during the Second World War. This was done in case of a German invasion & to prevent the invaders from knowing where they were. Fortunately they never arrived to see this local handy work!

One local resident who contributed to the WW2 war effort was Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA (1895–1973), a famous British painter who was renowned as a maritime artist. In the 1930’s he moved to Hurst Road in Milford on Sea. When World War One broke out he enlisted in the Royal Navy as an officer and he illustrated naval actions for the Sphere newspaper. He was present at the final surrender of the German Grand Fleet and an entire issue of the Sphere was devoted to his official drawings of the surrender. During World war Two he was again commissioned by the Sphere as an official war artist to depict incidents from the war at sea.

Mike’s campaign is supported by the local Royal British Legion & he has asked if anyone who agrees with his campaign, can they please write to the Parish Council indicating your support for a new village War Memorial.

Parish Office, The Old Clock House, 22 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD

Piccolo Mondo Closes

Our local Milford on Sea Italian restaurant appears to be no more. During October, Piccolo Mondo only opened on Friday & Saturday evenings & we had been informed that this was due to a kitchen refurbishment. It now appears that the restaurant has ceased trading altogether. It is always a great shame to lose any of our village services, so we hope a new restaurant rises from the ashes soon.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Football in Memory of Jack


A world record attempt football tournament is being organised in memory of Jack Boothroyd. Jack was a popular Milford on Sea teenager who tragically passed away in October. He attended Priestlands School and was a regular member of Milford Youth Club. Friends at the club have asked if the youth room at the new community centre can be renamed to the Booth Room. His friends from school have posted numerous & emotional tributes on Facebook, and Head teacher Chris Willshire sang the praises of Jack, who he described as ‘a lovely boy’. Jack loved caring for animals & spending time on his BMX bike, and from everything we have heard, his mum & dad, Belinda & Mark, must be very proud of their son.

Mark Ketchen and Richard Millbery are organising the Jack Boothroyd Memorial Competition on behalf of Milford on Sea Club. The competition will be a Guinness World Record Attempt to achieve the Largest 5-a-Side Football Tournament. Pre-final matches will start soon and can take place anywhere. A comprehensive guide pack will be issued to all teams that enter. Mark & Richard also hope to raise money for a children’s charity, and they are using all schools in the area to increase the number of participants. The competition can have many categories, so more teams, and volunteers old or young are needed. The competition will be in a mini league format with finals to take place at Priestlands School during February half term.

If you would like to take part or help out please contact:
Mark Ketchen: markdketchen@gmail.com - 07967 547639
or Richard Millbery: 01590 643209
Milford on Sea Club, 67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Thinking about Christmas Dining?

If you are someone who eats out, I expect you have your favourite dining places in the village. As we are blessed with so many good places to eat in the village, it is also likely there are still places that you would like to try. If this describes you, I suspect you will find our new ‘Dining Calendar’ very useful. The ‘Dining Calendar’ contains all of the dining offers currently available across the village. You will also find all of the Christmas dining options on the December page.

If you would like to take a look, simply go to the Community Calendar from the link below, then select the ‘Dining Offers Calendar’ from the drop down menu just below the title on the main calendar.

Click above image to enlarge.

Dick Strawbridge Booked!

The whole process for making arrangements for Milford on Sea Food Week is now well under way, with fun & exciting events flooding in. It looks like next year will be even more spectacular than this year’s inaugural event. We are really pleased the we have managed to book Dick Strawbridge to appear, & even better, when I was chatting to Dick the other day he was genuinely excited to be coming along. ‘An Evening with Dick Strawbridge’ will feature Dick cooking, whilst telling easy going anecdotes & stories relating to his life exploring self sufficiency, together with his inside experiences as a TV Celebrity Master Chef. He will be cooking a demonstration menu of: Starter: Local seafood ravioli with crab & goats cheese buerre blanc and samphire | Main Course: Poachers/game roast with root dauphnoise, sweet chestnuts and a port reduction | Sweet: Rhubarb and ginger pudding with syllabub, whilst everyone enjoys his amusing & interesting stories, in his unique & exuberant style.  This is only one of a great programme that is coming together, so leave you diary free for Food week! We will let you know when tickets go on sale.
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Dick was a finalist in the 2010 BBC series of Celebrity Master Chef, and he is also a television presenter, Eco Engineer, Ex-Army Colonel & proud owner of the best moustache in showbiz! Dick’s warm & exuberant personality was energetically demonstrated in his 'Scrapheap Challenge' days, & in his popular BBC2 series 'It's not easy being green'. The series featured his family’s lifestyle changes and experiments into sustainable living and eco-technology. The programme was filmed at his family home, Newhouse Farm, which is a self-sufficient environmentally friendly smallholding in the West Country. Dick also published his latest book ‘Practical Self Sufficiency’ in 2010. His love of food is excitingly demonstrated in his hearty fare and focus on flavours.

To find out more about Dick Strawbridge, please click following link:

Milford on Sea Food Week runs from11th April to 17th April 2011

Thursday, 11 November 2010

LITA Newsletter

The Lymington & District International Twinning Association have published their October Newletter & you can read all about their activities from the link at the bottom of this page.

LITA was originally formed in 1981, and through exchange visits, fosters friendships between the people of the Lymington area and those of each of their three twin towns (Vitré/France, Almansa/Spain, and Mosbach/Germany). It supports community and civic links, and organises social events as well as French, Spanish and German conversation groups for its members.

As the 'District bit' in the organisation name, several Milford on Sea residents are members & enjoy the international social activities.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A Poppy for Grandad

I am sure that at this time of year many families recall stories of the war years & the part their own families played in the eventual victory.  Our family never really had any ‘war stories’, well we didn’t until my brother Peter, did some genealogical research during 2009.  Like most families I guess, the war was not discussed when we were children, & the only thing I remember was that my dad’s older brother had been a WW2 prisoner of war in an horrific Japanese camp, but he never spoke about it to anyone, ever.

I also knew that my Grandad’s lungs were badly damaged during the first world war, but did not know how. I remember him as a warm & kindly man who lived with us when we were children. In fact our three bedroom home in Kingsbury, North London, housed Grandad, my Nan, Mum & Dad, plus us three kids. He fondly told me great children’s stories as I sat on his knee, with his oxygen cylinder & mask sitting ominously next to him in the living room. He even caught me doing something I shouldn’t have, but kept it a secret from anyone forever. My other Grandfather, Albert Long, I remember as a stern archetypal Victorian man, in a woollen suit with waistcoat & fob watch. His house was a standard semi-detached in Hendon, North London with an allotment at the bottom of the garden where he spent many hours. He was certainly of a mind that ‘children should be seen & not heard’ & the front parlour was a special treat to visit only on special Sundays. This all seems so far from the days we now live in. Having been born in the mid 1950's, I grew up with the war as being something 'old people' talked about, & in my teens & twenties I was much more interested in girls & pubs!

Sadly, when I eventually became interested in what happened during the two World Wars it was too late to ask many of those I had known that had been there. It was not until I was in my early forties that I took a trip to Ypres & the Belgian World War One Battlefields & Trenches, and the experience was unexpectedly emotional & a disturbing realisation of the scale of the slaughter. In subsequent years my interest in the war years grew, as I tried to understand & make sense of what had happened. It just felt important to know. A visit to the World War Two D-Day Beaches of France soon followed. If these are trips you have never made, I thoroughly recommend a visit. I cannot say it will be fun, I also cannot guarantee you will not have an involuntary tear or two, but I can guarantee that the sights will put everything into perspective & steel your resolve for such a thing to never happen again. In my view, it should be on the curriculum of every school in the country to visit the battlefields & cemeteries to ensure our children never forget what happened to their own forefathers.

click image to enlarge
Back to Peter, (my Brother), a few years ago he gave me a surprise present of two photograph frames with the most amazing contents following his research: each had a sepia photograph, name & rank panel, miniature medals & script on the back. The photographs were pictures of each of my Grandfathers in their military uniforms during WW1. The stories on the back revealed amazing things about two ordinary men during wartime.

My Grandad, Staff Sergeant Horace W Hunt had been in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during WW1 as a Mine Sweeper, unfortunately he was involved in an explosion which necessitated his return to Hendon Cottage Hospital, England for treatment for temporary blindness & respiratory problems. During World War Two he served as a corporal in the Southgate Home Guard. Being an engineer he invented an improved loading device for 97 round Lewis Light Machine Gun which improved the loading efficiency by forty percent, which he donated to the war effort.  Our family now has a letter from a Major M. A Moir, congratulating him on his ingenuity.

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My other Grandfather, Rifleman Albert Long, of the Rifle Brigade was one of the few to return from the atrocious battlefields of Passchendaele, Belgium. During his time in the trenches we were proud to discover that he had been awarded the Military Medal for an individual act of bravery. His Military Medal was awarded on the 18th October 1917. Unfortunately, all records of the exact event were destroyed during the bombing of the Army Records Office in London during World War 2. However, from family memory Peter discovered that he had saved a comrade from ‘no man’s land’ during battle. His medals were bequeathed by the family to his Regimental museum, the Royal Green Jackets Museum in Winchester, when he died in 1965 & can still be seen there today.

This personal story may not be read by many, but for those that do read this, I hope it conjures up memories from your own families.  Most importantly, now that I have written this story online my grandads will never be forgotten, and like so many other fathers & grandfathers who sacrificed so much, they never should.

Q Award nomination for Murray James

We may be on the verge of having a real life pop star in the village. Milford on Sea born Murray James was recently nominated for a Q Award as the ‘Next Best Thing’. Murray James is actually a ‘stage name’ & he may be known better locally by his real name of James Billet. Now pursuing a career as a singer songwriter, Murray has signed a recording contract & he is in the process of writing his debut album between the UK and the USA. Murray’s musical style is a mix of soul, blues and reggae inspired songs, with a distinct vocal style that defies his appearance. He has already supported names such as Amy Macdonald, Candi Staton, Natalie Imbruglia, Joe Purdy, and Sir Elton John, at his only UK concert this year. The concert was performed to a sellout crowd at Watford FC’s Vicarage Road Stadium last May.

The 21st anniversary of the star-studded Q Awards were held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Monday, 25th October 2010. Some artists who received awards on the night included Sir Paul McCartney, Take That, Florence Welch, Chemical Brothers, Bryan Ferry & Kasabian. So it looks like he is moving in the right company! Murray was nominated in the shortlist for the ‘Next Big Thing award'. The shortlist was chosen by a panel comprised of Columnist Of The Year Caitlin Moran from The Times, Radio1's new music guru Huw Stephens, The Sun's Showbiz Editor Gordon Smart and Q Editor In Chief Paul Rees. From a long list of 20 acts the panel shortlisted the list to six acts. Sadly, it wasn’t Murray’s night to pick up an award, but it sounds like he had a good time anyway according to the message he put on Twitter; “That was an unbelievable night... I'm so hung-over that I can barely move my arms! Russian vodka gets a big thumbs up!” We hope that this is the start of a great musical career for one of our very own, and as soon as we hear that his debut album has been released we will let you know.

You can hear some of Murray James’s music in the link below:

Milford’s Race to Infinity

We recently heard from two observant, & I have to say intelligent readers, who have made us aware of an opportunity for us all to apply for superfast fibre optic broadband in the village. BT are running a ‘Race to Infinity’ campaign to decide which communities will get superfast broadband. With enough votes, our village connection could increase to speeds of up to 40Mb. In other words, a totally transformed internet, where downloads, uploads, chat and play can all happen at once. Suddenly, all those things that used to take forever on the internet, don't. So far 32 Milford on Sea resident households have voted out of a total 3498.

In order for Milford on Sea to be connected, we need to demonstrate support within our community. So, to ensure we can gain an up to date infrastructure for village homes, businesses and community services, please ‘Vote Now’ using the website link below:
If we are successful in getting the broadband upgrade, all we need next is a mobile phone company who can provide a service where I can get a signal inside my house!