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Sunday, 24 January 2010

Braxton Gardens reopening with Off License & Farmers Market

When Braxton Gardens reopens on Monday 1st February, they will be licensed, and offering a fully stocked Wine & Beer Shop. The shop will feature a comprehensive selection of over 50 fine wines, champagne and beer, all with local free home or office delivery. Braxton not only has its famous David Austin Rose Gardens, but also offers a café serving fresh coffee, premium teas, cakes and light lunches. They will be open from 9am for seven days a week.

The New Forest Producers Market will also have a new home at Braxton Gardens in Milford on Sea from Saturday 6th March (9am to 3pm). The Braxton Gardens Farmers Market will run on the First Saturday of Every Month, with additional markets on selected Tuesdays (3pm to 7pm) during the summer season. The farmers market will sell fresh and seasonal New Forest Marque local produce, direct from the farmers and small holders of the New Forest. The stalls will include honey, bread, cakes, eggs, wool, beef, local game, pork and bacon, cheese, vegetables, specialist plants and much more. They are a great opportunity to meet producers and find out about your local food. You can view the entire programme of Farmers Markets on the following link. Braxton Gardens Farmers Marker Calendar: www.milfordonsea.org/farmers-market-calendar

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Wicked Smokers Punished


Whist my businesses offices are not in Milford on Sea, there is a tenuous link to this story because I do live in the village. More importantly, I thought you might be amused by my recent correspondence to our landlords about our office, which is in a building called The Hub.

LETTER:
Not sure who is responsible for the new ‘smoking shelter’, so I would grateful if you could pass this on to them please.

To whom it may concern.

I have just attempted to take a smoke outside Stalag Hub. It is now an interesting experience sitting in wet clothes attempting to carry on with my work. Whilst I appreciate you do not have control of the weather, (you don’t do you?), you could make my working life a little less hassle. How about a shelter within a reasonable distance of an entrance from our office block? I have to let you know that your new smoking shelter is not my best friend. Life is now a bit tricky when a wicked working smoker needs a fix & it must be disappointing for you to hear that your covert attempt to get me fit is not appreciated. There was a day when I would appreciate a quick sprint to get somewhere, but today I prefer a gentle stroll. It is a shame that the smoking shelter is a lifetime away & completely inaccessible without braving the elements. I do recognise the undoubted amusement that the smoking expeditions bring to all watching from the windows, as smokers of various shapes & sizes attempt to dodge the rain at speed, perhaps the humour levels could be raised by adding some grease to the steps or pavements?, then everyone can watch the addicted fall over – always a funny one. In sunnier times I tested a theory & it proved to be true that I could light a cigarette on leaving the door & finish it by the time I reached the shelter. Having arrived it seemed a shame not to stay a while, so I had another one. After a chat, it is time for the return journey, & a last cigarette. So ‘three’ when I normally would have had ‘one’. Did you know that you are actually increasing the carbon footprint of The Hub now. (I guess this was not you intention?) Rumour has it that our own smoking area was removed because someone (who has now left) complained that they could smell faint traces of smoke in their office? Quite a feat, as all of the buildings windows are sealed, they must therefore be applauded for their ultra sensitive nostrils – wherever they are now.

I have even been advised by ‘an official’, that smoking outside our back door, (where the original ‘official’ smoking bin was up until a few weeks ago!) is now a ‘Health & Safety’ risk, as I pointed out to him, I believe this to be complete nonsense. We all know that ‘Health & Safety’ rules can at times be ridiculous, but I am sure that even these regulations cannot meet these depths of ludicrousness. Unsurprisingly, my research was unable to identify which section of the ‘Health & Safety Act’ that was now being contravened. Anyway, regulatory nonsense aside, what is the ‘depth’ of the newly invented ‘building smoking exclusion zone’?, as I can spot no signs. To help us unfortunates, perhaps we could have a red line, two foot ditch, or even an electric fence around the building, which would indicate to us evil smokers where we are being a dangerous threat to mankind & where we are reluctantly acceptable. As smoke control is the aim, wind direction & speed can obviously make life complicated for the rule makers with this one, so will the ‘building smoking exclusion zones depth’ expand and contract based on the wind direction or speed? If so, a wind sock or electronic indicator on the side of the building would be appreciated. Another idea may be to have heat or smoke sensitive sensors on all building walls with search lights & alarms to let us all know when someone deviates into the no go area. It might also be fun if the security guys have paint guns to splat the offenders. I quite like this idea. As I expect to be paint covered most of the time, can I choose the paint colours please?

Perhaps we could protect people further by sinking the new shelter into a bunker thirty feet underground, then no one working or visiting here will be offended by the sight of these unfortunate nicotine stained people. No smokers in our office were asked their opinions before the changes were made, therefore I hope my following suggestions are also implemented without consultation. In the pursuit of fairness I believe we should now eradicate all evil from The Hub. We could start will removing all bad substances, starting with coffee & tea due to the addictive nature of caffeine. Also calories are a problem in managing weight, so The Aviators Café should be replaced totally with a Tofu & Prune Bar.

PS: At times I can smell fruit fumes in my office, can all fruit be banned from all offices as well please.

PPS: You may consider reading this a waste of your time, but I am only getting my own back for the time you waste of my team as they continually venture daily to the ‘smoking den of iniquity’ & back. Must go now, there is a break in the rain & I need a fag.

DL
Chairman

Verveine Restaurant Open for Valentine’s Day


Milford on Sea is to welcome its latest quality restaurant when they open on 12th February, in fact they are taking booking now if you want to be one of the first to dine there. Based On the site of Monks Fishmongers, Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant is a new contemporary dining venue in the heart of Milford on Sea village. Having seen the menu, which features fresh local produce cooked in imaginative ways, the impression is one of exciting, quality food served at affordable prices. The menu consists of personal touches like freshly smoked bacon from their own in-house smokery, homemade daily baked fresh bread, plus homemade pasta, ice cream and sorbets. The idea is to use ingredients from our local doorstep, whether its wild bass from The Solent, crab and lobster from Lymington, local cheeses from Sway or pheasants from a local shoot in the New Forest. The menu is Modern British cuisine, featuring fish and seafood, complimented with contemporary meat & pasta dishes. Verveine is a concept born from the ideas of Stacey Crouch and David Wykes, and they are making every effort to make dining at Verveine a special experience, whether you are visiting for a light lunch of home smoked scallops Maryland or the tasting menu “From our shores”. The decor in the new restaurant looks great & is designed to create a friendly & relaxed informal atmosphere.

Thankfully Milford on Sea village hasn’t lost its traditional fishmongers. The new Verveine Fishmarket sits in front of the restaurant, and still supplies the local villagers & of course now, the restaurant menu. We also hear that there are future plans for a ‘Fish Cookery School’, (this is to train people - not fish, to cook seafood meals), now that sounds a great idea! If you fancy making a dining booking now, you can call Verveine on 01590 642176. You can also visit their new restaurant on the following link: http://www.verveine.co.uk/

New Belle Epoque Wine Bar & Cafe has opening date

The transformation of Attic Attack (& before that Clarkes Shoe shop), in Milford on Sea High Street is reaching completion & we understand the new wine bar cafe with be opening on Wednesday 3rd February. As well as taking on a new function the building will also carry the new name ‘Belle Opoque’, which we have translated to mean something like ‘Beautiful time’. The ‘cafe food’ element of the plan with arrive around Easter, when the kitchens are expected to be completed. He menu includes a glass of champagne & smoked salmon for £5, and prosseco & smoked salmon, cheese or cured ham for £4. There are also plans to develop the food offering to included a tapas bar. Having heard of a sneak preview of the interior we understand that it is Mike’s version of ‘shabby chic’, with an eclectic mix of aged furniture & walls adorned with ‘nic-knacks’. A significant range of books & paperbacks will be also be available to buy with the proceeds going to the British Legion. The bar’s lounge will have papers & magazines to read, & people will be able to enjoy a relaxing glass of wine, or coffee & other hot drinks on visits. The new opening hours will be 8am to 8pm Wednesday to Sunday.
There will also be an off license inside called ‘Vine Associates’, which will be run by John James. The off license will also open Wednesday to Sunday with 12 noon to 8pm opening hours.

Ravens Way Planning Application Objections


The Parish Council Planning Committee met recently and heard briefly from the NHS, the developers, Penny Farthing, plus a more detailed presentation from the architect regarding the proposed development for the Ravens Way site just west of The White House on Milford on Sea seafront. The committee were unhappy, & in their view the proposal was an over-development of the site. In particular parts of the development were too tall relative to the White House and the properties in The Boltons. It was noted that the plans and drawings presented were not to scale and there was a degree of vagueness as to the height (specially of the four storey tower) against the rooflines of surrounding buildings. There was also concern that the plan lacked any element of 'affordable housing', although an indication was given that it was 'hoped' to provide some of this on a different site in Milford on Sea. There were suggestions that the sewage system would be placed under additional strain despite assurances from the developers. NFDC have to finally decide the application and will get the Parish Councils view that in its present form it should be refused. Watch this space to see what happens!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Pointless Cycle Paths for Milford on Sea


We have discovered through Colin, our intrepid local newshound, that plans are currently being considered by New Forest District Council for Cycle Routes through Milford on Sea, I guess these are designed as a covert plan to get us all fit. (Although their chances of achieving this with Colin & I are pretty remote.) The proposed cycle routes appear to crisscross happily right across the village. I have only had the pleasure of seeing the proposed map online without any written explanation text. That however is not an issue on two fronts. Firstly, if there is such a document, it is unlikely that I would be bothered to try to decipher the ‘council speak’ in what is likely to be a be a weighty tomb of nonsense. Secondly, it is much more fun to make wild assumptions. On viewing the map it soon became clear to me that the ‘Cycle Routes’ were actually currently being used for another purpose, - existing roads. Hmmm, so does this mean the roads are to become cycle routes, & in turn new roads will be built later for the cars that no longer have anywhere else to drive on? Perhaps not. Not being a cyclist myself I am unclear of their strange customs, but I always thought they could ride on these roads already? Possibly I am missing something. I know, the Cycle Route will have ‘cycle lanes’ added to indicate to cyclists that they can cycle on roads that they could always cycle on before. Brilliant idea! Thinking through the practicalities, I could not work out how the cycle lanes would be accommodated, then it came to me, it is simply a case of deciding which side of the roads will have all of their houses demolished to add in the cycle lanes. I suppose by removing houses it will also provide an opportunity to drop in a dual carriageway, bus lane & perhaps if there is enough room a lane exclusively for rickshaws. The map also shows a ‘possible short contra-cycle lane’ for the High Street. ‘Contra cycle lane’ – what does that mean? No, I have no idea either. Researching the dictionary I ended up with three definitions for ‘contra’. Firstly, ‘A member of the guerrilla force that opposed a left-wing government in Nicaragua’. Perhaps the lane will just be for them, but quite honestly it has been a while since I saw a guerrilla in the village. The next definition was; ‘A deal that allows for the exchange of services, goods or publicity without money changing hands’. Ah, perhaps you have to offer something to the council on entry, if they like the swap deal you can go through, if not you just have to use a normal road I’m afraid. The final definition is; ‘In contrast or opposition to; or against’, that’s the one I reckon. The cycle lane will go in the opposite direction to the current one way traffic. To some this may seem daft, but thinking about it, the shopkeepers will love watching our friends on two wheels dodging oncoming cars in panic, plus of course it will draw extra people to the village to watch the ‘cycle run of death!’.

My wife was taking a lot of interest in my one way discussions on this subject, whilst at the same time pretending to be reading a book. Suddenly, she suggested that I should buy a bike. She went on to say how I could then cycle twenty five miles a day for ten days. Not understanding her reasoning I asked whether this was a plan to help lose the five stone I had put on over Christmas? No, she said, it simply means you will then end up two hundred & fifty miles away from here. I don’t think she is taking the situation seriously.

It may be pretty obvious that I live in my own little world (without a bike or any cycle lanes), but someone was telling me the other day about something called the ‘credit crunch’. As a result it appears the government need to save quite a lot of money. Well, I have one idea, how about shutting the ‘NFDC Pointless Cycle Route Department’. Alternatively, the council team could be redeployed to something of a bit more value, like building a Milford on Sea underground railway, or they could even resurface the High Street again if they are really stuck for ideas. Apparently these are ‘Preliminary plans for consultation only’, and I bet they will have great fun chatting to any people they can find who understands their plan. If you can be bothered you can view the ‘Proposed Cycle Route Map’ on the following link: http://www.newforest.gov.uk/media/adobe/g/2/Milford_on_Sea_Cycle_Map.pdf

Elvis is coming to town!


Yep, Elvis is coming to join us at Milford on Sea Food Week. The Asian cousin of the King will be performing at Zaika Indian Restaurant on Tuesday 6th April 2010. Elvis will be in full voice, & hearing him singing with a touch of ‘Bhangra style’ just has to be seen. I have already booked & I am taking my wife to make up for not sending a valentine’s card. (I know it is a month away, but I always forget!) My guess is that you will never have seen an act like this before. Tickets are £35 for the show & a set course finest Indian meal. If you don’t want to miss out on this fun evening I would suggest booking now on 01590 643084.

Hit link below to see Indian Elvis in action! - http://www.indianelvis.com/

Jazz/Swing Evenings moves to South Lawns Hotel


Following the fire which ravaged Milford on Sea Tennis Club the Jazz/Swing Evening were once again looking for a new temporary venue. Since the closure of their normal home at the Community Centre, due to the rebuilding, the club had been accommodated by the Tennis Club. The good news is that South Lawn Hotel has come to the rescue & will be hosting the evenings for five months from January to May. The next Jazz/Swing evening, will be on 22nd January & features Simon Woodley on piano and vocals, plus the villages own resident Windmill Band. Everyone is welcome & the admission charge will be £3 at the door. Doors open at 8pm and the evening finishes at 10.30pm.

The Windmill Swing Band, is a saxophone and rhythm group, which meets every Friday in the Guide Hut in Milford on Sea. They always welcome new players, the only qualification is that they can read music. So if you fancy giving it a go just pop along.

Deliver me a curry!


At times I feel it is only fair to give my wife a rest from cooking (& me a rest from eating it. I blame her mother!) Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that our very own Milford on Sea Indian restaurant is now doing a home delivery service. Now, for some this will answer all of their wishes, & I am sure I will be taking full advantage on a regular basis. However, my excitement was curtailed a notch when I realised that the new delivery service has now removed my excuse to have a sneaky pint at the Smugglers when collecting from Zaika. Ah well, all that glitters isn’t always gold.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

More Snow Anyone?


Tuesday evening’s TV news bulletins were full of severe weather warnings for the south, with Milford on Sea right in the centre of the weatherman’s map. Childish as it may seem, I was getting quite excited about seeing snow on the beach. Of course I knew the practical chaos that was coming shouldn’t be looked forward to, but my inner child couldn’t help itself. After watching Celebrity Big Brother, (no I have no idea why I was watching it either) we took to our bed, me excited about the following day’s white vista, & my wife looking for the thickest nightdress she could find. Personally, I felt that the woolly hat & gloves that followed were unnecessary, but I decided it would be wise to keep my thoughts to myself. Bright & early Wednesday morning I was up & straight to the window to see nothing... absolutely nothing. For some obscure reason the snow gods had missed us out, probably because I didn’t tell my wife how lovely she looked at bedtime. Around nine o’clock I realised my missed compliment was not the issue, as the snow gods started to dump cold white flakes across the village. In around two hours there was no sign that the snow would be stopping, and a few inches of snow now covered the ground. Suddenly, a strange woman appeared from the other room dressed like an Eskimo. It was only when she spoke through her fur hat that I realised that it was my wife dressed ready to take the dogs for a walk. I gave some helpful advice on how to walk in the snow without slipping, and it was fortunate that the scarf wrapped around most of her head muffled what I suspect was not a polite reply. I of course would have joined her, but I had bigger plans – I had to get out to take some photographs.

As I was packing some sandwiches, Kendall mint cake, filling a hip flask & was about to advise the coastguard of my adventure, my Eskimo returned. When she saw my preparations she delightedly assumed I was leaving home, but when she realised I was only going to take some snapshots she coolly asked whether it was about time that the village found a new idiot. I decided to curtail my preparations & risk going out without my provisions or the cover of the coastguard. To be fair I was only going to the seafront fifty metres away, so I reckon I still had a fair chance of survival. A deserted seafront greeted me with a chill wind & a pristine white beach. The snow was so thick that the beach pebbles didn’t even move underfoot, and the beach huts near the Needles Eye Cafe, (which had already been barricaded in by the shifting stones) had snow halfway up the doors. Strangely the front of one of the beach huts had been cleared? The door was closed, so I just imagined an old couple sitting inside on deckchairs, reading the paper & musing on why their neighbours were missing a great day out. On the way back families were now out in force, one group were making a snowman on the beach, with others having snowball fights on the green. Simple pleasures being had by some, as the country around us had ground to a halt. It seemed unfair to return home without a present, however my wife didn’t find the snow I put down her back as funny as I thought she would. As I got up from her swift left hook, the midday news came on & it was obvious that chaos was gripping the nation. I have to say I felt I should feel a little guilty for actually enjoying the snow, but to be honest the guilt wasn’t as big as it could have been.

See the pictures on the ‘Gallery Page’ - www.milfordonsea.org/gallery-mos-today

A sneak tour of the Marine Cafe


The progress at the old Marine Cafe continues to intrigue passers-by, of which I am one. No longer able to contain my curiosity, I asked Richard & Sue (the owners) how things were going & being as friendly as ever, they invited me to take a tour. Even before entering the building the attention to detail that was going into the build was obvious. Richard explained how the terraces were designed to accommodate sections for dog walkers, smokers & heated eating areas. The wall height had even been designed to ensure the views are not obscured when sitting at a table. The building also has significant green credentials with solar panels & a clever eco friendly heating system that I didn’t understand! The car park beside Sturt Pond will become a pay & display to service the new cafe customers. Venturing inside, it is clear that there is still a lot of work to do, but first impressions are of the impressive curved wall of glass doors, which have been designed to make the most of the great views across Sturt Pond & along Hurst Spit. The downstairs room will contain a bar, tables & casual seating, where you can grab a coffee, snack or classic English meal. The rear room downstairs will be a comfortable lounge with a plasma TV where people can choose to chill out in peace. The room features a glass covered wine cellar with a spiral staircase access, & will also have the latest Audio visual equipment which companies & groups can hire for presentations or meetings. The finish throughout reflects the ‘art deco’ style with cutting edge contemporary design & fittings. The high-tech kitchen includes some side serving windows onto the terrace, which will provide hot snacks, teas & ice creams for walkers.


Venturing upstairs, we came to what will be the formal restaurant. The restaurant will serve quality traditional dishes to compliment the best offerings in other local restaurants. Once again the room is still a shell, but you are immediately captivated by the breathtaking panoramic sea & coast views, there surely will not be a more spectacularly situated room to eat in the country. The restaurant also features a giant glass pyramid skylight where it is planned an ‘art deco’ style chandelier will hang. Richard explained how the restaurant will contain a bar, with the room in a subtle combination of art deco & modern decoration. The first floor balcony is going to contain tables & seating for diners, plus a staircase leading to the roof terrace where you can enjoy your meal alfresco. The roof terrace will have a raised central decking to ensure you have uninterrupted 180 degree views from wherever you sit. It appears no expense is being spared to ensure that the village has somewhere we just want to keep visiting. At the rear on the first floor is Richard & Sue's family flat, & yes I did get a sneak visit! The art deco & contemporary design mix continues in the only completed part of the building, and if the quality of finish & design features in the flat are anything to go by, the finished cafe is going to be more than impressive!

I also discovered that the cafe will reopen under a new name of ‘The Marine’. The change is to reflect that the new business will now be a Cafe Bar & Restaurant. During my visit I also met Marcus, the General Manager, he has an infectious passion to make everyone welcome & said “We are hoping people will visit us at all times day & night. We aim to make everyone welcome whether popping in for a coffee or snack, or joining us for a quality meal in the restaurant. Our key aim is to provide quality & value for money to keep people coming back!” He also shared some ideas they have for regular events, all of which should keep us well entertained & fed! Richard is keen for The Marine to become a key part of the community & to reflect this they are planning to have a ‘Discount Card’ for local Milford on Sea residents. Whilst still coy on an actual opening date, it was clear Richard wants to get everything perfect before opening his doors. The best guess at the moment is for a grand opening in the summer, & from what I have seen it will be worth waiting for!

Tennis Club commence rebuilding process


Following the fire which destroyed the Milford on Sea Tennis & Squash Club on Boxing Day evening, the committee are working hard to reopen. At present the premises remain sealed off due to asbestos lying around the building & on the courts. Once this is removed it is hoped that the tennis courts will once again be available within the next two weeks. It is hoped a small area of the clubhouse can still be used until the rebuilding work starts. Linda. the club secretary and her committee are doing all they can to get the club up & running as soon as possible, with a meeting of Club Members next on the agenda to plan the full course of action. Ironically the club had helped out by hosting some events whilst the Community Centre is shut, they of course are now also having to look for new venues. The Jazz/Swing evenings have fortunately been able to find refuge at South Lawn Hotel until May, with their next meeting to be held on the 22nd January.

Mulberry Barn wins Five Star Award


Mulberry Barn in Church Hill, Milford on Sea has been awarded a 5 star gold certificate by Visit Britain. Mulberry Barn is the only self catering property in the village to have this accolade and one of just two such awards in the whole of the New Forest. Only completed in October 2008 this traditionally styled house was carefully designed to fit into a conservation area surrounded by grade 2 listed buildings. Handmade tiles and bricks, serpentine walls, cedar cladding and a well laid out garden all ensure the house adds to the character of this special area of Milford village. Inside, Mulberry Barn has a modern and contemporary design. The ground floor is dominated by the large open plan kitchen, dining and living area which leads out through French doors to the south facing terrace. The kitchen is fully fitted and has a bar complete with stools and a wine fridge. Also downstairs is a large study complete with work area, a downstairs cloakroom with a generous shower cubicle and a large utility room with butler sink, washing machine and tumble dryer. The oak staircase leads up to two large en-suite bedrooms. The master bedroom faces south and has views over Christchurch Bay and the Isle of Wight. Other facilities include a 37 inch wall mounted plasma screen TV with surround sound, DVD player, amplifier, CD and radio, and free broadband. Garden furniture and a BBQ is also provided. Mulberry Barn is ideally located and within easy walking distance of three pubs and five restaurants. The sea front is a five minute stroll away whilst the whole of the unique New Forest area is minutes away by car. For further information contact David Danby on 01590 642138, email david@oldwalls.com or visit http://www.oldwalls.com/

New Housing Development on Cliff Road


Driving along Cliff Road you are likely to have spotted the demolition of the former Hordle Cliff House Care Home in preparation of a new development for Milford on Sea. At their meeting on 9 December, New Forest District Planners granted planning permission for redevelopment to modern four-storey block of eight luxury apartments and six family houses. Apparently concerns were raised by Milford Parish Council to the height of the block of apartments; to access onto Cliff Road; and alleged overdevelopment. However, the Planning Committee accepted the arguments put forward by Pennyfarthing Home’s planning consultants, Tanner & Tilley, that the development would be of outstanding contemporary design that would compliment this important cliff-top location. The New Forest Planners commented that the proposed development would be a significant improvement on some of the unfortunate and unsightly blocks of flats that had taken place along the Milford Cliff top during the 1960’s and 70’s. I guess not many can argue with that point!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Danestream or Danes Stream, who knows?

I was feeling a bit mischievous today, and I was trying to gather the courage to put a big plastic spider in my wife’s knicker drawer. To kill time whilst I was waiting for her to come out the bedroom, I decided to find out which of my arms were the longest. As I used a six inch ruler to measure, I recalled the News Story I had written in these pages a few weeks ago, which investigated whether ‘Milford on Sea should contain hyphens or not’? The story concluded with some ‘comedian’ then asking me another question; ‘which is correct, Danestream or Danes Stream?’

Well, no time like the present I decided, and my latest nonsensical research was soon under way. Local addresses would be a good indicator I thought, & I was soon to discover that Sea Road contains both a Danestream House and Danestream Court. Hampshire County Council also list our waterway as Danestream in their Hampshire treasures pages. Danestream Farm Shop in New Milton had also obviously decided that a space was not for them. To try & get another clear opinion I called my mate Dan, he was however less than helpful, as he reckoned it was named after him. The New Forest National Park Authority has both versions (cunning move boys), plus two of our local B&B’s also go for Danestream. Just as the opinion was going strongly one way, the tide quickly turned, as I spotted that the Environment Agency, the New Forest District Council, and Hampshire County Council, all go for Danes Stream, & as they control the public signage I reckon they have an advantage on this one. Our own Parish Council website however goes for Danestream, they even go further by explaining that got its name from a local legend about when the Saxons once fought a fierce battle against the Danes nearby, and every year on the anniversary of the battle the water turns red! Danes in Milford on Sea? This sounded a bit farfetched, until I remembered that today we have Inger Lise’s Coffee Shop in the village High Street. Inger Lise’s is run by a real live Swedish lady, & they serve smorgasbord, waffles, Danish pastries & reindeer sandwiches. (I made one of those up.) Perhaps Milford on Sea has a mystical power to draw in Scandinavians? Alternatively, it was historically a place where people just turned up for a fight, as there was also the reputed 18th Century Battle of Milford Green between smugglers and the militia, so it looks like Milford on Sea was a bit like a dodgy nightclub in the olden days.

I was sure someone in the village must know, so off I went. I approached several people but all they wanted to talk about was: ‘why is the High Street now made of custard?’ My dilemma did not look like getting resolved, so I soon went home again. I then decided to view our own (this) website for the correct terminology, this was totally inconclusive, as I have used both versions to ensure that we have it correct sometimes. My final research really perplexed me, as I found several entries on the web for a new singular version: ‘Dane Stream’, I however dismissed these, as I was getting bored by now. Anyway, whatever the stream is properly called, I do know that it flows through The Pleasure Grounds. To be factual, the Danes Stream forms part of the Milford on Sea conservation area & runs the length of the parish, through the Pleasure Grounds, Westerly through Studland Common & Sharvells Copse, & Eastwards along the rear of the village shops exiting into Sturt Pond. The Pleasure Grounds have 14 acres of ancient woodland with a network of footpaths along the Danes Stream as it runs parallel to the coast.

So there you go another fine piece of investigative journalism, with absolutely no conclusion whatsoever. On her eventual exit from the bedroom, (Why is it that women spend so long getting dressed?) I asked my wife her valued opinion on my latest cutting edge village research, & she calmly asked me, “have you thought of moving?”, “why’s that monkey?” (Monkey?! Perhaps a story for another day) I warmly replied, she swiftly retorted “because there must a another village somewhere that needs an idiot!”. It is hard to believe that she actually quite liked me on our wedding day. Fortunately, my wife’s sharp wit did not spoil what had been a good day, as I was happy that my mini ruler had revealed that both of my arms are the same length. Now, where’s that plastic spider.

PS: Dan just called, (still insisting the stream was named after him) (- & my wife thinks I am the one who is an idiot?!), he now wanted to know the difference between a stream & a river! Will my quest for answers never be over!

New Homes for Ravens Way.

A new housing development is planned for the land next to the White House on Milford on Sea seafront. The current buildings were a former NHS care centre & have been unoccupied for some time. Planning documents submitted by Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Pennyfarthing Homes are for a “design-led courtyard development” of 13 homes which would be sympathetic to the Grade II listed White House. Parish councillors will debate the new scheme at a meeting on the January 18 & then make their recommendations to the District Council.