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Sunday, 15 September 2013

Danestream or Danes Stream, who knows?

I was feeling a bit mischievous today, and to kill time whilst I was waiting for my wife to awake from her beauty sleep, I was trying to gather the courage to put a big plastic spider in her knicker drawer.
Still waiting, I then decided that the spider idea may be too dangerous as my wife can strike as quiet & as powerful as ninja on steroids, so I decided it would be safer to find out which of my arms were the longest.
As I was using a six inch ruler to do the measuring, 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’? (click here to read.) 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. The story goes, that the Saxons once fought a fierce battle against the Danes nearby, and every year on the anniversary of the battle the water turns red!
Danish people in Milford on Sea? This sounded a bit far fetched, until I remembered that today we have Inger Lise’s Coffee Shop in the village High Street. Inger Lise’s was originally opened by a real live Scandinavian lady, & they served 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 random people to ask them, most managed to get across the road before I reached them, some threatened to call the police unless I went away, & one person even suggested a new location for the Danestream, but that idea was physically impossible. My dilemma did not look like getting resolved on the street, so I soon went home again.
I then decided to view our own village website for the correct terminology, but this was totally inconclusive and more than a little pointless. Mainly because, as I had built that website, I had 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 versions of: ‘Dane Stream’ & ‘Dane's 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 up and dressed?) I asked my wife her valued opinion on my latest cutting edge village research, and she calmly asked me, “Have you thought of moving?”, “Why’s that monkey?” I warmly replied.  (Monkey?! Perhaps a story for another day.) 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 morning, 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) (- and 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!


  1. Hi, Thank you for the article. I notice you you write that the Danestream runs through the 'Pleasure Grounds'. Understandable mistake but in fact this has been renamed very recently by a number of people in a politically motivated to 'rebrand' what everyone who has lived here for a while knows as the 'Pleasure Gardens'; as it was planted up as an ornamental garden as part of the 19th century attempt to turn Milford into a prominent seaside resort.

  2. There you go... we all learn something new every day! Pleasure Gardens it is then.

  3. The Geograph® Britain and Ireland project sponsored by Ordinance Survey has several picture of said waterway and they all list it as Danes Stream. This may or may not mean anything as most of the pictures were taken by the same person who in turn might have labeled them as Danes Stream. Had there been more a larger pool of photographers, both spellings might have been used. No research is nonsensical - no matter the magnitude - it all contributes to the shared body of knowledge of the world.