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Friday, 27 June 2014

From Milford to Nepal

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Freedom to Learn is a Milford on Sea based charity which works to provide the opportunity of education to children from some of the remotest regions of the Himalayas and South Asia.

Joey Owen, a trustee of Freedom to Learn, is also working with Milford on Sea Primary School setting up a sister schools project.

Towards the end of July, Joey is leaving for Nepal to work on one of the charities projects, 'Act on Education' in Kathmandu, this is a training and advocacy project improving the educational circumstances for some of the most vulnerable and marginalised children in the Kathmandu Valley. 

Joey said: "When I was there at Easter one of the simplest problems the children were facing is the lack of equipment – there is no free supply of books, stationery, school bags etc. Many of them walk up to 2 hours to school and then back again and that is to and from their workplace, not even living with family but employers trapped in child labour."

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Before she leaves, Joey hopes to raise more funds by swimming around Brownsea Island on the 13th of July. The swim will be 6.5k, and with no wetsuit.  All the money raised from the swim sponsorship will go towards the equipment they need, which is just over £1 per month per child, and there are hundreds of children they work with in this situation.

Joey also commented: "Water and food during the school day is often unavailable to them, as they have no money to buy the food and there is no water supply within some of the schools. - There is a fab group of young people in Yr 6 at Milford on Sea School putting together a presentation at the moment to bid for £800 to help one of our schools build a water pipe so the children can get water throughout the day. And Milford PFA have also been helping us facilitate ‘Ice Pop Friday’ where children at school are selling New Forest lollies to raise money for ‘tiffin time’ (a lunch time snack) as many of the children don’t get to eat during the school day. £1 buys 5! "

I had planned to join the swim and had been doing my training running over the cliff tops, covered in goose fat with a neon yellow swim hat. But sadly, my mankini split and then all of the village beauty salons declined to give me a full body wax, so I have had to drop out. 

If you can spare any pennies at all to support Joey on her way round please go to www.freedomtolearn.org.uk and click on the ‘donate 'one off' link, or send a cheque payable to Freedom to Learn and send it to 15 Lawn Road, Milford-on-Sea, SO41 0QZ.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Thrice No Entry

It appears that the Hampshire County Council Highways Department either have a glut of white road paint to use quickly, or they have been entered in a national 'Most road markings in a small area competition'.

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This week 3 large 'No Entry' road markings have appeared within feet of each other in the centre of Milford on Sea High Street.

Now, the side road outside the Co-op makes it more than clear that one end is No Entry. Another No Entry marking sits on the right hand lane at the T-junction as you turn to go up Church Hill. 

Very thoughtfully, should any driver have missed either of the first No Entry markings, there is then another one within about ten yards, usefully reminding them they have gone the wrong way. 

I was unaware that this particular area of the village was an major accident black spot, and for some reason I was under the impression that driving the wrong way up any road was illegal anyway, unless up until now we had some weird bye-law that allowed it in Church Hill. 

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What we now need to finish off the job are, 3 No Entry road signs to re-enforce the road markings, the nice round red metal discs should help bring some more colour to the heart of the village, it might also be nice to have some rather fetching blue One Way road signs outside the Co-op.

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Good News: Our village finger post sign is back, fully renovated and looking resplendent. This time the Hampshire County Council Highways Department gets full marks for the renovation.

Milford Man & The Egg

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We knew about Stephen Turner's Exbury Egg, but we have only just realised that it was built by Paul Baker.

Paul lives in Milford on Sea and fulfilled another artistic dream by making the drawing concepts into a reality. The egg  measures 6m x 2.8m and is without doubt a work of art with the craftsmanship second to none. It is clear that Paul is a master boat builder, the build design is an engineering triumph in functionality, and the natural materials of douglas fir and reclaimed cedar have created a tactile and beautiful piece of living modern sculpture. 

Paul has been in the marine industry since the age of 13 when he learnt to sail and the following year became a dingy instructor for the Army Sailing Association.


About The Exbury Egg 
Stephen Turner, in the guise of The Beaulieu Beadle, has been working on, in and around the Egg since the 15th July 2013 and the project is due to end on 14th July 2014.

The Exbury Egg is a temporary, energy efficient self-sustaining work space for artist Stephen Turner in the estuary of the River Beaulieu. It is a place to stay and a laboratory for studying the life of a tidal creek, a collecting and collating centre with integral storage & display areas. It will take on the patina of 730 daily tides below the water line, and 365 days of weathering by wind, rain and bleaching by the sun above.

Exbury Egg
Image by Nigel Rigden - www.nigrig.com
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The Egg is ‘tethered’ like a boat to rise and fall with the tide. The light touch and basic nature of the 'Exbury Egg' aims to re-appraise the way we live; to properly consider sustainably and future use of natural resources. Stephen Turner is interested in exploring a more empathic relationship with nature which reveals the precious and transcendent in everyday life. The artwork created will stem from Stephen’s occupation, developing through direct experience an understanding of local natural cycles and processes and the relationship of the environment to the narratives of human activity in the unending calendar of seasonal life.

Find out more: Exbury Eggwww.exburyegg.org

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Roots of Rhythm

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Local musician and village resident, Charlie Brown is a guy who knows a thing or two about rhythm.

He been playing drums and percussion for ten years, after graduating with a BA in Professional Musicianship from the Bristol Institute of Modern Music in 2011. After graduating, he became a full time musician with The Other Tribe signing to Black Butter records which was soon followed by contracts with Sony and Sony Publishing. He released a single back in Summer 2012 entitled Skirts, which made it to the UK top 40. 

He currently works at the Academy of Music and Sound in Southampton as a tutor and technician.

Charlie is an amazing percussionist (which anyone attending the Shelterbox gig in March will already know) and he will soon be leading the Roots of Rhythm drumming workshop from 2-4pm on Saturday 12th July in the Guide Hut.

At the Roots of Rhythm workshop you can learn about some of Africa's rich musical heritage through the ever popular Djembe (African Drum). No matter what level of ability you have, you can learn new rhythms in a group environment, experiment and play with a wide variety of percussion, as well as the chance to meet new people in a friendly atmosphere. Even better, you can just hit things randomly to your heart’s content!

If you fancy going along to join in, please contact Christine at: christine@totalvoice.co.uk or visit www.totalvoice.co.uk



Monday, 23 June 2014

Celebrations for the RB Legion

A sunny lunchtime greeted over 100 people arriving to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of The Royal British Legion Milford on Sea Branch at South Lawn Hotel.

The majority of gentlemen were resplendent in blazers adorned with service medals and the ladies in their finery.

Embarrassingly, not only were we last to arrive, but having not considered the dress code, I immediately knew I was the most casually and inappropriately dressed person in the room. Too late to change, I had to live with my lack of foresight.

As lunch commenced we had entered a bygone era of formality and comradeship. Everyone was warm and friendly as people chatted and introduced themselves to each other.

The lunch was opened by chairman Peter Gibbs who said that the afternoon was also commemorating the 100th Anniversary of WW1 and the 70th Anniversary of D.Day, he also delivered some amusingly lines to get everyone in the mood for a good time.

Peter then recited The Exhortation (They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.) Vice Chairman, Mike Reed then read The Kohima Epitaph. (When you go home, Tell them of us and say, For your tomorrow, We gave our today)

Reverend Cannon Raymond Hubble QHC said Grace, and the tables then started chatting as they tucked into a three course lunch.

After lunch Sally Read (who had organised this excellent event) read a message from H.M. The Queen. Having taken the trouble to write The Queen, Sally had received a personal response thanking everyone for their good wishes and support, and wishing all an enjoyable celebration. The letter was a formal as you can imagine, and we could have been in any British outpost in the world.

The programme for the day showed that after the Loyal Toast, there was to be 'Pop Speakers'. this turned out to be the highlight of an already excellent day. Unknown to us, each of the ten table had an 'old solider' ready to stand and give a short outline of their service lives. 

As each stood, we heard first hand experiences from a range of ranks and military services, including memories of D.Day, Churchill crossing The Rhine, outdoor sports with British Intelligence, life in the WRAF at Duxford, experiences in far flung corners of the world, and so much more. The oldest speaker, Bill at 100, was sprightly and sharp, just like his stories. Humour was in massive supply all around, as stories of high-jinks and misdemeanour's abounded. The dreadful time of war had bonded people forever, and out of hardship had come the true 'British Bulldog spirit'.

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At times like this you wish you had recorded a very special moment on film.  

The lunch was closed with an interesting and amusing speech from the Branch President, Colonel Gordon Barnett MBE, recalling his service days in Oman and the Middle East. 

Finally, everyone went into the sunshine outside to watch The Sunset Ceremony. As the buglers played, the four standard bearers paraded and the Union Jack was lowered from the flagpole.

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The only disappointment was that the room could not also have been filled with young people to witness the colourful experiences of a special generation. Long may the Royal British Legion keep traditions and memories alive.

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The Royal British Legion Milford on Sea Branch have another event this weekend, and everyone can come along and join in:

The Armed Forces Day Fair is on Village Green this Saturday 28th June. Come and enjoy a variety of stalls and displays of militaria. Everyone is welcome, so bring the family! Opens at 10am until the closing 'Sunset Ceremony' at 4pm.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Trouble Opening News Bulletin?

Occasionally we hear from people who are unable to get the 'Link Buttons' to work in the weekly village e-News Bulletin.

We fully understand the temptation to resolve the problem with several hits of a hammer, but in our experience this does not solve the issue, although it does make you feel a lot better.

Each week the 'Enjoy Milford on Sea News Bulletin' goes to over 2200 people, and each month one or two people may have an issue of some sorts. Normally, it is after they have had a new computer.

All Websites are 'black & white', they either work or they don't. - However, e-mails are a completely different story, as they can be constructed in different ways, and any PC could have any of myriad of operating systems, and then to confuse further, each user's settings will vary.

Our News Bulletin is built in a language called 'HTML' which enables us to use images as well as text and it the normal code used by millions daily.

So, if you have issues opening the links in 'New Bulletin', or if comes through looking a bit strange, it is most likely to be a local setting on your PC. Trouble is, identifying exactly what is more difficult! - It could be your Pop up Blocker setting, a security setting or something else! -  but as we are not PC experts, we are just guessing.

The good news is that you can still read the news at any time by going to the website: www.milfordonseanews.org

If you wanted to open the 'Enjoy Milford on Sea News' Website regularly, (depending on which internet browser you are using), you could either ‘Save it to Your Favourites’, 'Save as an Opening Page' or right click to ‘Pin the Tab’ - Then, when you get a News Bulletin, you could simply go to the website to catch up with the latest articles.

Should you also have issues with other e-mail you receive, or other odd things happen, you could also try out below:

The Village Voice has an advert from Polly, a local person who can visit to help with your home computing, she advertises no job too small and also offers discounts for OAP's.

Polly King-Holford on 01590 681882 or 07793 982062 - pollykingholford@dsl.pipex.com

Hope this has helped a bit.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Moss on the Green Opening

An exciting new shop opens in Milford on Sea village on Saturday. (28th June)

Moss on the Green is a new boutique specialising in ladies clothing sourced from some of London’s leading fashion wholesalers. The new shop is owned and run by Trish Ray, she is passionate about fashion, and also a keen artist, so what better than to combine her two passions.

The new shop is on the site of the old 'Salad Bowl' at 1 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, next to The Cave. The previously dilapidated building has undergone an impressive and complete transformation by Alan Jupe of AA Jupe Developments. The shop is now a credit to the village, and a nice welcome as people arrive at the village green.

In the coming weeks the shop with also included 'The Gallery', selling pieces of her own original and limited edition artwork and those of other local artists.

Moss on the Green
1 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
01590 643867
www.mossonthegreen.com

Friday, 20 June 2014

An Artist's View of Hurst Castle

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Local village artist, Shaun Stevens, has published her first art book entitles 'Hurst Castle - An Artist's View'.

The book is full of Shaun's paintings of Hurst, includes some historical background, paintings of the local views, Keyhaven, bird life, boats and the sailing clubs.

Also included are illustrated guidance notes on how to paint some of the pictures together with a walking guide to the Castle.

Copies are available at the new Hurst Castle Shop in the High Street Milford on Sea, at Hurst Castle and St Barbe Museum in Lymington at £8.50.

There are some delightful images to enjoy, so why not take a look.

New Kids Play and Stay Group

Plans are under way for a new Community Play and Stay Group for Milford on Sea, to replace the Seahorses Playgroup which closed last year.

However, to get it off the ground the organisers need some volunteers. Are you a parent of a pre-school child, a childminder, a grandparent or someone who would like to volunteer for a few hours to help out? 

The idea is to re-establish another playgroup for ages 0-5 years, in the village. There are a growing number of young families who would benefit, and local play and stay groups are a lifeline for parents to meet up and make new friends and a great opportunity for young children to learn to socialise together, be creative and let off steam!

The Community Centre will provide the hall free of charge on a Friday morning, and a lot of equipment has been donated by the Seahorses playgroup that used to run at the Centre. Seahorses was very popular, and people were very sad when it closed. To get a playgroup going again a group of committed people is needed to take on the organisation and get involved with the sessions. 

There will be a meeting at the cafe at the Community Centre on Tuesday 8th July at 8pm, with coffee from 7.30. Please come along and tell us what you would like the playgroup to be like, and think about whether there is anything you could do to help. All age groups are welcome. Small children love the grandparent generation! It might be putting out the play equipment, playing with the children, doing a craft activity, making cakes, snacks and drinks or greeting children and parents at the front door.

If you are interested in getting involved but can’t come on the 8th, please email: jenny.whitley@virgin.net of the Milford on Sea Community Advisory Panel.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Wearing just a ribbon on Hurst Spit

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An observant reader, Catherine, has spotted a lonely bear on Hurst Spit.

On the first occasion he was seen free of any neckwear, on the next occasion someone had added a pink ribbon as a scarf.

The identity of the mystery person dressing the naked bear is unknown, as is the owner of the forlorn looking chap.

With a bit of luck he will find his way home soon!

Padlock Heart: Voting Results

The people of Milford on Sea have spoken!

The reaction to the idea of the Love Milford Padlock Heart was as divided as expected, and it was interesting to read all of the views left in the survey, or sent directly to us, whether for or against. (If you have not yet read about the living sculpture idea, please click here.)

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Some opinions were scathing, some loved the idea, many were polite with considered views either way, others offered alternative ideas, and a handful hadn't read the details of the proposal properly. 

A couple of people commented that the survey allowed multiple votes, however we are able to identify and discount multiple voting from the same IP Address.

Whether for or against, it is clear that people really care about the village and quite rightly never want to lose the things that make it special.

Whilst there appears to be a small minority who want no change in the village, a significant number of people appear to be prepared to consider appropriate proposals for additions being made by this generation. Whether this is an 'appropriate proposal' is the question we are about to answer.

The survey was launched in the Village News Bulletin which is e-mailed to 2290 villagers e-mail's addresses, from the 5000 or so residents in our community. (If you would like, but do not currently get the News Bulletin, you can register by sending your e-mail address to: david@milfordonsea.org.)

Voting Comments-1
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As the MoS News website gets over 14,000 page views a month, it is fair to assume that a good proportion of the community have heard or read of this proposal.

In total; 207 people voted in the survey, which represents 9% of the News Bulletin recipients, and over 4% of the total village community.

The voting could not have been closer!, and this is the result:

Yes: 101 (48.8%)
No: 104 (50.2%)
Don't Know: 2 (1%)

Voting Comments-2
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Interestingly, up until the second round of voting (following the reminder in the newsletter), 150 votes had been cast and the 'Yes Vote' had been leading by 52%

Of all of the voters 104 (49%) chose to leave a comment. These showed numerous mixed views, and it is perhaps not surprising that more people that were 'anti the idea' chose to leave a remark.

All of the comments can be read on the attached images. (Be warned, some are not for the faint-hearted!)
Voting Comments-3
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So, what next. Well, we have a small majority of people (3) against the concept of the Love Milford Padlock Heart, and there are also almost as many in favour.

Under the circumstances, we think it best to put the idea to bed. The Padlock Heart project is only worth pursuing if it creates warmth and affection, and it totally defeats the purpose if it causes division.

Ah well, it was worth a go, and if you voted, thanks for sharing your views.

As the Love Milford Padlock Heart bites the dust, Food Week would now like to use part of our budget to support the idea of a new War Memorial with the Hospital grounds by pledging £500 to the fund.

Now onto the next project! - hopefully everyone will be behind this one. (But don't think we will vote on it!)Roll on Love Milford Week:


Friday, 13 June 2014

Mini Maestro's Remember Wartime

The Mini Maestros are a performance art group based in the village which features children in 2 groups ranging from age 7 to 14. Each year they put on a show, sometimes a musical, sometimes a variety show. 

This year a number of war time remembrance events are happening in the village, and The Mini Maestros have decided to dedicate their Mini Maestros Summer Show 'As time goes by.... ' to the same subject. 

The show is in remembrance of our soldiers and features music from 1914 until 1945, incorporating many songs of the world wars. Songs, music and poems that inspired courage during wartime. 

Preparing for the show, not only has this been good for the children from a performance point of view, but it has also helped them learn a bit more about war time.

We do not normally feature events in this news section, as they are all covered in www.milfordonseacalendar.org, and in the weekly News Bulletin, however on this occasion we have made an exception.

There are 3 performances on Saturday 5th July (4.30pm & 7.30pm), plus, a 1.30 performance specifically for the over 65's only - and they are hopeful that some locals in the audience with their own war time memories. 

Tickets are £7 for adults, and £5 for children in advance. They are available from Community Centre Box Office which is open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays. Telephone 01590 644861, or buy online at www.milfordonseavcc.ticketsource.co.uk.

Mini Maestro shows are usually sell outs, so please book early.



Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Padlock Heart: Voting so far...

Well, the idea for the Love Milford Padlock Heart has certainly got a debate going!

If you have not yet read about the living sculpture idea, please click here.

The current survey is a request for villagers to vote and comment on the Padlock Heart idea, and the future of the idea lays with what people think.
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The good news is that we have had a good level of responses, with interesting views being made for both sides.

To date 110 people have voted and we will give it until midnight on Saturday before closing the survey and publishing the final results.

As things stand, the voting has a divided opinion and it is to close to call right now.

If you have already voted, thank you - If not please vote below.

Voting will close at Midnight on This Saturday (14th June), with the results publish on Sunday.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Beach Hut Dilemma

Any visit to Milford on Sea seafront will be met by the sad sight of caged off areas containing damaged beach huts or the empty bases where one once stood.

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The destruction of the Beach Huts following the Valentine's Night Storm continues to cause distress for the owners, a headache for the council and a sad looking fenced sea view for visitors.

No-one asked for this problem, but a large group of people are trying to get it resolved.

As we understand it, the current situation is that the council wish to demolished the rest of the Milford on Sea seafront concrete beach huts, and replace them with smaller individual lightweight concrete clad timber huts. (At the owners expense). NFDC are prepared to put in up to £150,000 of taxpayers’ money to demolish those of the existing huts that still stand. 

Many owners are strongly objecting to this proposal on a number of levels.

A high proportion of those that have beach huts that survived the storm with minor damage simply want to get them repaired and to use them now that the summer is here. Those that had huts destroyed in the storm, or subsequently removed by the Council, simply want what they had back.

The Council have raised some Health & Safety issues, which are seen as pretty weak by many of the owners. There is also a view that the concrete huts are old, tired and ugly, especially when viewing from behind. A contrary view is that they have been part of the character of Milford on Sea seafront since the 1960's.

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As we see it, the biggest problem with the council's 'individual beach hut' idea, is that they are likely to be significantly damaged not long after going up. Any walk along the seafront after regular high seas, and you would see shingle from the beach pushed right up against the front of the beach huts. If would be fair to assume that concrete huts can withstand this better than a wooden or other lightweight version.

Whilst a decision is made on all of the seafront beach huts, all owners are prevented from entering their beach huts and the beach scene is sad and unsightly.

Should the individual beach hut proposal be approved, it is thought that each owner would be asked to buy a new hut to a uniform design. This in itself raises many more questions such as, would individual owners or some other body organise this, will there be council approval for a scheme, who would instruct the builders and who would pay for all the work on behalf of them all? Also, all beach huts owners would then face a building bill, which nobody is going to welcome even if they can afford it.

The big question is, what will the decision be?

The next Council cabinet meeting to discuss and hopefully finalise the issue will be on Wednesday 6th August.

The Roller Mystery

We have received an e-mail from, Doug Human a Somerset man who has discovered a garden roller buried in his garden.

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The roller handle has decorative crest in cast iron work, and also has the name/word: George Jobson, Milford.

Doug wishes to paint it back to its former glory, and is curious if George was connected to Milford on Sea village?

He has said that the letters on the crest are definitely an 'M' on the top left, with what looks like an 'O' top right, and an 'S' underneath in the middle.

If you have any idea on what any of this might mean, or can throw any light on the subject at all, please contact Doug Human at doug@thehumanfamily.co.uk or on 01984 634471 or 07796 506509.

Hurst Castle Win Award

Hurst Castle has won a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014.

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With a 4.5 Star rating the castle is proving as popular as ever, with new people and families still discovering the interesting contents and unique location, after enjoying the walk or charming ferry ride to get there.

Once at the castle the tea shop provides welcome refreshments and the lighthouse adds another attraction.

Been a while since we have been, but now the sun is out we will plan a trip back to see what is new soon.

Click here to read Hurst Castle's Trip Advisor comments.

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PS: The Hurst Castle team will soon be opening a shop in the village centre (Which was previously Ellis Hairdressers). Once open, you will be able to buy tickets and find out more about the castle and the various boat trips offered by Hurst Ferries.  More information to follow after it opens.

Hurst Castle
www.hurstcastle.co.uk

Enjoy the Strolling Dining Tour

Since the launch of GREAT DINING BUS, it has captured the imagination of foodies, attracting locals and people from far afield to dine in Milford on Sea.

Why not try it for yourself with the Strolling Dining Tour next Saturday 14th June 2014, where you will enjoy; Canapés, Welcome Drink & Starter at La Perle, Main Course at Verveine and then Sweet at The Raft. Plus, each course includes a non-alcoholic or paired drink. Other drinks at an additional charge. The tour is £32pp. Click here to book.

www.greatdiningbus.co.uk
Tours start at 1pm: Meet at the first venue of your Dining Tour & then Stroll to each different course.

We are thrilled with the positive feedback we have received, and that the various dining tours have seen hundred's of diners enjoy each tasty course in a different village restaurant, if you haven't done so already, we hope you will soon choose to come and enjoy a Dining Tour!
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About the Great Dining Bus

Milford on Sea runs what is believed to be the first & only Dining Bus Event in the UK.

The Great Dining Bus is perfect as a treat, a gift, for spending time with friends, special celebrations, anniversaries, birthdays, or just a great excuse to enjoy a unique dining experience whilst savouring great food in excellent restaurants.

The first Great Dining Bus ran very successfully at MoS Food Week 2012, and the Food Week team now operate the Great Dining Bus as a regular and permanent event in the Milford on Sea village calendar.

The Great Dining Bus is for the pleasure of village foodies and people from outside of Milford on Sea, with the added benefit of bringing trade to various businesses in the village. Your can even have your own bespoke 'Private Party Dining Tour'.

On the Great Dining Bus diners are driven to enjoy a different course in a selection of four Milford on Sea restaurants. Also, as the village is fortunate to have great restaurants close to the village green there is also the 'Strolling Dining Tour', which enables people to take a leisurely stroll the short distances between courses, for a different type of dining experience. 

The village has a multi-award winning fish restaurant, French restaurant, cosmopolitan bistro, seafront British restaurant, and you can even enjoy authentic regional Indian & Thai food, and whichever way you arrive to dine, each restaurant will delight in showcasing a taste of their food offering and service.

If you love food and great company, a lunch on the Great Dining Bus in Milford on Sea is for you. Simply book and ‘Jump On’ one of the various Dining Tour options to enjoy each course in a different village restaurant.

The Great Dining Bus is designed for diners to experience our excellent village restaurants, and as the concept is so unique, we hope to attract local and national exposure, and to put Milford on Sea on the map as a 'Foodie Heaven'!, whilst becoming recognised as the 'South coast destination for great dining'.

Milford on Sea also has much more to offer; being blessed with a spectacular coastline, quaint seaside village & great places to stay, eat & shop. To go with our excellent restaurants, pubs & cafés, the village also has B&B's, hotels, self-catering, caravans & camping, in fact something to suit every taste and budget.

The Great Dining Bus is also encouraging people to come and ‘Stay & Dine’, which is great for the visitors' experience and for local businesses.

If you have any queries at all, please contact: info@greatdiningbus.co.uk

To find out more please visit: www.greatdiningbus.co.uk - www.ticketsource.co.uk/greatdiningbus

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Is Your Heart in Milford?

Asking people if they love Milford on Sea is probably a daft question. A fabulous location, vibrant village, a lively community, and great food... what is there not to love!

Love Milford Week was recently launched to celebrate our village next February, and the organisers also have another idea. We would like to have a modern living sculpture where everyone can demonstrate their affection for the village and love of each other.

At the end of this article we would like you to let us know what you think by voting.

I suspect it is important to everyone that the unique character of our village is not compromised. We agree, yet at the same time it is also important to demonstrate that we are a vibrant community that celebrates today as well as cherishing the past.

The Love Milford Padlock Heart has three key objectives:
  1. To create a Tourist Attraction to attract visitors to the village.
  2. To boost trade in our village shops.
  3. To create an interesting living sculpture for villagers to enjoy.

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    The idea is simple, anyone can add a padlock with a written message to the heart sculpture. This will provide people with the opportunity to show their love & affection for the village or to each other. 

    The Love Milford Padlock Heart would become a tourist attraction, and place for local and visitors to enjoy.

    Importantly, it would also draw people to stop in the village centre, and increase the footfall of potential shoppers for our village shops. A small additional benefit would also be people visiting shops to purchase ‘Padlock & Pen Sets’, which Food Week would organise.

    I am sure everyone would agree that the village shops are the heart of our community, and that we should do all we can to support them.

    The 'love padlock' idea is not new, but it is certainly different! In fact we are looking to base our design on the living sculpture pictured, which is in Deauville, France.

    Food Week aim to donate the ‘Love Milford Padlock Heart’ to the village. All costs associated with the design, manufacture, installation and regular maintenance would be covered by Milford on Sea Food Week. The heart would be locally made in a material suitable for our seaside climate.

    The Parish Council are aware of the project and are of the opinion that they approve of the concept, subject to the final location, design and specification. 

    If you have been to major cities like Paris, Prague, Cologne, Tokyo, Dublin and many more, you may have seen the Love Locks attached to bridges in public places (click here for more information). Our concept is a twist on the theme, and would be something unique for a UK village to do.

    Still to be decided: Potential locations have yet to be considered in full, however it would not be situated on the Village Green. To ensure the village shops benefit from the increased footfall, it is important that the 'living sculpture' is close to the village centre. Also to be decided at a later stage are the final size, colour and material.

    Right now we just need to know if village residents would like to see a living sculpture where everyone can display their affection for the village and each other.

    So, it is now over to the people of Milford on Sea.

    Please let us know your opinion. If you like the idea, your vote may make it happen, and if you don't, you can put the crazy idea to bed!

    By not voting, you not get something you think will enhance this wonderful village, no doubt the people who do not want it will be most vocal. 

    Council Discuss Love Milford Padlock Heart

    They say timing is everything, and I have certainly found this to be true!

    To explain, I went along to a recent Parish council meeting, this is by no means my natural environment, indeed any mention of the word 'committee' has me running for the nearest bar!

    My purpose for going was to make the Parish Council aware of a new idea for the 'Love Milford Padlock Heart'. I was looking forward to explaining the tourism and commercial benefits of this living sculpture, and how it would fit in with Love Milford Week next February.

    The Love Milford Padlock Heart
    Living sculpture for the village
    I was not looking for 'permission', but simply seeking the Parish Council 'opinion'. I then planned to seek the opinion of the people of Milford on Sea, and based on that, to decide the best way forward. To be frank, I fully expected the Parish Council to reject the concept out of hand.

    As an experienced victim of 'Sod's Law (Anything than can go wrong, will), I was waiting for what misfortune was to come my way. It did not take too long to arrive.

    At the meeting there had just been an emotionally charged discussion on a War Memorial (click here to read), and guess who was next to present! Had I been following a proposal for say, a fish pond in the middle of the village green, or a night club in Gwen's old shop, I might have fancied my chances of getting people excited. But, presenting a fun topic after such a serious subject was, as you may expect, not ideal.

    Rejected location
    for Love Milford
    Padlock Heart.
    We have other
     location ideas!
    Anyway, I circulated my pictures and proposal and then explained the concept to everyone (click here to read details), this was then followed by an interesting discussion.

    Almost immediately, it was branded an 'absolute joke' by one councillor, and I was certainly glad to have the enthusiastic support of councillor Matt Goode.

    As things progressed, the committee started to warm a little to the idea. However, the proposal of locating the Love Milford Padlock Heart on a 'dead area' (at the top & round the corner) of the village green was rejected. Having rejected a new War Memorial on the village green just moments before, this came as no surprise!

    What came as more of a surprise, was that the majority of councillors seemed to like the idea once they understood the concept and benefits to the village. One councillor certainly remained against.

    Comments were raised on the size of the sculpture, the design and location, and I was asked if I would reconsider these.

    The Parish Council then voted as to whether they supported the concept in principle, subject to final design and location. To my pleasure, the vote was carried with only one objection.

    Story in Lymington Times
    The Lymington Times had a reporter at the meeting, and his article on the meeting was published this week. No doubt the dramatic headline title drew a lot of attention, just a bit of a shame the newspaper was not a bit clearer on the statement; 'Councillors decided not to back the scheme'. The councillors were indeed clear they would not allow the proposed location, however, they were open to the concept.

    After due consideration, we think that the design is exciting and practical to build, so there are no proposals to change this.

    The size and colour are all still for debate at a later stage, as is the location, which needs to be close to the village centre, but not on the Village Green. Right now we just need to know if village residents would like to see a living sculpture where everyone can display their affection for the village and each other.

    So, it is now over to the people of Milford on Sea.

    Please let us know your opinion. If you like the idea, your vote may make it happen, and if you don't you can put the crazy idea to bed!

    By not voting, you not get something you think will enhance this wonderful village, no doubt the people who do not want it will be most vocal. 


    Love Milford Week


    Milford's War Memorial

    Keyhaven War Memorial
    *click image to enlarge
    Being a time when the country is remembering the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and 100 years since WW1, it is poignant that a recent Parish Council meeting discussed a proposal for a new War Memorial on Milford on Sea village green.

    On the face of it, it does appear a little odd that Milford on Sea does not have a clearly visible War Memorial, particularly as just down the road, Keyhaven do have one.

    Counsellor Paul Noble, an ex-serviceman, was strongly in favour of a new memorial on the village green.

    War Memorial Hospital
    *click image to enlarge
    As discussions commenced, two long-standing Milford residents spoke eloquently from the floor, they were both members of the Royal British Legion and MoS Historical Society, and each echoed a similar train of thought.

    They explained that after WW1 the people of Milford on Sea decided they wanted a new hospital as their war memorial, rather than a granite cenotaph.

    Village War Memorial
    *click image to enlarge

    The Milford on Sea War Memorial Hospital also contains a wall plaque dedicated to the men of Milford lost in WW1. (This had previously been sited opposite the Red Lion on the outside wall of what is now Lynk Photography Studios.)

    The speakers felt that we should respect the wishes of our forefathers, and not erect a new war memorial on the village green and thus dilute the significance of the hospital, which is actually the village memorial to the war.

    All Saints' Church War Memorial
    *click image to enlarge
    It was also pointed out that there is also a War Memorial in All Saints' Church.

    An emotionally charge discussion followed. It was unanimous that a central point was needed for remembrance however, what and where led to a number of highly charged conversations.

    A point was also made that the hospital has previously been saved from closure due to its 'war memorial status'.

    It was agreed that the present memorial plaque was not visible to sufficient people, and that as it only contains names from WW1 it would be appropriate to also recognise soldiers lost fighting for their country in the years since.

    Royal British Legion
    Temporary Cenotaph
    *click image to enlarge
    In past years, when Remembrance Sunday has fallen in the 11th day of the 11th month, the Milford on Sea Branch of the Royal British Legion have erected a temporary cenotaph for the services prior to parading with other village groups to All Saints' Church.

    Following a vote, The Parish Council took a decision that a new memorial on the village green was not required, however a working party was established to evaluate erecting a new memorial in the grounds of the War Memorial Hospital that was both visible and suitable for future remembrance services.


    Thursday, 5 June 2014

    James Durrant Wins Great British Menu

    Little did we know at Milford on Sea Food Week, that one of the impressive chefs doing a free demonstration for us was destined to win the Main Course in the BBC TV Great British Menu!

    James beat many impressive chefs from across the country to be selected to serve his main course venison dish to the D-Day Veterans at a spectacular banquet in St. Paul's Cathedral.

    Having invited Tom Kerridge before he was a household name, and now James Durrant, we could be forgiven for thinking that Milford on Sea Food Week knows a thing or two about great chefs!

    Anyone who was fortunate enough to come along to James Durrant's cookery demonstration during Milford on Sea Food Week will know what a fabulous chef he is. James appeared in the Milford on Sea Food Week Cookery Theatre, as the headline demonstration organised by our friends at Hampshire Fare.

    James Durrant
    Pic by: Adam Lynk Photography
    www.adamlynk.com
    His culinary career started in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsey and he went on to become head chef at the Michelin star Maze in Mayfair with Jason Atherton.

    Today James runs Durrant Restaurants, providing his expertise as a private chef and operating his own pub and restaurant at The Plough Inn in Longparish near Winchester. 

    In March 2012 James took over The Plough Inn, Longparish with his wife Louise. Only six months after opening, The Plough Inn was awarded the UK Pub of the Year Award by the Good Food Guide. It now holds two AA rosettes and has been included in the 2014 Michelin Guide and awarded a BIB Gourmand rating for the second year running.

    James’ menu on the Great British Menu Show celebrates the bravery shown during the war and how we have progressed as a nation with what is available to us now. While researching his menu for the competition, he discovered that his wife’s grandfather served in the army during the war and, aged just 17, was one of the first to land on the beaches on D Day.

    Well done James, hopefully we will see you again at Food week 2016!

    Great British Menu
    See on BBC iPlayer: click here

    The Plough Inn
    Longparish

    Hampshire Fare

    The Marine Fully Re-Opens

    After the devastation and destruction of the Valentine's Night storm, The Marine fully reopens this Friday, 6th June 2014.

    This spectacularly located ‘Art Deco’ styled landmark on Milford on Sea seafront will once again be welcoming all of their customers.

    Owner, Richard Thompson, is very grateful for all the warm messages of support he received as they worked hard to restore the building to its former glory. He is now looking forward to welcoming customers old and new in the coming days and weeks.

    The upstairs 'Valentine's Restaurant' has been re-open a few weeks, and the ground floor Café Bar is now open and serving a new menu.

    No doubt many people from Milford on Sea and surrounding areas will be visiting to enjoy the atmoshhere, views and good food, so why not check out the food menus before you go at: www.themarinemos.co.uk

    The Marine

    Sunday, 1 June 2014

    Tapas, but not as you know it!

    I have always thought that fragrant food is just wrong. I see fragrance as something for my wife to put behind her ears, not on the plate.

    Then there is lemongrass, which is without doubt the herb of the devil.

    Based on this thinking, Thai food was never top of my list for dining. 

    As someone who is very used to having to admit they are wrong, it looks like I have to once again accept that I talk nonsense.

    This week we were invited to have lunch with friends C&T at the Britannia Thai in sunny Milford on Sea. Over the last couple of years reports had been very hit & miss on dining experiences here. However, they had, like us, heard some very good reports of the new menu and authentic food at Milford on Sea's Thai restaurant since the arrival of a new head chef and new front of house team around April time. 

    We had also heard that the Tapas concept have now travelled to Thailand on Sea. When I think of Tapas, I think of Spain, and sitting eating small dishes of food under a blazing sun in my snug fit mankini. 

    Not convinced I would like our lunch, I managed to delay my Thai encounter by successfully negotiating that we first went for a pint of Estrella in The Raft. This was in the hope that the beer dulled the taste of fragrant food.

    As we arrived in the Thai, we had a warm greeting from the new manager (Kanoksak Siripongswalee), affectionately known as Tae, and his wife Duangjai (known as Orr).

    A pint of draft Kingfisher accompanied my study of the menu. Without being able to control it, my taste buds started jumping, and there was also quite a large grin from my wallet.

    At this stage it was clear that the new Head Chef, Songkiat Surin, had put a menu together with a wide choice as well as very reasonable prices. His international work CV is impressive, and this was immediately obvious when you saw the choice and type of food he was now offering.

    There was also a comprehensive a la Carte Menu, plus lots of individual Tapas Dishes and interesting Sides. We however, were happy to go with the Tapas Set Meals.

    We mixed and matched a number of the set meals so we could all get a taste of various things.

    As we enjoyed the complimentary crackers with chilli dip, Colin kept us bemused with his obsessive interest and commentary of the dozen or so hard-hatted guys looking down a hole in the roadworks outside. As he went on to explain the purpose of the various pieces heavy machinery, I could hear my wife gently snoring and dribbling on the tablecloth.

    Our meals arrived, and we were wowed by the size of the meals, the portions were certainly generous.

    Tucking in, the favours were great and it was clear that Songkiat had taken Britannia Thai to a completely new level. The ingredients were no doubt authentic and the freshness shone through.

    We enjoyed Sesame Toast that was crisp and crammed with tasty prawns, the Duck spring Rolls were fully packed with a lovely sauce, the Lamb Massaman Curry was subtlety spiced with succulent lean meat, the Sea Bass was a new enjoyable experience in sweet & sour sauce, the Chicken Satay's tasty, and the Thai Green Curry was spicy and without doubt the best one I had ever tasted.

    Having discovered that you could have a great Thai meal without encountering the disturbing flavours of lemongrass has now converted me to the Britannia Thai's food.

    We will soon be back to try the other lunchtime meal combinations, either eating in the restaurant, or enjoying them at home with the 10% takeaway Discount.

    I may even take a foray into the a la carte menu, I have my eye on trying the Weeping Tiger: (Grilled sirloin steak Thai style topped with special mild chilli sauce served on a sizzling platter).

    Hopefully when we go back there are no roadworks outside, or either my wife or Tricia may feel the urge to stab Colin in the leg with a fork!
    ------------------------------------------

    Tapas Set Menu 1 - £8.95
    Chicken Green Curry, Handmade Juicy Chicken Satay, Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry, Jasmine Rice

    Tapas Set Menu 2 - £11.95
    Vegetable Spring Roll, Prawns on Toast, Crispy Seabass in Sweet & Sour Sauce, Jasmine Rice

    Tapas Set Menu 3 - £9.95
    Vegetable Spring Roll, Roast Duck Canapés, Chicken Stir fried with Ginger, Jasmine Rice

    Tapas Set Menu 4 - £10.50
    Beef Salad, Salt and Pepper Squid, Chicken Massaman Curry, Jasmine Rice

    Tapas Set Menu 5 - £10.95
    Shredded Duck Spring Rolls, Prawn on Toast, Lamb Massaman Curry, Jasmine Rice.

    Tapas Set Menu 6 - £7.95 
    Vegetable Green Curry, Stir Fry Vegetables with Ginger, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Jasmine Rice.


    Britannia Thai
    1 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
    Tel: 01590 642226 & 01590 642212