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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Milford wins top status in Good Beach Guide

The Marine Conservation Society has again listed Milford on Sea beach as having one of best beach conditions in the country. This follows similar status awards made in 2009 & 2008. The Marine Conservation Society’s Good Beach Guide has awarded Milford on Sea Beach their top ‘MCS Recommended’ status, which recognises the highest UK standard for bathing water quality. Our beach is also one of a few holding this status whilst still allowing dogs onto the beach.

Dogs on beaches is always an active area for debate, and our Parish Council recognises the pleasure many responsible local & visiting dog walkers take from our seafront. It is nice to see a local government body that does not take the view to punish the many, for the irresponsible behaviour of a few. Fortunately we are well served with dog bins & good canine walkers are easily recognised by bulging pockets of plastic bags. I think you may find that the good dog owners possibly find the irresponsible dog owners even more offensive than everyone else does. Perhaps a way to deal with the few offenders we have, could be the installation of ‘Taser Stations’ every hundred yards. Then any of us could give any offenders a quick electric shock to explain to them that cleaning up would be appreciated.

With the latest good news about our beach, I may have to rethink my plans on waiting for the sea to warm up before attempting to go swimming. Looks like it may be time to apply a liberal coating of goose fat & get my Speedo’s on!

Marine Conservation Society – Good Beach Guide website:

Anyone seen Vic?

We have been contact by Brian Mundy who is looking for an old friend. Brian used to live in River Gardens in Milford on Sea around 30 years ago & he now resides in Surrey, at that time he had a very good friend called Vic Grant that he would like to find. The last address that Brian had for Vic was 'Glengarry' in Park Close. He also recalls that Vic was a member of Milford Club, where Brian sometimes did a Disco. If anyone knows where Vic is please let us know & we will put Brian in touch with him.

Bank Holiday Jewellery Sale

The temporary outlet shop ‘Silverbox’ on the old site of Allure Ladies Fashions in Church Hill, Milford on Sea is holding a Jewellery Outlet Sale. The sale will run every day across this Bank Holiday weekend. They will be offering a minimum 60% off retail prices on individual Italian jewellery, plus several ex-display one-off pieces. Once the stock is sold the shop will then start preparations to re-open as Le Petit Monde Patisserie.

Milford Korean War Veteran remembers Singapore

Last year we ran a story about Derek Newland & fellow servicemen on RAF National Service during the Korean War 1951-1953. We have now received another recollection from Derek which we are more than happy to share with you.

“In the early 1950’s I was posted to RAF Seletar in Singapore 205 Squadron as a clerk looking after five 4-Engined Sunderland Flying Boats. As such I did all of the documentation for the flying crews & ground servicemen, engine mechanics, airframe mechanics & electrical wireless fitters, which was a fulltime job then. We did three months in Singapore, then a week on sea rescue duty in Hong Kong, followed by three months at Iwakoni in Japan. When moving around not all of our men could get back to Singapore on the Sunderland’s at times. After one particular detachment we got transported on a York 4-Engined Transport Plane, only to have one of the engines fail. We were forced put into the huge USAF Air Base at Clark Field near Manila in the Philippines for an engine change. We were there for a week, with no money whilst we waited for the replacement engines to come from Singapore. What an education, we came across for the first time small individual cartons of cornflakes & small cartons of milk, not milk out of a churn or cornflakes from a big tub as we were used too. Grilled streaky bacon, fried eggs – ‘easy over, smashed or sunnyside up’, iced tea or coffee in mugs with no handles. These ‘Yanks’ certainly lived it up there. We got friendly some of the Americans who took us to a ‘drive-in cinema’ for the first time and we sat in their cars eating popcorn & drinking Coke. The Korean War was good for a few of us & leaves good memories from 60 years ago.”

Derek lives in Sea Road, Milford on Sea & is an active member of Milford on Sea Bowling Club, he can often be seen around the village on his bike.

RAF Seletar Association Website:

Derek’s Previous Story

Reading some old archives in the Daily Echo, we came across the following fascinating story that we thought was worth sharing:

Chatting with two fellow bowlers at the Milford on Sea Bowling Club in 2003, Derek Newland got on to the subject of the Korean War in the early 1950s. Derek, of Sea Road, Milford on Sea, commented that he did most of his National Service at Iwakuni, an RAF detachment station about eight miles from Hiroshima in Japan. "Blimey," said ex-Bowls club captain Sam Randle, "I was there, too!" "So was I!" said Jim Donaldson. "What a coincidence - to be 11,000 miles away from the UK together and not know each other". Jim and Derek were on the same troopship HMT Lancashire at the same time but didn't know each other. Jim was in the Army section of the ship and Derek in the RAF side.

Derek was a Leading Aircraftman and 205 Squadron Clerk in 1951 and travelled with the squadron wherever their three serviceable Sunderland Flying Boats were sent in the Far East. Derek wrote: "The job of the Sunderland’s in Japan was to take aerial photographs in Tsushima Straits between Korea and Japan of merchant ships carrying Russian tanks and guns between Cuba and Korea. Also they were an air-sea rescue service. The aircraft did eight-hour patrols in all weather every day in conjunction with American mariner Flying Boats, dividing the 24-hour day between them."

Sam Randle was a Sergeant Flight Engineer with 88 Squadron, also on four-engined Sunderland’s and travelled with his three aircraft wherever they went. Jim Donaldson was a Corporal in the Army Medical Service with the 26th Field Ambulance Corps in Korea. On one occasion he injured his hand and was flown to a military hospital in Kure in an old Australian Dakota (DC3) so old that, Jim said, "he could see daylight through the closed door".

Derek finished his letter saying that considering there were only 35 RAF Personnel in the whole of Japan at any one time it was a big coincidence for all three Milford-on-Sea bowlers to be on the same unit at the same time. He would like to know if any other Sunderland men or "Kypper fleet" men as they were known are living in the Hampshire or Dorset area who were at RAF Iwakuni early in 1950/52. Derek can be contacted on 01590 642134.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!

Our website is now one year old & it has been fun! When we decided to create this website it was purely as a hobby & to provide some more local information about the village. I say ‘we’, but there is only me, my wife (who inadvertently provides story lines) & our two dogs (who contribute much less than they should!) From day one we have always loved our independence, and as we take no revenue from anyone this means we can say & do exactly what we like! We never really considered that people would enjoy what we built, however it is very satisfying to provide a service to the local community which a number of people seem to enjoy. The site has now taken on a life of its own & a small hobby has now turned into a big one! The most regularly visited pages on the site are the News, What’s On Calendar and Where to Eat in Milford on Sea.

We now have 620 local people who regularly receive our e-mail News Bulletins & we are always looking for more people to join us, so if you can spread the word to any friends, family or neighbours who you think would like to get our newsletter please ask them to register on the link below, or drop me an e-mail at We can then ensure all of our community are kept informed of local news, which on some occasions contain actual facts!

Thanks to the wonders of Google Analytics we also know that we have had 146,134 visits to the site since we launched last year, & in the past month we have been getting over 160 visitors per day. To delve even deeper, we have found that the average visit lasts over 5 minutes, with an average of 4 pages being visited, & 66% of all visits are from people new to the site. Thanks for your support & for as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!

Join our E-Newsletter:

Braxton Gardens Launch Summer Musical Evenings

A range a free music is going to be available at Braxton Gardens from Friday 28th May and running all the way through to the end of August. Friday evenings will feature a classical guitarist from 6pm to 9pm, and on Sunday evenings a Jazz duo will provide entertainment from 6pm to 8.30pm. Food, beer and wine will be available on both evenings, and we hear that both professional acts have a good local reputation. Braxton Gardens are also looking for another act to fill a regular Saturday evening spot, so if you know of anyone who is interested they can give Neil Munton a call on 01590 645663.

Braxton Gardens website:

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Milford on Sea Dining & Accommodation Guide

Having had such fun with Milford on Sea Food Week we wanted to find a way to keep celebrating the great places we have to eat & stay in the village. We also want to put Milford on Sea on the map as the place to dine out. So, we are now onto our next project!, which is a ‘Milford on Sea Dining & Accommodation Guide’. We recently launched the concept at a ‘Traders Meeting’ generously hosted by Pat Ogden at The White Horse. The guide will contain a listing of all of the places to stay & eat in the village, and we hope will encourage people to try out the great variety of eating places we all have in the village. The support of the restaurants, pubs, bistros & tea shops has been fabulous & nearly all of them are offering ‘free discount vouchers’ in the pages of the guide.

We are now printing 10,000 copies of the guide (yes, 10,000!) & these will be available free to both holidaymakers & all locals in the village shops, eateries, B&B’s, self catering premises, Shorefield, local tourism offices & anywhere else we can find to give them to people! In addition to the free discount dining vouchers, the Milford on Sea Dining & Accommodation Guide also contains a map of where to find all of our local dining places. To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to visit & try out new eating places we have also added the free discount vouchers to this website, which you can view on the link below. To fund the project our local food establishments are paying for their vouchers & we have also been fortunate in securing sponsorship support from ‘Brand New Forest’ at the NFDC. The remaining costs are covered from the ‘fighting fund’ we had retained from Food Week. The guide should be printed in the next three weeks, we hope you enjoy it!

Dinning vouchers online & map of restaurants:

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Red Lion Live ‘n Kickin' this Saturday

A favourite local band will be playing at the Red Lion this coming Saturday evening. Live ‘n Kickin' comprises of a number of local faces & was formed about 6 months ago. Since then they have played around three times a month since & were last at the Red Lion in December. On lead vocals, guitar and keyboard is Adrian Withers a well known face in the village. Unfortunately this will be Adrian’s last Milford gig as he is moving to Cornwall on the 25th May. Adrian has played & helped out with many other local bands over the last years, & has made regular appearances at the village Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival, we think he must be the one of the most recognised faces in the Milford on Sea music scene! His son, Jason, is again from the village & a number of people will also know from his day job at Collins & Butler. In the band he plays guitar and backing vocals, & he has been gigging locally for many years. The rest of the band comprises of Roger, on bass with a fantastically over-elaborate style! Roger lives in Poole, most well known from playing in his original band called 'Mission Impossible', Bournemouth based band of 25 years. You will find Damian on Drums and backing vocals, he lives near Southampton, & also plays in a band called 'The Shift'. The Live ‘n Kickin' band covers a range of music from Pink Floyd, Gary Moore, Cheap Trick, Lynyrd Skynyrd... & to keep everyone happy there are a few more up-to-date numbers thrown in! So, if you can make it on Saturday it sounds like the Red Lion will be rocking!

Where there's a Will there's a Film

We now have another film of the Food Market for you to enjoy. The film was created by Will Mann, who’s Mum & close family live in Milford on Sea. His video production company, E-Motion Productions based in London, have made the film free of charge, no doubt with the encouragement of ‘Mum’! The film features interviews with a number of the local traders & New Forest food producers. To keep things in the family, the interviewer is Sue Tobitt, who is Will’s aunt. Nice work Will!

Duncan’s Classic Mini off to Brighton

Duncan Broomfield from Sullivan Mitchell is off to compete in the London to Brighton Rally this weekend. Duncan has a classic 1969 Mk2 Mini Cooper & unlike the editor he can fit in it. Before joining Sullivan Mitchell, Duncan had previously worked at Murray Hayward in Milford on Sea for 7 years, & before this he spent 7 years in the RAF Police serving on overseas detachments and in UK bases. Let’s all hope his car makes it & he is not stopped by the real police!

Sullivan Mitchell website:

Dan the new Co-Op Man

Our Milford on Sea local Co-Op now has a new manager. The new man is Dan Haynes, who originates from New Milton. The previous manager, Leon, has moved to a store nearer his home close to Southampton.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Stuck on Beach Pebble Mountain

If you have strolled along the beach recently you will have noticed that the beach keeps growing - upwards!

We decided to go and take a look, & were met by a stone cliff face with a fierce drop of around twelve foot down to the sea edge. I decided to try and get down, this wasn’t difficult, as once you were sliding there was no way to stop 20 stone of muscle! (well, mostly err... some muscle)

My wife for some reason was very amused, & whilst it is always a pleasure to see her smiling, it was a shame that her mirth was purely based on how I was going to get back up.

Milford on Sea Beach in calmer times!
No problem, I thought to myself as I took a run up. I progressed two strides up & was soon back where I started. On numerous attempts the shifting stones had no trouble to move faster than my size twelves & I soon became accustomed to sliding backwards. In fact over the time I think I perfected an Olympic standard rearwards slide. The dogs thought it was great fun to regularly visit me & then run back up to show how easy it is when you are fit & have four legs.

By now my wife’s cackling had reached a level where I really hoped she’d wet herself. Her help was restricted to useful comments like ‘Do you want me to find an elephant to pull you out?’ Dismissing the idea of calling the coastguard I resorted to one last plan, so on all fours & with the help of the sea groynes, I made my way back up in the most dignified manner I could. Waiting for my congratulations, & perhaps a small round of applause, I soon realised my wife had got bored & walked home.

For those that like some useful information in a story, I can tell you that the Milford on Sea beach is once again being replenished with approximately 10,000 tonnes of additional beach material. This coastal works is to provide continued protection to the beach frontage at Milford on Sea. The New Forest District Council has secured £310,000 from the Environment Agency to carry out the works, which started on 19 April and is expected to last for three weeks. The bid for funding was made following last year's storm damage, which resulted in substantial loss of beach material. It seems good news to me that a focus remains on maintaining the coastal defenses for us all – even if traps me by the sea.

On arriving home I muttered, ‘I wonder how many pebbles they have used on the beach?’. My wife said ‘I hope you don’t intend to count them’, & then enjoyed recalling how I had once spent two days counting the hairs on my legs. For some reason she felt this was of no real value, but then again she wouldn’t understand a man’s need to know such things. Us men enjoy doing some strange things, & I defy any bloke left alone in a room with a tea cosy not to put it on their head at some stage.

New Jewellery Shop & Village Patisserie

A new shop ‘Silverbox’ was open in the village on Bank Holiday Monday on the old site of Allure Ladies Fashions in Church Hill, Milford on Sea. The temporary outlet shop was offering a stylish range of ‘Silverbox’ Italian silver designer style jewellery at outlet prices, there was also a range of Italian handbags. The jewellery is from another business owned by Val & Nick (from Piccolo Mondo), which sells a selection of individual Italian jewellery from Val’s own brand jewellery range (Silverbox). The couple took the opportunity to offer some special prices on end of line, display & sample stocks. Silverbox will again be offering items from their range at outlet prices on the weekend of the Spring Bank Holiday between 29th & 31st May 2010.

Nick & Val also run the Piccolo Mondo restaurant in the village. Having now taken over the ‘old Allure’ site they are currently preparing the shop to open as a Patisserie in July. We understand that ‘Le Petit Monde Patisserie’ will offer a delightful range of patisseries & fresh breads. The new bakery will also offer fresh croissants, pain au chocolat, loaves, speciality breads, cup cakes, family cakes, individual desserts, apple tarts, ├ęclairs, pizza slices, savoury pasties, pies, sandwiches & takeaway lunches. In fact a list of my favourite diet! Roll on July!!

May Fayre Fun

The annual Milford on Sea May Fayre survived some suspect weather to once again put on a great show for the village. The Milford on Sea Village Green was festooned with colour & a variety of side stalls offering gifts, hot food, local charity displays & my favourite; the WI cake stall! The children had plenty to entertain them with the bouncy castles, climbing wall & regular ‘Punch & Judy’ shows. At the centre of the village green stood the traditional May Pole, where in the afternoon our local children had great fun showing us their May Pole dancing. The afternoon concluded with the crowning of this year’s May Queen. Once again Ray Sales & the team on the VCC had put on a great show for all in the village. Well done all.

Bandstand for Seafront

The Parish Council has received positive feedback from the District Council about using the sea front shelter near the Needles Eye Cafe as a bandstand.

The Milford on Sea Parish Council are now looking for someone to put on a Summer Show or two to see how the project can be bought to fruition. One of the suggestions made has been about holding a ‘Picnic on the Lawn’ for all of the family. This all sounds like a good idea to us. The entertainment certainly seems in tune with the village character. Hopefully our local bands, choir & musicians will take up the opportunity & give us all some pleasant afternoons & evenings enjoying music by the sea. 
Milford on Sea Parish Council website:

Flower and Produce Show – Enter Now

Looking forward to the summer the Milford on Sea Flower and Produce Show is due to take place on July 17th on the village green. There are a wide choice of classes. As well as Flowers, Fruit, and Vegetables, there will also be Craft, Photography, Baking, and classes especially for children of 12 and under. For anyone who wishes to enter any of the categories the free Schedules for the Show are now available from Gwen’s, and other High Street shops. Just look for the ‘Schedules Here’ notice is in the window. This event is one that will allow almost everyone to find something to interest them and help maintain the traditional atmosphere of a village show, so we hope that everyone who has ever said 'mine is as good as that' will plan their entries and be part of it.