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Saturday, 27 November 2010

New Island off The Needles

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

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

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

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

If you are quick you may still see it!

*Map from: 

Friday, 26 November 2010

Fancy a curry tomorrow?

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

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

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

The event is in aid of Friends of Ray of Hope. To find out more about Friends of Ray of Hope please visit:

Swap Appeal for Three Tenor Tickets

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

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

Milford’s Race to Infinity

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

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

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

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

Christmas Shopping & Singing in Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 21 November 2010

They are enormous!

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 19 November 2010

Food Week Meeting on Monday

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

*Click image to enlarge

New! Milford on Sea Community Directory

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

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

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

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

Coda could win £49,000!

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

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

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

If you would like to be kept updated on this project or to make a donation please get in touch on 01425 276161, email: or visit:

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mole Men head for Whitby Road!

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

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

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

Campaign for War Memorial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Piccolo Mondo Closes

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

Monday, 15 November 2010

Football in Memory of Jack

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

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

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

Thinking about Christmas Dining?

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

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

Click above image to enlarge.

Dick Strawbridge Booked!

The whole process for making arrangements for Milford on Sea Food Week is now well under way, with fun & exciting events flooding in. It looks like next year will be even more spectacular than this year’s inaugural event. We are really pleased the we have managed to book Dick Strawbridge to appear, & even better, when I was chatting to Dick the other day he was genuinely excited to be coming along. ‘An Evening with Dick Strawbridge’ will feature Dick cooking, whilst telling easy going anecdotes & stories relating to his life exploring self sufficiency, together with his inside experiences as a TV Celebrity Master Chef. He will be cooking a demonstration menu of: Starter: Local seafood ravioli with crab & goats cheese buerre blanc and samphire | Main Course: Poachers/game roast with root dauphnoise, sweet chestnuts and a port reduction | Sweet: Rhubarb and ginger pudding with syllabub, whilst everyone enjoys his amusing & interesting stories, in his unique & exuberant style.  This is only one of a great programme that is coming together, so leave you diary free for Food week! We will let you know when tickets go on sale.

Dick was a finalist in the 2010 BBC series of Celebrity Master Chef, and he is also a television presenter, Eco Engineer, Ex-Army Colonel & proud owner of the best moustache in showbiz! Dick’s warm & exuberant personality was energetically demonstrated in his 'Scrapheap Challenge' days, & in his popular BBC2 series 'It's not easy being green'. The series featured his family’s lifestyle changes and experiments into sustainable living and eco-technology. The programme was filmed at his family home, Newhouse Farm, which is a self-sufficient environmentally friendly smallholding in the West Country. Dick also published his latest book ‘Practical Self Sufficiency’ in 2010. His love of food is excitingly demonstrated in his hearty fare and focus on flavours.

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

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

Thursday, 11 November 2010

LITA Newsletter

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

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

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

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A Poppy for Grandad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q Award nomination for Murray James

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

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

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

Milford’s Race to Infinity

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

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

MEG Newsletter & Social Evening

The Milford Environment Group (MEG) & Wildlife Recording Group have been busy all around Milford on Sea. You can read about all of their activities & adventures on the link below.

MEG are also holding a Social Evening on the 19th November. The evening involves a talk about ‘Pennington & Keyhaven Marshes and Sturt Pond Nature Reserves’ by Pete Durnell (The Nature Reserve Manager). There will also be a small buffet. If you would like to go along, or simply find out more please take a look in the new Community Calendar from the link below.

Get on your bike!

A new bicycle hire business has started in Milford on Sea. You may well have noticed this already, due to the bike positioned on the grass outside Harvest House B&B in Lymington Road. The new venture is called ‘Going Dutch Bicycle Hire’ run by Jon Devereux. The business name is inspired by the type of bikes they have available, as you may have guessed the bikes are from The Netherlands & like the thousands that can be seen on the streets of Amsterdam every day.  If you fancy a day in the saddle give Jon a call on 07968 765433, or visit their shiny new website from the link below.

Three Tenor’s Sell Out

Tickets for the forthcoming ‘Mince Pies, Mistletoe and Mischief’ performance by ‘Milford’s Three Tenors’ went on sale last Monday at Milford on Sea Community Centre. The temporary box office for the day was due to open at 10am, and a queue started to form from around 8.30am. As you may expect, the 146 tickets sold out almost immediately, leaving scores of people without a ticket. The guy’s have are now planning to do a second show during December on a date yet to be confirmed. There is a now list on the inside window of the Community Centre for anyone who wants to add their name to a ‘ticket waiting list’. At the last count it already contains over 100 names!  When the new date is announced it will appear in the Village Community Calendar:

...STOP PRESS... We have just heard the additional performance is now at 8.30pm on the 6th December......

Mince Pies, Mistletoe and Mischief is a gala operatic performance from Milford's Three Tenors with a splattering of spontaneous humour. The evening brings together professional opera singers; Milford's own Colin Judson, Nick Ransley & Wynne Evans (from the ‘Go Compare’ TV advert). Anyone who saw the boys perform at the Milford Arts & Music Festival will be looking forward to being thrilled once again. Proceeds will be going to the new Milford Village Music Trust Fund founded by Colin Judson in support of young people in the village who have musical talent and who are in need of financial assistance to develop that ability.

To find out more about Milford's Three Tenors, please visit:

More about the individual artists :

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Spain comes to Westover Hall

Westover Hall are holding a ‘Spanish Night’ in aid of Naomi House Children’s Hospice next Wednesday, 10th November. A last few tickets are still available, so you would like enjoy a special Spanish Night, with a fabulous three course dinner including tapas, plus entertainment from Classic Spanish Guitarist & flamenco dancers it might be best to book now. The event starts with a welcome glass of Cava from 7pm. Tickets are £35 per person.

If you can’t make that one, Westover Hall are now offering Full Afternoon Tea with 2 for the price of 1! Now, that is right up my street, a classic British Afternoon Tea with fresh baked scones, jam & Cream, homemade cakes & sandwiches!  At only £19.50 for the lot, I am planning to treat my wife.  She doesn’t like cream, but being a martyr I will only be too happy to help her out with her scones!  I know, she is lucky that I am so chivalrous.

To book for the Spanish Night: Please call Westover Hall on 01590 643044 or e-mail:

Monday, 1 November 2010

Mark wins Retail Award

One of our local newsagents, Mark Cumming of The Village News in the heart of Milford on Sea village, has won a major regional Retail Excellence Award.

Mark was aware of his nomination when he attended the ‘Retail Excellence Awards 2010 Presentation Evening at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton, what he did not know, was that he was about to be presented with the CTN (Confectionery, Tobacco & News) Sector Runner Up for the NFRN South East Region.

Congratulations Mark, it was worth wearing a suit to the evening!

Magic Night at Zaika

To celebrate Fireworks Night, (& having decided a firework display would not be too practial inside of a Milford on Sea restaurant!), Zaika are having an Evening of Magic on the 5th of November.

Why not go along & enjoy ther fun.

Zaika is open from 6pm, ideal if you want to eat before going onto your firework party!

To Book please call: 01590 643084 (Booking recommended)

Zaika Indian Restaurant website:

New Producers Market in Everton

Following the end of the farmers market’s at Braxton Gardens in Milford on Sea, we are pleased to report that the ‘New Forest Marque Producers Market’ is moving just across the road! The relocated farmers markets will be held on the first Saturday of each month at Everton Nurseries Garden Centre, which is on the main Lymington to New Milton road. The market will run from 9am to 3pm every first Saturday. Having not really enjoyed the muddy field at Braxton, we are now looking forward to buying some local produce at the new market’s first day on Saturday the 6th November.

Everton Nurseries Garden Centre website:

See market dates on the Milford on Sea Community Calendar:

Food Week Public Meeting

I know open meetings are generally boring to attend, but why not make the exception with this one. Everyone in the village is invited to come along to find out what is being planned to happen in April next year.  You can even get involved to lend a hand at some events if you wish. We only expect the meeting to last around an hour.

Milford on Sea Food Week website:

Wildlife Trust launch book

We have heard from Peter Hutchings that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are just entering their 50th Anniversary year.

To mark the occasion they have produced an impressively illustrated book called ‘Wild Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’. The new publication has a foreword by Chris Packham, who says; "Such is the abundance of species in Hampshire. We have the rare, the glamorous, the bizarre and the beautiful. The author's (Clive Chatters) admiration, lifelong experience and enthusiasm for the region shine through in this exploration of our local wildlife".

If you would like a copy, the book costs £14.99 and proceeds go to support the Wildlife Trust's conservation work. Copies can be ordered online at or call 01489 774400

From Wind Farm to Solar

Following our recent story about the proposed Wind Farm we have heard from a Milford on Sea resident who runs a local Solar Energy company which is an approved solar photovoltaic installation company under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. A lot of long words there that I don’t understand, but basically Aztec Solar provide systems to generate your own electricity using the power of the sun.

To encourage people to use solar energy the 'Green Energy Cash Back scheme' was launched in April 2010. It is a government backed scheme designed to incentivise people to generate their own zero carbon electricity using solar systems. The encouragement takes the form of a very generous payment scheme, called the "Feed in Tariff" and it's guaranteed and index linked for 25 years.

If you would like any more information, you can find it on their website below.

Aztec Solar website:

Ashtons start letting service

Local village estate agents, Ashtons have announced that they are now offering a lettings service as well as residential sales. There is a strong demand for rental property in the area, both from local residents and from visitors to the area who wish to rent in the locality initially to get a true feel of living here before making a big move on a permanent basis.

If you have a property to let, or are looking for a property to rent, I’m sure Sarah and Linda will be happy to help.

25 High Street, Milford on Sea | Tel: 01590 644191.