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Saturday, 18 December 2010

It's snowing again!

I was abruptly woken this tediously cold winter morning by a gloved slap in the face. I immediately wondered what I had done wrong now. As there was no follow up to the initial assault, I just laid assessing the situation and realised it was simply a subconscious action from my snoring wife. How such an angelic voice and face when sleeping can sound like a warthog at feeding time is beyond me.

As I laid waiting for the sting to subside, I realised that l was now sleeping with a fully kitted out close relative of ‘Scott of the Antarctic’. To think it was only fifteen years ago that bedtime attire for my wife was only a subtle squirt of perfume, and me just in my ‘furry lounge suit’. These days my wife takes what feels like hours to arrive in bed, going through a ritual process of adding numerous layers of ridiculously coloured warm bedwear. I on the other hand still only wear my ‘furry lounge suit’, although it is quite a different shape & size these days.

As I turned my bruised head towards the window, I could just see though my black eye that it was snowing heavily again. Hmm this weather did not go so well last time.

As I got up to start yet another exciting day, I heard my wife bark two clear instructions from deep within her cocoon of bedding. ‘Before you starting writing any more rubbish on your website, you can take the dogs for a walk’. Ah, my turn to wrap up in layers of clothing now!

Kids Drawing Competitions in the Village

Two of our children friendly village shops have got into the Christmas spirit by running Drawing Competitions for children. In Inger-Lise’s Coffee Bar, at the ‘Keyhaven end’ of the High Street, any children can draw their pictures at specially prepared tables, whilst mum or dad enjoy anything from a full English breakfast, lunch, sandwich, cake or just a coffee or hot chocolate. The coffee bar even has a children’s menu and baby changing facilities for the very young ones. All entered pictures will be put on display, with the winning picture being judged on Thursday 23rd December. Christine will be providing the winning entry will win a ‘Christmassy Gingerbread House’.

Down at Sullivan Mitchell, one of our local estate agents, there was another ‘Children’s Drawing Competition’ open to any children at pre-school or primary school age. This ended on the 18th December with Lesley awarding a 1st prize of a £10 Milford Models voucher and 2nd prize of a £5 Milford Models vouchers to the winners in two age group categories. It is nice to see are village shops helping to entertain the kids.

Friday, 17 December 2010

White Horse Fundraising closes in on £50,000

The White Horse pub in Milford on Sea has for the past six years entered an enthusiastic team in the 'New Forest Bike & Hike'.

The event allows people to cycle or hike in this ever popular community fun event. Routes are of varying lengths to suit all ages and abilities. Singles and seniors, families and friends, clubs, pubs, schools, youth groups and company teams. There is even a 'Buggy Routes' for Mums, Dads & little ones.  The sponsors are Ringwood Brewery and the event is in aid of Oakhaven Hospice.
This year's team of staff, customers and friends from The White Horse raised an amazing £11,307, which makes a total of £49,985 that they have raised over the past six years.

It looks like 2011 will see the £50,000 barrier well and truly smashed! Congratulations to Pat & all from The White Horse for such a great effort.

White Horse Team 2009

Hardeep is coming to Food Week

The planning for Milford on Sea Food Week 2011 (11th to 17th April 2011) is now well underway. We have already had the pleasure to announce 'An Evening with Dick Strawbridge', and we are now delighted to confirm that we have booked Hardeep Singh Kohli, another high level celebrity. Hardeep will be performing his 'Nearly Naked Chef Show' on Saturday 17th April 2011 in our purpose build professional Cookery Theatre which will be in the Community Centre Main Hall.

Tickets will go on sale online soon, and we will also have a 'Box Office' on selected days before Food Week for people without internet access to also buy tickets for the major events.

So, grab a seat and tuck in, as a guest of Hardeep Singh Kohli. This celebrated broadcaster, raconteur, writer and cook combines comedy with inventive cuisine in a wonderfully funny, laid back evening's entertainment.

Just think Ready Steady Cook but with great cooking (Hardeep was runner-up on the first series of Celebrity Masterchef) and funny anecdotes, all delivered by Glaswegian Hardeep in his own unique, articulate and utterly charming way.

Having debuted at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the show played to sell-out audiences, this is an extended, two-course version of The Nearly Naked Chef, combining more of Hardeep’s winning talents and recipes.

‘Kohli’s evening of cookery and anecdotes… left a reassuringly warm aftertaste.’ **** The Times

‘I was mightily impressed by his ability to keep a capacity crowd in the palm of his hand for almost two hours. His concoction on the night? Haggis and butternut squash vindaloo. Even funnier, it was delicious.’ The Sun

Click link to find out more about Hardeep:
Milford on Sea Food Week:

MoS Club Advertising Opportunities

Milford on Sea Club in the High Street, have recently installed a new media system which is all singing and dancing! As well as providing entertainment, the screens have advertising space. Any local business can advertise their services for a very reasonable cost. Companies could have full screen spreads with pictures, videos and logos etc, or just have data in a ‘ticker stream’ on the bottom of the screen.

To receive a price list or to find out more please contact: Mark Ketchen: - 07967 547639
Milford on Sea Club, 67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Join in the Guinness World Record Attempt

There is still time to join in the Jack Boothroyd Memorial 5-aside football competition, and to try and set a new Guinness World Record.

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 the weekend of 5th March 2011.
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

Saturday, 11 December 2010

New Beer in Milford on Sea

Our friends at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust have let us know that a local Hampshire brewer, Bowman Ales, has just produced a special 50th Anniversary ale for the Trust called 'Warbler'. The beer is described as "A conker coloured premium bitter with an initial sweetness giving way to a dry chestnutty finish, smooth, full bodied & fragrant."

If you fancy a taste, the Co-op in Milford on Sea village will be stocking bottles, and Paul at the Red Lion is going to make it available as well.  We also hope to have the beer featured during Milford on Sea Food Week.

Bowman Ales is a micro brewery based near Droxford in Hampshire.  Find out more here:

William Rickman & Milford House

Recently we received an interesting e-mail from a historian in Charles City County, Virginia, USA. Oh yes, we are now an international resource for historical research! Which is quite a surprise, as I normally make most things up! Anyway, Patrick is researching a certain eighteenth century William Rickman.

William Rickman, was born about 1715, probably in England. William Rickman studied medicine, and is believed to have served as ship’s surgeon on the Launcet, a Royal Navy ship. If so, he left the Royal Navy and settled in Virginia about 1760. At the outbreak of the American Revolution he was appointed director-general of Continental Army Hospitals for the state of Virginia, with the rank of colonel. Dr. William Rickman married sometime before the year 1770; his son Jesse Rickman, was born on May 2 of that year. Jesse was born on his father’s farm near Charles City, Virginia, known as Kittewan. Jesse’s mother died while he was still a small child, and in 1775 his father remarried. Dr. Rickman’s young bride was Elizabeth Harrison, sister of future U.S. President William Henry Harrison. She was 24 when she married the 60 year old Dr. Rickman. After William Rickman died in 1783, her stepson Jesse promptly left the family property, possibly due to a quarrel with his stepmother.

Patrick tells us that William Rickman’s home, which was built in the 1770’s, was called Milford, and wonders if there is any connection with Milford House in Milford on Sea? Our own research found the following: ‘Milford House is a splendid Georgian House in red brick. The central part is the oldest, with castellated parapet being built in about 1730 for William Rickman. He died in 1764 and William Reynolds became the new owner of the Manor’. The dates do not appear to exactly fit, so I have no idea if this is the same ‘William Rickman‘? If you can throw any more light on this story please let me know.

Magical Milford Monday

A freezing evening chill did not prevent an impressive turn out for the annual ‘Carols on the Green’. Yet again the evening had a wonderful Christmas feel, as Milford on Sea High Street became a winter wonderland. From early evening many of the shops remained open and were serving mulled wine, mince pies and other Christmas goodies. The High Street itself had brave stallholders offering hog roast, paella, crepes, hot chestnuts, candy floss and more. The giant lighted Christmas tree on the green provided the backdrop for the carol service, which was led by village’s own Total Voice Choir. As around 300 people joined in the community singing it was hard not to be moved by the magical atmosphere this created. Everyone that had braved the freezing night certainly felt the effort had been worthwhile. As a great finale, Father Christmas arrived on his sledge. The children’s faces were a picture as he & his helpers handed out sweets to everybody. Well done to the Village Community Committee on organising another great night.

For some the night was still not over as they made their way to the Community Centre to see Milford’s Three Tenors in ‘Mistletoe, Mischief & Mince Pies’. Our own Colin Judson opened the show with ‘O Sole Mio’, with his fellow tenors joining him on stage from various directions as the song progressed. The audience had expected to see ‘Wynne Evans’ and were disappointed to find out that he was stuck in Glasgow due to the snow. I don’t know how Colin managed it, but at the last minute he had been able to get John Hudson to join the team. Colin described John as England’s best tenor for the past ten years, and having heard him who could argue. The great arias kept coming, as people were hypnotised by the power and quality of the singing. The infectious humour of the guys between songs really added to the night. The smooth blend of the individual tenor’s voices mesmerised, and when in harmony they created an incredible sound, espacially when singing Nessun Dorma, which sent a wonderful chill down the spine. It was amazing to think these guys are normally playing the Royal Albert Hall, or international Opera Theatres, yet there we all were, watching them in our own community centre. The Christmas themed second half bought songs for everyone to join in with, and with the words to some of the songs not known by all the tenor’s, their play fighting over the scripts made everyone giggle. Colin had one last closing surprise for us all, but I won’t reveal it now as there is still another show to go. If you are going to the Friday Show be prepared for a spectacular evening!

Footnote: Having enjoyed Monday evening so much, my wife managed to get two last minute returns to go to the Friday show.  After another spectacular performance she excitedly told me; 'we must do that again'.  'What?, see The Three Tenors?' I asked.  'No, I meant I must always remember to get two single tickets miles apart' she giggled.  Oh, she is so funny, so very funny!

Ravenhurst Planning Update

The planning Inspector rejected the appeal from the developers (Penny Farthing) of the unoccupied NHS site at Ravenhurst (next to the White House on seafront) last week. However, the ‘Protecting Milford's Heritage’ group consider that this has been a hollow victory, because apparently even before the Public Inquiry had ended, Penny Farthing had already lodged a new application with the NFDC to change the planning use to Residential.

Several local residents have again objected to the new application, including our local Parish Council who support the view that the site be restored to its original Greenfield status. The revised application is going before the Planning Committee on Wednesday 8th December (9am: Lyndhurst Council offices). We have been advised that the officers report of the NFDC says the application should be granted despite local objection, and also says the developer could then further amend the plans and application without having to seek any further approvals or consultation! It is also reported to say that only 5 local people have objected. However, the ‘Protecting Milford's Heritage’ advised us that there are 8 letters of objection or expressing concern on the website, and some neighbours have stated their letters sent some weeks ago have not yet been registered on the website, so presumably not counted. Desmond Swayne. our local MP has also asked questions on the groups behalf.

Due to the short notice, it is unlikely that  many cannot attend the planning meeting, but anyone who wishes to support the ‘Protecting Milford's Heritage’ group and add their voice they can attend the Planning committee and object, or email members of the planning Committee, Chief Executive of NFDC and copy the Parish Council to quickly register their protest. 

If you need the e-mail addresses we have a list provided bu PMH available on request.

Milford Fights the Snow

Last week, arctic conditions gripped the whole country, bringing chaos almost everywhere. The stoic people of Milford on Sea were mainly undeterred though. Paul Watson sent us the picture above, as he wasted no time in checking whether the snow had drawn out the ‘Molemen’ living under the green. He reported no sign of our furry Subterranean neighbours, however they seem to have erected a Christmas Tree in the dark of the night.

Terry and Jean Langford send their congratulations to those that kept the village functioning whilst many places drew to a standstill; ”Jean and I would like to commend and congratulate all the people in the various services and shops who turned out to work in Milford and our local area during the severe weather. Of particular mention for us should be the newspaper deliveries, on time on Thursday and Friday (ca 6.30am) as if it had never snowed, and the milkman whose footprints were the first I saw in the snow as I went to get the papers from our gate box. These two deserve medals and our continuing business.”

Another arctic adventurer was Mike Collison, who braved the snow to capture some delightful photographs as shown.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

A Milford Bloke Trapped in Guildford

As some of you may know I have to return to Guildford every now and then to do some occasional ‘real work’ in my business.

Our house in Surrey is on a hill with nice views of Guildford Cathedral and the South Downs. Normally this is a pleasure, but Wednesday turned out to be slightly different. The more observant amongst you will have noticed that there has been snow across the country recently, and we had already been genuinely snowed in for two days.

No worries though, provisions were high and my wife was unusually calm and friendly. Wednesday morning greeted us with the delightful scene of the crisp white undulating landscape, and with the glistening snowy rooftops of the town a joy to be seen. In an idyllic family scene the dogs were soon frolicking in the eight inch snow, and the laughter of children rang excitedly across the sparkling snow covered streets. That was of course, until my wife ran screaming into my study, shouting something about a pigeon that was stranded in our garden. I think she is under the misguided impression that I am some kind of ‘Bill Oddy’ style wildlife expert or a professor of ornithology at the local bird school. I helpfully said I would ‘see to it in a minute’ (& as you guys know, this is never the right answer from a husband). Apparently the dogs couldn’t return to the garden due the risk that they would eat our uninvited visitor. However conversely, they needed to go into the garden absolutely immediately, or their bladders would increase to the size of a hot air balloon and they may then disappear into the sky on their way to the industrial North. (Little does she know, that when she is out, I leave them for hours on end without a visit to the garden, and neither of them has exploded yet!) As I did not immediately jump to this mammoth crisis, ‘Eskimo Nell’ kitted herself out with arctic clothing & headgear, and made her way out into the drifts of eight inch snow, all without the aid of snow shoes or the back up of an air ambulance. Once her one lady rescue mission reached her patient - it was stone cold dead. I ignored her sobbing, and helped out by passing my little Inuit a black plastic bag. A hot drink or two later, life had returned to as normal as our life can be.

Well, that was before we saw my wife’s car drive past our house. This was only slightly strange. To explain, my wife’s car had gone in for a service a couple of days earlier & the ice and snow on our hill had made it impossible for it to return the day before. It was also impossible for it to return today, but for some reason the garage hadn’t seen the latest weather report in Guildford. As we were discussing how the car had managed to get up the hill at all, we spotted the man from the garage taking the (unused) temporary hire car he had left with us off of our drive. We watched slightly bemused as he reversed out, and then just slid almost gracefully from view. For some reason we did not spot him passing our house again to get into my wife’s car just a little way up the hill. The first we saw, was when my wife’s car was being driven towards the drive of our house, - and then past it uncontrollably, straight into the back of the temporary hire car.

By the time we had donned our outdoor gear to investigate, our friendly ‘garage man’ has left his hire car, which was now at a right angle across the road. He was determined to complete his mission to deliver my wife’s car to her. I think he then wished he hadn’t bothered, especially when he tried to enter the drive again, but just slid and wedged the car against the gate post. My wife was not too happy, but I reminded her that quite a few of her car panels hadn’t been damaged at all. Obviously things could not get worse. That was until I decided to help the guy recue both cars. First we released my wife’s car from the vice like grip of our gate post, discovering in the process that buying a four wheel drive Audi for snowy conditions was actually a waste of money. The best we could do was dump it somewhere near the kerb in the hope no one else fancied taking a chunk out of it. Next, we were off to save the hire car blocking the road. Spade in hand, we dug & pushed to get this little mechanical monster facing the right way. It would be hard to believe that as I went inside to get some gloves, that the ‘garage man’ now managed to lock the keys in the car! A full one & a half hours later the car was released and somehow we had got it to the bottom of the road to let our ‘garage man’ on his way back to wherever he came from.

Thinking the drama was over for the afternoon we settled back down to do some work. So far no cars has made it successfully to the top of our mountainous road. That was until we saw a flash BMW 4x4 stride effortlessly past our house and park further up the hill. The driver then trudged knee deep in the snow past our house, and we gave him a spontaneous round of applause. No sooner had we started clapping, he disappeared without taking a bow. About ten minutes later we saw his BMW 4x4 again. This time he was not in it. The car had simply slid down the hill from its previous parking slot, only stopping when it crunched into the neighbours car opposite. To spectacularly finish the ‘Strictly Come Dancingesque’ manoeuvre, the car then spun gracefully to directly face our house, and conveniently provided a new road block for our cul de sac. My wife had the great idea that ‘I should do something?!’. When I asked what I was supposed to do about the two ton driverless locked car spread across the road? She just said ‘typical, you are useless in a crisis’. Great, all of the sudden the skiing BMW had become my problem, and It wasn’t even our car involved this time! As we watched various unconnected observers visit the scene of destruction there was still no sign of the car’s driver. About an hour later the bewildered man reappeared, and it will come as no surprise that he was shocked to find his car not quite where he had left.

Once again I was sent outside under my wife’s instructions ‘to do something’. As I approached the shocked driver he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, so I just asked him ‘have you been driving long?’. I have to admit an undisguised snigger when he told me it was actually his wife’s new car. Our neighbours crushed bumper was still caressing the BMW’s back corner as my new mate from Reading tried to examine the damage. Not being able to see clearly he decided he should try and move his car to see the carnage his lovely wife’s car had caused. All was going to plan, that was until his front wheels were facing down the hill. Before he knew it, the car was on an uncontrolled slalom down the steep incline. I could hear his expletive ridden screams & curses as he missed my wife’s car (just), avoided the stranded BMW 7 Series and finally swerved again to miss the Toyota 4x4 towards the bottom of the hill. If it were not for the enormous crash he made as his new 20 inch alloys hit the kerb with an almighty smash, he may well have ended up in a nice couples garden across the other side of the road at the bottom of ours. Shaken and shocked yet again, he struggled back up the hill, falling over only once, saying ‘I didn’t mean to do that!’. As he left to inform the owner of the innocent and distressed vehicle with a smashed front, I wished him well on explaining to his wife what he had done to her new car.

Later that evening my mate Colin e-mailed me to say Milford on Sea had received a 'dusting' of snow, but they were coping! He didn’t mentioned if his car had survived the day undamaged, but I guessed it had. As the evening drew to a close it was a pleasure to retire to bed, even if it did mean sleeping with ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ dressed in two nighties, woollen socks and a bobble hat.

Food Week Meeting Update

Following an enthusiastic attendance at the Food Week Public Meeting a couple of weeks ago, we now have a good number of Volunteers enlisted to help out during Food Week. We have no idea with what yet, but if you would like to join the list please send your details to and we will give you the choice to lend a hand somewhere if you would like.

Events for Food Week are now coming in thick and fast, as we try to tie down all of the activities in order to send the programme for printing in January. All of our local charities have also been invited to join in to raise funds for their own good causes. Our local eateries, shops and businesses have been generous in providing support & sponsorship, so everything is well on track.

If you, or your organisation, would like to get involved by running a ‘food related’ event of any kind, just let us know your ideas as soon as possible, the more the merrier! This is truly a ‘real community event’ with no expenses taken and all profits going to local good causes. A complete cross section of the village is involved from The Guides, to local people doing demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre, through to all of our pubs, cafes and restaurants. We are doing everything we can to make next year’s event really special so why not join in, or just make sure you are around from 11th to 17th April 2011 to enjoy the fun!

Are you new to the village?

Each February a ‘Newcomers Supper’ is held at All Saints Church Hall in Milford on Sea. Anyone that is new to the village since February 2010 is able to apply for an invitation and the event is entirely free. The evening consists of two parts. In the first hour or so, there is a ‘mini exhibition’, where you can wander around and informally meet representatives from the many clubs, associations & organisations in the village. They can tell you anything you want to know, and if you fancy getting involved you can. This is then followed by a sit down supper with the chance to meet new people & have a bit of fun.

Most years the event has over a hundred people attending, and it is a great way to meet new people, and to get a warm welcome to your new home. The village is full of friendly people and the ‘Newcomers Supper’ is a fast-track way of getting to know all about our village life.

The ‘Newcomers Supper’ is funded & hosted by all of the churches in the village & tirelessly organised by Ruth Bufton. The event is by invitation only, so if you are new to the village this year & would like to come along please contact: Ruth Bufton on or 01590 641875

Christmas comes to Westover Hall

I wandered in Westover Hall the other day for a quick cup of coffee. Always a lovely place to visit anytime of the year, but right now it is like a Milford on Sea Christmas wonderland, with an enormous tree, beautiful decorations and a crackling log fire in the comfortable panelled lounge. As I chatted to Christine the owner, I was impressed to hear that their recent ‘Spanish Night’ held in November has raised £1000 for Naomi House Children's Hospice. David then enticed me into choosing a hot toddy, mulled wine or tea & coffee, as throughout December they all come with a complimentary mince pie from the hotel’s splendid pâtissier Mike. Coffee and a free mince pie was perfect for me.

As the welcome was as warm as ever, and they even humoured me for wearing shorts in the freezing weather, I am now planning to take my wife for a Christmas Lunch, Dinner or Afternoon Tea as I heard that they are serving some special complimentary seasonal canapés. I also found out that they are doing the seasonal canapés for ‘informal get togethers’ or ‘drinks parties with friends’, but I don’t have enough mates for that!  |  Tel: 01590 643044