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Friday, 23 September 2011

More Macmillan Coffee!

Milford Tennis & Squash Club and Seahorses Playgroup, in addition to Sullivan Mitchell, are holding a Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan cancer support & research this coming Friday.   Hundreds, if not thousands, or small groups and organisations are taking part in what Macmillan describe as the ''World’s Biggest Coffee Morning'' All of the coffee mornings are held on the same day to help raise much needed funds.

Everyone in the village is invited, so wander along to Milford Tennis & Squash Club in Lucerne Road to sample the tennis ladies home-made cakes.  It is also an opportunity for us all to have a look around the new clubhouse.  Seahorses Playgroup will also be having at coffee morning at their session in the Community Centre.

So, if you fancy not sleeping for a few nights, why not pop along to all of the coffee mornings, one after the other!

To find out more and to see times please visit:

Thursday, 22 September 2011

WI Calendar Girls at Library

Members of the Milford on Sea Women's Institute celebrated the 96th anniversary of the very first WI meeting with a get together in support of Milford on Sea Library.  Last Friday the girls gathered at the library with cakes, sunflowers and pearls to support of the national campaign to keep local libraries open.  Our local WI are ardent supporters of the ‘Love Your Library Campaign’ and whilst having a good time, also wanted to draw attention to the many services offered by the library in our village.  To add more smiles to the day, the girls had ‘Calendar Girls’ theme and WI Secretary, Kath Brookes caused a giggle when she recreated the famous ‘Sunflower pose’ from the calendar & film.

The Milford on Sea Library team are very grateful for the WI’s support in the ‘Love Your Library Campaign’ and throughout the year.  The library has many facilities and services in addition to books, and like many village services is constantly under threat.  Why not drop in to see what they have to offer, you will be sure of a warm welcome.
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Pink Place lunch

Unfortunately many people & their families have been touched breast cancer, so this month’s First Friday Lunch is being held in aid of The Pink Place, a Hampshire based charity tackling the issue and affects.

The Pink Place charity was set up by Julia Dingwall, who is the daughter of Sonia Sewell, a stalwart in Milford on Sea volunteer activities.  The Pink Place was launched in August 2010 with the full support of the Basingstoke breast cancer unit.  Today it gives support to breast cancer patients, although they are hoping to offer their service to all cancer patients in time.

The Pink Place Lunch will take place on Friday 7th October at 1pm. 

The menu for the lunch will be Ham and vegetable cassoulet with herby dumplings, followed by ‘Apple a la The Pink Place’.  The cost is £4.50 and there is no need to book, simply turn up at the Community Centre, enjoy a lunch & meet some new friends. Also, please wear something pink if at all possible. (Gents as well!)  Everyone is welcome.

The First Friday Lunch is held every 1st Friday in the Month with the profits donated to the good cause running the event.

Find out more about The Pink Place here:

Sonia Sewell | Tel  07941 577001

Everyone invited for coffee

Anthony at Sullivan Mitchell is holding a Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan cancer support & research between 10am and 1pm on Friday 30th September. The Sullivan Mitchell team are joining in what Macmillan describe as the ''World’s Biggest Coffee Morning'' which is made up of hundreds of small events being held on the same day to help raise much needed funds.

Everyone in the village invited to pop along to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and cake and biscuits for which they would just ask a small donation to the charity.  On the day there will also be a Free to enter prize draw with some great prizes up for grabs. For your chance to win all you have to do is turn up on the day and give Macmillan a small hand at the same time.

Hurst Castle Garrison Theatre on TV

Hurst Castle's ENSA Garrison Theatre was briefly featured in a one hour BBC4 documentary 'Entertaining the Troops' on Tuesday 20th September.  The 'Entertaining the Troops' documentary explored how during World War Two an army of performers from ballerinas to magicians, contortionists to impressionists, set out to help win the war by entertaining the troops far and wide. Risking their lives they ventured into war zones, dodging explosions and performing close to enemy lines. Featuring the memories of this intrepid band of entertainers and with contributions from Dame Vera Lynn, Eric Sykes and Tony Benn, this documentary tells the remarkable story of the World War Two performers and hears the memories of some of those troops who were entertained during the dark days of war. 

Hurst Castle's ENSA Garrison Theatre in Milford on Sea is believed to be the only surviving World War 2 ENSA theatre has been saved by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Despite having fallen into disrepair, many of the theatre’s original features remain intact despite the Castle’s exposed position at the end of a two-mile shingle spit. Built in a converted Victorian gun emplacement, the hand painted proscenium arch still bears the badge and grenades of the Royal Artillery. The backdrop depicts a romantic restoration scene of Romeo and Juliet or possibly Charles II and Nell Gwyn.

The ravages of time and damp had left the theatre looking tired and unloved. This was until the Friends of Hurst Castle started restoration work in January 2008. The old platform stage, which was removed in the late 1980s, has now been reconstructed. New curtains have been fashioned from hessian, once used to camouflage the Castle’s guns and searchlights, and hang from the original galvanized gas pipe. The only concessions to the twenty first century are modern lights and sound systems.

Visitors can listen to music from the period and learn the history of the theatre and the origins and role of ENSA, the Entertainments National Service Association. And now, after a break of more than 60 years, the Garrison Theatre again stages regular shows during the summer months.

Robbie Rocks Zaika

Zaika held their ‘Robbie & Bublé Night’ last week with much fun being had by all.  Two full sitting enjoyed Max Hutton performing in two shows as both Robbie Williams & Michael Bublé.  The place was rocking to enduring classics as people sang along and enjoyed a fine curry at the same time.

Sorry to say we missed it as we were away working, but seems like everyone had a great night.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Folkboats Show in Milford

As the Southampton Boat Show gets underway we have our very own used boat show taking place here in Milford on Sea.  Folkboats UK open the doors for their first annual used boat show on the 16th September, to coincide with the Southampton Boat Show.

This event is being held at the Folkboat UK premises in Barnes Lane, and will run every day until 26th September, from 9am to 5pm.   Folkboats UK is owned and run by local boat builder Tony Smee, and a visit to his boatyard should be interesting for all sailors in the village.

With plenty of used boats available, visitors will be able to climb aboard and see inside these fabulous boats.  The Folkboat’s combination of performance and accommodation makes them the excellent choice for both cruising and racing.  A design classic, the popularity of the Nordic Folkboat has endured for more than seventy years thanks to its timeless design, strong build quality, and its appeal to sailing beginners and experienced sailors alike.

As well as offering a wide selection of new and used boats for sale, Folkboats UK are specialists in folkboat repair and restoration, refitting, technical advice, and also offer storage facilities.  If you’re looking for a used boat, or just fancy seeing how they are made, why not pop along.

Folkboat UK Used Boat Show | 16th to 26th September | 9am to 5pm

Venue: Barnes Farm, Barnes Lane, Milford on Sea, Hampshire SO41 0RR
Tel: +44 (0)1590 644800

Gary’s Memories of the White House

We have been contacted by Gary McCormick, who was a patient for two years at The White House on the seafront in Milford on Sea.  Gary was eleven when he was admitted to the sanatorium (although everyone referred to it as a hospital).  He stayed for two years around 1958 and he was also joined by both his brother and sister, all were suffering from TB.  At that time The White House was for children only and treated TB, Asthma, and other bad chest infections.

He recalls that twice a week all the kids who could walk, went to the village with two nurses in charge.  Once there, they would buy sweets from the newsagents if they had any money.  This was followed by a walk to the Pleasure Gardens, where there was an old derelict house which the kids thought was haunted.

Monday night was Sea Scouts night.  Gary and his friend were the only two scout members from The White House, and Scoutmaster, Charles Anderson would travel each week from Everton to collect them.  In the summer of 1958 Charles Anderson took Gary and Graham Daw on a trip to the Isle of Wight with the local Sea Scout Troop.

The people Gary remembers who worked in the hospital were; the full time school teachers; Mrs Campbell for the seniors, Mrs Sims for the juniors and Mrs Potter looking after the infants.  On the nursing side was Sister Thomas, Staff Nurses Butt and Jordan, Nurses Crocker, Nunn, Scott and Reilly.  Staff Nurse Butt was the boys favourite, as she let them have her record player and Rock and Roll records on their ward.  Staff Nurse Jordan lodged with Mr Fisher, who looked after the hospital grounds and lived in a bungalow right next to the hospital.  There were two auxiliary workers Uncle Robbie (Robert Hewison) who came from Hordle and Uncle Ziggy who Gary believes was and ex German POW.  His wife Freda was a cook in the hospital kitchen.

Gary also recalls going on Hospital outings, such as to the circus in Highcliffe, and to a Christmas Pantomime at the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth.  Every few months they were sent for X-rays at Milford on Sea hospital and dental check-ups in Bournemouth.

Other than his brother, sister and Graham Daw, all of whom were also patients, Gary never saw any of the other kids again.  He knows that some fellow patients, Brian Golding, his twin brother and their sister, Jenifer all came from Sway, so perhaps they are still around locally.

Gary went on to spend two years at sea with the Cunard Line, before spending the rest of his working life in engineering. Today Gary lives in Chandlers Ford near Southampton.

Our thanks go to Gary for taking the time to share his vivid childhood memories and some delightful photographs from the time.

To see more of Gary’s photographs of his time at The White House, please click link below:

Write By The Sea

Milford on Sea has itself both a new resident, plus an addition to our ever growing ‘author community’.  Cate Sweeney is the author of the novel; ‘Selfish Jean’, which is described as a ‘Very funny, very moving and has a clever revelatory twist in the tail. Women of all ages, and men trying to understand women, will love this frank funny, sensitive book.’  Originally from a healthcare background, Cate has also written a number of short stories and plays.

From October, Cate will be running a mini creative writing course ‘Write By The Sea’ at the community centre.  The course will be held every Tuesday evening for nine weeks from 11th October.  To give people the opportunity to see if they like it, you can try the First Session Free.  If you get the taste for writing, the further eight weekly sessions are £55.

Cate is also considering forming a Milford Writers’ Group.  Should this be of interest to you, please contact Cate at:

A trip to the Movies in Milford

Some exciting leaflets have appeared in the village shops, which details the screening programme for the new ‘Milford Movies’. 

The Milford on Sea Community Centre has now raised the funds, and organised the necessary equipment, to bring box office films to the heart of the village.  James Flintoff and his celluloid team have put together an impressive range of films over the coming months.  The biggest problem may be getting a seat!

Season Tickets are now on sale at Gwen’s in the High Street (or from the web link at the bottom of this page.)  There are two sorts - the Gold Ticket which covers all ten evening screenings for a heavily discounted price of £30.00 - that means you get to see 4 free films - and the Silver Ticket which covers all five afternoon films for £15.00 which works out at 2 free films. 

The bar will be open for half an hour before each screening until the end of the interval with a full range of licensed and soft drinks,  and of course, ice creams. Can't be bad!

The film club only has 50 available tickets for each screening, so if there are any left after the season tickets have been sold, they will be released as individual tickets just two weeks before each show.  I suspect that each screening will be a sell out, so a season tickets sounds a great way of ensuring you get a seat.

I asked my wife is she would like me to buy us a season ticket in the back row for old times sake, but as you may imagine she did not get too excited about the idea.  So, it looks like I will be sitting at the back with ‘Bert’ my imaginary friend, a big bag of popcorn and giant hot dog!

To see the programme of films coming to the village, please click on the image below.

To buy your Season Ticket, please visit:

Click image to enlarge

Murray James releases single

We may be on the verge of having a real life pop star in the village.  Milford on Sea born Murray James has his first single due for release on 9th October.

Murray draws on soul, reggae and hip hop influences and combines them with his unique lyrical insight.  Writing his own material, he is also currently working with Producer Dan Grech Marguerat (The Vaccines, Scissor Sisters), on his debut album for the iconic Deconstruction label.

You can watch Murray’s new single ‘Protect Me’, by just clicking here:

You can also hear a preview or pre-order Murray’s Debut 4-track EP 'Protect Me' here:
Milford on Sea born Murray James was nominated for a Q Award as the ‘Next Best Thing’ in 2010, and also dubbed ‘a superstar’ by The Sun.   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 sell-out crowd at Watford FC’s Vicarage Road Stadium in May 2010.
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.

I broke them!

You may notice as you read old news stories, or view events in the Milford on Sea Community Calendar, that a lot of the pictures have been cleverly replaced with a ‘black box & warning circle’.  This is because your resident idiot has managed to destroy all of links to the original images.

Whilst I take complete blame for fiddling with settings needlessly, I would still like to the designer responsible at Picasa to be tied to a chair and covered with lumpy custard, whilst he explains why the system does not offer a warning of what happens when a moron changes album settings!

To explain, if you use Google Picasa Web Album’s you can set the ‘viewing properties’ on each album.  What I did not know was, if you change the properties of an album, each ‘url address’ on every image also changes.  You would think that if you changed the setting back, the original ‘url address’ would reappear, but oh no, you get another new one!  The consequence of this is that any link you have made to those images is lost forever.  Thinking about is, perhaps ‘url’ actually stands of ‘unique reference lost!’.

So there you have it, if you use Picasa Web Albums and link to images anywhere else, change the ‘album settings’ at your peril!

Ah well, I only have over 1000 image which now have broken links, and each has to be re-entered individually.  Fortunately I was looking for something to do over the next year or so!

Things could be worse I suppose, and at least it is not raining.  Ah, yes it is!

Bench Disappears

It appears that some little loves have amused themselves by nicking a bench from Studland Common. The bench had previously been in the middle of the area of the Pleasure Grounds in Milford on Sea and was a popular meeting place for dog walkers.

As it is extremely unlikely the bench will be recovered or mysteriously replaced in the dark of night, many local people feel that it is important to replace the seat.  Stepping up to the plate is Milford on Sea resident, Amanda Tanner, who has started a campaign to raise the funds for a replacement. The Parish Council have estimated it will cost £300, so Amanda has set about trying to raise the funds.

We know times are tough, but if you are willing to donate, contributions can be put through Amanda’s door (at Woodside, Pless Road) or dropped into Hugh Whitlock’s office, clearly marked “Bench”.  Alternatively please contact Amanda Tanner on 01590 645119, or

Lionel’s up in the air

We have heard that Lionel Illgner is jumping out of a plane.  Rather him than me!  Lionel & his wife Nici, are busy people in the village, running three Milford on Sea businesses, ‘Hardware@Milford’ (the shop that has everything for home DIY jobs!) and ‘Jaws & Paws & Claws’ (the pet shop) in the village, they also own the bed & breakfast at Carrington Farmhouse Cottage. 

My wife tried to organise a ‘Skydive’ for me once, but when she realised I would be given a parachute she lost interest. 

Anyway, Lionel’s Charity Tandem Skydive is on the 25th September, and in aid of Leukaemia Busters.  I f you fancy chipping in a pound or two I know he would be very grateful.  If you want to donate, you can do so here:

Tel: 01590 641684

A new Zest in the village

We heard of a new business in the village this week.  Zest Services have been set up by a young local couple who live MIlford on Sea.  Carley & Andy are now offering home cleaning, or domestic help services to local people.  To keep things simple all round they have a fixed price structure, and to give additional value they have a loyalty scheme which offers ‘freebie’ services for continued custom.  In addition to cleaning, they also undertake other services as well (for example ironing, washing, shopping, gardening, basic handyman services etc), as well as commercial cleaning  for Offices and shops, etc.

Andy said “We aim to give a high quality service that customers are happy with and will tell their friends about.  We would be happy to offer your readers a 10% discount on their first clean and with our already low rates, that is great value."

If you would like to find out more about Zest Cleaning, their prices & offers, please take a look at their website. | Tel: 07543 294830

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Milford Beach Sign Mystery

We received a report this week that the ‘Tourist Information Sign’ in Sea Road car park contained a picture of a strange beach. Naturally I felt compelled to investigate, but not compelled enough to go and look myself. Instead I cajoled my long suffering friend in to yet another favour, by asking him if he would take a picture of the sign for me.

Although he agreed, like myself he also couldn’t be bothered to go into the village to look. He did however take a picture of the ‘Tourist Information Sign’ at The Needles Eye Café. (Where no doubt he had popped in for a fried breakfast he shouldn’t be eating.)

click image to enlarge
The picture of the sign was soon on my desk, and on taking a look I could see no problem with the picture of the beach at all. I duly went back to the whistle-blower who had given me the information in the first place, to be told the other sign is different. If she had worked out that I was too lazy to look for myself, she was far too polite to say anything.

Back to square one, I now needed a Plan B. It had also now become a personal challenge to resolve this without leaving my desk. I considered asking my wife to participate in the research, but as a policeman’s daughter, she already knew the current progress on this case, and simply suggested I got off my ample rear to look myself. (Her actual words were slightly different.) Undeterred, and immune to insults, I called my friend again. My luck was in, as he was going to buy a newspaper, so within the hour I had a picture of the Sea Road car park tourism sign. Yep, my informant was right, a picture of a beach, but certainly not Milford on Sea beach.

So, there we have it. A unknown beach on one of our tourist signs, and a confused and clueless reporter at this desk. I will do my best to sleep whilst this sand based mystery remains unresolved, but be assured, as soon as someone can explain the whole affair without me having to leave my desk, you will be the first to know.


Guess the Beach Competition

If you have any idea where the mystery beach may be, please ‘Add a comment’ below. I fully expect some ridiculous comments and look forward to providing some suitably ridiculous replies!

Katie's talent shines

Katie Gates, a local girl born & bred in from Milford on Sea (and also daughter of our Village butcher, David Gates from The Butchers Shop) has been given the big thumbs up by judges at the Open Mic UK auditions. Along with other impressive acts, Katie has made it through to the Regional Finals and will now be performing at the live showcases of Open Mic UK 2011.

Open Mic UK 2011 is an exciting national talent competition which searches for the UKs best singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists of all genres who perform either covers or original material.
One contestant who has evidently caught the judge’s eye is local talent  Katie Gates, now competing for a place in the National Final at The O2 in London and the chance to grab a breakthrough recording contract. Thousands of hopefuls entered nationwide and hundreds of auditionees queued patiently on the day for their turn to impress the judges. The overall winner of Open Mic UK 2011 will be offered a recording contract, with up to £30, 000 investment! They’ll also have the opportunity to tour across the UK.

Good luck Katie, it would be great to have a new recording star from Milford on Sea!
Listen to Katie on her Facebook page:!/pages/Katie-Gates-Open-Mic-Regional-Finalist-2011/270225002995869

The Marine makes the Good Food Guide

Yet another Milford on Sea restaurant has made its mark on the National culinary scene.  The Marine Restaurant & Bar on the seafront in Hurst Road has been awarded an entry in ‘The Good Food Guide 2012’.  This is an excellent accolade for a restaurant that only open around one year ago.  All entries in the guide are based entirely on readers' recommendations and inspection reports, so congratulations are certainly in order.  Owner Richard, Head Chef Sam, and all of the rest of The Marine team must be extremely proud.
Every day it feels that Milford on Sea is fast becoming a ‘foodies heaven’.  Along with Verveine winning the ‘Hampshire Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Chef of the Year’, we also have the exciting new French restaurant ‘La Perle’, the constant high quality & AA Rosette Westover Hall Hotel & Park Lane Restaurant, the deliciously spicy Zaika Indian Restaurant, The Britannia Thai Restaurant with authentic dishes, plus the many fine pubs and cafes all serving great food to suit any taste or budget.  If there are still eating places in the village you have yet to try, go on… treat yourself to a great meal!

Carol Singers Wanted

Jan Rook at Seahorses Community Playgroup is looking for some carol singers to appear at the Seahorses Christmas Fair. 

The Fair takes place from 10am to 12 noon at the Community Centre on Saturday the 10th of December.  Along with the stalls, coffee, cakes and Father Christmas she would love for a choir or some gifted amateurs to sing some carols for the visitors.  If you & a group of friends fancy giving the day a special festive feel please get in touch with Jan.

Seahorses Community Playgroup | Jan Rook | 07801 624324

New Fundraising idea for clubs & charities

Gary Price, local businessman, and editor of The Barton Bugle, has launched ‘Peel2Save’, which is a new fundraising idea for charities, schools, clubs, churches, youth groups and other non-profit organisations to raise much needed money.

The Peel2Save fundraising card is full of local discounts and savings from more than 20 businesses including Westover Hall Hotel, Verveine, Westover Hall, La Perle, The Marine, South Lawn Hotel, Smuggler's Arms, Brittania Thai, Sears Barbers, Bon Appetit and New Seasons Florists.
Elliotts of Lymington, The Mill at Gordleton and Vitality Day Spa in New Milton.  Basically, the fundraiser sell the cards for £10 each and get to keep £5 from every card sold.
Gary aims aim to raise £50,000 for New Forest groups in his first year with this project.
If you would like to find out more, Gary is running a presentation at 41 Farm Lane South, Barton on Sea on Wednesday 14th September between 12noon-2pm or Thursday 22nd September between 7pm-9pm.  If you would like to go along, please let him know.

Be a part of the ‘Big Wildlife Garden’

Everyone has the opportunity to help create the UK’s largest nature reserve from today – with the launch of the ‘Big Wildlife Garden’ (BWG) competition.  The competition is being run by The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society, with funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Big Wildlife Garden competition encourages everyone to do some wildlife gardening on their doorstep.  Anyone is eligible to take part – including individuals, communities, businesses and schools – and no space is too small to be transformed; be it a window box, school playing field or retail park in a town, city or in the countryside.  There are six categories and entry is free via the BWG website 

It is hoped that, through showcasing some of the best wildlife gardens in the UK, the competition will inspire everyone to take action and turn their gardens into wildlife havens; a great way of getting active and fit.

Natalie Rogers, Wildlife Information Officer for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust says "Gardens are vitally important for wildlife and create a patchwork of habitat for local plants and animals. The Wildlife Trust's 'Living Landscapes' vision involves linking up habitats to conserve nature, and gardens will play an important role in this. Hampshire and the Island have some wonderful wildlife gardens so please enter the competition to show the UK how fabulous our two counties are for wildlife!"

Entries for the BWG competition can be submitted now. The competition closes on Sunday 20 May 2012.  Prizes include a wildlife gardening masterclass at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where the prize-giving ceremony will take place, along with membership of the Wildlife Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society.

The BWG website contains top wildlife gardening tips and links entrants to a community of gardeners throughout the UK, with a facility to view BWG entries in their locality.  It also includes a ‘My Garden’ page where information about gardens can be uploaded and stored.  To find out more visit the BWG website

To find out more about Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust see

Friday, 2 September 2011

Police Alert for Mum's

Milford on Sea Police Alert: On 29th August a male possibly of Asian appearance was seen driving a silver Vauxhall Corsa, stopping in a quiet residential area and giving sweets to a young boy.

Please be aware of children's safety and report anyone acting suspiciously.  Also, please pass this information on to any Mum’s with young children you may know.

Andy Brown | PCSO 13355
Safer Neighbourhoods Team | Lymington Police Station | SO41 9GH

External Tel: 0845 045 45 45
Mobile Tel: 07901102272 

Have you seen any nude sunbathers recently?

At last, a bright sunny summer day welcomed my early awakening in glorious Milford on Sea. Having walked & fed the dogs, I was waiting for my wife to arise from her slumbers to let me know what I was doing today. As I patiently waited for her dreams of me to cease, I thought it might be interesting to find out a bit more about our Milford on Sea village beaches from my friends at Google. I started with ‘Paddys Gap’ and identified a ‘smuggling connection’. Point noted to research at a later time. I then did a search for ‘Taddiford Gap’. As some of you may know there is a Second World War pillbox on the cliff top, and during World War 2 the gap was 'plugged' with the concrete obstacles commonly known as 'dragons teeth'. There are still a few remains of the anti-tank defences (dragons teeth), some of which have now fallen to the beach from the eroding cliffs. 

A bit more delving and I found out a bit more than I had expected. Oooo, it appears I had found an unofficial local nudist beach! I felt like Kojak when he had just latched onto an unexpected case, other than I was eating a KitKat rather than a lollipop. I obviously now had a choice, continue looking into information about the local beaches, or research the nudist bit a little more. I think you probably know what I decided.

I have to say, on previous walks on Taddiford Gap beach I had never seen any exposed ‘wobbly bits’. I can’t make up my mind if I was fortunate or not, however my intrepid research needed to continue. One web search revealed the statement that: ‘Taddiford Gap is an unofficial naturist beach. The area to the west of the access point is much favoured by nudists. Naturists might also learn something about wildlife in the area’. Good point, I suppose a bit of bird watching whilst nude sunbathing can be educational. 

I also found out that a couple of years ago the British Naturism website was requested to remove the beaches location from their directory of naturist beaches. The request had been made by Longdown Management Ltd, on behalf of the landowners of this beach (The Trustees of the Barker-Mill Discretionary Trust.) Reading one of the web entries, I have to say I did giggle immaturely when they mentioned the ‘Pay & Display’ car park! Why is it that any beach with a name containing ‘Gap’, and an association with nudists, just gets me sniggering like a five year old.

Milford on Sea of course need more signs on the seafront, so how about one saying; ‘Attention: Nude bathing is prohibited, but encouraged’.
Now, I have never been, or even knowingly known a naturist, so to find out more I felt we had to visit to research the beach in person. I suggested to my wife that we should go ‘under cover’ to blend in. I have never seen her so horrified! Her complexion changed from warm pink to stark white, her mouth dried in front of my eyes and she wobbled as if her legs were about to give way. It was obvious this plan was not going to work.

Oh well, I would need to diet before going anyway. So for now, I think I will pop down to Boots for a heavy duty body razor and some sun cream oil in preparation for next summer.

All Total Voice Need is Love

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Total Voice, our very own Milford on Sea village choir are holding a very special charity concert on the 15th October.  The concert will be a celebration of songs about love and friendship with performances from the adult and children's choirs as well as solos and smaller groups. 

The concert is being held to raise money towards parental rooms at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton.  Choir leader Christine Mulgrew said "The charity we are supporting is very close to my heart as the Neonatal Unit took care of my little boy Archie who was born in February this year.  Archie was in the unit for just a few days before coming home with us but the care we received was outstanding and I really wanted to do something to say thank you.  I also know there are other families within the choir whose children or grandchildren have been taken care of by the Neonatal Unit at Princess Anne Hospital so it means a lot to us.  Do come along and support us, as ever we promise a night of great songs and performances packed with fun and enthusiasm.”

The Princess Anne Hospital provides specialist care to around 600 sick term and pre term (premature) new born babies a year from Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole, Chichester, Dorchester, Basingstoke, Isle of Wight, Salisbury, Winchester and the Channel Islands - with such a wide-spread 'catchment' many parents do not have the option to go home.  The Neonatal Unit has already raised £75,000 towards a new suite of parental rooms, Christine aims to bring them even closer to their £100,000 target.

Christine is also looking for sponsors, raffle prizes and donations.  Perhaps you have a Beach Hut and would be willing to offer a week’s use for a raffle prize?  Maybe you could take someone out on your boat?  Ideally she would like some unusual raffle prizes that people would really, really want, as well as the delicious meals from our lovely local restaurants!  So if you fancy getting involve please drop her an e-mail.

Total Voice are also performing a concert for the RNLI on Sat 24th September in the Community Centre.

Tickets are now on sale at Gwen’s in the High Street and buying one will give you a great night out, whilst doing good for those less fortunate.


If you are able to help with any of the above please contact Christine Mulgrew on 07824 388263, or email:  |

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Michelle joins Gardening Magazine

Michelle Wheeler is a local Milford on Sea resident and young mum, who has landed a new job as a weekly garden writer with Amateur Gardening magazine.  As you might expect Michelle is a keen gardener with a great knowledge. 

She trained at Sparsholt College in RHS qualifications, and then worked at Fairweathers for a while.  Before her latest career adventure, she had worked at River Cottage in Devon in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall kitchen garden.  

Michelle lives with her family in Keyhaven Road, and her ever expanding garden has made an interesting visit for many during Milford on Sea Food Week.  The variety of herbs, vegetables and plants is impressive, particularly as she grows them in this unforgiving seaside environment.  Michelle really enjoys writing about gardening and is always be on hand to give advice to people in the village.  She is now just waiting from some decent rain to do some more planting, and looking forward to welcoming more visitors at next year’s Food Week.

8,000 year old Solent wood & string

They say you learn something new every day, well today I learnt two things.  First, I learnt that my wife goes apoplectic if I put my finger in the middle of her mouth as she is yawning.  Secondly, I discovered that The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology (HWTMA) have been carrying out internationally important excavations and research of the submerged prehistoric site of Bouldnor Cliff in the Solent.   Bouldnor Cliff is 11 metres below the surface and approximately 250 metres offshore of Bouldnor, near Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight and lies within the Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation.

Excavations have been ongoing at Bouldnor Cliff since the Mesolithic settlement was first identified in 1999, when a lobster was seen throwing Stone Age worked flint tools from its burrow.  Since then the site has yielded numerous secrets, including the oldest piece of string and more than a quarter of all the worked Mesolithic timber that has ever been recovered in this country.  The material so far recovered has already demonstrated that the technology of the era was 2,000 years ahead of what archaeologists previously believed.  Trust director Garry Momber outlined that ‘Bouldnor is one of the most important Middle Stone Age sites in the world’.

The fast flowing tidal conditions of the Solent pose numerous problems for archaeologists working at Bouldnor, and several new techniques have been developed to make work easier.  These have included ‘Box Sampling’ which allowed sections of seabed to be lifted in a case and excavated on dry land. In addition, earlier this year, divers managed to lay a line between two parts of the site that lie 450 metres apart. This finally links numerous excavation areas along the underwater cliff face using what is probably the longest underwater archaeological base line in the world.

The site is constantly being eroded by the Solent’s tides and the HWTMA continue to monitor the site and to undertake rescue recoveries and excavation when significant material is under threat.  This year is no exception and further survey, sampling and recoveries will be undertaken by diving archaeologists between the 5 – 9 September.

I am still a bit bemused as to how Mesolithic man lived under the sea, and why a lobster decided to use flint tools.  However, this may be a piece of learning I will need to leave for another day.

Further information:
The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology (HWTMA) is a charitable Trust that seeks to promote and preserve maritime archaeology around the country, but particularly in the South.  More information can be found on