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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Big Beach Clean Up

Join the fight against marine litter by taking part in the MCS Big Beach Clean-up this Saturday.

Over 110 beaches across the UK and Ireland are going to see volunteers coming together to do a beach clean and litter survey which will highlight the issues of beach litter around our coastlines.

The Milford on Sea beach clean and survey will last a couple of hours, leaving the rest of the day free for you to enjoy the beach. Everyone welcome.

What to bring: Water, Gloves and Suitable clothing.

Beach leader: Lymington M&S store team

Additional information: The beach clean will start at 2pm, so please arrive a few minutes beforehand.

Meeting place: In the car park next to the Milford on Sea Parish Council Bowling Green

Register here: or just turn up on the day.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Top Marks at School

Youngsters in Milford Pre-School appear to be benefiting from a great start in life. The local Milford on Sea school they attend has recently had their Ofsted Inspection, and they have come through with flying colours.

Milford Pre-School achieved the highest level ‘1 Grade’ in each measured category, with the statement that ‘This provision is outstanding.’ Current & future mum's and dad's must be very pleased what the school is doing for their kids'.

To view the full report please click here, and then click on the PDF Document as indicated below.

Milford Pre-School PlusLymington Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0RF
Tel: 01590 644684 |

Have Your Say!

The Parish Council are holding their third Community Engagement Event  this Friday & Saturday to present an update and to collect views on the Neighbourhood Plan.

A number of landowners have come forward with deliverable sites for development and you are now being asked for your preferences.

You will be able to see where the sites are located and learn about the potential for sustainability development of each site. You can talk to Steering Group members, make comments and raise your concerns and issues. At the event you can take your time to study the alternatives and then record your preferences anonymously and return your survey form to the Parish Office by Friday 24th May.

All the choices received by Friday 24th May will be used by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to prepare a multi-site proposal. Naturally some preferred sites might fit into a multi-site solution better than other preferred sites. The final proposal will be recommended to the Parish Council to go forward to our June Community Engagement Event.

Neighbourhood Plan  | Community Engagement Event
Friday 26th April between 2pm and 7pm and again on Saturday 27th April between 9am and 3pm. Venue: Community Centre, Sea Road, MoS.

They will then be holding their fourth Community Engagement Event in June and you will be asked to decide which you prefer: the Parish Council’s multi-site development or the District Council’s single site development (MoS1).

Neighbourhood Plan | Community Engagement Event
Friday 21st June between 2pm and 7pm and again on Saturday 22nd June between 9am and 3pm. Venue: Community Centre, Sea Road, MoS.

The website will carry information about the sites and how to record your preferences from Friday 26th April.

Further information on the Neighbourhood Plan can be found at

Other local events:

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

New Tourist Information in Village

Next time you visit The Village News in Milford on Sea High Street you will see a new Local Information Point.

The information service is organised by New Forest National Park, and Mark now has an attractive wooden sign outside, together with a well stocked rack of brochures of local attractions, days out and places of interest across the New Forest. He also has a full range of maps.

Naturally, this with be of great interest to our visitors, holidaymakers and tourists, but it will also be of use to local people in the village looking for ideas for a day out.

click image to enlarge
Mark as always, is looking to do something extra, he will also have a list of local B&B’s Hotels, Self Catering, Camping and places to stay for people not wanting to go home!

He is also happy for local accommodation providers and restaurants to drop in brochures and cards, which he is happy to give out on their behalf.

The new Local Information Point concept follows the demise of the New Forest District Council's TIC's (Tourist Information Centres) in Lymington and Ringwood. The New Forest National Park has selected local shops in nine villages to become places where leaflets and local information may be obtained.

Local Information Point at The Village News
74 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
Tel: 01590 645595

Village Doctor on The Run

I am sure many of you will have seen at least part of the London Marathon last Sunday. What you may have missed, was me running dressed as a Space Alien. The course was hard work, and twenty six miles is certainly a long way in draylon and foam. Fortunately, I did not hit 'The Wall', but I was tempted to slap a running Dustbin who trod on my intergalactic toe. The Dog who tripped the Duck was not so lucky.

The irony was that I was running for the 'UK Mascot Society', and the £7.50 I raised with go towards their planned new 'Mascot Anger Management Programme'.

My time wasn't quite as good as I hoped, as I stopped at each drink station looking for something eat, and my support team had filled my drinks bottles with Scotch & Coke. I had been going well, but then my refreshment meant that it took me over an hour to just zig-zag up The Mall to the finish.

Whilst I was making up this nonsense, one of our local doctors from Milford Medical Centre was running the London Marathon for real.

Dr Charlotte Woodward was running in aid of Prostate Cancer Research, and she completed the course in 4hrs 43 mins, 9 minutes (about an hour behind me), Charlotte's time was an improvement on her previous run.

Charlotte said; "I had a great day, the weather was perfect, the atmosphere amazing & the support from everyone fantastic. Thank you everyone who has sponsored me for such a great cause."

Charlotte has raised about £2000 so far, and she would like to thank all the patients of Milford Medical Centre who have sponsored her.

It is not too late to show your support for Charlotte and her great causes. If you can spare a few quid please sponsor her here:

Saturday, 20 April 2013

MiCo & Milford Memories

click image to enlarge
Whilst we prefer not to cover forthcoming events in this blog (as they are all detailed in & it would take most of my life to mention them all in here!), we do think this one deserves a special mention.
The local kids from MiCo (Milford Community Organisation) are running an exhibition at St Barbe Museum in Lymington about their project based on the history of Milford and its people. (There is no payment to enter the museum to see MiCO's show)
 Also, on the 18th of May at 11am in the exhibition room some of the MiCO group are putting on a performance: A story of a girl who wishes to leave "boring" Milford for the more 'with it' life of McDonalds, Primark and better phone signal......(they did their research!) She meets a time traveller who takes her on a journey stopping at various points through Milford's past, and gently convinces her that Milford is much more interesting than she thought!
The exhibition will travel into Milford in June, firstly at the school, and then from the 10th to the 30th of June into the Community Centre.
The group are also doing smaller performances for St Georges' residents and Milford School children.
The children from across the village have gone to lot of effort to put on the show, and it would be great if as many of us from Milford could go along.  I am sure there are displays that will stir a few memories, and others that will tell us things we may not know about our village.
MiCo are also hosting an open tea party next week on Friday 26th April from 3:30pm to 5pm in the Community Centre, anyone is welcome to come in for some cake and tea and a good chat etc etc. The young group organise it themselves and will be baking up some treats.....

St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, New Street, Lymington, SO41 9BH

Friday, 19 April 2013

A Job in a Cave

As new business venture takes shape at The Cave in the village centre, an enthusiastic team is being assembled, who love wine and giving customers a great experience.
The owner/host, Jon Crouch, is also looking for some more people to join his team as:
Full-time or Part-time Bar Team Staff
Part-time Wine Retail Assistant

If, you, or anyone you know, may be interested please contact Jon on: or call 01590 64219

I did apply, but I 'was deemed not suitable'. Apparently, 'The job did not involve tasting every bottle, and I could not be trusted to not drink all the stock'. Charming.

The Cave is an exciting new concept in enjoying wine. Situated opposite the picturesque Milford on Sea village green, there will always a warm welcome whether you are looking to taste, buy, learn, or simply enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or even coffee with friends. They also have gift vouchers for a present with a difference.

The Cave will be open seven days a week and if you have a taste for good wine, or beer, please pop in - there is plenty to browse and enjoy. Take a look at the website to find out more, or to register for the Newsletter or join the free Wine Club, please visit:

The Cave
2 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH
Tel: 01590 64219 |

How to paint a lighthouse

The Hurst Castle team have been on the telly again!

This time they featured in the BBC2 programme 'Coast' on Wednesday 10th April 2013. The guys from the castle had been filmed leaving Keyhaven Quay with a couple of their boats to put the painters on the Needles lighthouse.

This was actually filmed two years ago, but it takes time for the show to make it to our TV screens.

It may not be so well known that Hurst Ferries have the Trinity House contracts for the day to day maintenance of the Needles and Hurst Point lighthouses which is certainly an interesting job, alongside running both the Hurst Ferry and Hurst Castle.
Sean, Mary and Jason do not however take responsibility for the Needles Lighthouse fog horn keeping people awake!
What the show did not broadcast, was me, (in my rather tight luminous dungarees, which got several funny looks from the film crew and fellow painters) leaping 'gazzelle like' from the boat onto the Needles rocks. I then free-climbed up the outside of the lighthouse, racing the guys using the stairs to get to the top.
As I waited for them to arrive, I enjoyed the view, whist eating one of those tasty samosas from Hollands. My brand new set of brushes from Milford Hardware were poised, eager to get to work.
As we abseiled down the giant 'barbers pole' splashing paint in all directions, the boys decided they did not like the rather fetching shade of cerise paint I was applying. Apparently, the lighthouse was supposed to remain red & white. As I protested that a change of colour would be appreciated by the people from the shore, the rest of team did not agree, which they demonstrated by unclasping my harness. 
It is surprising how high the lighthouse is, which is particularly noticeable when you are falling past it at around 100mph.  As I swam to shore two things crossed my mind, firstly, it was time I gave up painting, and secondly, I did not know the difference between tight luminous dungarees and a mankini!
If only that last paragraph was true it would have made a good episode. My wife reckons I have better face for radio though.

Hurst Castle & Ferry
A short relaxing boat ride, or for the more energetic, a walk along the shingle Hurst Spit, however you get there, it is worth the visit!.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Meet new people in the CAFE

Our research department, (me & Taz), has heard of social organisation called The Coast and Forest Events Group (CAFE), which is a group within Meetup. The group is based in Milford on Sea and currently has 97 CAFE Go-ers.

Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups, and they makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group. More than 9,000 groups get together worldwide in local communities each day, each one with the goal of enjoying themselves or improving their communities.
This Meetup group is aimed at people who live in or around the southern, coastal part of the New Forest. It sets out to help members perk up each other's social lives, by making the most of the excellent leisure facilities and venues we have here locally, right on our doorstep.
If you are 'Mid-Life' and maybe find yourself unexpectedly single, there are times when you probably feel like going out to see a film or play or to a comedy night, for a meal, for a walk, for a drink, or even just for a coffee. There's lots to do, but it's not so much fun on your own. This could be the group for you.
They have a website where member post events and activities, and find other people who would like to go along. The group offers friendship and, mostly-inexpensive, local social activities (pub quizzes, meals, walks, live music, a drink at a country pub on a Sunday evening) - while also keeping an eye out for bigger local events, as well as those in Bournemouth, Southampton and beyond for when people feel like making the extra effort!
People of any age and location are welcome, but please bear in mind that most events may take place within an area roughly Lyndhurst to Lymington, Christchurch to Calshot, or close by, and that activities will be focused on the age range 45+.
While most members will be single, the group is open to sociable singles and non singles alike, living in the south of the New Forest or surrounding areas, and especially to those who want to actively contribute event ideas to the group! So, if you wish to meet new people, this sounds a good group to join.

CAFE Meet up is non-profit-making, and exists solely to help its members have Fun! The organisers give their time voluntarily, and reserve the right to exclude from membership anyone they believe intends to use the group for purposes other than …. Fun! Group running costs (website, admin etc) will be covered by a charge of up to £1, collected by the organiser, when you attend an event.
To join or find out more, please visit:


Scouts Afloat

We have received a rather nice message from the Milford and Keyhaven Sea Scouts, who are thrilled to announce the arrival of 4 new dinghies on Monday to kick start the sailing season.

These dingies have been purchased thanks to the excellent support of the local community at a number of fundraisers, such as; the Community Centre’s First Friday Lunch Clubs, where the WI kindly donated the proceeds of their raffle, The Milford on Sea Music Festival Committee and Waitrose green token scheme.  They have also been fortunate to have been in the thoughts of members of our community that have supported them in their Wills and donations rather than flowers

The Sea Scouts have also been brilliantly supported by Topper International, who gave a substantial discount on the dingies to enable the troop to get on the water this season.

The troop leaders are now able to provide our local young people with an opportunity to learn to sail in our beautiful coastal area. The colony offers scouting skills for a whole range of ages groups, which can only be acheive through enthusiastic volunteers.

For the small group running and working with the Sea Scouts, it is quite an achievement to have raised the level of funds that they have, and the generosity of the village just goes on. They send their heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped them along the way.
The Sea Scouts can never have enough support or volunteers, so if you would like to join them any areas such as; fundraising, organising the weekly meetings, hut maintenance or have invaluable skills in camping, kayaking, sailing or powerboating they would love to hear from you.
If you would like to help, please contact: Amy Cullen on or pop in to see Nigel Harper at Milford Models and Hobbies.

Having reached this excellent milestone, the fundraising is not yet over, as they would still like to purchase some new trollies, a safety boat and general sailing equipment.  
To continue the fundraising, they are holding another event, this time 'An Evening of Sea Shanties' on Friday 10th May at the Village Community Centre. Tickets can be purchased from the Community Centre Box Office or at

This could be my big moment..........
Thinking about it, I consider myself to be a bit of an 'old sea dog', as I have been across to the Isle of Wight on the ferry more than once, and was once master of a hire boat on the River Stour for over an hour. (Why we were late back to the hire point is another story.) 

I have heard that the Sea Shanty evening will feature some 'professional singers', but I am sure that it would be greatly enhanced if I took centre stage for a couple of 'shanties'.  To prepare I have been rehearsing in the bathroom, in spite of my wife banging on the door asking me to be quiet. (They were not her exact words!)  I have to say, the more rum I drunk, the better my singing got.

Having got my set perfected, my wife insists that 'Michael row you boat ashore', 'Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside', and Rod Stewart's 'I am sailing' are not sea shanties. My wife has never captained any sort of boat, so I am not sure how she would know? Sometimes I wonder who the master is in our house.
Ah, my wife has just reminded me, ....she is.

Cook Steak at The Granary

To celebrate their recent refurbishment, Local Cookery School, The Granary Kitchen have launched a 'Buy 1, Get 1 Half Price' offer.

The offer takes place on Saturday 27th April, and if you take a friend to the Morning session of their Cooking the Perfect Steak Cookery School - and you only pay £20!

I am trying to convince Christian to run a course on perfecting Beans on Toast, but he think that is a bit too simple. Easy for him to say, he should see my kitchen covered in splashes of tomato sauce and cremated toast when my wife leaves me to fend for myself!

If you fancy booking the Steak Course please click here or e-mail:

The Granary Kitchen
The Granary, Newlands Manor Farm, Lymington, SO41 0JH
01590 673040 |


It’s good to care

Milford Community Care Group are looking for people happy to help some people in the need across the village.

Milford Community Care Group are a team of village volunteers who assist local people with transport to medical & dental appointments. 
The group are looking for anyone who is happy to contribute a few hours a month, in particular, taking phone calls in the office from villagers who need one of our volunteer drivers to transport them to medical appointments.
If you would prefer to be a volunteer driver, new people are always welcome to help out.
Becoming a volunteer for Milford Community Care Group also gives you a chance to meet lots of new people, and give someone a helping hand along the way.
If you have a little time you can give, please contact Wendy, on 01590 642882, or Val or Mike on 01590 645948. 

Milford Community Care Group
Winners of the 2012 Achievers Award
Community Centre Office, Sea Road, MoS
Tel: 08456 443628

Hampshire Life with Green Fingers

Milford on Sea Annual Plant Fair is being featured in the May edition of the Hampshire Life magazine.
During spring and summer the gardens of Milford on Sea spring to life and glorious colour, and the bi-annual 'Open Gardens' even give us all a chance to peek inside some great private home gardens.
The Milford on Sea Annual Plant Fair is organised by Milford Gardeners' Club, and will take place from 8.30am to 1.30pm on Saturday 18th May on the village green.
Not only do the Gardeners' Club meet regulary to talk about gardening, they also arrange outings, and get involved in local horticultural projects, one being maintaining and replanting at the Centenary Copse (by Milford on Sea Bridge) which they look after for the village.
As a aside, have you ever noticed that there is a chiselled out section in Milford on Sea Bridge. This was where the bridge name was once carved. This was removed during WW2, the idea being, that should the German's ever land, it would make it more difficult for them to know where they were. (All road signs across the south were also removed at the same time.)
If you would like to read more about the Milford Gardeners' Club please grab a copy of the Hampshire Life magazine in the Village News Newsagents.

To find out more about Milford Gardeners' Club please visit: or contact: Jenny Spenser, Chairman at

Friday, 12 April 2013

Wildlife Gardens Initiative

Milford Conservation Volunteers have embarked on producing a Wildlife Garden Initiative, as part of the Biodiversity Action Plan for the parish.
This is where wildlife habitats and species important to the area will be summarised, and actions to conserve them agreed. Gardens can provide excellent habitat for wildlife and can be given a helping hand by making a few simple changes to the way we manage them.

This initiative is aimed at getting Milford residents, and of course MCV members actively participating in this project. So whether you have a large, medium or small garden, or even a small window box or a corner of your garden that you are prepared to give over, they can all be modified and made better for wildlife.

Have you got a Tiger in your garden?
Have you seen in your garden any slow-worms, garden tiger moths, stag beetles, or early bumblebees?
Tiger Moth

Do you encourage wildlife to your garden with plants rich in nectar and pollen – especially in early spring and late summer? These do not have to be wild flowers although that helps to bring back disappearing plant species.

Can birds, creepy crawlies, little mammals, etc. find a few small and untidy spots for nesting and hibernation (even if they haven’t used them yet, as far as you know)?

Do you have a fish-free pond or little basin surrounded with plant cover, which might encourage reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies, etc. (they can be quite easy to please)?

Information about what uses your garden is needed to encourage the rest of us make space for wildlife.

The MCV aim to compile and make available a sample of successful Milford on Sea wildlife gardens.
Gardens will not be formally accredited, nor publicised by name or address without your permission, so can remain anonymous, nor will you be under pressure to open yours to the public (although this can be very enjoyable and rewarding), nor will you be press-ganged into conservation working parties!

So if you have a garden that’s good for wildlife, please get in touch with your contact details (Name, E-Mail Address, Tel No. & Home Address), without commitment, and we will arrange to talk with you. If you are looking for new ideas or advice we may be able to help you, free of charge!

Have you seen the Milford Conservation Vounteers webite? It is definately worth and look:  You might even want to join, membership is just £5 per person, with children & students free.
If you would like to join in with the Wildlife Gardens Initiative please contact:
Giles Darvill, Co-ordinator, Milford BAP Wild-life Garden Project. Contact on 01590 642558,, 10 Studland Drive, Milford SO41 0QQ

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Milford Makers are coming

Milford Makers are forming a community of local makers of arts, crafts, jewellery, books, local produce and more…

Milford and the surrounding villages are brimming with local talent and this group has recently been created as a network to support and encourage one another and to promote this talent.

Over the next few months, the Milford Makers will be creating an online directory and website, where you will be able to browse and contact our local makers, and informing you of the great things you can buy as gifts for friends & family, or treats for yourself.

The ‘Milford Makers’ are also planning some events. The first is taking place on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May from 10.30am until 4pm in the Community Centre.

This event will showcase some of the local talent. You can also get involved in a variety of making activities, and MICO will be running fun activities for the children. So please pop in, meet the ‘Milford Makers’.


If you are a local maker of products or produce and want to join the group, or are interested in being involved in the launch event, then Victoria would love to hear from you.

Please email or call Victoria on 07720 842374
or visit for more information.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Cowboys in Milford on Sea

A favourite restaurant in Milford on Sea village is holding another Wild West Party Night.

During last year's Milford on Sea Food Week, The Raft held their first Wild West Party Night, and people really got into the spirit of the events.

As I made my way around visiting various village events that night, the sight of cowboys, indians and squaws strolling the streets was causing a fair amount of amusement and confusion!

One particular guy was meandering in a turban, either had misunderstood the actual theme, or had a weird sense of humour!

There is one sitting for the evening which starts at 7.30pm. After you have dined from an special all American menu, party time starts with Wild West music, and there might even be a bit of line dancing! 

Cowboy & Indian fancy dress is encouraged but optional, with a prize voucher for a Pizza & Glass of Wine for 2 for the best costume. 

Bring your pard'ners!

Tickets are £30pp - To book please call: 01590 645300

Ashtons Shut Doors

Ashtons Estate Agents in Milford on Sea High Street has closed and the village now has another empty retail building.

It is unclear why Ashtons has shut, but with three other estate agents in the village, and the current depressed property market, it is no surprise.

Sarah and her team were always very friendly and supporters of village events, so they will be missed in the village.

As Ashtons was in a prime location and one of the most attractive buildings in the village centre, it is hoped a new business moves in soon. 

So, the village now has 6 empty shops, Gwen's, the old HSBC Bank, Majories Greengrocers, Ashtons, The Salad Bowl and the new building opposite The Smugglers. Wishful thinking would be that a bakers or Chinese restaurant/takeaway move in.  Other ideas, such as a bookies or kebab shop are likely to get less support. 

Personally, I think we should have a shop with internal chocolate walls at 50p per lick, a fountain of beer in the centre and waitresses in roller skates serving plates of curry & pizza.  My wife considers this a bad idea, but she has never run a shop.

It is not all bad news, as one empty building, the previous WineShak/Threshers, is currently going through a complete transformation and a new exciting business 'The Cave' will be with us soon. 

Whatever the future of the empty premises it is hoped they soon contain new people joining our community, and that we all want to shop with them.

New Milton Crafts back

Wooden Pens and Writing Gift Sets, made from materials only grown in Hampshire and Dorset, several Crafters from Milford on Sea, Paintings by local artists, a unique hand-made ceramic kitchen tool and handmade quilts will be among the new craft exhibits on display at the Spring New Milton Crafts 2013 Fair on Saturday 13th April, 2013. 

The start of the third season of New Milton Craft Events is expected to draw large crowds to The New Milton Memorial Centre between 10:30am and 4:00pm. Being the largest indoor venue between Southampton and Bournemouth – The Memorial Centre provides a unique venue for almost 70 stallholders to display their crafts, whilst also providing our visitors with a welcoming and informal atmosphere to peruse the hundreds of items on display. Visitors will also be able to relax and enjoy homemade cakes with hot and cold drinks being available throughout the day. 

The Event on Saturday 13th April, will be the first of three Craft Events this year organised by The New Milton Town Partnership. 

The Memorial Centre will also play host this year to another first for a number of years – with a Two Day Antiques and Collectables Fair being held on Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th July – another event not to be missed in the New Milton Events Calendar.

New Faces at The Red Lion

Having heard that Paul & June had moved on from The Red Lion in the heart of Milford on Sea High Street, it seemed only neighbourly to pop in to meet the new landlords. A warming welcome was immediate from our new mien-hosts, Stuart & Jayne Grieves.

As we chatted, I explained that I whiled away a few hours by doing some local web stuff in the village, fortunately this did not stop them from continuing our friendly chat.

I discovered the Stuart & Jayne were originally from Watford, and had previously lived in New Milton, Stuart working in kitchen fitting and Jayne in the motor trade.  However, Jayne had always fancied running a B&B, and Stuart a pub.  Watching how they welcomed the customers coming into the pub, it was obvious that they enjoyed the company of people, so the perfect new career was having their own pub with rooms.

Jayne explained that they loved a pub to be traditional, as well as a place to eat, so they wanted people to be able to simply enjoy a drink around a welcoming bar.  Being a dog friendly pub, it makes it easy for anyone wishing to slip out for a sneaky pint, simply to pretend they need some exercise and take the dog for a walk to the pub.  If you don't have a dog, perhaps you could borrow one from a neighbour for an hour or so?

As we all know our village is blessed with places to eat, from top class restaurants, cafés and of course the other village pubs, The Smugglers, The White Horse and The Gun Inn. The Red Lion has become know for wholesome homemade 'pub grub' at a great price, and Stuart & Jayne intend to continue to offer great value and tasty dishes.  Everyday there is a changing 'daily special' for £6 and the Sunday roasts are well worth a try at only £10 for two courses.

Over Jayne's shoulder I noticed a bottle of beer.  Not surprising in a pub I guess, but this particular bottle was a Benskins beer brewed to commemorate Watford FC's appearance in the 1984 FA Cup Final. 

The significance of this will mean little to most, but it was evident to me that I was in the company fellow of Watford Supporters.  Stuart and I were soon talking of our experiences following The Hornets, and that our children had even been born in the same hospital right next to the Vicarage Road Stadium.  Having spent many years as a season ticket holder and following the boy's in yellow around the country, my memories were stirred. Normally my Watford FC stories fall on deaf ears, but Stuart was attentive to my recollections of the many exciting away trips my wife & I had enjoyed, my day's out with the Watford legend Luther Blissett, the glorious day at the old Wembley watching Watford return to The Premiership in the Play Off Final, and even the freezing Tuesday evening I spent at Hull, when I was one of only 14 Watford supporters at the game.

Back to the pub. Stuart & Jayne are planning to keep people in the village well entertained.  Only last night they held a successful Charity Quiz Night with a full house having a good time, a bingo evening is also being planned, and Live Music is going to take place every few weeks.  The events below are already booked, so why not put them in your diary, or pop in before that to say hello. 

Saturday 27th April: The Elastic Party Band -
Saturday 25th May: Dog Ruff

These events along with other things happening in the village can be found at:   

The Red Lion
32 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
T: 01590 642236 |

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

40 B4 40-Bluebird

No. 32: Bluebird, Lymington 

As we could not decide where to go and eat with our friends Colin & Tricia, we decided that Tricia could make it a surprise. 

Not only did we not know where we were going, but we did not anticipate we were also going back in time. 

click image to enlarge
A short drive to get there, and then even more miles covered looking for a parking space, we were eventually strolling through the cobbled streets at the foot of Lymington High Street. Charming as ever, but the biting wind had Colin & I walking at a pace not normally associated with our normal stroll. 

Our destination was The Bluebird Restaurant. Having passed by this quaint looking building many times, this was our first visit to dine. 

from the outside the Bluebird displays signs for its various offerings, part café, part restaurant and a B&B. Stepping inside I had visions of the 1980's. The tables & chairs were all made of wood, and the walls adorned with a mish-mash of pictures featuring racing drivers, sea and country scenes. 

A friendly greeting from the waiting team, and we were soon at our table. The laminated menus were certainly reminiscent of a café and the selection not to exciting, however the breakfasts looked good. 

click image to enlarge
The 'Specials Board' provided much more inspiration, with a great selection of fresh fish, homemade dishes, and a homemade pudding menu that was going to create an issue for me when it came to choosing.

It didn't take long for our drinks order to arrive, followed by the rolls, which were OK, but not homemade. The butter was in little foil wraps, a small pet hate of mine.

The food was to prove a lot better than the decor. For our starters my wife and Colin had tasty Calamari with Sweet Chili Mayonnaise, and my Deep Fried Goats Cheese with Pineapple Chutney was spot on. Both dishes came with a salad of mixed leaves, peppers, cucumber and carrot on the side of the plate, which raised a nostalgic smile.

Our main courses arrived and the main ingredients looked as good as they proved to taste. The girls and I had Grilled Whole Dover Sole with Lemon & Parsley Butter, and Grilled Halibut Fillet with Creamed Leak & Saffron Sauce.  Colin, being a major carnivore & offal eater, went for Liver & Bacon.  Each meal was fresh and well cooked.

The fish courses where normally served with new potatoes and vegetables. However, we all fancied chips, and the front of house team were happy to change our order. When the chips were served they were hot, crispy. and everything you want in a chip.  The vegetables were served in individual bowls and instantly bought back memories of how dishes were served a couple of decades ago. I really felt I should have been wearing flares, a tank top and platform shoes. Fortunately Colin was, so he felt right at home.

Time travel aside, the food had been very good and it was now time for sweet.

As much as I was being nice to my wife, offering her all sorts of inducements and even offering to put the bins out, she resolutely insisted she did not want a sweet. Of course, my real point was she ordered one for us to 'share'. On my last pleading attempt, I could see from the steely glint in her eyes that I was a nano-second from getting a fork in the eye.  This development encouraged me to abort my 'dual delight' mission.

It would have been easy to order six or so puddings from the comprehensive list of homemade delights.   However, my wife tends to torture me for several weeks with low fat food if I order more than one, so as a result only two puddings were ordered, but I never got a look in on Tricia's Forest Fruit Pavlova. She has perfected the art of speed eating when dining with me.

I have forgo the Apple & Rhubarb Crumble and creme brulée, and settled for the Chocolate Marquise, which was delicious.  Tricia's pudding was also sweet and tasty, or so I was told.  

As Colin was the day's nominate driver our alcohol intake was less than usual, however that will be rectified next time.  Well, it will be if I can convince my wife to drive.  Looks like I will have to make a concerted effort at a period of good behaviour.  Wish me luck.

5 Quay St Town Centre, Lymington SO41 3AS

If you are wondering what the 40 B4 40 Dining Challenge is all about, please click here and all will be explained.

The Last Train in Milford

Milford on Sea resident and author, Maureen Farenden has just published her latest novel, The Last Train. 

Below is an extract for the book that will give you a flavour of the story: 

All aboard, one stop only, destination unknown,’ announces the Conductor, smiling an eerie, almost sinister sneer as the train departs. And so the nightmare journey begins… Six strangers’ lives will unfold as the phantom train travels into the abyss and they discover that each of them possesses a ticket that is stamped ONE WAY ONLY – NO RETURN JOURNEY. Who amongst them has the darkest secret? Be careful what you do in life and how you hide your sins for the LAST TRAIN will always come to collect… Are you brave enough to mount the step, close the carriage door and await the final judgement aboard THE LAST TRAIN? 

Maureen sends her thanks to everyone in the village who supported and read her previous book, The Diary. 

The Last Train, is now available on and can be purchased in e-book and paperback form. 



A Token for the Kids'

The Milford on Sea C.E Primary School have been selected to have a 'Green Box' at Waitrose in Lymington. 

Each month, Waitrose chooses three local charities to support, and donates £1,000 between them, according to how many tokens are in each box. The school has been lucky enough to be chosen as one of this month's charities in their bid to raise £10,000 for an outdoor "Science Hut". The hut will be used by the children to learn first-hand about the subject matter they are studying, while also enjoying the benefits of being in the fresh air. This will support the teachers in helping to deliver the new science curriculum, while also promoting pupils' confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning. 

So, the more green tokens they collect, the more money we will receive! 

Naturally, we would rather encourage you to do your shopping in the village, as it is quite amazing how much you can buy locally and of course every penny spent in our shops maintains the vibrancy of our village community. 

Should you find yourself needing to visit a large supermarket, there is now a good reason to select Waitrose, and if you do, please put your token in Milford on Sea C.E Primary School box.


Talking of local shops, Hollands of Milford’s new website is worth a visit. Not only does it tell you all they offer, but it has a complete range of special offers that are updated on a regular basis. Click here to visit website: