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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Wear Pink for Lunch

This month's First Friday Lunch is supporting The Pink Place charity, and being held in memory of their founder Julia Dingwall.

Julia is the daughter of Sonia Sewell, a stalwart in Milford on Sea volunteer activities.

Sadly, many people & their families have been touched by breast cancer, and The Pink Place is a Hampshire based charity tackling the issue and affects. 

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 6th September at 1pm, and everyone is welcome. The cost is £5 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!)


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

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A Privates Story

Local resident Anne Jenks, an organiser with Milford Conservation Volunteers, has found herself to be a unexpected publisher in aid of Help for Heroes.
Private Jenks
Whilst in France during WW1, Anne's husband's father kept a detailed diary which he wrote up when he returned. He also collected postcards from wherever he went and drew one or two diagrams of events.

Anne writes: 'Whilst going through some old papers of my late husband, I came across two brown exercise books, closely filled with immaculate handwriting. I had seen these many years previously, but on re-reading recently, I felt they justified sharing with a wider public.

John Stanley Jenks (1896-1975), known as “Stan”, was my husband’s father and a man of Warrington, Lancashire. Prior to the war Stan Jenks was a railway clerk at Warrington, a post to which he returned when the war was over.

The book is one man’s view of his experience of the First World War in France. During the war he kept a diary and wrote this account on his return. In order to preserve Private Jenks’ personal style and phraseology, I have done very little editing. In my view it is so carefully written and so understated that it brings home the real horrors of war. I suspect it also had a cathartic effect for Private Jenks.'
Anne has dedicated the book to the memory of Private Jenks and of his son, Frank Garnett Jenks and his daughter, Enid Joan Jenks, both now deceased. She also thanks Dr Michael Haisman, also a resident of Milford on Sea, for his proofreading and his encouragement and support throughout.
Setting the Scene
Imagine yourself, 20 years old yesterday, recently conscripted into the British Army and in six weeks time you will be setting off to France to fight in a major war for your country! How do you feel? What will you find? Will you survive? What will you experience?

In our modern world of sophistication and technology it is not easy to understand the austerity suffered by soldiers in the First World War and with such courage and humour.

This diary is a factual account of a young man, going abroad for the first time, as a Private in the British Army at war with Germany in France. It brings home the tragedy, the deprivation and the comradeship experienced by so many in this period of British history.
The Book: Diary of Private John Stanley Jenks
Below highlights the chapter titles, which in themselves provide an evocative expectation of the content.
John served with the 25th division, South Lancashire Regiment, in France from December 4th 1916 to August 11th 1917 and then with the 55th division until February 28th 1919
Chapter 1: On Active Service
Chapter 2: Up The Line
Chapter 3: First Impressions of War
Chapter 4: Trench Warfare in Winter
Chapter 5: Bombs
Chapter 6: Preparations for the Battle of Messines
Chapter 7: With their Backs to the War
Chapter 8: Over the Top and The Best O’ Luck
Chapter 9: Ypres and Fatigues
Chapter 10: Wounded
Chapter 11: Blighty
Chapter 12: Return to Active Service
Chapter 13: Holding the Line
Chapter 14: The Beginning of the End
A Short Excerpt from Chapter 8

'In the dusk we reached the support trenches and in single file moved up to the assembly trenches which lay in No Man’s Land. A shell burst amongst the leaders and two of our company runners were killed and one or two wounded. Eventually we reached our positions and lay in the bottom of the trench awaiting our orders to advance.

What a sensation it was to be sure! There we were, 100 yards from the enemy with his shells bursting very close, waiting for ……….?

What would the morning bring forth? And who would be living to tell the tale two hours hence? It was inevitable that some of us would be killed but I suppose the prevalent feeling was that it would be the other fellow and that at the worst we should be wounded and sent to Blighty.

Midnight! The guns were still roaring on all sides but soon there was an appreciable slacking off. By 1.00 am they began to quieten until within the next hour all that could be heard was an occasional enemy shell bursting near our approaches.'

Get a Copy of the Diary of Private John Stanley Jenks | All proceeds go to Help for Heroes
Anyone who wishes can obtain a copy from Anne on 01590 644316 or It is also available from Inger Lise's, The Village News and Milford News newsagents.
The publisher has recommended a price of £7.95 which is shown on the book.

A Castle Can't Choose Its Friends

At last, I have got around to doing something I have been meaning to do for ages,  I applied for membership of the Friends of Hurst Castle.
My wife of course has lots of friends, I on the other hand, simply embarrass the ones I have, and whilst my wife spends time chatting to hers on Facebook, I have to force people to come to the pub.
Anyway, by becoming Friends, - we now have some new friends.
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Hurst Castle is always worth a visit anytime of year, and you always discover something new. The café also provides a welcome snack, and for me a well earned piece of cake. Naturally the walk along Hurst Spit is for the fit, energetic and some less sound of mind. Personally, in my view the ferry is a much more tranquil journey.

The Friends of Hurst Castle was formed in 1986 to act as a support group to our local historic site belonging to English Heritage. At that time, the Castle was managed by English Heritage, but since May 1996 there has been joint management; with English Heritage still in charge of the fabric of the building and general policies and the local everyday management provided by Hurst Castle Ferries, run by Sean, Mary & Jason Crane.
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The Friends’ are a willing bunch, and they aim to support the castle in any way they can. Some member fully throw themselves in with projects for the enhancement of the building, to assist educationally, and with research. I of course do none of these worthy things, but simply look forward to reading the regular 'Hurst Tiding' Newsletter and attending the social events.
So far this year the events have included a Winter 'Frost Bitters' BBQ, Fish & Chip Cruise, Summer BBQ and Tudor Enactment. (I will be good in a metal helmet with a flaying sword!)

On Saturday 14th September the Friends are organising: 'Concert at the Castle' in the historic WW2 Garrison Theatre. The evening has a Barber Shop quartet "Late Developers", who also sing with the choir "Royal Harmonics", who have entertained the Queen and David Cameron.

Tickets are £16 which includes ferry down from Keyhaven at 6.15pm, entrance to Castle and of course, a return ferry trip. (Tickets available from: Bette Keeping 01590 673985)

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When I applied for membership of the Friends of Hurst Castle I avoided the paper option, and simply made the payment online. Not only was this efficient, but it also makes it harder for them to reject our application now we have paid!

Should our membership sneak through without recognition, Hurst Castle Ferries offer a 10% discount to Members when buying season tickets and free passage to any Friends who are going to work at the Castle. The Friends’ Committee keeps the Ferry crew informed and there is always close liaison here.
The Friends have a workshop at the far end of the West Wing for leaving belongings, tools, artefacts, etc. and for holding meetings. There is also a BBQ facility for members' use on arrangement with the Committee.
Also each Monday there is a Volunteer Working Party. This is a regular group of Friends and Association of Lighthouse Keepers members who volunteer at the Castle every Monday, working on restoration projects & enjoy a social get together. (Free ferry and tea to all volunteers!).
If you fancy joining the Friends of Hurst Castle you can find more information by clicking here.
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The Garrison Theatre 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 galvanised 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.
Friends of Hurst Castle click here
Annual Membership: Single member £12 - Couples £19
Contact: Barry Fudge (Treasurer) - 01590 641154 -

RNLI Rescue Draws Crowds

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Pictures by Michael Pruden
On Bank Holiday Sunday, hundreds of visitors flocked to Milford on Sea Beach to watch the annual combined RNLI Search & Rescue Exercise with The Needles as a backdrop. (Royal National Lifeboat Institute.)

Children and adults alike were thrilled as the lifeboats went about a number of mock rescues, and the helicopter hovered, whilst the whinchman descended and then took his 'patient' back up to safety.

The exercise involved inshore lifeboats from Mudeford and Lymington, together with the Yarmouth boat and the Coastguard helicopter.

Milford on Sea's active and enthusiastic fundraising team were again in action, and the appreciative crowd generously contributed to the collection buckets. An impressive £1065 was raised, and when combined with souvenir sales of £673, it means a large cheque is on its way to RNLI headquarters at Poole.

If you are interested in joining the RNLI Milford on Sea Branch, and getting involved with a fun group of people, enjoying a variety of events, whilst at the same time raising some cash of a worthy cause, please drop me an e-mail at:, and I will pass it on.

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Pictures by Michael Pruden


Monday, 26 August 2013

New Forest Tour Success

At the beginning of this year summer season, the New Forest Tour Buses extending their routes and added a New Blue Route exploring the coast at Milford on Sea, Keyhaven and Barton on Sea, as well as holiday parks, campsites and attractions such as New Forest Cider at Burley.
Press articles have recently announced that the Blue Route is now the most popular of the three.
It was also reported that passenger numbers doubled across all theree tour in the first eleven days, with a total of 2,806 passenger journeys were made on the Red, Green and Blue Routes compared to 1,695 last year.

More people coming to Milford on Sea has to be good for all of our local traders, and it proves that the New Forest coastline is a valuable attraction to Forest visitors.

New Forest Tour

Sunday, 25 August 2013


The GREAT DINING BUS is capturing the imagination of foodies, attracting locals and people from far afield alike.
We are thrilled with the positive feedback we have received, and the last three tours has seen diners enjoy each tasty course in a different village restaurant.  
The future is also looking bright, with two of the forthcoming tours already sold out. One of them has been entirely booked by a group from outside of the village celebrating a birthday.
Over the Christmas period there will be 3 Dining Tours taking place. So, if you fancy giving someone a Christmas present they will really enjoy, why not book them a ticket. click here.  If like me you are hapless man, it removes the pain of what to buy as a gift. Even better, it is a great excuse to get together with some friends for a special lunch out.
There are two tickets left for Saturday 7th September if you are feeling spontaneous! click here


The Great Dining Bus Tours

The Great Dining Bus is perfect as a treat, a gift, for spending time with friends, special celebrations, anniversaries, birthdays, or just a great excuse to enjoy a unique dining experience whilst savouring great food in excellent restaurants.
In addition to the Great Dining Bus (37.50pp), there is also a Strolling Dining Tour (£32pp), and a Spice Tour (£24pp).

These other two tours give people the choice to walk the short distances between courses, for a different type of dining experience. The village is fortunate to have many of the restaurants close to the village green which enables people to take a leisurely stroll between courses.

If you love food and great company, a lunch on the Great Dining Bus in Milford on Sea is for you. Simply book and ‘Jump On’ one of the various Dining Tour options to enjoy each course in a different village restaurant.
Each Dining Tour gives people a great opportunity to experience fresh local ingredients and tasty creative dishes as the Milford on Sea village restaurants showcase their food offering and service. The village has a multi-award winning fish restaurant, French restaurant, cosmopolitan bistro, seafront British restaurant, and you can even enjoy authentic regional Indian & Thai food.
Booking Great Dining Bus Tickets. You can purchase tickets in two ways:
1. In Cash from:
The Community Centre Box Office, Sea Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PH  or from:
The Cave, 2 Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH.
2. Online by Credit Card at: (Small Credit Card booking fee applies)

Jump on board, this really is a trip worth taking!


Great Dining Bus Tour Dates & Vouchers
The Dining Tours run on a regular basis throughout the year, and dates are already available from June 2013 through to April 2014 (See Tour Dates here), after that a new programme will be published.  The courses each restaurant serves changes each time.

Dining Vouchers make a great gift with difference, and would be excellent for birthdays, celebrations, or just a great way to say thank you.  After all, who doesn't love a great meal and company!  The Dining Vouchers can be found on the Great Dining Bus website.

About the Great Dining Bus
Milford on Sea runs what is believed to be the first & only Dining Bus Event in the UK.

The Great Dining Bus first ran very successfully at MoS Food Week in 2012, and the Food Week team now operate the Great Dining Bus as a regular and permanent event in the Milford on Sea village calendar. Around 16 Dining Tours will run in the next 12 months.
The Great Dining Bus is for the pleasure of village foodies and people from outside of Milford on Sea, with the added benefit of bringing trade to various businesses in the village.
On the Great Dining Bus, diners will enjoy a different course in a selection of Milford on Sea restaurants. There are also 'Strolling Tour' options to add variety. Whichever way the diners arrive, each restaurant will delight in showcasing a taste of their food offering and service.
The Great Dining Bus is designed for diners to experience our excellent village restaurants, and as the concept is so unique, we hope to attract local and national exposure, and to put Milford on Sea on the map as a 'Foodie Heaven'!, and recognised as the 'South coast destination for great dining'.
Milford on Sea also has much more to offer; being blessed with a spectacular coastline, quaint seaside village & great places to stay, eat & shop. To go with our excellent restaurants, pubs & cafés, the village also has B&B's, hotels, self-catering, caravans & camping, in fact something to suit every taste and budget.

The Great Dining Bus is also encouraging people to come and ‘Stay & Dine’, which is great for the visitors' experience and for local businesses.
If you have any queries at all, please contact: 

To find out more please visit: -

Live Broadcasts on The Needles

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Sean Crane & his team at Hurst Ferries had an interesting day last Friday, when the spent the day working with BBC Radio and TV.
Hurst Ferries look after Hurst Castle and The Needles & Hurst lighthouses on behalf of Trinity House, and BBC Radio Solent had requested Trinity HQ to do a live show from The Needles.
Those on high at Trinity HQ thought this was a good idea, and they instructed Hurst Ferries to arrange the weather and get them on site.
The TV people then joined in, and decided South Today should also be live from the iconic Needles Lighthouse. You can probably imagine trying to carry heavy (& expensive) equipment to a rock, handle a choppy sea, and then have to try and keep it all working 'live on air' was pretty interesting.
Pleasingly, both the H2O Radio Show presented by record-breaking yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and the BBC South Today team, seemed very happy with both shows which were actually on air at the same time.

Like any man after a hard day of satisfying work, - on their return to Keyhaven, Sean was relieved to retire to the pub for a pint!
Hurst Castle

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Full Belly at The Beach House

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My wife is one of life's planners, and she has a mixed view on surprises. At expected times, like birthdays, she is fine, but jumping out shouting 'Boo' when she is walking the dogs doesn't go down so well.
In recent years she has got better with surprises, but I still bear the scars from when she thought we were on day out, only to get on a train to Paris for a surprise weekend. It turned out fine after a severe lecture, and a couple of kidney punches, but since then, for personal safety reasons, most of what we do is in the diary.

As you may expect, when she promptly suggested we go to The Beach House for dinner, with only about 2 minutes notice, it was now my turn to be surprised.
Her mission was in search of Chicken Wings. To explain, my wife recently went to Chicago on a business trip, and since returning has yearned for more wings.
When we arrived, the welcome was very friendly and we were greeted warmly by Ben the manager.

We were regulars at the old Westover Hall Hotel and were sad at its demise. Since then, we have been to The Beach House a few times and we were interested how it was doing now. Our question was answered pretty quickly, as the place was busy, everyone looked happy and the sun shone on people basking on the sun laced terrace.

As ever, walking through the door into the grand hall and seeing the fine panelling and stained glass windows was a pleasure.

It may come of no surprise that Chicken Wings were a starter, but only for me. I had the Hot Wings, and man were they hot! - just as they should be. So many places now tone down spicy dishes, but pleased to say, not this kitchen.

For main course my wife combined two starters, the BBQ Chicken Wings & Potato Skins with Dips, our helpful young waitress did not blink an eye at this odd request. I had gone the normal route, with a main course from the menu. My Beef Burger & Chips was large and tasty.

For sweet I could not resist the Treacle & Ginger Tart. This was very good, with excellent pastry and sumptuous treacle. I am sure many people like ginger, but personally it would have been perfect for me without the added flavour. (As an aside, is Ginger a spice or a root vegetable? I suspect it is a spice, but either way, vegetables should never go in puddings, and spices should be saved for their rightful place in curries!) We had enjoyed our meal with a bottle of easy drinking French wine at around £12.

Before leaving I had another chat with Ben and he excitedly told me of the future plans. The owners, Hall & Woodhouse are brewers of Badger Beer with a estate of over 250 pubs, and they have plans to invest over £1m+ in refubishing the building. The grand country house is Grade 2 listed, and many months of planning alongside the Conservation Officer has taken place. The final designs will enable the business to grow and provide more practical facilities, whilst retaining all of the character and fine details in this historic building.

We understand that The Beach House will close early in the new year, and reopen sometime in April. The large refubishment project will included a sympathetic extension to the staircase, taking people down to new toilets to be built in the basement, access to the gardens will also be altered to become more accessible, the bedrooms completely overhauled and a bar put in the magificent hall. All sounds good, especially the new bar.

Two day later we were back for lunch. (My wife had decided the day before, so her attack of spontaneity had subsided), this time bubbly Lucy, who had also been in the Westover Hall team, welcomed us.

Once at our table, the sea view was spectacular and the sunny day made everything at sea sparkle. Another 'old Westover face' was attending to us. Guy was as always charming, and told us the menu options and specials in his smooth French accent. (Note: He really is French, he wasn't putting on the accent!) I have to say, Guy genuinely enjoys giving great service and he would be a credit to anywhere he worked.

This time my wife went for the Beef Burger & Chips, and I went for the Fish & Chips, which were great. The fish was Hoki and the beer batter crisp and fresh. Having never heard of this fish before I looked it up when getting home. Apparently, it has a number of names but remains very ugly. It seems part of the Hake family, and used to swim in New Zealand until someone froze it, and it finally reached my plate.

To finish our meal, my wife abstained the pudding, and I had a sweet ending with a Banana Creme Brulée which was set aflame at the table.

The Beach House team lead by Ben, and his wife, Charlie, are doing a really good job. They have created a welcoming and warm atmosphere, and the food is good.

Hall & Woodhouse postition the business as a 'Pub Restaurant with Rooms', which is pretty clever, as it puts them at the top of what any pub can offer. The menu is sustantial & varied, with a mix of modern and traditional dishes at excellent value. This, together with an historic dining room and glorious location makes everything a winner.

Now my wife has become occasionally spontaneous, I wonder what the next surprise adventure will be!

The Beach House
Park Lane, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PT
01590 643044

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Twinning Milford with Paglieta

Town Twinning has always seemed a fun way to get to know another country, with the benefit of spending time with local people, who can show you the real country & customs, as well as building friendship and relationships.
You may already know that both Lymington and Hordle has successful Twinning Associations, and it would be nice if Milford on Sea also had their own Twinning Association.

Well, we now have an opportortunity. But.. and it is a big but, ..only if we can find someone to lead the project and enthusiastic volunteers to support on an organising committee.
To explain, I recently received an e-mail from Evadne Yeates on behalf of the Town Council of Paglieta, a small town near the Adriatic coast in central Italy. Interestingly, their population is very similar to ours.
Evadne told me of a recent Montgomery Day they had held, and a very interesting connection between Paglieta and a former Milford on Sea resident, Richard Carver. It is likely that you may have read the recent story about Richard Carver, Montgomery & the book 'Where the Hell Have You Been'. (If not, click here). 
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Evadne and Paglieta's Town Council are interested in exploring Milford on Sea & Paglieta becoming ‘twinned’.
Sadly, I am just too busy to start the whole thing up, or to be on the committee, but I would be happy to lend a hand where I could in the background, with things like marketing & publicity.
I dropped a line to the Parish Council, and they discussed the proposal at a recent meeting. Whilst they do not wish to set the association up, they are willing to endorse an association founded by local residents.
As far as I can ascertain, Twinning appears ‘something you just do’. The couple of sites below may be of interest: |

Below you can see some scenes from Paglieta, it seems a prety place with much to explore.

Anyway, to the point, to set up and run a Milford on Sea Twinning Association we need a leader & driver, plus an enthusiastic supporting committee. To establish our own Twinning Association some work and organisational skills willl be needed, and along the way it should be fun!
If you are interested in leading or being on the organising committee for the formation of Milford on Sea Twinning Association please drop me an e-mail: - It can only happen if people step forward, so if you want this to become a reality, please do not sit and watch, get involved - it should be fun!
About Paglieta: The couple of sites below may be of interest: | 

Some scenes from Paglieta:

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Lymington & District Town Twinning Association

Hordle Twinning Association

A Club & Day Out for All

I had often been curious about the Milford on Sea Club building in the High Street, next door to Zaika Indian Restaurant and opposite Dave Gregory's Butchers Shop. I had wondered what went on inside and whether it is a strictly 'members only' club. Well, that was until the recent British Lions Tour was taking place.

My friend and I really wanted to watch one of the big games and could not think of anywhere in the village with a large screen Sky TV. I suspected Milford on Sea Club may be screening the games, but was unsure if we could go in and watch. So, we boldly went through the door, to receive a warm welcome. Explaining that we wanted to see the game, I then spotted a friendly neighbour and we simply signed in as guests and settled down for a couple of pints and to watch the boys gloriously thrash the Aussies!
Wandering around I was surprised how large and comfortable the club was. The facilities were also pretty impressive; with modern lounge seating, fully equipped stage, 4 Big Screen TV's which regularly show live sport,  2 Snooker Tables, Pool Table, 5 Dart Boards & Skittles.
Milford on Sea Club also puts on regular social activities, such as; Bingo, Quiz Nights, Prize draws,  Poker, Live Music and Discos. The bar offers keenly priced drinks & guest ales, and you can also enjoy some great value food, including Sunday Lunch for £3.50 (Pre-booked) and numerous Bar Snacks.
The club really want people to be more aware of what they can offer to everyone. So, if you would like to pop in to take a look around for yourself, you will be warmly welcomed next Saturday (24th August) at:
Milford on Sea Club Open Day
Open to everyone, all locals and visitors welcome. Entry is free.

The Club will be open from 12 noon for people to have a look around. The bar will also be open with Special Drinks Promotion at Excellent Prices.

Free Childrens' Party: 2 and 4pm
BBQ: Hot Dogs and Beef Burgers on sale.
Dog Ruff will be entertaining everyone from 6.30pm.

Milford on Sea Club
67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG
01590 645201
Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 4pm to 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 12 noon to 11pm
Sunday:12 noon to 10.30pm
Membership Costs
Joining Fee and Share - £14.05
Full Membership: £10pa
Senior Membership: £5.50pa
(Joining Year Full Membership for Seniors)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Everton Hyundai Shield Winners

Last Sunday Milford on Sea Bowls Club hosted the annual Everton Hyundai Shield competition.

Presentation of the
Everton Hyundai Shield by Sean Willson
 of Everton Hyundai
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The competition is a Mixed Triples competition open to all Bowls Clubs in the Bournemouth & District and New Forest Leagues.

Twenty teams competed in this enjoyable competition ending in a close fought final between West Moors & Brockenhurst, with West Moors taking the trophy for the second year running.
Milford on Sea Bowls Club send their thanks to Everton Hyundai garage for their continuing sponsorship of this competition.


Milford on Sea Bowls Club
Everton Hyundai Garage

Updates at Red Lion

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Our friendly hosts at The Red Lion, Jayne and Stewart have been busy upgrading some facilities since taking over from Paul & June in March this year.
The Red Lion now offers three newly refurbished bed and breakfast bedrooms, and free Wi-fi, whilst maintaining the features and traditions of an historic Grade II listed pub. They have also launched a new website:
The former 18th Century coaching inn in Milford on Sea High Street continues to provide a traditional pub atmosphere, serving quality local cask ales, popular draught lagers, bottled beers, stouts, wines & spirits. The home cooked food offer includes 'Daily Specials' and traditional Sunday roasts. The pub is a dog friendly, and the large, welcoming beer garden has a children’s play area. the pub also has a games area including darts, pool, table football and a TV situated in the old stable.
There are also regular live music nights at the Red Lion from fantastic local bands, so keep a look out for upcoming dates in:
The Red Lion
32 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
T: 01590 642236 |

50 B4 50-Hartnett Holder & Co

After months of promising ourselves a visit, we at last made it to the Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant at Lime Wood. This restaurant does not qualify for our 50 B4 50 Challenge, but it feels only a matter of time before it obtains a Michelin Star.
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Lime Wood, is a magnificent 5 star boutique country house hotel, just outside of Lyndhurst. The impressive complex started as a classical country house, formerly known as Parkhill, which around five years ago was lovingly renovated and extended with the odd contemporary twist to give a unique & relaxed environment.
We have been fortunate to have stayed in the past, and have dined a number of times in what was, The Scullery and The Dining Room Restaurant. When launched, the Director of Cuisine was Alex Aitken, former owner of Michelin starred Le Poussin, and he is now heading up the impressive waterfront restaurant, The Jetty at Mudeford, and Kings Arms in Christchurch.
After Alex moved on, Luke took over a Head Chef, quickly building a reputation for creating contemporary fine food with local ingredients at the centre of the dishes. He is also a very nice guy and has been involved with events at Milford on Sea Food Week.
Earlier this year the restaurant became Hartnett Holder & Co, when Angela Harnett joined Luke in running the restaurant. 
Angela learnt her trade under Gordon Ramsay in his first restaurant ‘Aubergine.’ She then joined another Ramsey protégé Marcus Wareing at Petrus. She won her first Michelin star at ‘Angela Hartnett at the Connaught’ in The Connaught Hotel, London. Today, she is Chef Patron in her own Michelin starred restaurant, Murano, a fine-dining Italian restaurant in Mayfair, London.
In 2004 she collected her first Michelin star, and in early 2007, she was awarded an MBE for Services to the Hospitality Industry. A familiar face, Angela appeared with Gordon on Hell’s Kitchen and is regular seen on many TV cookery programmes today.
When we entered the grounds there was an immediate impact from the beautiful surroundings and delightful garden sculptures. Entering the building it felt like we were coming for a ‘country weekend’.
A number of subtle changes had taken place since our last visit, and made everything feel comfortable, welcoming and oozing quality.
The biggest changes had taken place in the Dining Room. A complete refit had taken place, and what had previously been a stylish & formal dining space, we now discovered a relaxed central bar, comfortable red leather furniture and classic wooden tables. The room was unpretentious & gave us an immediate impression of what we imagined a quality shooting lodge may be like.
Everything was relaxed and comfortable, and all the tableware reflected the high quality of dining expected. The staff were formally dressed, and everyone friendly and helpful.
We hadn’t decided who was driving home, but my wife subtly told me when she ordered a gin & tonic. There were two menus, a two course lunch at £19.50 for two course and the a la carte. We could immediately see from the dishes Luke’s passion for local fresh ingredients and elements of Angela’s Italian heritage added to the best of British food.
We mixed it up, for our starters my wife had the enjoyable; Pizzetta, Quail Egg, Taleggio & Spinach. I had the Goats Cheese, Compressed Tomato & Basil. Sounds simple, but the dish was not as expected, and as clever as it was delicious. The explosion of multi-level flavours and unexpected textures made this one of the best starters I had ever tasted.
Chatting to our waitress we discovered that Angela Hartnett spent around two day a week in the restaurant, this was great to hear, bearing in mind how incredibly busy she must be.
For our main courses, my wife had a fresh pasta dish Agnolotti, Pappa al Pomodoro & Basil, and I enjoyed the Milanese Risotto, a rich tasty dish infused with saffron and three year old Parmesan cheese. Friends had told us that portions were not as big as they might have liked, if that was the case previously, it certainly is not the case today, as each portion was significant and more than ample.
Full and satisfied, my wife passed on sweet as usual, and as usual I didn’t. I went for the Amalfi Lemon Tart with nectarines, amaretto & almonds. At first glance it looked a lonely, albeit generous, slice of tart on a plate. Proving that first impressions are not always right, when I tucked in, the masterfully made pastry was perfect, and the tart filling wonderful. It was impossible not to pull a contorted face (& accusations of being an embarrassment), as the zingy lemon hit my taste buds, this was then followed by several layers of other delicate flavours. The plate certainly did not need any form of sweet cream or custard accompaniment.
There is no doubt we had enjoyed our visit, and will be back!

Michelin Stars So Far: 21

3 Michelin Star
London | Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester -

2 Michelin Star
London | Hibiscus -
London | Pied a Terre -
Buckinghamshire-Marlow | Hand & Flowers - (Twice)
France | Georges V Hotel, Paris -

1 Michelin Star
London | L’Autre Pied -
London | L’Escargot -
London | The Savoy Grill -
London | Veeraswamy -
London | Quilon -
Hampshire | Terrace Restaurant (Montague Arms) -
Hampshire | Vetiver (Chewton Glen Hotel) -
*To read the review on any of the above restaurants, put 'restaurant name' in this blog's search box.
No Michelin Stars, but restaurants visited since July 2013 that are worth a mention:
Yarmouth, IoW | The George -
Nice fresh menu, excellent crevettes & lobster dishes. Delightful beachside dining on sunny summer days.
London | Dishoom -
Described as a 'Bombay Café in Convent Garden. Completely different Indian dining, unexpected menu serving tasty spicy tapas style dishes.
London | J Sheeky Oyster Bar -
Excellent fish & seafood restaurant. Voted 3rd in Zagat ' Best Seafood Restaurants in London' after Wiltons & Scott's.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Jam Tastes Better Naked

Jennifer Williams of Naked Jam in Barton-on-Sea is celebrating the news that its Raspberry Jam 1 Star and Lemon Curd 2 Stars has wowed judges in Great Taste Awards 2013.
They have been awarded the star ratings in the world’s largest and most rigorous food awards scheme, involving over 400 judges and thousands of hours of blind tasting.
Great Taste is simply about taste, not clever branding or smart packaging. Judges are presented with, for example, a piece of cheese, a pie or a little dish of chutney, with no wrappings, jars or marks – and they taste, confer and re-taste before making the decision on whether a product should be a 1-, 2- or 3-star winner. In total more than 12 judges will have tasted and commented on each product.
Jennifer said; "I never entered before and was advised by my colleagues and piers to do so. So I send off 2 products and I am overwhelmed that on my first turn out I managed to get a couple of stars. It reinforces the fact that I use local produce and it wins out thank you to my local farms and Fluffets Farm’s eggs for providing the best freshest eggs out!
Local Naked Jam Stockists are Setley Ridge Farm Shop and Hartizans Deli Christchurch.
Out of almost 10,000 products entered into Great Taste 2013 just 125 have been awarded 3-star. All 3-star products have been re-judged by a panel including Masterchef judge and restaurant critic Charles Champion, food buyers from Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whole Food Markets, plus Michelin Star chef Russell Brown. Together they have  decided on the 2013 Top 50 Foods, the Golden Fork Trophy winners, as well as the new 2013 Supreme Champion.
Finally on Monday, 9 September, at a nail-biting Awards’ Dinner at the Royal Gardens Hotel, London, the great and the good from the world of fine food will gather to hear who has won the Golden Fork Awards and the final applause will be reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2013.

Naked Jam
Jennifer Williams
07870 373795

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Rex, Richard Carver & Monty

The stories on Richard (Dick) Carver continue to reveal themselves. (Richard was a stepson of Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein.) Only last week we heard from Christopher Beeton telling us that he had served with Dick's stepson, Brigadier Rex Stephenson CBE (Retired) at HQ BAOR (British Army of the Rhine). After a little research we were able to contact Rex at his home near Salisbury.

Rex recalled the following memory of Monty, (Bernard Montgomery 1st Viscount of Alamein), who led the 'Desert Rats' and all allied ground forces during Operation Overlord in WW2.)

Rex said; "Dick and Audrey Carver, together with my brother Chris, sister Kate and myself were going to Sunday lunch with the Field Marshall at Islington Mill (Alton, Hampshire.) It was just after Monty had his gold Field Marshall baton stolen by burglars.He tightened up security at the Mill by not allowing anyone in unless they knew the daily changing password. En route for this Sunday lunch my mother asked Dick whether it was Apple Blossom or Apple Tree. There was a long somewhat heated discussion over the password.We arrived at the gate to the Mill and Monty’s lovely Swiss housekeeper asked for the password. Of course Mum and Dad got it wrong and we were not allowed in and we had to drive back home even though we could hear Monty the other side of the gate and he knew full well who we were."
Other Connected Stories

Col Richard Carver OBE Update: click here to read story
Monty, Richard & Milford!: click here to read story

Major Beeton to Mrs Beeton

Following our recent stories on Richard Carver, we have been given another piece of interesting information by Christopher Beeton.
He recalls that Dick Carver also had a stepson, Rex Stephenson, with whom Christopher served at HQ BAOR (British Army of the Rhine). Brigadier Rex Stephenson CBE (Retired) now lives near Salisbury. 
Christopher himself has a colourful past, or to give him his correct full title: Major Christopher Beeton MBE (Retired). After a bit of continued pressing, we are pleased to be able to recall elements of Christopher's life and career.
Major Christopher Beeton MBE (Retired)
2013 -Photo by Barbara Rousseau
Christopher was born in 1929, on his retirement in 1984, he moved with his family to Milford on Sea . His 'in-laws' lived in Boldre; so close by, but not too near!

Christopher was a NFDC Councillor for Milford on Sea from 1991 to 1999 (Deafness prevented him standing again.) He also was a member of the Parish Council for a few years, for much of the time the 'Civil Emergencies Adviser' at a time when Milford suffered from floods and flood risks. (His daughter-in-law, Sophie is a current NFDC Councillor for Milford as well as a Parish Councillor.).

He was a director of the Milford Millennium Hall and Community Centre, is a Trustee of Milford United Charities, and has been an enthusiastic volunteer during Milford on Sea Food Week.

His Milford links actually go back a bit further than 1984. In 1948/49, when a cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), Christopher was Secretary of the RMAS Sailing Club, which had three bell tents in which they frequently week-ended at Normandy Farm in Lymington. The cadets were temporary members of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club for a £5 annual subscription, and also the Lymington Town Sailing Club for 2/6!  They also regularly crewed on cross channel yacht races for local skippers including some living in Milford on Sea.

Military Career: Christopher's time in the army certainly enabled him to see the world. His career started in 1948 with 'Other Rank' service, serving ten months at Oswestry and Larkhill, after which he attended officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) until December 1949.
 'Snowdon 'Knife Edge' 1955
Christopher & Gunner (mostly
National Service) Signals Trainees
Christopher is wearing the rope.
*Click image to enlarge

From 1950 to 1953 he was posted to Malta for three years, which also included a couple of months training at Garian in Libya each Summer.  This was followed by stints in:  Rhyl in North Wales, teaching Gunner Signallers and enjoying himself in Snowdonia, Larkhill in the Medium Regiment firing for Royal School of Artillery (RSA) courses, London as Adjutant of a TA Regiment, Larkhill again for an 18 month on a Counter Bombardment (CB) Staff Course, Instructor in Artillery Intelligence at the Royal School of Artillery, then to Germany as a Corps Artillery Intelligence Officer at HQ 1 (British) Corps.

In 1965/66 Christopher was posted to Borneo for a year. For first six months he was the Battery Captain in a Light Regiment, followed by Battery Commander (BC) of a hastily formed 'ad hoc' Locating Battery in Borneo when the Indonesians reinforced their artillery.

Borneo 1965
Christopher examining a shell crater to find
out where the (Indonesian) gun was deployed
....."This sort of task was really my forte."
*Click image to enlarge
1967 saw him back in Germany again as a Battery Commander of a gun locating battery.  1969 to 1972 he spent the first year as Second-in-Command and then two years as Commandant of the (British) Army Outward Bound Centre in Norway. (Christopher says that his main raison d’etre was "To take the can if anything went wrong!")  

Borneo 1965
Setting up a roving gun position
 (Christopher is one wearing a hat.)
*Click image to enlarge
In 1973, again in Germany, he ran the artillery intelligence desk at HQ BAOR (British Army of the Rhine). Rex Stephenson was also in the same branch. Christopher recalls; "Rex and I were both in Intelligence Branch when at HQ BAOR and, because it was during the "Cold War" that posting was particularly interesting. Intelligence staff desk work requires little more than common sense, a little background experience, perseverance and not taking ANY other agency’s reports at face value. Rex was younger than me and a ‘high flyer’ so deserved to get where he did."

Borneo 1965
Setting up a roving gun position
 *Click image to enlarge

He returned to the UK in 1975 to join HQ UK Land Forces (UKLF) at Wilton in Wiltshire (Future Developments). In 1977  he joined the HQ of an Armoured Division shortly before it moved from UK to near the Mohnesee Dam (of 'Dambusters' fame) in Germany. Christopher remained there until returning to the UK on retirement in 1984.

Sheila Beeton - 1958
MBE Awarded: Christopher's MBE was awarded in 1981. He modestly explains; "The MBE was for a number of minor reasons, in my case these included setting up Divisional Ski Championships from scratch in East Bavaria and later also in Austria as well as helping revive the initially failing NATO Sailing Club on the Mohnesee. But the award was also largely because of the fantastic job my late wife, Sheila, did with the British Services youth in BAOR. She had been appointed Commissioner for the Guides in the Armoured Division's area when it moved out to Germany in 1977 because she had once assisted with a Brownie pack in Wilton! But she really threw herself into the task which she found both rewarding and enjoyable. Later she was appointed Assistant Commissioner for (all the) British Guides in Germany (BGIG) as well as still running her own Division's. She was also appointed a sort of Magistrate for any British service families' youth who had committed some misdemeanour. When not engaged in these activities she taught other wives dinghy sailing and brought up our four children."

MBE Medal
Sheila Beeton, Christopher's wife, passed away in Oakhaven Hospice in 1995, only a few hours after chairing, as Centre Organizer, a meeting of the British Red Cross staff in Lymington.

Early Life: During WW2, Christopher's Prep School (Abinger Hill School near Dorking, Surrey) was taken over as a Canadian Brigade HQ and he and the other pupils were sent to a school at Ashbury College in Ottawa, Canada.

Abinger Hill School
*click image to enlarge
Christopher recalls that whilst at Abinger Hill School, parents' visits always welcome as meant lunch and Stone Ginger Beer at Abinger Hammer!

As his father had died in 1942, Christopher returned early from Canada (with one other boy) via the USA, Azores, Portugal and Eire.

Immediately after the War he and his nine year older brother did a fair amount of mountain walking in France and Austria. Having caught the ‘travel bug’ he joined the (Regular) Army primarily to do just that. In those days National Service was in full swing and one had to serve two years anyway, plus the Army offered one of the few opportunities to get abroad for any reasonable length of time. Moreover the Army also had an advantage over the other services in that it usually had two or three year postings which enabled him, when abroad, to get to know the inhabitants as well as being able to visit other nearby countries when on leave.

Fairy Godmother: Christopher recalls a couple of close shaves, and thanks a Fairy Godmother that has kindly looked after him well!

"In mid Atlantic while on our way to Canada in 1940 the ship ahead of us, carrying German and Italian POWs, was torpedoed instead of us. When this happened our engines were stopped and we wallowed in a most uncomfortable manner. I was on the lowest deck, below the waterline, and began to feel sick. Having struggled up to the open deck I made for the side where one of the crew stopped me, asking “What’s wrong with you, Boy?” After my reply he said “You can’t be sick, only little girls are seasick!”. To a ten year old boy that did the trick. In spite of many opportunities since, I have never been seasick and nor have any of my men while serving under me!"

"When we reached Lisbon on our return voyage we were told that we would be flying to Eire the following night. But when they realised that we were two twelve year old boys travelling on our own, the authorities changed their minds and decided to get rid of us that night. The following night’s flight, on which we should have flown, included Leslie Howard (Steiner) a famous actor of the time. The airplane was shot down with no survivors."
Poole-Cherbourg 1950
*Click image to  enlarge 

Cross Channel Racing: Attached is a menu for one of the cross channel races that Christopher participated in, Poole to Cherbourg in 1950. From the look of the menu there was no hardship on land! The document on the right contains signatures of skippers and crews taking part, some of these or their relatives are still understood to be in the area. 

Christopher & The Beetons: Christopher is a distant descendant of the iconic Victorian cookbook writer, Mrs Beeton. The link is from a cousin and down. Mrs Beeton's husband, Samuel Orchart Beeton (S.O. Beeton), was prolific both as an author and publisher, and his publications covered almost every subject. Some are quite fascinating and really bring the 1850s to life.

There is no complete collection, and Christopher is accumulating what he can in the hope that one day his family will find a Library that will take an interest in them.
Mrs Beeton's Cookbook
Isabella Mary Beeton (Isabella Mary Mayson), was universally known as Mrs Beeton, and the author of the famous 'Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management'. The book was first published in 1861. Prior to this, it had been published in twenty four monthly parts from November 1859 to October 1861. (Another popular name for the volume is Mrs Beeton's Cookbook).
The book had 1,112 pages, with over 900 pages of recipes, passages on cooking advice, servants pay and children's health. By 1868 nearly two million copies had been sold.
Surprisingly, she only lived 29 years, from 12 March 1836 to 6 February 1865.
Sam & Isabella Beeton
*click image to enlarge
A book on Isabella Beeton entitled; 'The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton: The First Domestic Goddess', was written by Kathryn Hughes, who thanked Christopher for being an exemplary host and for his encyclopaedic knowledge of S.O. Beeton’s publications.
Other Connected Stories:
Col Richard Carver OBE Update: click here to read story

Monty, Richard & Milford!: click here to read story

BAOR (British Army of the Rhine): click here