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Friday, 30 May 2014

MCV: Milford Springwatch

What have you seen in your garden? 

Spring is a time of high activity in our gardens. Take just a few minutes to sleuth the wildlife, you will soon spot different species of butterflies, moths, bees and other insects all helping to pollinate our flowers, fruit and vegetables.

We are keeping them alive! Bees will soon be landing where we have planted foxgloves, lavender and buddleia. Small pale blue butterflies seen in Milford may be Holly Blues; they particularly like holly trees and bushes. White butterflies with orange tipped wings are called Orange Tips which are partial to garlic mustard. Peacock butterflies, those colourful ones with the big eye-like design on their wings, come for almost any flower. 

Moth species to be seen in the village include Angle Shade, Silver Y and Tiger species. 

And with insects come insect-eating birds such as blackbirds. 

Currently blue tits and great tits are swooping between their nests and food supplies. One small garden near the fish and chip shop has nine nest boxes! Robins are foraging for worms, insects and seeds to fatten their chicks. 

What can you do today to encourage the insects and birds into your garden? If you would like any help please email MCV (Milford Conservation Volunteers) at

To find out more about Milford Conservation Volunteers, please visit;

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Love Milford Week is coming

Anyone who lives in, or visits, Milford on Sea will know what fabulous place it is to be. So, what better than to spend a week celebrating what makes the village so special!

Love Milford Week will take place from Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd February 2015 and then bi-annually between Food Week years.

The community event has been timed to coincide with School Half Term, to be close to Valentine’s Day and to boost trade for our village shops, artisan makers and home businesses.

For a village of just 5000 people, we are fortunate to have such a wonderful array of things we can buy in the village, and we would love for people to take the time to discover just what they can buy locally may be very pleasantly surprised!

Love Milford Week has 4 clear objectives:
1. To boost trade for village shops, artisans and small businesses
2. To promote all Milford on Sea has to offer to local people
3. To attract visitors to explore and enjoy our village
4. To create a week of fun and discovery for all

So, core to Love Milford Week is the 'Shopping Challenge'. We are challenging everyone to only shop in the village during Love Milford Week. - No visits to large chain stores or supermarkets, no cheating, just spending time showing the shops you love them.

Many of our village shops will be running promotions to entice you throughout the week, giving you another great reason to stay out of your car and to enjoy shopping around the village. Our local artisan makers and home businesses will also be involved in events where you can see and buy their goods.

Love Milford Week will also promote a week of ‘Dining Out’, with the restaurants and cafés putting on something special for you to enjoy each day, so time to leave your kitchen and to savour the pleasure of eating in the village!

The week-end brings an array of events celebrating the variety of interests in the village.

We will have Kids Day for our young people to have a good time, various village events & shows featuring village artisans and home businesses (Covering: Craft Makers, Local Produce, Gardening & Sustainability, and Artists & Authors). To add to the fun, we aim to have village musicians busking on the village green, and a Classic Car Show to draw more people into the village. As the Love Milford Week develops more activities may also follow.

To ensure the week is a true celebration, we will also have a full weekend of evening entertainment shows to let your hair down!

All events can be found at:, please keep visiting as full details of all events will be continually updated.

Love Milford Week will see all areas of the community celebrating the village and all it has to offer - So, get the dates in your diary, and prepare to exclusively shop in the village for a week!

Love Milford Week

Pop Up Restaurant in Village

Milford on Sea has a Pop Up Restaurant coming soon.

Chef:/proprietor Christian Rivron of The Granary Cookery School at Newlands Manor Farm, will be taking to the kitchen to offer diners a taste of his food and passion for cooking. 

In June, Christian has spent many years working and training in a variety of different establishments including country parks, hotels, and restaurants in Lymington and the surrounding areas along the south coast. He has gained knowledge and experience of using the fresh, local and seasonal produce available in the New Forest, Hampshire and Dorset. Christian is now excited to share his passion, enthusiasm and creativity, to help people increase their confidence in entertaining guests in the comfort of their own homes.

The Pop Up Restaurant will be open on Saturday 28th June (& then Saturday 6th September). Bookings being taken between 6.30pm to 9pm. (click here for more information)

The 4 course set menu is £39.95 pp and you can bring your own drink!

If you fancy the menu below, why got give them a call to book in.

Gazpacho served with Parmesan crisp
Brined Duck breast semi dried strawberries, blue cheese pannacotta
Tuna carpaccio pickled veg, confit tomato & sauce vierge
Marinated New Forest Beef fillet fondant potato, buttered greens, bourguignon garnish, port & truffle sauce
Fillet of Cod stir fry vegetables, Thai spiced coconut & shellfish broth
Trio of desserts: Raspberry millefeuille | Salted Chocolate truffle | Lemon Posset
Coffee & petit fours

*Vegetarian menu also available if pre-ordered.

The Granary Kitchen Cookery School
Newlands Manor Farm

Bollards on the Green

A mild panic swept the village when bollards appeared on the village green, leading people to fear that our community of Mole Men had created a collapse due the construction of their new town under the village.

We are pleased to allay people fears, as the bollards are actually covering some holes for a set of large poles. (The wooden type, not the Nationality.)

To explain, Our local youth led community group, MiCO (Milford Community Organisation) is preparing for a fun community event.

This weekend a number of temporary poles will be erected, which will then take lots of large bunting flags, which have been created to represent various corners of the community.

Then, the MiCO Community Picnic takes place on on Sunday 8th June, 12 noon to 4pm - Everyone invited. 'Bring a dish' community picnic, games, arts and crafts, hot drinks, a bar and of course all those amazing Giant bunting flags!

MiCO (Milford Community Organisation)

Broadband and Mud

A number of BT Openreach vans have been seen across the village and have been accessing a number of the telephone cabinets dotted about the place. We have been asked if we can expect fibre broadband any time soon? Like most things, we of course don't know, but we did discover below.

When accessing the BT Broadband website to check on fibre availability, it stated that the MoS telephone exchange is now 'Accepting orders. Superfast is in the area. To check whether your property can get it, contact your preferred supplier for your home or business.' (click here to visit website.)

I then used their link to visit our supplier (BT) and searched by our telephone number, it said 'BT Infinity isn't currently available to you.'

Although..., by the van activity it might be on the way... who knows!

So there you have it, as clear as mud!

25 Hours of Pain

Not quite sure how these guys are still standing, as they have just completed the gruelling London to Brighton Challenge last weekend.

The London to Brighton Challenge involves walking, jogging and running the 100km route from the capital to the coast. William Ayling and his Friend Tom Penman completed the challenge in aid of Oakhaven, and in memory of their fathers, Miles and David who both died of cancer.

The mammoth event took them 25 hours of walking, jogging and pain!

Thankfully, their friends family and community got behind them and they reached their target of £5000 for Oakhaven. If you drop anything into the Oakhaven collecting tins around the village at Hayward Fox, Milford Models, Inger Lise's, The Smugglers, The Milford Club, The Red Lion or The Raft it will increase their total even more.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Cliff Top Path Re-Open

Following the Valentine's Day Storm and resulting collapse of sections of the cliff top, the path became dangerous in various places and was closed.

The Hampshire County Council have explained: "The legal line of the footpath has been lost in many sections along this route, including the 2 areas that caused concern. Under right of way legislation the line of the path does not automatically move inland, therefore a land owner is not permitted to move their fence to allow access on to their property. Effectively footpaths can be ‘lost’ as the land is no longer available to cross."

Thankfully, John Cartwright, Senior Countryside Access Ranger at Hampshire County Council was delighted to find support from the landowner who agreed to move the fence to allow the route to be opened once more.

The works were funded by the Hampshire County Council  Access Team and were completed a few day ago. All barriers/closures have now been removed and the route was fully open for the past bank holiday weekend.

Good to see it back, I can now resume my regular jogging!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Happy Times at Wine Week

It is always fun to hear about 'National Weeks'.

My favourite of 'National Curry Week' will come as no surprise, I also support 'National Chocolate Week', and I am also campaigning for a 'National Feed a Big Bloke Week'. (Apparently, we are now in 'National Vegetarian Week' but I've not been celebrating that too much, although I did see an apple the other day.)

I have now heard that 'English Wine Week' is next week, (running from 24th May to 1st June), which sounds a top idea to me.

Jon and the team at The Cave will be holding an English Wine Tasting evening on Thursday 29th May 2014. Having been to a number of their tastings before, I can vouch for the things you learn, and more importantly the generosity of the tastings ensure a good time for all. (Getting home in a straight line cannot be assured.) Tickets are now on sale for the English Wine Tasting event for £15pp, at which you will taste 6 English sparkling wines with some nibbles.

There will also be English wine tastings during the week which you can buy to take home, plus The Cave constantly put on numerous events, so it might be a good plan to keep an eye on their website. (Click here to visit)

Happy Hour at The Cave

A drink for £3.50 is a sure way to make me happy, so I was pretty pleased to see that The Cave now have a Happy Hour every day from 4pm to 6pm.

A house wine, beer or spirit with mixer for £3.50 should cover just about everyone's taste. The thought of two hours after work, Football Focus or Sunday lunch seems a fair time to enjoy a nice drink with friends to me. (Or on my own if no-one will come with me!)

As far as I am aware, there is no limit to how many times you can take advantage of this great deal in the two hour period, but should I overstep the mark at any time I will let you know!

The Cave
Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QH

English Wine Week

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

We are on Saturday Kitchen

Well not actually on, but 'in' Saturday Kitchen.

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To explain, my wife got a rather nice Christmas present from her husband and we were off for a Saturday Kitchen Experience.

As we arrived in Clapham, the address took us to a residential road just off the High Street. The doorway was tricky to find with houses either side. What we were to discover when entering, was a labyrinth of rooms over 3 floors. In fact we had entered a house connected to an old chapel behind, which was unseen from outside and now contained a Cookery School, TV Studio and lots of other rooms.

We were in a group of 12 and warmly welcomed by the Cactus Studio's team, and Cyrus Todiwala, our host for the day.

Cyrus runs the highly acclaimed Cafe Spice Namaste restaurant in the City of London, and is a regular host chef on Saturday Kitchen. He also starred with Tony Singh in the popular BBC TV series 'The Incredible Spice Men'.

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Cyrus greeted us warmly and was very amiable, chatting about anything anyone wanted to ask.

His relaxed cookery demonstration, making a fabulous Indian fish croquette with spicy tomato sauce was excellent. As he chatted, his knowledge on spices, food sources and sustainability were undeniable. He also has a deep understanding of the health properties of various foods and a warm personality which made the session a joy. This guy is more than just a chef, and without doubt an expert in food.

We then got to taste his creation, which you will not be surprised to hear was delicious.

We were then led to one of the six kitchen areas in the room for the 'Omelette Challenge'. My wife stepped up first, whisked away and put an acceptable omelette on the plate in a reasonable time. Looking around 'scrambled egg' was more to be seen in the other stations.

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My moment of glory then arrived. As I positioned my ingredients, the stopwatch was ignited and I was soon cracking eggs one handed in a bowl. Butter hit the pan as I used the other hand to swirl and fully coat the receptacle of my masterpiece.

As I whisked like a whirling dervisher I could see my name at the top of the winners board. As I gently seasoned my mixture, it was then I spotted my butter wasn't melting too well. It transpired that this was because my wife had turned off the hob when she had finished!

My final omelette was of course a triumph, and as everyone had finished before me, the whole group witnessed my equal measures of triumph and complete failure. My wife was struggling to suppress a big smile.

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Next stop was a visit to the TV Studio. Saturday Kitchen is a live show on Saturday mornings and James Martin and his guest, Henry Winkler had left only a couple of hours earlier. The kitchen was immediately familiar, but in a surprisingly narrow room. The height was substantial due to us being in an old chapel. 

We were free to wander and play as we wanted. I of course took to the kitchen to demonstrate should James not make it one day I would be happy to step in. My wife felt the Cactus Kitchen team would prefer someone from McDonalds first, and then stopped me for mixing up the faces on the 'Omelette Challenge Board'.

Our tour continued as we were shown the technical areas and dressing rooms behind the scenes, and listened to some informative stories about the show and how it gets on air.

We then went upstairs for a wine tasting. At every stage this day was more than expected, and we did not realise the tasting also included a food pairing. The first was a German Gewurztraminer wine served with Cyrus's fish croquette, then an Austrian Grunerveitliner white with scallops, a German pinot noir with duck, a Rioja red with lamb and finally an asti spumante with a full bowl of pavlova.  

Our wine host was colourful and enthusiastic as he took us through the wines and ensured glasses were constantly full. We were instructed that no bottle was to be left empty, and joyfully we all obliged. About 5-7 generous glasses of wine per person are of course a pleasure and guaranteed to put smiles on everyone faces.

Our final trip was the the 'Green Room' where we all chatted before the 'Omelette Challenge' awards were made. My 'wooden spoon' now has pride of place in our kitchen draw.

The whole afternoon was excellently organised and delivered more than expected. As we left the wine was still giving a warm feeling inside, so we decided to have one more experience we don't normally have, so we jumped on bus to the station.  

A Taste of Saturday Kitchen: To find out more click here

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Cyrus Todiwala's - Cafe Spice Namaste Restaurant: click here.

Floral Club donates to Oakhaven

The Milford Floral Art Club have raised £300 for Oakhaven Hospice.

The club held a fund-raising coffee morning in memory of Mim Palmer, their past Chairman and President, who passed away last November.

At their May meeting they were really pleased to be able to present the £300 cheque to Oakhaven Hospice. The presentation was made by current Chairman Jan Marriott, handing the cheque to Jill West from Oakhaven. 

The club were pleased that Mim's husband David was also able to join them for this presentation.

Have a Butterfly Tea Party

Milford on Sea resident, Ellie Whitehall, runs a small business from home as an Independent Phoenix Trader. She has things like greeting cards, colourful stationery, bookmarks, gift wrapping & tags.

June 2014 is Phoenix Trading's Butterfly Tea Party month, and Ellie is looking to run a number of parties in homes across the village. 

Phoenix Trading will make a donation varying from 20p to £2 from products in the Charity Supplement to Together for Short Lives. In addition to the product donations, Ellie will be donating an extra 10% of all of her sales at Butterfly Tea Parties, to this worthy cause.

Ellie still has a few dates left in her diary for Butterfly Tea Parties, and if you would like to get some friends together for a coffee and a slice of cake, or a glass of wine and a few nibbles, she will happily bring around her cards and stationery.

If you would like to get involved please contact Ellie on 07712 484852 or email:

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Keeping Lighthouse Heritage Alive

500 years ago, on the 20th May 1514, King Henry VIII granted a charter to a fraternity of London mariners who subsequently became the Corporation of Trinity House and who were charged with improving the safety of navigation, initially on the Thames, but later became responsible for pilotage, buoys, beacons and light vessels around the coasts of England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.  Since then many, many thousands of lives have been saved around these coasts.

To celebrate this occasion The Association of Lighthouse Keepers has two special visitors coming to Hurst. President, Gerry Douglas-Sherwood, was Principal Keeper at the Needles from 1992 to 1994 and ALK member Pat Gumbrell is the daughter of a lighthouse keeper and also the great niece of Grace Darling.  They have lots of lighthouse related stories to tell and will be happy to answer questions from visitors about this unique way of life.  The Hurst Point lighthouse and historic Acetylene Room will also be open to visitors and it all starts at 1.30pm on Tuesday 20th May 2014 at Hurst Castle.

The event is free of charge but tickets will be needed as we can only cater for limited numbers.  If you would like a ticket please contact Dinah Le May on 01590 674921 or

Ferries run approximately every 20mins from Keyhaven starting at 10.20am.  Please note that the usual ferry fares and Castle entrance fee are not included. Castle entrance is free to Friends of Hurst Castle and English Heritage members.

Calling Ladies who Lunch

If you fancy a rather special lunch with the girls, why not consider joining the Ladies Only Dining Tour?

The next Ladies Only Dining Tour is on Wednesday Lunchtime 28th May, and will you will stroll for your courses between Verveine, then The Raft, and then The Beach House, Milford on Sea.

This is a unique way to enjoy a 4 course meal, and to experience 3 different Milford on Sea village restaurants. 

The courses include: Canapés, Welcome Drink & Starter at Verveine, Main Course at The Raft, and then your Sweet at The Beach House. *Each course includes a non-alcoholic or paired drink. Other drinks at an additional charge.

Tours start at 1pm: Meet at the first venue of your Dining Tour & then Stroll to each different course.

Menus are decided in the week before the event and all diners are served the same courses. *Should you have special dietary requirements, or wish to know courses, please contact the restaurants.

Tickets are £32pp - To book, please click here.

New Dates have also been launched for all other Great Dining Bus Tours, check them out below.

Ymmm, Moules

Like most married couples planning our time is a regular occurrence. 

On this occasion my wife is having a couple of nights away, so I have been fully briefed on her full itinerary (I think I can remember some of it.) In turn, my wife has ensured that I know all of the DIY jobs that need doing.

Knowing I was going to be self sufficient for two nights soon, it was too late to start a vegetable patch for next week. So, I will need to eat out.

The daytimes are of course sorted, I have a DIY list to conveniently lose, and a good book I want to finish.

Just then, the La Perle Newsletter popped into my inbox.

Discovering that La Perle are now open again on Tuesdays with a Moules & Frites' Night, life has just become sorted. For just £15.95 I can choose Moules served mariniere style, bacon & tomato or mouclade style with french fries and a glass of wine.

The other evening is still in the planning stages, but with a great choice of places to eat in the village, it a challenge I am prepared to take on!

My wife is due back on Wednesday, and as she normally likes to cook when she returns, that will mean missing the weekly Lymington Lobster Night at La Perle. However, there is always a 50/50 chance she has actually left me, I might make it for lobster after all!

La Perle
High Street, Milford on Sea
Tel: 01590 643 557

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Hetty's Hut

A new children's book written by two local authors has just been published.

The book is an adventure story called Hetty's Hut which is set amongst the beach huts at Hengistbury Head and is for age 8+. 

Hetty's Hut was written by two friends, who met over 20 years ago when their their two eldest children (Ross and Christopher) were in the same class at Milford on Sea School. 

Helen Clarke has taught English and Maths at the Kumon After School Study Centre in New Milton and Lymington for the last 18 years, and Sarah Conacher teaches PE at the Arnewood School.

Helen said; "We have always loved the beauty of Hengistbury Head and the feeling it gives you of being separated from normal everyday life. About three years ago I rented a hut for a week in the summer for my family to use. Sarah popped over one afternoon and over a cup of tea the story of Hetty's Hut evolved. We have thoroughly enjoyed the journey from that afternoon to the finished article being placed in our hands. I'm sure the next book in the series won't be far behind."

The internal illustrations have been done by local Milford artist Hilary Ball who has captured the characters perfectly.

About the story: When Hetty’s Dad agrees that they can live in her grandparents’ beach hut at Hengistbury Head, near Christchurch for the summer, she is so excited. 

The prospect of a fun-filled summer spent exploring and having fun takes an unexpected turn as Hetty and her new friend Charlie desperately try to evade the attentions of a strange man who seems to be watching their every move.

Who is he and what does he want?

The Hetty's Hut book costs £7.99 and will available from 25th May in Jabulani, The Old Smithy and Milford Models, all in Milford on Sea High Street - or it can be ordered online now by clicking here.

Doing It for Someone Else

It is always impressive when people take personal pain to help others.

This week we have two examples:

The first is my wife and me.  To explain, some months ago my wife was motivated to do the Marathon Moonwalk in London. All that she raised is to go towards fighting breast cancer charities. Like many others she knows how this nasty disease affects peoples lives. 

Her rigorous training schedule went perfectly, I particularly enjoyed the 20 mile training stints, which gave me several hours on the sofa unobserved.

Last Saturday night the event arrived. She valiantly started at 11pm and completed the full marathon route in just over 8 hours, and I stayed at home and had a rather good curry, a few drinks, followed by a peaceful nights kip without complaints about the TV being too loud.

Now being over 40, the cold, wet and windy night was not quite as easy as afternoons spent training in the sun along the seafront, so when she returned from her epic adventure she was bedraggled, aching and in need of acute nursing. I of course stepped immediately into the nursing role and spent the next two days waiting on her hand and foot. Sadly she violently refused my repeated offers of a bed bath. However, as she did not have the energy to cook, I did pretty well on the takeaway front.

I myself was not sponsored for my bedside skills, but should you want to give something towards her efforts there is a link at the end of this page. 

London to Brighton Challenge

Some of you will know Joy Ayling, former owner of Milford Model & Hobbies Shop in the High Street.

Still living in the village, joy has told us that her son, William and his Friend Tom Penman are going to do the London to Brighton Challenge in aid of Oakhaven, and in memory of their fathers, Miles and David who both died of cancer.

The event takes place on May Bank Holiday 24th-25th May, where they will cover the 100km walk/jog/run route from the capital to the coast.

A gruelling activity lays ahead for the boys, but their motivation will no doubt get them through. (I only hope they have quality nursing planned for the days after.) You can find out more, or sponsor the guys from the link below.
To sponsor My Wife: click here.

To sponsor William and Tom: click here. - Oakhaven Donation Envelopes are also available in Haywood Fox’s Milford office, where (William's brother) Richard works.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A New Thai Taste

If you enjoy authentic Thai food, you are going to love the recent changes at Britannia Thai.

The new Head Chef, Songkiat Surin is bringing his passion for traditional Thai food and combining it with fresh organic ingredients Fusion style. 

Songkiat has an impressive CV, having worked in 4 and 5 star hotels in Pattaya and Bangkok before going to work in Israel for three years. He arrived in the UK in 2007 and helped set up the Bann Thai restaurant in Worcester. Due to his passion to work with fresh organic ingredients he then went to work in Daylesford Organic Farm Shop in Gloucestershire, before returning to work in the highly regarded Zen Garden in Carey's Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst.

Songkiat Surin was Born Pattaya in Thailand and is married with a 6 year old daughter.  

Some of Songkiat's signature dishes are the Thai Scallops, Salt and Pepper Squid, Tamarind Duck, Honey Duck with Orange Salad, Lamb Shank and Pepper Beef (which is Sirloin Steak sizzling on a platter.) He also does tasty Thai classics such as the green and red curry. 

In additional to a full Thai menu, Britannia Thai are also now offering a Thai Tapas for lunch where you can choose a set menu or just pick a lot of different dishes to taste. 

To ensure the authenticity of the dishes, he orders fresh Thai ingredients directly from Thailand which are delivered to Bournemouth airport and then straight to the restaurant. The fresh meat and fish are from specialist companies in Bournemouth and the fresh vegetables are from Marjorie's in the village.

The Britannia Thai also has a new front of house team. The Manager is Kanoksak Siripongswalee, affectionately known as Tae, together with his wife Duangjai (known as Orr).

So, a number of exciting changes to try out, and a great excuse to treat yourself to a Thai experience soon!

Britannia Thai
1 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF 
Tel: 01590 642226 & 01590 642212

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Pippa Spotted in the Village

Milford on Sea is fast becoming the perfect place for 'celebrity spotting!'

A reliable source has told us that on Wednesday, Pippa Middleton was spotted coming out of JW Hair and Beauty in Milford on Sea. Apparently, she was accompanied by six hefty security staff. Reports suggest that she spent a couple of hours having her hair and nails done in this well-known local beauty spot.

Pippa of course became famous for that bridesmaid dress, (or more accurately the rear of that dress,) at her sister Kate's wedding to Prince William.

In order to maintain our growing record of celebrity spotting in Milford on Sea, can you please organise yourselves into a rota patrolling the village 24/7, and report all sightings to us!

Note: Reports that Elvis was spotted in the chip shop have been vehemently denied by Mr Pink.

JW Hair and Beauty
The Old Bank House, 5 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
Tel: 01590 642057

Free Computers & WiFi

Do you need access to a computer? - or need to use WiFi?

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Well you can do either for free at the Community Centre from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. A row of computers line the walls in the Community Centre Café and they are free to use by anyone. 

If you call in whilst the café is open (10am to 12noon Monday to Friday) you can also enjoy a cup of tea, coffee or slice of cake whilst you bang around on the keyboard.

There is even normally someone on hand who can give guidance is you get stuck.

Milford on Sea Community Centre
9 Sea Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PH
Tel: 01590 644861

One for the kids

Our friends at Milford Conservation Volunteers, have sent in the story below for all to enjoy:

A BED TIME STORY FOR SUMMER ~ 'Urgent Meeting Request'

It was a lovely sunny spring morning on Studland Common. I checked my watch to make sure I was in good time, which was just as well. Yesterday I had received a telephone call from one of our local residents insisting on an urgent meeting to discuss recent work done on the nature reserve. The resident had sounded a bit agitated, so I hoped I might be able to explain and placate the caller and his three friends, who he wished to bring along.

Hearing rustling behind me, I turned to find myself confronted by a bear, a small pig, a tiger and a donkey.

“Hello” said the bear. “My name is Pooh”. “Hello Pooh” I said shaking him by the paw. “These are my three friends” said Pooh. “We all live here”. “This is Piglet” he said. “Hello” squeaked Piglet. “And this is Tigger”, said Pooh. “Worraworraworra” said Tigger, jumping in and out of a large muddy puddle. “And this is Eeyore”, said Pooh. “Morning”, said Eeyore gloomily and getting splattered in mud from Tigger’s antics.

“So how can I help you?” I said. “You probably can’t”, said Eeyore. “But you never know”, said Piglet. “We’ve got a list”, said Pooh importantly, rummaging around in his left wellington boot. “Oh that’s helpful”, I said. “It’s always useful to have an agenda”. “We haven’t got one of those”, said Pooh. “Owl told us that a list is what we should bring and he is very wise”. So he wrote one out for us. Can I read it to you?” “What a good idea”, I said.

Pooh cleared his throat and started reading the list. “Meating beatween represententivs of 23 akre wood and sum wonne from Milfod Conservayshun Voluntears. For diskushun. Item 1. Wy hav yu choppd down lotts of treez and shrubs?” Pooh then folded the piece of paper into four and put it in his right wellington boot.

“Is there anything else on Owl’s list?” I asked. “No”, said Pooh that’s all. “It’s a small list, but it’s a very big question.”

“You see”, said Piglet “we’re very worried that you’re going to carry on chopping down the trees and then we won’t have anywhere to live.” “Oh no, that definitely isn’t going to happen,” I said. “Let me explain what we’ve done and why. And while we’re talking let’s have a walk around the reserve so I can show you what it looks like.”

Off they set as I explained. “You see, many years ago, this land used to be a beautiful common with lots of wildflowers, hundreds of butterflies and lots of different birds. Over the years it became overgrown with lots of dense vegetation and small sapling trees started to grow and take over. Now that the saplings have grown into large trees and the scrub has spread the light can’t get in, the flowers don’t grow and a lot of the butterflies and birds disappeared. So last year we started clearing the first area of scrub and some of the trees so that we could turn this part back into a beautiful meadow again and create the right habitat for the birds and butterflies to return”.

“I like habitat,” said Tigger. “I went there once with Kanga and Roo. We had such fun bouncing on all the different beds and opening all the cupboard doors”. “That’s a different sort of habitat,” I said patiently. “The right habitat for a butterfly means there’s plenty of food for the caterpillars and for the butterflies, and there’s the right amount of sun and shelter and it’s a safe place for them all to live.” ……….I would normally have mentioned courtship and mating, but didn’t feel up to explaining such matters to the current audience.

“I’ve got a happitat too”, said Piglet. “I need lots of oak trees so I can eat all the haycorns.” That’s right,” I said. “We all need the right habitat.”

“So are you going to cut down all the trees?” asked Pooh. “Definitely not”, I said. “Your wood and the common are very special places. They are both designated as Local Nature Reserves and a SINC.” They all looked a bit perplexed! “I havn’t seen no sinks”, said Eeyore. “I’ve seen a water trough for our friends Oscar and Olive the Dexter cattle, but definitely no sinks – do they have taps?”. I explained. “A SINC stands for a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and no-one is allowed to chop down all the trees. The Volunteers, Milford-on-Sea Parish Council and Natural England consider that the grounds are of great local importance and being home to lots of rare species, like yourselves” I said as I crossed my fingers behind my back because I knew that the SINC designation documents wouldn’t have listed bears, pigs, tiger and donkeys as a reason for conferring SINC status, but I certainly didn’t want to hurt their feelings.

“That’s very good to hear,” said Pooh. “It makes me proud to live in such an important and highly valued place. I hope you always take care of it for us.”

“So have you had any more butterflies and birds since you chopped down some of the trees and scrub?” asked Piglet. “Oh yes we’ve already seen more species”, I said. “And for the first time in a very long time we’ve seen Brimstone butterflies that lay their eggs on either Common Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn and there appear to be more beautiful Bullfinches around.

“The Butterflies also love feeding on the nectar from wildflowers” I said. “Oh dear,” said Eeyore glumly. “I knew it all sounded too good to be true. You’ve all got your happitat safe and sound and I’ve got an un-happitat because all these new butterflies are eating my food.” “Oh Eeyore, don’t worry. The butterflies are really small and they don’t have big appetites as you. There’ll be plenty of food for you,” I said. “In fact, now that the meadow is back there will be plenty more food for everyone to eat”. “Really?” said Eeyore smiling contentedly. “I think you might just have made me feel very happy.”

“Well,” Pooh said, I think it is time for lunch. Thank you very much for making us all happy again.” And off they all went back into the meadow to play with Olive, Oscar and friends without a care in the world. - THE END -

With sincere thanks for inspiration to author A.A.Milne and Penny Jeffreys of Hampshire Butterfly Conservation for her fun idea of promoting simple conservation messages to children ……..and adults.

To find out more about Milford Conservation Volunteers, please visit;

New Folk Club Website

Milford Folk Club has a new website, and if you are into Folk or Blues it is certainly worth a look. (click here)

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The club has 2 special events coming up, The Pyrates at Folk Club on the 8th May and a Blues Night on 16th May. 

The Folk Nights and concerts happen at the Milford on Sea Community Centre in Sea Road. The Centre has a licensed bar with car parking next door.

Everyone is welcome, just come along and pay on the door. (or for shows, buy tickets at the Community Centre Box Office.)

The club meets on the second Thursday of each month and it usually follows the format of host, floor singers and guests. 

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The entrance price is normally £4.50, although occasionally they have to charge a little more if they book expensive guests.

About Milford Folk Club 
Milford Folk Club was established in 2007 - more or less with a wing and a prayer. The organiser hadn’t been inside a folk club since the smoky dingy, hand over ear sessions of the 1960s but had always loved traditional music, both folk and blues. So, it was with these 60s type backroom of pubs clubs that Milford Folk Club set about running along the same lines.

Milford Folk Club was fortunate to attract the Goodthyme Brothers, Jim Palmer and Bill Hesp. Bill has stayed the course and is now the regular host and all time walking encyclopaedia of folk knowledge: he knows who wrote and recorded everything. Bill organises the evenings - usually a couple of songs from him, floor singers and guest singer.

One exciting ‘spin off’ is the regular Blues evenings organised by Bob Long. …………….

Milford Folk Club often attracts an audience of around 60 or even more.

Milford Folk Club

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Beach House Re-Opens

The Beach House in Milford on Sea in now once again re-open. Having been closed for major refurbishment since January, the first impressions are that it has been well worth the wait!

This magnificent country house is now offering a tasty and up-market pub menu in its restaurant, or you can take casual dining in any of the comfortable lounges. The 16 well-appointed en-suite hotel rooms, (singles, twins, doubles and family rooms) are modern and cosy with each having a unique beach style design.

It is clear that quality runs throughout, and the prices are great value for money.

The Beach House was formerly known as Westover Hall. The building is a Grade II listed Victorian mansion built in 1897, with restored oak-panelled interior, stained glass windows and vintage furniture. The new owners, Hall & Woodhouse, have restored the house to all of its former glory, whilst adding there own charming style.

Situated on the edge of the New Forest, The Beach House is nestled 200 yards from the beach and boasts breath-taking views of the Isle of Wight and the Needles.

The new pub bar in the spectacular main hall serves award winning Badger cask ales and lagers from around the world, and the restyled terrace enables you to fully enjoy the fabulous views on those sunny days.

Take a trip and see for yourself soon! 

Discover more: A Sneaky View of The Beach House - click here.

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