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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Beach Hut Plan Afoot

Since the Valentine’s Night storm in February 201, of the original 118 concrete beach huts on Milford on Sea Lower Promenade, 33 are no longer in place and 85 are in need of repair.

We understand that on Wednesday next week the Council's 'Cabinet' will meet to discuss what ought to be the final paper to resolve the beach hut issue. 

The beach hut owners have been clamouring for repairs to be allowed where necessary for those having huts with little or no damage, and those that had huts now demolished seek rebuilding as soon as practical. Some local flat owners would prefer all huts to be removed without replacement and, almost six months down the line the seafront still resembles a prison compound. 

After a number of surveys it has been established that elements of the existing huts are of inadequate design, the roof slabs have suffered from 50 years exposure to the sea and asbestos is incorporated into most of the structures.

Each beach hut is privately owned and in principle the owners are responsible for repair or rebuild as necessary, and could have insured the risk had they wished. So, for the Council there are complex and conflicting pressures.
Further investigations were authorised by NFDC’s Cabinet at their meeting on 4th June. In turn, reports and damage assessments have been obtained from structural engineers and conceptual engineering designs, with budget costs developed by coastal construction specialists. After absorbing the options available, the proposed solution is that:
  1. All huts should be demolished and the lower promenade (on which they stand) removed
  2. A more resilient line of slabs should be cast to form a new lower promenade and to provide enhanced coastal defences
  3. New huts should be built in reinforced concrete
  4. Existing hut owners will be invited to join the scheme and pay part of the new huts’ cost
  5. Those who had huts now demolished are to pay what would have been the cost of replacing on a like-for-like basis (i.e. in concrete blockwork - £4,600.)
  6. Owners with huts still standing will pay the lesser of the repair cost for their hut or the rebuild cost. Their payments will range from £2,800 to £4600 depending on extent of the repairs needed.
  7. Owners’ contributions will cover most of the rebuild cost and in total will be £516,000
  8. Milford will benefit from the enhance appearance of the new huts and the improved coastal protection they will provide.
  9. By securing the continuing income from license fees the Council will obtain a commercial rate of return to the benefit of taxpayers.
This may just be an elegant solution to a profoundly difficult problem?!

If you would like to share your thoughts, please click on the 'comments link' below.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

IoW Bird Monster

After the recent discovery of the Sturt Pond Monster (read here), Jon has written to inform us of a discovery his family made on recent visit to the Isle of Wight.

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Jon explained; "We came across this strange bird like creature that had been 'frozen' in time. Now we know that visiting the Island can be a little like going back in time, but this 'creature' surprised us all by its size and curious features. 
If any of your readers can identify the species they could possibly have the specimen named in their honour. 
I should point out that the head alone is over half a metre in length so the creatures exact location, on the Isle of Wight, is being kept secret for the time being."

It is nice to see that another of our readers is a daft as me!

Music Festival in Pictures

Another Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival was enjoyed by many as they basked the glorious sunshine of Milford on Sea.

Hundreds of people turned up to enjoy Folk on Thursday, Youth Bands on Friday, the Main Stage with a vast array of bands on Saturday and then the finale on Smooth Sunday with a more mellow feel.

Talented local commercial photographer, Adam Lynk captured the heart and soul of the weekend. To view his galleries, please click here.

Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival

Adam Lynk Photography Studios
25 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
01590 642925|07590 333313 

One Camper, Four Bays

As I was reading my e-mail inbox a particular e-mail had arrived from a long standing reader of this blog, - who felt it was time they had a rant!

The e-mail read: "Just imagine my horror when I arrived in Keyhaven this morning for my usual peaceful stroll up the ancient highway with my springer Ben - a delightful place at any time of the year where one can usually exchange 'top of the mornings' with a few locals. What a shock, what indignation to be confronted by this offensive monstrosity of the gas guzzling species parked up across about 5 parking spaces in the 4 hour parking zone in one of the choice parking areas for visitors. Clearly this had been there all night as the curtains were all drawn and the air conditioning unit was buzzing on the side of the machine. The whole area was in fact parked up at 7.30am this morning including by another camper van half that size attempting to unpark itself near the bridge having been 'parked in' earlier this morning.

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The first point I have to make is why did they not park the thing in the public car park which was virtually empty. I am sure that they would not have bothered to pay the parking fee as they clearly have no regard for the principle of the law and have no consideration for the inconvenience they may cause to other members of the human species.

The second point is where are our public spirited local traffic wardens, official council operatives and police when you need them. They always seem to be hovering when you are about to run over your parking ticket expiry time!"  Signed Yours most annoyed!

There appears little doubt that the driver had not considered that people would be wanting to use those spaces from first thing in the morning. Had they been there overnight, I suspect the places were all empty when arriving and the evening view of Keyhaven from the camper would have been pretty special. Personally, I am all for people doing things they like and hope they enjoyed their visit, just a shame they did not realise that their parking would affect people in the morning.

Obtusely, when I saw the photo of the motor home, I was pretty impressed by the Dethleffs Esprit's design and quality German engineering!

Example of a Dethleffs Esprit
I know is is probably politically & environmentally incorrect, but being a petrol head I just cannot resist powerful motors.

Camping however is another story. The idea of sleeping under canvas, or in a moving tin can, simply fills me with dread. We only have two types of UK weather; 'wet & cold' or 'hot & stifling', neither are conducive to creating a desire for me to venture out to use communal toilets.

However, a luxuriously appointed hotel room on wheels does start to appeal, particularly when it is fully air conditioned and equipped with a TV and fridge to keep the wine nicely chilled.

Yes, a road trip in the right vehicle could be fun, but if we did do it we would be careful about where we parked!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

More on Village Crest Revealed

Following our recent story regarding the Milford on Sea Village Crest, (click here to read) we have had an interesting reply from Bob Braid of the Milford on Sea Historical Record Society.

Bob, who is blighted with a similar sense of humour to my own, speculated with wry smile; "The bloke on the left actually has a pickaxe & represents the men who dug the network of smugglers tunnels around the village. The ship is a poor representation of a Viking long ship and refers to the great battle between the Saxons and Danes when the stream ran red with blood and from which Danestream gets its name. The crown refers to Charles 1 imprisonment at Hurst Castle on passage to his trial and execution in London. The flower is not a rose, but the elusive Milford Pimpernel, also known as Paddy's Pride, which used to grow on the cliffs, hence Paddy's Gap."  Mixing a few facts with some myths is a great way to create history!

Fortunately, he also has a more factual story. Bob explained that the Milford on Sea Village Crest first appeared on souvenir china in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During those times, souvenir china was all the rage and it is extremely collectable today.

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Bob said; "The first pieces were sold in Mrs Christie's shop and then soon taken up by other village shops. (Christie's was firstly located opposite where Verveine now is, and later where New Seasons Florists are and next to the Post Office) 

As far as we know, and we are willing to be convinced otherwise, you could select your design from elements in a pattern book and we think it was dreamt up by Telford Stone, the printer and stationer in the village." 

Interestingly,  the Truro coat of arms has a remarkable resemblance to our own, which makes this final explanation all the more likely.

About Milford on Sea Historical Record Society

The Milford on Sea Historical Record Society was established in 1909 and exists to research local history and to preserve records of Milford on Sea and its neighbourhood.

The Society has a comprehensive collection of archival material in the forms of maps, photographs, books, recordings, transcripts of early records, microfiche and film and other specially compiled records and recollections. 

A programme of lectures is arranged each year and these are held on the last Thursday of January, March, May, September and November. All Meetings are held in All Saints Church Hall, Milford on Sea, commencing at 7.45 pm. Complimentary Coffee/Tea/Soft Drinks are available from 7.15 pm 

Annual Subscription is £8. Visitors are welcome at any lecture for a fee of £3.

For more information, please contact:

Chairman: Brian Giles 01590 644318 -
Vice Chairman: Chris Hobby 01590 645164 -
Hon Sec: Dinah LeMay
Keeper of the Archive:

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Milford Bowls Club Winners

Last Wednesday over 20 pairs of players competed for the annual Needles Competition at Milford on Sea Bowls Club.

Needles Competition Winners
Derek Newell & David Newman
Martin Scott of Hayward Fox
*click image to enlarge
After a very long day in beautiful weather, and a lot of close fought matches, the eventual winners were Derek Newell & David Newman with this years runners up Sheila & David Hall.

The Needles Trophy and the keepsakes of watercolour paintings, by local artist John Bird, were presented by Martin Scott of Hayward Fox kind sponsors of this competition. 
Needles Competition Runners-Up
Sheila & David Hall
Martin Scott of Hayward Fox
*click image to enlarge

Friday, 25 July 2014

Watch Out for Dangerous Rocks

I suspect most who live in, or visit Milford on Sea would be unaware that we live in a dangerous place. In fact, so much so that we have signs to warn us all. Having been informed about the signs your intrepid reporter set out in search of evidence. 

My first thought was that Milford on Sea had been declared the drug capital of the UK, but as most of these are taken by legitimate prescription I soon realised we would not actually qualify for this disturbing title. 

Perhaps the danger lurks in the village I thought, so off I set, but there did not appear to be any angry groups of ‘hoodies’ roaming the streets, & the biggest dangers I found on the street corners was the sharp edged curbs.

I considered that here in Milford there is a high percentage chance of being mown down by a mobility scooter, but I found no signs to warn us of this, so I concluded that this was not the danger I was looking for. It therefore appeared that the village is pretty safe. That being the case, I decided that the danger must lie at the seafront. 

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My next investigations soon revealed the danger to me. (Do you think I found it so fast because I am married to a policeman’s daughter?)

To my horror I discovered that we are all under threat from the rocks. I stood back & calmly read the chilling sign: ‘Warning: Rocks can be dangerous’. The sign told me everything & nothing.

However, now being alert to the danger I took a quick look at the rocks in the immediate area, unfortunately whoever had put up the sign had not been thorough enough to label each rock with ‘this one is dangerous’, this one is not’, ‘this one is dangerous’, ‘this one is not’ etc. The sign itself wasn’t really helping, as it just had an image of superman flying over some cotton wool balls, and no indication of where the dangerous rocks actually are. 

I soon wondered if it was it just a small group of wicked rocks that were actually dangerous? If so, how would we know which ones to avoid? More disturbingly, how would we know if they roam in vicious groups, or do they slyly mingle in with the nice placid rocks, only revealing themselves when they attack? 

The signs do not reveal the exact nature of the danger, so I decided to keep one hand on my wallet, the other on the dogs, and at the same time kept looking behind me to ensure I was not mugged by surprise. Indeed, how daft would I have looked if I had been mugged by a rock. Can you imagine explaining the mugging to the police, & the officer asking: ‘Didn’t you see the warning sign sir?’. 

Perhaps the rocks were dangerous because ten percent of them had been replaced by rubber rocks, so that when you walk on them you just bounce uncontrollably into the air towards the Needles. Could be funny to watch, but I am not sure that this would qualify as dangerous. 

My investigations were coming to nothing, and it seemed that being the husband of a policeman’s daughter was not really helping me to solve the mystery. I therefore took the best course of action I could think of, & went home for a drink in the knowledge that the rocks may get me in an unexpected way sometime in the future.

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Whilst rambling inanely about signs that are designed by people who studied ‘stating the bleeding obvious’ at university, I am now planning to add a few more to protect us all, I might start with: ‘Danger: Walking can make you tired’, ‘Warning: Pebbles can be nasty if roused’, ‘Watch out, watch out there’s a Humphrey about’ and ‘Attention: Nude bathing is prohibited, but encouraged.’ 

If you see them, don’t tell anyone that it was me did it. Perhaps we could even add to bottom of the village welcome sign: Beware: Our rocks are evil!’

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Charity Shop Exhibition

For the month of August, the current collection of pictures and mirrors from the Village Charity Shop will be on exhibition and for sale at the Village Community Centre.

All exhibits will be for sale and can be paid for at the Community Centre Box Office or the Village Charity Shop in the High Street.

Daina and Penny would like to thank local artist Tessa van Hasselt for her help and enthusiasm organising the exhibition and local artists Joyce Grainger and Christine Calder for their offer of help to display the artwork after their current exhibition finishes.

Do pop along and visit as we have a varied and interesting collection at very affordable prices!

5 Star September Cottage

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Vicky & Les Spicer at September Cottage are delighted to have been awarded a 5 Star Food Hygiene Rating for their delightful Bed & Breakfast. This come as no real surprise if you have happen to have tasted one of their delicious delicious breakfasts with the finest local produce and prepare it to the highest standards.

In addition to offering 'home from home' B&B rooms, there is a a self-contained holiday let providing guests with a self-catering option. Situated in the centre of the village, it is close to the shops, pubs and restaurants, and no more than ten minutes walk away from the beach.

Applecrust Catering
As well as looking after guest to Milford on Sea, Vicky is also an accomplished cook who founded Applecrust Catering in 1985. Over the years she has provided catering for a very diverse range of occasions, including many business functions, weddings, barbecues and themed parties, such as Spanish Tapas and Paella evenings, Greek Parties, Caribbean and Country and Western Barbecues, and even Sausage Parties! She is happy to provide whatever you wish and will visit you to help you devise a menu suitable for your special occasion, just give her a call.

September Cottage & Applecrust Catering
22a, Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 OQY
Tel: 01590 645419 - 07767 410963

Fishermen & their hooks

On these lovely summer evenings it is nice to see fisherman lining up along the beach, some with chairs, others with mini tents and most with a good supply of food & drink.

As they enjoy their hobby many are considerate to other beach users, but sadly some can be careless.

Recently a young dog swallowed this fishing hook (pictured on left) on the beach just in front of the car park by The Needles Eye Cafe.  Sadly, the dog had to have a massive abdominal operation and was lucky to survive.

So if you have a dog or small child please keep an eye out.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Fancy Falmouth?

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If you are considering getting away for a break, but still want to be by the sea, how about a stay in Falmouth?

A friend of ours in the village has just started letting their modern and homely property for holidays. It is a new and comfortably appointed house with a secluded garden, situated in a quiet yet enviable position within an easy walking on the harbour, the town & stunning beaches. There are 2 bedrooms, driveway parking for 2 cars & and if you are travelling by train the house could not be better located being just a couple of minutes walk away.

If you would like to find out more, please click here.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Hurst Castle Opens Village Shop

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Situated proudly at the end of Hurst Spit, Hurst Castle is an important historical site and the main tourist attraction for Milford on Sea. The team now have a new village shop (previously Ellis Hairdressers), which now provides information and tickets for Hurst Castle and the range of enjoyable boat trips they are able to offer to Yarmouth and around The Solent. 

Hurst Castle is owned by English Heritage, however, the day to day operation has been managed by Hurst Ferries for decades. Hurst Ferries is a company run by a born & bred Milford on Sea family led by Sean, Mary and Jason. (Some may know that Sean is currently unwell, and the family thanks everyone who have sent their good wishes.) 

Whilst most people will know about Hurst Castle, fewer will know about the other seafaring services the team can offer. Such as, the ferry from Keyhaven to the Isle of Wight every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, scenic charter boat tours, and even regular ‘Rib Rides’ for individuals, private groups and children’s parties. The castle can also host weddings and private celebration parties.

The Hurst Castle Shop can now provide information and tickets for the castle and all the available boat trips. there is also a colourful display of local art, all done by village artists and available for people to buy. 

Hurst Castle itself has so much to explore for adults and children alike. Originally built by Henry VIII as a fortress to commands the narrow entrance to the Solent, it has also been the prison of Charles I, and served as a military garrison during WW1 & WW2 with many wartime guns and artefacts to discover. The castle also has what may be the only remaining NAAFI Garrison Theatre, which continues to host shows right up to today. Indeed, their next musical hall show ‘Lest We Forget Show’ is being performed on Saturday 6th September.

The ferry trip to the castle is a charming and gentle ride through Keyhaven Harbour and when you reach the castle you are blessed with great views of the Isle of Wight. It is no surprise that Hurst Castle has won a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014. The 4.5 Star rating shows that the castle is proving as popular as ever, with new people and families still discovering the interesting contents and unique location, after enjoying the 1.5 mile walk along Hurst Spit, or the more relaxing ferry ride to get there. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome both on the ferry and in the castle.

Once at the castle the tea shop provides welcome refreshments and the Hurst Lighthouse adds another attraction and excellent photo opportunity.

Hurst Castle Opening Times 
Now to September: 10.30am to 5.30pm
Entry: Adult £4.50 : Child £2.60 : Senior £4.20 (season tickets available)

Ferries from Keyhaven to Hurst Castle
10am from Keyhaven and last boat 5.30pm from Hurst Castle. (Run approx. every 20 minutes.)
Returns: Adults £5.50 : Child £3
Singles: Adult £3.50 : Child £2

Ferries to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Depart Keyhaven Quay: 10.30am or 1pm 
Depart Yarmouth: 1.45pm or 4pm 
Return Fares: Adult £12 : Child £6

Adventure Rib Rides
Please pop in to discover the range of rides available.

Hurst Castle
Shop: 01590 642500 | Castle: 01590 642344

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sturt Pond Monster

Rumours have been circulating the village for the past few months of strange goings on at the beginning of Hurst Spit. Something large and unexplained has been lurking in the waters of Sturt Pond and concern has been growing that local wildlife and even small dogs might be in danger.

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Jon, an eagle eyed reader of these pages, has used his sharp camera skills to capture this amazing picture of the lurking danger.

Under the cover of darkness, we have been fortunate to obtain an exclusive interview with the creature, who told us that he wishes to be called Jock The Monster.

It appears that Jock is the brother of the Loch Ness Monster.

Apparently, the monster family were become quite concerned that the 'Yes' vote may win the Scottish Independence Referendum, as they see themselves very much as 'British Monsters'. 

Whilst delighted to be associated with Scotland, and with no intention to leave on-mass, the monster family felt it would be wise to spread themselves across Britain to ensure that they are seen as a British rather than exclusively 'Scottish'. 

Sturt Pond was their first choice due to the fun they plan to have with people trying to see them from the Bird Hide, plus the cliffs of the Isle of Wight has the feel of a Scottish mountain range. Jock The Monster also told me that other members of the family are looking for suitable places to set up home in Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester and Wolverhampton.

In a thick Highland accent, Jock The Monster said; "Their is no need for anyone to be concerned for safety as I only eat plankton and the occasional Mars Bar, or perhaps a Snickers."

Local shop owners were pleased to hear that Jock will be increasing their sales of Mars & Snickers, and the Milford Conservation Volunteers did not make a statement saying; "We look forward to Jock living in harmony with his new surroundings. We are slightly surprised for the village to now have its own monster, but all wildlife is welcome here."

Bins or Bags

The recent strike of dustbin men has once again raised the question of wheelie bins for the village.

There are naturally strong arguments for the hygienic benefits that the Wheelie Bins bring, however, (particularly for flat owners), the storage of the unit/s become a significant issue.

A subject without an obvious answer, so yet another issue totally unresolved on these pages!

Should have a view, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Our Village Crest Explained

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Do you know what the images represent on the Milford on Sea Village Crest?

No doubt someone from the Milford on Sea Historical Society can enlighten us, and perhaps even throw light on the crest's origin.

When faced with a question like this is, my approach is to make up the most inappropriate answer, and then wait for a grown up to provide the real facts.

So, here goes:

The Milford on Sea Crest contains two men standing on a set of scales representing how people in the village are quite good at balancing. The first man holds a sythe representing a rice worker from the paddy fields around Sturt Pont, the second man is a tall boy scout, his wellington boots and fishing net in hand illustrate how they used to wade into the sea to catch shrimps. Both men following the village tradition of wearing trousers a size too large, hence the need for both a belt and braces.

The crest itself is headed by a Keyhaven longboat, reminding us of our shipbuilding heritage and of the time when our forefathers set sail to conqueror the Isle of Wight. The Crown provides a memory of the former name of the village pub now known as The Smugglers Inn, and finally the red rose of Yorkshire represents all that have settled in the village from the North of England.

It is possible that all of these facts may be not be completely accurate, so if you can throw any light on any inaccuracies, please add a comment by clicking below.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Dementia Friendly Village

The newly formed Milford on Sea Dementia Action Group is looking for local shops, businesses, clubs, societies and church communities to become ‘Dementia Friends’ by attending a 45 minute free presentation. The idea is to learn what you can do to help those suffering from dementia in our village, the session will explain how people with dementia can be met with understanding and given support when they need it.

The Milford on Sea Dementia Action Group is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, and they are embarking on a campaign to make Milford on Sea a Dementia Friendly Village, and they hope as many people as possible will come along to listen to the presentation.

The next Dementia Awareness Presentation is on Wednesday 6th August at 6.30pm in the Community Centre.

If you can go along, please call Ruth Bufton on 01590 641875

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Time to Dress Retro

The Village Charity Shop has been tucking away a good selection of vintage and retro pieces (clothing) for a special event starting next week.

Daina, Penny and the team are excited about many of the items they have ready for sale, and I am reliably informed that there will be a fine selection, and that 'Retro is the new black!'.

I did offer to help the girls out by donating some of my old vintage/retro clothes, but I was very politely, yet firmly, told; "We do not have much demand for purple flares and the shop does not accept underpants regardless of their unusual size."

If you would like to get along to have a rummage, the Vintage /Retro Event starts on Monday 7th July and runs for as long as stock lasts.

Village Charity Shop
Church Hill, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Are You a Lady Who Lunches

Ladies Who Lunch are looking for some enthusiastic amateur 'restaurant reviewers'.

The idea for Ladies who Lunch in Hampshire was conceived during a nice lunch in Lymington that was ruined by rude staff. This was back in 2000, and since then, the girls have done hundreds of restaurant reviews across Hampshire.

Over the past fourteen years, some good times have been had by all, but now a couple of the team need a rest, and Carol is interested in hearing from anyone who would like to contribute guest reviews.

If you would like to try your hand at restaurant reviewing, please contact Carol at:  

Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Milford Festival on its way!

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The Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival is on its way, and will be with us from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th July 2014.

There is something for everyone, with different music themes every day and night.

The complete running order is in the programme. Please buy one, as this one of the key ways the festival is funded.

The local volunteer organisers are justifiably  proud of the fact that this is one of the only festivals in the area that remain free!

The festival team are still welcoming people to volunteer to help out behind the bar in particular for the Saturday and Sunday.

If you are able to give up a couple of hours to help then please contact: Sean Reeves on - 07966 449826 or 02380 6131977.

Milford on Sea Arts & Music Festival