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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Oldies in Milford on Sea

We have been sent an interesting article about the population breakdown of Milford on Sea. The friend that sent it claims that the article was sent to them by their daughter, but it could also be true that they used this as cover story to avoid admitting they read the Daily Mail!

New Census of Coastal Communities
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This week Matt Chorley, Political Editor of Mail Online, wrote an article which explains that some seaside towns are struggling to cope with ageing populations.

He refers to the New Census of Coastal Communities, which shows that on average 20% of people living in them are aged 65 or over, compared to 16% nationwide.

A detailed breakdown goes on to reveal that Milford on Sea has a much higher percentage, with 44% of residents 'Over 65', making the village the joint second highest seaside community in the UK. So, of our 5000'ish residents, around 2200 are over 65.

Conversely, Milford on Sea has an outstanding Primary School, and a thriving Pre-School, Brownies, Guides & Sea Scouts, so there is certainly a lot of young families around. Added to this, we have plenty of local tradesman and home businesses, vibrant village shops, fabulous places to eat and an active calendar for all to enjoy. The village actually feels well-balanced, rather than feeling like we are living in the film set of 'Cocoon'.

Matt Chorley's article goes onto to consider the socio-economic issues these population breakdowns can cause communities and expresses the views of MP's to the current and future situation.

Sadly, the article did not contain any statistics on 'Mobility scooters per head of population.'

We are of course incapable of serious thought, and would really love to know why a man's ears keep growing, and then become hairier than his head.

Living in the village it could not have escaped the noticed of many people, that avoiding (literally!) some of our more senior drivers is a regular past time. We have heard from a particularly poor source, that this has not passed the attention of the Parish Council, and they are currently working on a project to ease travel for people around the village centre. We have been fortunate to obtain an artist's impression of the vehicle proposed for introduction in March 2015.

Although I am yet to reach the 'Over 65 Category', I do observe that many of our over 65's are very active and look to be having a pretty good time by enjoying local clubs, classes, eateries, entertainment and of course the wonderful village and seaside life. The main downside appears to be that bits of the body start to stop working as you go.

Two of my friends (Jon and Colin) are at different stages in the ageing process, but both know they are getting older, as it now takes them longer to get over having a good time - than it takes have it!

It is said that there are 3 things that indicate you are getting older, first there is loss of memory... Can't remember what comes next.

To read the full Daily Mail article please click here.


A good friend of mine recently shared his experience on getting older.

Dear Friends,

It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes more difficult for them to maintain the same standard of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to shout at them. Some are over-sensitive, and there's nothing worse than an over-sensitive woman. 

Let me relate how I handled the situation with my over-sensitive wife Janet. When I took early retirement last year, it became necessary for Janet to take on an extra job to generate the extra income we need.

Shortly after she started the job I began to notice how she was showing her age. I now get home from the pub about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she always says she needs to rest for half an hour before making dinner. I don't shout at her, I just tell her to take her time and wake me up when dinner is on the table. I generally have lunch at the pub, so eating out again is unacceptable; I'm ready for home cooking when I get in.

She used to do the dishes when we finished eating, but now she leaves them lying around for several hours. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her every few minutes that they won't clean themselves. I know she appreciates this as she usually washes them before bedtime.

Another symptom of ageing is complaining. For example she complains that she has not enough time in her lunch hour to do all the shopping. I smile, and suggest that she spreads the shopping over 2 or 3 days, and that it wouldn't do her any harm to skip lunch completely once in a while. Tact is one of my strong points.

I know I look like a saint in the way I support Janet. Showing this much consideration is not easy. Many men will find it difficult - some will find it impossible. However, if you show a little more tact and diplomacy towards your ageing wife as a result of reading this, I will consider writing it was well worthwhile.

Best wishes, George

George died last week, he was found with a 24 inch Stanley screwdriver stuck up his arse, with only 2 inches protruding. His wife Janet was arrested, but an all female jury accepted her defence that he had accidentally sat on it.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Michelin & Harden's Guide for Verveine

Verveine have again been recommended in the UK's prestigious Michelin Guide & Harden's Guide.

This amazing fish restaurant goes from strength to strength, and they also have 30 pages of recipes and photos in the Hampshire Cookbook 'Meats, eats,drinks and leaves'. To cap all of this, the restaurant team have just discovered that one of their food images has made the front cover of this months 'BH Exclusive' magazine.

Chef/Proprietor, David Wykes said: "Well after an absolutely manic summer the first of the autumn menu's are now underway, so far the Lobster, Serrano, Passion Fruit and White Chocolate seems to be the runaway favourite!"

Always looking to be different, David is offering an interesting programme of events over the next few month's, including Cookery Days, Supper Clubs and Wine & Dine Evenings. He will also be offering his 'Very Different Christmas' Tasting Menu from the 3rd of December, where you can experience 6 courses for £27 at lunchtime or for £44 at dinner.

You can check out all of the Verveine events by clicking here

98 High St, Milford on Sea, Hampshire | 01590 642716

Sunday, 26 October 2014

WW1 Sikh Soldiers in Milford on Sea

In 1914, at the start of WW1, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) fighting in France was small and it was taking time to train the thousands of volunteers from Britain and other parts of the Empire.

The Indian Expeditionary Force arrived in Marseilles in September 1914 as reinforcements and made their journey to Flanders to fight on the Western Front. The two Indian divisions were formed of the Indian Cavalry Corps and Indian Corps, simply known as 'Lahore' and 'Meerut' Divisions, to distinguish them from the 3rd and 7th British divisions.)

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Injured Indian soldiers were bought to the area from the Western Front on France, and after the men had recovered from their wounds or illness they were sent on to Milford on Sea or Barton on Sea for convalescence, and then kitted out to go back to the front. Those unfit for further service were sent back to India. 

Mrs. White's Barton Court Hotel situated on the cliff top at Barton on Sea became a convalescent home, and hundreds of Indian troops also convalesced in huts of the Indian Convalescent Depot built along Barton Drive and Barton on Sea sea-front. 

The former Victoria Hotel on Milford on Sea cliff top (now Solent Court), was one building used for the convalescence of Indian soldiers. 

During the 18 months the Indian men were along the south coast 7,500 men passed through the depots, and only three died. (787 men stayed in Milford on Sea)

Today an obelisk of unpolished Devonshire granite stands in the grounds of the former Barton Court Hotel to commemorate their stay under the care of army doctors and the establishment of the Indian Convalescent Depot in 1914. The obelisk can be seen on the island at the junction of Marine Drive and Barton Court Avenue.

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An Indian soldier convalescing in Milford on Sea, Gyan Singh (Sikh), wrote to his brother in Punjab in Gurmukhi on 15th April 1915 from the Indian Army Depot Milford on Sea;

“The German is very strong. His planes sail the clouds and drop shells from the sky: his mines dig up the earth and his hidden craft strike below the sea. Bombs and blinding acid are thrown from his trenches which are only 100 to 50 yards from ours. He has countless machine guns which kill the whole firing line when in attack. When he attacks we kill his men. The dead lie in heaps. England is full of wounded. No man can return to the Punjab whole. Only the broken – limbed can go back. The regiments that came first are finished – here and there a man remains. Reinforcements have twice and three times brought them up to strength but straightaways they were used up. The German is very strong.”

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

New Car Wash in Village

Oh yes..., a Hand Car Wash has opened in the village!

The days of streets full of cars being dutifully washed by Dads' on Sunday mornings seems well gone, and now replaced by the convenience of a swift wash on the move.

Whilst it might be satisfying to see the results of your own hard labour, watching other people do it is even better!

So you can now pop your car down to Keyhaven Road, (on the old site of Milford Petrol Station), and have a hoard of guys descend on your motor. Simply pull on the forecourt and drive away minutes later gleaming for the day!

As an extra bonus, you can leave your car with them while you do your shopping, so a great way to use our village shops, - and no need to find a parking space either!

Hand Car Wash
Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QY

MoS Club Wartime Minutes: 1914 (Part 1)

In commemoration of the centenary year of World War One, Milford on Sea Club are publishing extracts from the minute books of the Club from 1914 to 1917, giving a fascinating and unique insight to Milford on Sea during the war years:

Extracts from the minute books of the Club: (1914 - Part 1)

Milford-on-Sea Club Ltd
67, High Street, Milford-on-Sea, Hants., SO41 0QG
Telephone: 01590 643209

Special Committee Meeting  -  24th August 1914

Proposed by Dr Bruce and Seconded by Mr F Keeping and resolved that all Military and Naval Units in the Parish during this week shall be admitted as extraordinary members of the Club with all the privileges of visiting members.

The Chairman then gladly promised at the unanimous request of the Committee, that he would cause notice to be posted of a Special Meeting of the Members to be held on Monday 31st August inst. At which he would move ‘That during the continuance of the war all Military and Naval Units stationed in the Parish shall be admitted free as visiting members.

Resolved that in compliance with a request made by Dr Bruce the Bagatelle table be lent to the Forces at Hurst Castle.

Proposed by Mr Brown and seconded by Mr Hillier and cordially resolved that a letter be written by the Hon Sec to Lieut. William Robinson, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, giving him the hearty greetings of his fellow members, assuring him of their keen interest in his welfare and wishing that all good fortune may attend him.

Committee Meeting  -  13th November 1914

Proposed by Mr Miles seconded by Mr Butler that subscription lists for the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund, the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association and the Daily Telegraph Belgian Relief Fund be put up in the Club.

Resolved that the question of arranging a lecture on the War, it’s Cause and Effect be left in the hands of the Chairman and Hon Sec.

Committee Meeting  -  27th November 1914

Proposed by Mr Brown and seconded by Mr Butler and resolved that the Hon Sec write to Messrs. Mew, Langton & Co saying that the price of beer charged in consequence of the new War Duty is excessive and that it may be necessary to change brewers unless they can reduce the price.

Committee Meeting  -  11th December 1914

Proposed by Mr Brown and seconded by Mr Agar and resolved that a box be put up to collect for cigarettes for the troops.

~~~  ~~~~~~  ~~~

As a further commemoration, everyone is invited to join in the fun filled 'Every Man Remembered Day' night of remembrance and fundraising in honour of our heroes past and present on Saturday 15th November. Entry is free.

6pm: Earlybird Start with Nostalgic Sing-A-Long with The Diamonds, a Children’s WW1 Fancy Dress Competition, Raffle, Comedy and WW1 Stories.

9pm: Grand Auction with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion Every Man Remembered Campaign.

MOS Club are doing rather well on the auction items, and support is outstanding. Already donated and up for grabs to the highest bidder....... 
  • Evening Meal, Bed & Breakfast in a room with Riverside View at The Captains Club, Christchurch
  • Evening Meal, Bed & Breakfast at The Beach House, Milford on Sea
  • Rounds of Golf from Walhampton and Barton-on-Sea Clubs and more on the night.... 
Live music and celebration till close

So make a date in your diary to join in for the evening, entry in free and non-members are welcome.
MoS Club
67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Meet our New Parish Clerk

Graham Wells, our new New Parish Clerk, took over the reigns from Keith Metcalf a couple of weeks ago, so we thought it might be interesting to know a bit more about him.

Graham was born and lived in Surrey until he moved to the Isle of Wight around 20 years ago, and he then moved to Lymington about 4 years ago. His two grown up sons still live on the Isle of Wight. Having remarried in January 2014, Graham now lives with his wife and step-daughter in Lymington.

His career background is quite varied, having spent much of his career in the financial services sector as both a finance advisor and building society manager, as well as advising on the provision of long term care.

In recent years he has studied and qualified for a degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This took six years to complete, on a part time basis, and he now run a small practice from his home.

His wife works for a challenge event company, and over the last two years Graham has helped on many of the events they run in the UK, by encouraging the participants to achieve what are quite difficult challenges.

Graham's interests include golf, walking/trekking, gardening, squash and badminton. As a keen golfer he has enjoyed being the manager of Walhampton Golf Club for just over a year.

Travelling has always been a keen interest, and up until two years ago you may have seen him riding his motorcycle, on which he has toured most of Europe. A few years ago he travelled on his own down to southern Turkey and then back over a three month period. Unfortunately he dropped his bike on a Belgium Motorway and is currently in the market for a new one.

Graham said; "I am very excited with my appointment as Parish Clerk, and am looking forward to getting to grips with its varied tasks. I look forward to helping those in Milford-on-Sea for many years to come."

We of course all wish him well in his new role in looking after the village.

If you wish to contact Graham of any reason, here are his contact details:

Graham Wells
Milford on Sea Parish Council

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

New Art Gallery in Village

The new Jabulani Art Gallery opens on Saturday 1st November 2014 and will feature the works of a number of talented local artists, including water colour paintings of a variety of local scenes, local photographic prints, hand-made jewellery, stainless steel sculpture and glassware.

The relaunched Jabulani Art Gallery is located in the High Street, Milford on Sea, and run by Hampshire watercolour artist and proprietor Sally Hamilton. “It has always been my dream to open as an art gallery, and when the existing gift shop had run its course, I knew the time was right,” says Sally Hamilton, owner of the gallery. “My goal is to establish a local gallery where art lovers can find a comprehensive range of work by local artists.”

Jabulani Gallery has emerged from gift shop to contemporary art gallery. The stylish new gallery will exhibit contemporary works on paper, paintings, fine art photography, sculpture, glassware and ceramic sculpture.

Everyone is welcome to come and see all of the new art on display, and you can order cards, prints and jewellery from the comfort of your home by clicking here.

Meet the Artists

Michael Turner - Stainless Steel Sculpture

Michael Turner has come a long way since graduating in Design in 1997. At the beginning of his career, working from his parents garage, Michael used nuts and bolts and reclaimed steel to create all sorts of animals, reptiles and bugs Although these were put together rather crudely, due to lack of experience and being freshly out of college, he had great fun experimenting and playing with ideas.

Michael moved into stainless steel because he wanted his work to be weather resistant and he could also see the true beauty of the metal when it was polished.

Michael continues to use this medium to this day, using recycled materials as much as possible, especially boat components, which have the highest grade of stainless steel.

In recent years Michael has had the chance to develop his work, creating much larger pieces, which he thoroughly enjoys making. Each piece is unique, made entirely by hand from start to finish.

Adam Lynk - Photographer

Adam Lynk of Lynk Photography, is a Milford on Sea based photographer with a studio based in the High Street opposite Jabulani Gallery.

Adam studied photography at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in the early 90's and after a career outside of photography returned to the art 6 years ago.

Adam produces landscape work that truly reflects the different aspects of the area.

Images are all finished to an archival, museum quality and come in a variety of sizes from 12 x 16" to 40 x 60".

William Rochfort - Oil Painting Artist

Will Rochfort is a talented Hampshire based artist who works predominantly with oils. Having completed a degree in Fine Art at Kingston University Will has since carved a successful career as a full time artist; the focus of his work being snapshots of people in time.

In the build up to the 2012 London Olympics, Will was invited to become an official artist for the Games and exhibited around the country to raise money for young athletes.

Today, Will's much sought after paintings are exhibited throughout the country and are in collections around the world. Working out of his studio in his home town of Lymington, he produces paintings for a growing list of private commissions, galleries and high profile collectors.

Sally Hamilton - Watercolours

Sally has been painting in watercolours since she was a small child. Art has been her lifelong passion and the feeling she has for her subjects is so intimately reflected in her studies and has resulted in highly acclaimed exhibitions in the UK, South Africa and Zambia.

Many of Sally's paintings have been reproduced as limited edition prints and, as well as the originals, which hang in homes all over the world.

For the past fifteen years Sally has been retained to paint some of the most distinguished golf course in Britain, France and Portugal for Mercedes Benz Annual Golf Tournaments.

Sally's child studies are always in demand and she has reproduced many of these as prints and greeting cards along with her landscapes and seascapes.

Jo Vane - Jewellery

Jo Vane creates hand-crafted jewellery collections from recycled sterling silver and 9ct gold, using ethically sourced gemstones, handmade decorative elements and enamels to accent her pieces. Jo's work is influenced by and a response to the coastal landscape and New Forest where she lives; themes such as light, water, erosion, growth and natural cycles inspire her tactile, organic jewellery designs.

As well as creating concise jewellery collections, Jo also works to bespoke commission, designing and creating unique one off pieces made to order.

Each piece of jewellery ordered from the Jabulani website will be packaged lovingly in a box made from recycled materials, and despatched within 7 working days via Royal Mail special delivery; (please allow 7­ to 10 working days).

Jabulani Gallery
36 High Street, Milford on Sea
01590 689755

Sunday, 19 October 2014

50 B4 50-De Karmeliet

De Karmeliet

After far too long, we at last arranged a visit to stay with our friends, Jason & Sandra, who opened a luxury B&B in Bruges around 3 years ago.

The Town House, Bruges
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Ideally located in the City centre this luxury B&B offered everything we needed, large very comfortable bedroom, massive bed, seating area, TV, tea/coffee and sumptuous bathroom. The breakfast was not only amazing, but also had a creative flourish you do not even get in the some of the best hotels.

Sandra speaks several languages including French, so I therefore spent many a happy hour chatting away practising my second language, whilst she looked at me quizzically trying decipher what I was saying. My wife covered her embarrassment by explaining that I was an idiot, but they had both known me long enough to already know that.

On our short forays along the pretty city streets we naturally visited numerous bars to check out the renowned Belgium beers, during which I acquired a taste for the Ghent brewed Charles Quint Blonde.

As we wandered it became apparent that the Belgian’s did not like my French very much, not because my dialect is an acquired taste, but because the Flemish speaking locals just do not like the French at all. So, despite my multi-lingual skills I endeavoured to communicate in English, however to my wife's eternal chagrin I could not help making the occasional inappropriate lapses.

It was fun to discover that there are 82 chocolate shops in Bruges, 10 of which make the chocolate on the premises, after about six shops my wife banned me from buying any more! She told me; ‘You can’t eat all that’, now I know she is not often wrong, but I certainly could.

Prior to arriving we had decided to treat ourselves to a visit to De Karmeliet, the only 3 Michelin Star restaurant in the city centre.

The restaurant was in an imposing building of obvious historic grandeur. The dining room was sumptuously decorated and formal, yet the staff were friendly and attentive.

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After we had chosen the five course tasting menu, the waiter bought the wine list. I say 'wine list', it was in fact a massive tome, over A3 size and around three inches thick! I studied it hard, but could find no Blue Nun, so we settled for a bottle of Morgan Pinot Noir. (It had to be French of course.)

As we perused the menu our French waiter explained each dish in French and English. I then translated for my wife, after which she told me what it actually was. We were both just about to try sea urchin for the first time, and not the 'loch dragon' I had translated.

Autumn Tasting Menu
  • Amuse-bouche: Sea urchin in egg, foie gras, oyster and caramelised nuts
  • Crispy sardine, marbre of baby squid, and marinated boeuf tomato
  • Roasted langoustines and goose liver, marinate eggplant, infusion of seaweed & mushroom.
  • Pheasant with green cabbage, parmentier of the legs, seasonal vegetables, baby apples & fruits.
  • A few sweets with fruit and chocolate
As the amuse-bouche arrived we knew we were going to be in for a special treat over the next couple of hours. The dishes could only be described as 'pure art on a plate'. Before even tasting anything we had been astounded by the colours, design and fragrance in front of us on the table.

After the creative, comprehensive and eye-popping amuse-bouche, we had not only the best sardine I had ever tasted, but the kitchen had infused magic into the tomato to create a flavour we had never experienced before.

As always langoustines cannot do anything other than please, and the langoustine broth was delicious and far too good to leave. As I dipped a lump of home-made bread into the loveliness, my knuckles received a sharp whack from my wife's spoon. Apparently, assaulting an innocent person in a restaurant is fine, but dipping bread is not.

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The original menu had said duck, but we had been informed as we were seated that it was the first day of the game season, and that the pheasant had just arrived and was now to be served instead, which sounded good to us. The baby apples added another dimension to the pheasant, as did the side dish of confit pheasant leg basted in goose liver and covered in creamy mash.

The two desserts bought another explosion of colour to the table, The pineapple was marinated in rum and served with ice cream, fruit spheres and pineapple crisp. The indulgent chocolate dish was served with pears and an almond slice. In spite of my pleading, my wife ate all of hers without sharing or donating a mouthful to a worthy husband.

As we enjoyed our coffee and generous selection of petit fours, Geert van Hecke (chef/proprietor) came out for a chat. Geert had learned his trade alongside Michel Roux and Alain Ducasse under the great French chef Alain Chapel. As my wife rolled her eye's and tutted, I explained to him in French that I was a personal friend of Michel Roux, She explained to him that I meant I had seen him on TV.

Our friends' eleven year old daughter, Jules, had really wanted to come with us, so before leaving we asked if they could give us something for her to taste. As we left we were generously given a box of De Karmeliet petit fours. That is the sort of nice touch that a lifetime memory is made of.

We also had a final treat, as we were invited to visit the large high-tech kitchens, where over 20 chefs perform their skills daily. The wall of glass was unexpected, but we learned that this had been designed so that diners in the garden, or people using the car park, could look straight into the kitchen in full flow.

As the rain fell, we merrily meandered a few streets back to The Townhouse B&B to take the obligatory afternoon nap following a great meal!

On our way home to the UK through a tin tube under the sea, my wife gave me as good a compliment as I could achieve, by telling me; ‘You did not irritate me as much as usual on this holiday’. Tres bon pour moi, - result!

De Karmeliet
Langestraat 19, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

The Townhouse
Werkhuisstraat 18, 8000 Bruges, Belgium



Michelin Stars Collected So Far: 39

3 Michelin Star
London: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Berkshire-Bray: The Waterside Inn

Bruges, Belgium: De Karmeliet

2 Michelin Star
London: La Gavroche, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Hibiscus, Pied a Terre
Berkshire: Michael Wignall at The Latymer (Penny Hill Park Hotel)
Buckinghamshire: Hand & Flowers (*3 Times!)
France-Paris: Georges V Hotel

1 Michelin Star
London: Benares, L’Autre Pied, Quilon, Social Eating House (*Twice!), Veeraswamy, The Savoy Grill, L’Escargot
Hampshire: Terrace Restaurant (Montague Arms), Vetiver (Chewton Glen Hotel), JSW.
Sussex: Ockenden Manor

*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:

Milford on Sea | Verveine Fishmarket
London | Franco's
Milford on Sea | La Perle -
Mudeford | The Jetty -
Yarmouth, IoW | The George -
London | Dishoom -
London | J Sheeky Oyster Bar -
Lymington | The Elderflower -
London | The Ivy -
Lymington | The Haven -
Devon | River Cottage HQ - 
Guildford | Brittens -

MoS Club 'Every Man Remembered Day'

As we approach Armistice Day in the centenary year of World War One, Milford on Sea Club are to hold a 'Every Man Remembered Day' from 6pm on Saturday 15th November.

Everyone is invited to join in the fun filled night of remembrance and fundraising in honour of our heroes past and present.

6pm: Earlybird Start with Nostalgic Sing-A-Long with The Diamonds, a Children’s WW1 Fancy Dress Competition, Raffle, Comedy and WW1 Stories.

9pm: Grand Auction with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion Every Man Remembered Campaign.

MOS Club are doing rather well on the auction items, and support is outstanding. Already donated and up for grabs to the highest bidder....... 
  • Evening Meal, Bed & Breakfast in a room with Riverside View at The Captains Club, Christchurch
  • Evening Meal, Bed & Breakfast at The Beach House, Milford on Sea
  • Rounds of Golf from Walhampton and Barton-on-Sea Clubs and more on the night.... 

Live music and celebration till close. Entry is free.

So make a date in your diary to join in for the evening.

MoS Club
67 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG

Saturday, 18 October 2014

New Head Chef at The Marine

The Marine have recently announced the arrival of a new Head Chef, Oli Richings.

Oli served his apprenticeship under Pierre Chevillard at Chewton Glen, and since then has enjoyed a number of senior positions, including that of Head Chef & Manager at Fallowfields Country House Hotel in Oxfordshire, where he gained two AA Rosettes. The Marine are now serving new menus created by Oli, all of which look worth tasting!

Bay–2–Bay Cruisers

The recently formed Bay-2-Bay Cruisers Car Club have chosen The Marine as their new meeting place. They aim to put on regular events for car enthusiasts and to raise as much money as possible for various local Charities. 

Regular Bay–2–Bay Cruisers monthly meets are now held at The Marine on the 3rd Sunday of every month, from 12 noon onwards, (Changes to the 4th from Jan 2015) where there’s a DJ playing Rock-a-Billy & Rock & Roll music throughout the afternoon. ‘Diner Style’ food is offered at reasonable prices as you wander around the cars on display.

The next Meet on Sunday 15th November from mid-day onwards.

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The Marine also has a number of other upcoming events, including a Halloween Rock’n Roll Party Night and a Michael BublĂ© Tribute Night. To find out more please click here.

The Marine
01590 644369

Something New at Hurst Castle

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The Association of Lighthouse Keepers (ALK) team of volunteers based at Hurst Castle have acquired the redundant lantern removed from the Nab Tower in the Solent with a view to turning it into a new exhibit for the Castle, particularly with children in mind.

The lantern became surplus to requirements when the tower was converted to solar power, and was removed completely during a major refurbishment in 2013. It languished in Swansea depot until the ALK came up with the plan to refurbish and reassemble the lantern at Hurst Castle. With permission from Trinity House, the lantern was partly dismantled and transported by lorry to Milford-on-Sea where it was transferred to tractor and trailer for the journey over the spit as far as the Castle entrance, where it had to be dismantled a bit more to fit through the gateway.

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The team at Hurst Castle have the necessary skills and enthusiasm to do what’s needed but not the money so they have been fundraising since the beginning of the year. Sponsors were sought and found to finance the replacement of the ten panes of glass that didn’t survive the journey intact and an information board about the project at the Castle has led to some very generous donations from visitors. The ALK team are really grateful to everyone who has helped in this way.

As a final push for this year, the team have produced an ‘ALK at Hurst Castle’ 2015 calendar featuring the Castle and lighthouses, all profits from which will go towards the Nab Tower Lantern Project.
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The calendar is available from the Castle or from the Castle Shop in Milford-on-Sea at a cost of £7.00 or from Keith Morton – contact details below.

If you would like to help us in our efforts by becoming a member of the ALK, or just because you like lighthouses, have a look at the website at

Alternatively, have a chat with Keith Morton, the ALK Project Manager at Hurst Castle. He is usually at the Castle on a Monday or can be contacted on or 01329 843883.

There is also a social side to the ALK which organises events, both locally and countrywide, and ‘lighthouse themed’ tours in the UK and abroad. For more information about the ALK at Hurst Castle go to the ‘Lighthouse’ link on the Hurst Castle website at

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Keith Retires as Parish Clerk

Keith Metcalf, our Milford on Sea Parish Clerk is retiring on the 18th October, which is coincidentally also his 65th birthday. 

Keith and Parish Councillors
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Keith has been our Parish Clerk since 1997, taking over from Jenny Spenser. For the past 17 years he has efficiently and diligently administered village issues and projects.

As well as handling day to day village matters, he has been a key driver in ensuring that the parish has received the very best of attention to maintaining and improving the village's common habitats and woodland, including the clearing and ongoing husbandry of the Pleasure Grounds, creating information boards sited in the Pleasure Grounds, and the Studland Common grazing project in conjunction the New Forest Land Advisory Service.

He also oversaw the creation of the bird scrape area, the publication of a village walk leaflet, and is currently working to create a Community Orchard in a corner of Studland Meadow, close to Pless Road in Milford on Sea.

During the last two years Keith has worked tirelessly with Jenny Spenser to bring about the village Biodiversity Action Plan for Milford on Sea, working very closely with the Community Wildlife Team at the National Park Office. The final edition will shortly be published and will form the basis for protection and enhancement of the environment in Milford on Sea, leading, of course, to much work!

Keith is recognised by numerous councillors, together with many residents, for his dedication and application to his duties whilst Parish Clerk. 

Keith Metcalf
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Not short of interests, Keith is well known as the 'Milford on Sea Champion of Wildlife'!

He will be continuing as the Conservation Officer of the Milford Conservation Volunteers (MCV).

Prior to the formation of MCV, Keith and Tony Locke had created and run the Wildlife and Recording Group (WRG) for 10 years, before they merged with Milford Environment Group (MEG) in 2011.

During this time he has been involved in many projects and developments to conserve and improve the natural surroundings and wildlife in the village.

Whilst with WRG he worked tirelessly towards getting the bird hide erected close to The Marine in Hurst Road.  Obtaining grants, and organising the construction and ongoing maintenance of the hide.

Since the merger of the WRG and MEG in December 2011 Keith has produced all the very informative newsletters which have been going out to members at least twice a year. All produced to a high standard and he has taken no personal credit for the tremendous effort he has put in.

His greatest passion is for bird watching and he has ensured the continuation of bird surveys on Studland Common which were begun when Prof. Gerald Smart was once Chairman of the Parish Council. His vast knowledge in bird watching and general nature is evident to anyone who has been walking with him. 

Keith is a keen photographer, and it will come as no surprise that his loves to photograph his beloved birds and wildlife. He also has great love of sport and still enjoys regularly playing snooker and table tennis with friends. He is an avid supporter of Arsenal, and when he first moved to the village some 20 plus years ago, Keith played in a veterans football team, and also helped to manage a local youth football team. 

Studland Common Grazing
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As a devoted father and grandfather he spends much time with his family, and his friends say he often quotes his late and dearly missed wife Anne, who the family lost in 2009 and with whom he had spent many happy years enjoying life. 

Keith is known for being caring and thoughtful, and has a drive to achieve things to benefit others in the local community. Not one to take the glory, Keith often diligently works behind the scenes dealing with endless paperwork, and he is first to pull on his wellies when task group need forming and jobs need doing to conserve our valuable open spaces and woodland. 

Keith at BioBlitz 2013
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Not quite ready for the 'pipe & slippers' life, Keith has a challenging vision to join with others to found a Milford on Sea Museum which would both display various village artefacts and provide yet another attraction for villagers and visitors alike. How and where this may happen is still in the planning stage, but hopefully he will succeed to the benefit of all. 

We join in wishing Keith a long and happy retirement, although we are not sure how much rest he will be getting!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Hurst Castle Xmas Card Launched

Local artist Shaun Stevens has once again donated a bright and cheery design for this year’s Hurst Castle Christmas Card. She calls the picture ‘Scows Help Hurst Castle Deliver Christmas’. 

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The card depicts eleven scows with brightly coloured sails and one of the little Hurst Castle Ferries packed full of festive gifts. Every boat is skippered by a little Santa and even the Castle dogs, Honey and Poppy, are on hand as crew. Shaun assures me that every sail number really exists and represents an actual member of the Keyhaven fleet.

At £3.50 for a pack of ten, they could make a nice personal Christmas card and help out Hurst Castle at the same time.

All proceeds are going towards restoring the old WW2 NAAFI canteen in the east wing of the Castle. This room, originally converted from two adjacent gun emplacements, is where the 161 troops stationed at Hurst during the War some 75 years ago would have taken their meals. 

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The canteen is currently in a sorry state of repair with water penetrating the brick-vaulted roof, but it is possible to repair the roof and dry everything out so that it may once again play an active role.

One suggestion is for the canteen to be made available as a classroom and exhibition space where visiting school children may learn about the origins of Hurst Spit and the Castle’s history.

Substantial donations have already been received from the New Forest National Park Authority and ExxonMobil’s Fawley Refinery, whilst users of the Castle’s Audio Guide have also contributed.

It is hoped that work can begin soon to repair the roof before a lengthy period of drying out begins next year.

The cards are on sale at the new Hurst Castle shop priced at £3.50 for a pack of ten.

Hurst Castle Shop
Open from 9.30 – 1.30 every morning
47 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG | 01590 642500

Monday, 13 October 2014

MOSHRS View on Museum

As discussions continue into the feasibility of a Milford Museum, we have received the letter below from Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society (MOSHRS) expressing their view.

Letter from Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society

Following a statement from the Trustees of the Village Hall, the Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society have now expressed their views on a proposed Museum in Milford-on-Sea.

The Society is happy to support a Museum in the Village and to make the collection available provided the conditions are right, such as how the loaned items are displayed at the St Barbe Museum in Lymington.

The Society who currently has a storage facility in the Village Hall, are grateful to the Trustees of the Hall who, after the Society was requested to leave their original storage space in the Parish Church Hall, came to the Society's rescue, by assisting financially in providing both this current storage facility and fireproof cabinets for the Society's records. The gesture resulted in preventing the records having to be deposited with the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester. The Society is therefore very fortunate to be able to store most of its records in the Village, which can be accessed for periodic Exhibitions.

The Society's collection is almost entirely paper based with few artefacts, which makes displaying effectively difficult and needs a lot of space. Although the idea of a Museum has been floated in the past, no suitable venue in the Village has ever been identified and the question of finance never resolved.

Following the good news regarding the continuation of the Village Library, due to a good number of volunteers coming forward, the Society considers there would not be sufficient space or income to run an effective Museum alongside the Library. The Village Hall also services a number of other users and the Society feels therefore, that accommodating a Museum around the existing users, would create a further number of difficulties.

On behalf of:
Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society

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If you wanted to add your view to the Milford on Sea Museum Survey: please click here

Sunday, 12 October 2014

My walls are damp!

Local resident, Dianna Goodwin decided to contact the Daily Telegraph after experiencing problems with cavity wall insulation. The newspaper decided to take up her case with interesting results. You can read her story from the Daily Telegraph below:

Daily Telegraph: This week our troubleshooter investigates whether cavity wall treatment can cause damp problems.

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Letter from Dianna Goodwin in Milford on Sea: I have read your recent advice about cavity wall insulation (CWI) with great interest. I had it installed three years ago. I am now experiencing all the problems people have written to you about – damp internal walls, staining, condensation and black mould. I phoned the installers three times, and they never returned my calls, so I contacted CIGA (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency). CIGA says the dampness in my house has nothing to do with the cavity insulation. They say it is due to poor pointing, damage to areas of timber panelling and the lack of a “weather seal” under a first-floor balcony door. The condensation and mould growth are apparently due to a lack of ventilation, “and entirely a product of the home environment”. It looks as if I will have to pay someone else to remove the insulation. Any help would be much appreciated.

Response from Jeff at Property, The Daily Telegraph: After you contacted CIGA, the installers finally visited your house, identified some areas where insulation was missing, and suggested it be “re-blown” (which is bad practice). They said the condensation was caused by poor ventilation, and by your furniture being too close to the walls. You questioned this diagnosis, and the insulation manufacturers also inspected, drilled a hole and used a boroscope to look inside the cavity. In one area the cavity was blocked with debris, and they also noted various areas of voids. They also said the black mould was caused by furniture close to the walls.

You disputed these findings, and CIGA eventually sent an inspector. You say he carried out a survey purely by looking at the property. He did not drill holes or use a boroscope, nor remove any bricks to check for wet insulation or debris in the cavity. CIGA’s written report stated that there was no evidence that the CWI had “caused or contributed to any issues with water penetration”.

The responses you have received from the industry are fairly typical. First of all they ignored you, in the hope that you would go away. Then they told you that your dampness is caused by defects in your property and “lifestyle condensation”. Your protestations that the house did not have any dampness issues until the cavities were filled have been ignored.

Your house is on a headland just 200 metres from the English Channel, in Exposure Zone 4 (the highest category). You tell me it is often hit by severe wind-driven rain. In any case, the pre-installation survey should have spotted existing defects such as damaged pointing or debris in the cavity. These alone should have ruled out cavity insulation for this property.
Since I became involved with this matter in July, things have taken some interesting turns. Not least is the fact that you were copied in on an email from CIGA’s Technical Manager, John Campbell, to his CEO. In it, he referred to your complaint, saying, “She has far too much time on her hands and nothing better to do.”

I called John Campbell for an explanation, but he refused to answer my questions. He referred me to CIGA’s CEO, Gerry Miller, who apologised for Mr Campbell’s remarks and told me he has now been sent on a “customer care course”. He also said to me, “Which of us hasn’t ever copied an email to the wrong person?”

This is quite extraordinary. The problem is not that the email was copied to you in error – the problem is that it was written at all. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if this attitude to a customer’s legitimate concerns might be a mindset within the organisation. Perhaps it contributes to CIGA’s repeated claims that only a tiny proportion of the dampness complaints it investigates are due to CWI.

Miller also said that, in his view, your dampness problems were caused by last winter’s unusually heavy rain. Cavity insulation suppliers and installers continue to insist that CWI is water-repellent and cannot allow rainwater to cross cavities – although I notice that the Government’s Energy Saving Trust now states on its website that homes are only suitable for cavity insulation if the walls are not exposed to driving rain.

CIGA now appears to have had a change of heart, and has paid you £7,270 to have the CWI removed and the damage repaired, albeit “without prejudice or admission of liability”.

Jeff at Property, The Daily Telegraph 
111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT 

Cavity Wall Insulation Advice: Dianna is now part of a small group intending to set up a campaign website, also providing both advice and support to anyone similarly experiencing problems which they believe might be linked to CWI. It is hoped that the site might also prove useful to anyone thinking of having CWI installed. 

If you would like to speak to her, then please email us on and we will put you in contact with Dianna.

Friday, 10 October 2014

From Broadband to Smurfs

Like a lot of people, understanding why we do not get a decent mobile phone signal in Milford on Sea, or why our broadband is so slow, or knowing what colour Smurfs go if they are strangled, is simply beyond me.

Thankfully there are people more knowledgeable that me in the village, and thanks to Roy Culligan we can be enlightened on the broadband situation. (Sadly he can't answer the Smurf question.)

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For a number of months there have been a good number of Openreach vans whizzing around the village, with men jumping out and sticking their heads in cabinets along the roadside. 

Initially I thought they may have been hunting the 'village Molemen', but it appears not.

Roy has informed us that his property in Milford on Sea (and probably many more in the village) is now capable of receiving a faster broadband service (about 40Mbps) (Ed: Nope, I don't know what that means either) via Openreach's 'Fibre To The Cabinet' service.  He explains; "Whilst this is still not fibre to each individual dwelling, it is still a great step forward for the village in gaining much faster broadband speeds and brings us into the 21st century technology age."

If you click here to visit the Openreach Superfast Broadband website, you can enter your postcode and it will tell you of the broadband options for your home or business.

When I did a search on our postcode I was greeted with this joyous message:

Exchange Name: MILFORD ON SEA
Status: AO
Great news. Superfast Fibre is in your area and your cabinet is enabled and accepting orders. Contact your preferred communications provider for your home or business to order.

So, it looks like things are speeding up on the worlwide interwebby thing, and you can click here to find your own provider to ask how you get the faster service.

If you have any other questions, please ask BT, as I don't have a clue.

However, if you do call BT, don't ask them about the Smurf's - I just did that and they hung up!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Boys & Girls on Bikes

The Cave Team
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The Cave Team were relieved to survive the Oakhaven Bike and Hike Challenge on Sunday. After a wet Saturday, the weather turned out dry and sunny, although seeing Jon & James wearing shorts and riding a tandem traumatised a number of onlookers.

The Cave Team of 13 either cycled 5, 15 or 30 miles whilst the hikers walked 6 or 10 miles. 

Cyclists, like speedbumps and tractors, are of course things that should be kept off roads, and we were happy to see the event was kept to the forest tracks, avoiding stress for unreasonable motorists like me.

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There were no major incidents for the team, apart from two punctures. 

Luckily, Jon and James' tandem was provided with a repair kit. The kit was fine, but their ability to use it was not so good, and the process took longer than fitting a new rocket booster on the space shuttle.

Poor Andy Parr had no help after getting his puncture 3 miles from the end, which resulted in him having to walk to the finish line! 

As the race was under-way, two old ladies were sitting in deck chairs watching the cyclists go by. As Jon & James passed, one of them had a stroke and the other one was really annoyed, as she could not reach.

Jon and James demonstrating
their cycling skills
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Two blokes on a tandem is asking for trouble really, but the lads survived the ride through the forest even though there were quite a few hair raising situations. James recalls; "At one stage we were barrelling down a hill with no brakes shouting to other bike riders "Don't stop, we are coming through!"  Witnesses have however told us that they were not shouting, but clearly screaming like big girls.

The whole team agreed that they had a great time, apart from the sore parts left in a few tender places.

After the ride, the team returned to The Cave to be greeted by Stacey with some well deserved drinks and nibbles whilst they recalled stories of their days adventure.

Organiser, Sharon Parr would like to thank everyone that sponsored them and she will announce the grand total raised in the next couple of weeks. After that she will start planning for The Cave Team to take to the saddle again next year!

PS: I am considering joining the team next year using a motorcycle with sidecar. My wife is however not looking too enthusiastic at the prospect of taking the passenger seat, but I still have a year to work on her!

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