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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Timeless on the Move

The Timeless Fabrics Shop is moving from opposite The Smugglers Inn, to the centre of Milford on Sea High Street, where Milford Model & Hobbies used to be.

Owner, Claire Deegan will be opening her doors on Tuesday 2nd December, ready for the switching on of the Christmas Lights on the Village Green!

The shop has been refurbished, with new lights and flooring having been fitted, the shop front sign writing is finished and friends and family are currently decorating into the night. 

Claire will have some new stock, books and Gift Certificates, ready for Christmas shoppers.

Claire lives in Hordle and this is now her second shop after establishing her business on-line.

Prior, to this Claire was a computer programmer who was taught at a young age to sew, knit, crochet and lace, by her mother & aunts. After redundancy, she returned to college to formalise her sewing skills - pattern cutting and City & Guilds in Lingerie! (This is good, must get my wife down to learn how to create me some special pants!)

Claire is a married mum of 3 children who attend Priestlands School & Brockenhurst College, and at the same time she juggles her husband & two dogs! (Not literally). She is also an enthusiastic tennis player (She claims, more enthusiasm than skill!) playing at Milford Tennis & Squash Club.

Claire is looking for the Timeless Fabrics shop to be a hive of creativity for all abilities. Like her previous shop, there will be a an in-house sewing machine to rent by the hour, a range of patterns, magazines & books available for inspiration and many fabrics, trims and haberdashery to create with. 

As well as the shop, Timeless Fabrics will also be running a new programme of workshops to assist anyone who would like to learn new skills and have a bit of fun.

Timeless Fabrics take great care in choosing quality fabrics, trims and patterns, sourcing them from all over the world, to stock our sewing emporium. The stock is regularly updated and keeps up to date with current trends and colours. All orders can be packaged the same day and dispatched swiftly to your door.

Please get in touch if there's anything Claire can help you with, or if there is a particular product you are trying to get hold of. She would love to hear from you.

Timeless Fabrics
61 High Street, Milford on Sea
Tel: 01590 642808 | Mobile: 07713 498459

To find out more, visit the 'Timeless Fabrics' blog or find them on Facebook, where Claire shares news, ideas and inspiration!

Friday, 28 November 2014

MoS Club presentation to British Legion

LtoR: Mark Ketchen Jan England, 
Ian Silander and David Graham
click image to enlarge
The Milford on Sea Club had a very successful 'Every Man Remembered Day' on 15th November 2014.

So, successful in fact, that they raised £2900 for the Royal British Legion, and there is now a possibility that this could become an annual event.

The event organiser, Mark Ketchen and Milford on Sea Club Chairman, Ian Silander are photographed presenting the cheque to Jan England (Royal British Legion Milford Branch Poppy Appeal organiser). To the right of Jan is David Graham the Milford Branch Standard Bearer.

Well done all, it was a respectful and fun day with a great result for a worthy cause.

Milford on Sea Club
High Street, Milford on Sea

Monday, 24 November 2014

Mystery Wall in Village

As you wander around the village, I wonder if you have ever noticed the 'Mystery Wall'?

No ideas what I am taking about? (Now you know how my wife feels on a daily basis.)

The Mystery Milford Wall
click image to enlarge
Well, coming out of The Red Lion the other night, I turned right, and walked smack bang into a brick wall. 

Picking up my dazed head & broken body, I could hear my wife's concern as she said; "Only an idiot like you could not see a wall coming". "It's OK love, nothing's broken, I'll be fine" I replied sarcastically, and then managed to get out of the way just as her handbag whizzed past my head.

I thought I must have walked into a building by mistake. ...But, I hadn't, I had walked into a random wall sticking out on to the pavement.

Still smarting, I took a mature approach and made useless statements like; 'Who put that there then", "What a stupid place to put a wall" and "If I had seen it, I could have used my SAS training and vaulted over it". 

High Street Shop
with Mystery Wall on right
I kid you not, I suspect you will have walked past this 'Mystery Wall' in the village many times, and not even realised it was even there.

On closer inspection the wall obviously has no structural purpose, it is definitely not holding anything up. (Apart from me, the split second after I walked into it.)

One side of the wall is rendered, whilst the the other is plain brick, weird.

So, why is it there?

Well, your intrepid reporter decided to don his deerstalker hat, and to disguise our dog as a bloodhound, in order to resolve the mystery. 

However, ...I couldn't find the deerstalker, (probably because I never had one), and our dog just looked at me with doleful eyes as I fitted her with a brandy barrel around her neck. She had realised, much sooner than I had, that it is the St. Bernard rescue dog that has the brandy. (A bit of luck that she can't talk, I bet she would have had a great time gleefully telling my wife.)
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As I did not have a pipe to make her into a real bloodhound, to her relief, I gave up.

Plan B. Forget dressing up to go out investigating, grab a whisky and settle at the keyboard for some desk research.

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After a few painstaking hours, and a few pleasurable refills, I sort of cracked it. By saying 'cracked it', I actually mean I have made up what I think may be the most logical answer.

The early 1900's pictures to the left appear to show a shop front, where now only the 'Mystery Wall' remains. So, it appears that when the shop front was removed, someone decided to just leave part of the wall standing lonely and proud on its own.

It might have been left to stop people blindly walking, and then falling down The Red Lion's cellar hatch which is about two metres away. Not much of an explanation I know, but best I could come up with.

I suspect it will only be a matter of time before someone corrects me with needless facts. (Then again, when have facts made a story interesting?!)  As Mark Twain said to me when we were at school together: "Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story."

School Choir at Xmas Fair

Milford on Sea C.E Primary School’s “Worship Choir” and the village's 'Total Voice" choir will be entertaining crowds at the school's Christmas Fair on Saturday week.

The school hall will be decked out with external stallholders, giving visitors the opportunity to start their Christmas shopping early by picking up some unique gifts. There will also be lots to keep the children entertained, including a Christmas Craft room, a Wii dancing and driving room and a delicious cafe, where you can enjoy a tasty lunch or tea/coffee and cake.

The children will also have an opportunity to buy a present for their mum/dad, grandparent or sibling at the fair in the school’s “secret present” room, where no adults are allowed.

The event is organised by the Milford on Sea C.E Primary School Academy Trust.

Everyone is invited, so please pop along to support our local kids.

Milford on Sea C.E Primary School Christmas Fair 
Saturday 6th December from 12 noon to 4pm

Sunday, 23 November 2014

New Milton Christmas Festival 2014

Whilst we wouldn't normally feature events on the news pages (they are all on, our neighbours are holding a pretty impressive New Milton Christmas Festival 2014.

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It all kicks off on Saturday 29th November at 12 Noon and culminating with the switch-on of an even better Christmas Lights Display at 5:20 pm. Over 150 stalls will be located in a series of Villages in Station Road and Old Milton Road – Community, Crafts and Gifts, Food & Drinks, Products and Services and the Entertainment Villages. There will be children’s and adult rides, a huge variety of international food on offer and even a Bar located in Station Road North in a bright red Double Decker Bus – The Hop On Inn. 

There will be Open Days at The New Milton Community Association in Osborne Road and also at The New Milton Conservative Club – where there will be another chance to see the “New Milton Heritage Collection” put together by a group of local Historians - to commemorate New Milton in the years from 1886 until 1920, focusing especially on the hardship of local people during the Great War.

Steve Brookstein, the original X Factor winner and local Band “Swing Unlimited” will be amongst many performers on the Central Stage located in the centre of the town. Throughout the afternoon the finals of Forest Talent 2014 will be held with the ultimate winner getting the First Prize of £250 and helping Fred Dinenage of ITV Meridian to switch-on the Town’s Christmas lights.

The Lions Club of New Milton will lead this year’s Festival Parade which will enter from the north end of Station Road at 1:30 pm. The Parade will include motorised floats, vintage vehicles, children in fancy dress and will be headed by The Ringwood Pipe Band and will conclude with the 40 strong Meridian Corp of Drums, who appeared last Christmas in the Disneyland Parade in Orlando.

Everyone can keep in touch with the latest Festival News on the Web Site:

For More Information contact: Alan Watson - Tel:01425 610052 / 07771 754025 E-Mail:

Recipe for Disaster

We made the mistake of accepting our friends invitation to dinner at their Milford on Sea home the other night.

Here’s the recipe for the evening!:

Take Four odd people, one Northern.

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Sit the ingredients around a table, ply with drink and fine food. Repeat this process numerous times. Keep replenishing glasses until everyone wets themselves laughing at something they will not remember.

At the point your guests should go home, bring the cheese and port to table. Take two mouthfuls of port to each mouthful of cheese. Ensure everyone reaches a stage where anything they say does not make any sense whatsoever. Then, guide guests to front door, order a taxi and pour guests in to go home.

Foot Note
When the big one gets home, pass out and smash the bathroom sink! On waking from bathroom floor, go to lounge, wake up wife from sofa and go to bed.

Make 'note to self: No more drinking.

We have joined Facebook

OK, ...I have avoided Facebook for years, but I have decided to give myself a massive headache by attempting to understand how it works and why people do it! 

If you want to be a 'friend' you can join me at: 

It should be fun watching me make an idiot of myself!

Milford on Sea

Have you seen StreetLife?

A new social media website has appeared recently called; Streetlife.

Someone somewhere has invested a lot of money to start creating a site for connecting local communities. Registering is simple, you just put in your postcode and a password and you are away.

We joined a week or so ago and find it quite interesting. What makes this site different is that it connects you with people that you don't know.

It is still early days, but more people are joining daily and it seems worth being on-board to us. You can check it out using the link below.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Unique Opportunity to Meet Johnson Beharry VC

Milford on Sea is privileged to have the unique opportunity for people to meet and hear Johnson Beharry VC.

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Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC, is the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross in more than 30 years, and he will be talking about his inspirational life experiences and how he faced enormous & unimaginable challenges.

Johnson is an engaging, charismatic and inspirational speaker with a story to enthral. He captivates an audience with his engaging style and humorous anecdotes.

If you would like to hear his incredible story, and to meet Johnson Beharry VC wearing his full military dress uniform and Victoria Cross medal, then details about how to buy tickets are at the foot of this page.

More about Johnson Beharry VC

Johnson was born in Grenada, moving to the UK in 1999. His early life had been full of challenges and he initially took the wrong path before deciding he wanted to make something of his life. Joining the army proved a challenge in itself, but his determination won through.

In August 2001 he joined the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. After training at Catterick, he became a driver of Warrior armoured vehicles in C Company, 1st Battalion. Prior to Iraq, he served for six months in Kosovo and three months in Northern Ireland.

He then went to Iraq. On 1 May 2004, Beharry helped assist a foot patrol caught in a series of ambushes. On 1 May 2004, he was driving a Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle that was hit by multiple rocket propelled grenades. The platoon commander, the vehicle’s gunner and a number of other soldiers in the vehicle were injured. Beharry was forced to open his hatch to steer his vehicle, exposing his face and head to withering small arms fire. Beharry drove the crippled Warrior through the ambush, taking his own crew and leading five other Warriors to safety. He then extracted his wounded comrades from the vehicle, all the time exposed to further enemy fire. He was cited on this occasion for 'valour of the highest order'.

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While back on duty on 11 June 2004, a rocket propelled grenade hit Beharry's vehicle incapacitating his commander and injuring several of the crew. Despite his very serious head injuries, Beharry took control of his vehicle and drove it out of the ambush area before losing consciousness. He required brain surgery for his head injuries, and he was still recovering when he was awarded the VC in March 2005.

The full citation was published in a supplement to the London Gazette of 18 March 2005 and commented, "Private Beharry carried out two individual acts of great heroism by which he saved the lives of his comrades. Both were in direct face of the enemy, under intense fire, at great personal risk to himself (one leading to him sustaining very serious injuries). Beharry displayed repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned valour, despite intense direct attacks, personal injury and damage to his vehicle in the face of relentless enemy action."

Johnson competed in the 2011 series Dancing On Ice. Today he supports a number of military charities, has his own JBVC Foundation and he is also a member of the WW1 Victoria Cross Panel. His story is told in his own book entitled: Barefoot Soldier.

Meet & Hear the remarkable Johnson Beharry VC at either of the events below:
An Afternoon with Johnson Beharry VC
3pm Start
First Half: Johnson's extraordinary life up to going to war.
Second Half: Johnson's heroic experiences at war and the inspiring story of rebuilding his life.

~~~ AND ~~~

An Evening with Johnson Beharry VC
7pm Start
First Half: Johnson's extraordinary life up to going to war.
Second Half: Johnson's heroic experiences at war and the inspiring story of rebuilding his life.

Tickets are £15 which includes a charitable donation. These are expected to sell out fast, so don't miss this unique opportunity and buy your tickets now. 

All profits from the event will go to The Royal British Legion’s ‘Everyman Remembered’ campaign.

Buy Tickets from: Milford on Sea Community Centre Box Office or online from: | Box Office open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays. Tel: 01590 644861.

PS: Struggling for Christmas gift ideas - a ticket or two could make the perfect present for anyone!

Johnson Beharry VC

Village Jigsaw Maker

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Local village artist, Shaun Stevens has now turned her hand to making a 200 piece jigsaw puzzle. The scene features 'The Owl & the Pussycat sailing around Hurst Castle'.

You can pick one up as a Christmas present for the little ones you have, or know, at the Christmas Late Night Opening of the shops (Until 8pm) on Friday 5th December. (This is also the night of Carols on the Green.)

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Along with the puzzle Shaun and Tessa van Hasselt will have new paintings and Christmas gift ideas on sale at the Hurst Castle Shop in the High Street.

Hurst Castle Shop
High Street, Milford on Sea
Normal opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9.30am to 1.30pm

Shaun Stevens
01590 673515

Monday, 17 November 2014

£2900 & £11,500 Raised for Charity

The Milford on Sea Club had a very successful 'Every Man Remembered Day' last Saturday.

Everyone enjoyed the Nostalgic Sing-A-Long with The Diamonds, a Children’s WW1 Fancy Dress Competition, Raffle, Comedy and WW1 Stories. The Grand Auction was also a success, both in the generous items donated and the generous bidding.

This excellent event raised £2900 for Royal British Legion Every Man Remembered Campaign.

Such was the enthusiasm for the day there is a possibility that this could become an annual event.


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Whilst the Milford on Sea Club was busy celebrating, the Saltern's 24 hour Sailathon was taking place. 

A record number of young Saltern’s sailors “Sailed Through The Night” in fairly clear and sporty wind conditions. The very enthusiastic, yet sometimes tired and sleepy, young members pushed themselves hard to keep a minimum of two boats on the water between 4.30pm Friday 14th and 4.30pm Saturday 15th November.

Jack Mans (10) from Milford on Sea, (winner of 2014 RLYC Youth sailing Week Bronze Optimist Fleet) alongside the Junior Commodore ( James Eady), managed as the only two to attend the full 24 hours sailing frequently throughout!

His sister Ellen Mans is the Pudsey Bear in the first picture with James Eady - Commodore in the Scow.

The prize for the most sponsorship funds raised was a VIP trip to Sir Ben Ainslie’s British Americas Cup HQ in the New Year. Salterns’ Members arrived in their abundance on Saturday to witness the end of the 24 hour Sailathon and bid on the array of sensational Silent Auction goodies including a week in a luxury villa in Antigua, Wembley Football Tickets, work experience at House & Garden, World of Interiors & Limewood with Luke Holder plus a Survival Party with a difference! Treatment Tables included tattoo’s, nails ands tombola all enjoyed alongside Birgitta’s famous Hog Roast lunch.

The Saltern's organisers send a big thank you to all those who donated prizes, bid, took part, baked cakes, gave their time and of course to all of the sponsors. 

How they do it I have no idea, but the club raised £11,500, which brings our overall 16 year total to £ £122,500 for Children in Need.

Nice work all!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Louise Raises £54K for Children in Need

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Local driving instructor Louise Walsh (Daughter of Sue Whitlock) had ‘a bit of an idea’ whilst watching the Children in Need appeal last year.

She thought perhaps driving instructors could get together to raise money, and this ‘idea’ came to its conclusion with Louise’s guest appearance on the Queen Vic set during this year’s BBC TV Children in Need programme on Friday.

Amazingly, Louise's 'bit of an idea' has raised £54,000 for Children in Need.

For a brief minute during the transmission Louise was able to tell the nation that driving instructors had banded together to ‘do some good’ by passing a specially made ‘top box’ from driving lesson to driving lesson across the country.

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This relay started in Northern Ireland on the 30th October and was ferried across to Glasgow where Louise joined the relay. She has sat in the back of every car from Glasgow down the eastern side of the country, across the south to Plymouth, back to Bristol, over the Severn Bridge to Cardiff then to Hereford, north to Liverpool and then back through the centre of country finishing in Birmingham on Children in Need Day, the 14th November.

There were 147 lead cars throughout the country with 147 handover venues where lots of other learner drivers with their instructors joined the convoys - more than thirty cars in some convoys - they even closed the Mersey Tunnel to let one convoy through.

Louise has been delighted with the support the Relay has generated - not least from Milford on Sea Primary School where children paid £1 to sponsor a Pudsey spot which they stuck onto her car and from The Cave, which hosted a welcome party when the convoy (complete with an accompanying tractor!) came through Milford on Sea last Sunday, and finally from the Community Centre which hosted a Big Learner Relay breakfast as the convoy left on Monday morning.

Louise in
BBC Children in Need Studio
with Shane Richie
Look out for spotty cars next year - the Big Learner Relay intends to get bigger and bigger.

Big Learner Relay 
Donation Page: click here

Friday, 14 November 2014

Piranha Caught in Milford

I know fisherman are known for their tall tales, but I am not sure even someone as dim-witted as me buys this one....

Adam Lynk, from the Photography Studios in Milford on Sea High Street, told me a dramatic story about how he had been on friends boat in the Solent fishing. The day had been calm, and apart for the sighting of a few other boats nothing much was going on. As he relaxed on deck playing with his maggot box, his line suddenly went taut and he immediately got an adrenalin rush as he held on to the rod as hard as he could. It was obvious that something extraordinary was biting, but he had no idea what.

As beads of sweat formed on his brow, the rest of the fishermen on-board lost interest in their own lines to either encourage or distract him with insults or banter, Adam struggled in a twenty minute wrestle to land the beast.

Even when his trousers split, his focus on the line never wavered. A truly epic 'man v fish' battle was under-way.

On more than one occasion it looked as though he would lose, but each time he pulled things back on to an even keel. Then, after much reeling, pulling, sweating and cursing, it happened... the angry fish appeared above the water line, and the man and fish stared steely into each other eyes, until, with one last mighty pull, the fisherman was the victor.

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Having landed the thrashing monster on to the deck, the boys on board stood back to see what Adam had just caught... - it seemed unbelievable ... it was a Piranha!

Not believing this actually happened, Adam told me he could prove it, and that the fish could be seen in Jabulani Gallery in Milford on Sea High Street.

Like a mug, I went to see what was there.... - what greeted me was even more fantastic!

There was indeed a Piranha, ...but it was a stunning Stainless Steel Sculpture made by New Forest sculpture artist Michael Turner. It stood magnificently at about 3ft/4ft wide. (No idea what that is in mm's) The detail of the scales, fin and vicious teeth just make you stand and admire, and it is hard to resist touching it. The measure of a wonderful work of art I suggest.

The piece is up for sale, but I didn't have the type of cash required to spare. Looking is free though, so why not pop in to see Sally and take a look at a truly excellent work from a master of sculpture.

Editors Note: "I can't believe I just made this whole thing up to encourage you to go and see the sculpture - which I promise, is really worth seeing, and really does exist!'

Michael Turner Stainless Steel Sculpture

Jabulani Gallery
6 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
01590 644334

Adam Lynk Photography Studios
25 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
01590 645478

Michael Turner Stainless Steel Sculpture
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Thai Triumph!

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Haven't got much time, so you will not have to suffer a full review of our visit with our friends to the Britannia Thai in Milford on Sea High Street last night.

However, it is worth telling you that the whole meal was amazing! We had a selection from across the menu, each dish was so obviously fresh and multi-layered in wonderful flavours. There is without doubt an authentic and talented Thai chef in the kitchen now.

The service was friendly and quietly efficient. (We weren't!)

The bill was a nice surprise, as it was excellent value and we had not been stung with the cost of the sides or wine.

But, don't take my word for it, - if you have not been for a while, or never been, go along and try it out for yourself out soon - it is like a new restaurant now!

PS: We had a couple of drinks in The Red Lion before going. The roaring fire, the buzz of chatter from friendly locals and a smile at the bar, a great way to start an evening in a traditional old English pub!

Britannia Thai 
1 High St, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF
01590 642212

The Red Lion
32 High St, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
01590 642236

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Donkeys to Replace Cars in Milford

The day started innocently enough... there I was, enjoying an early morning coffee with a biscuit treat, my wife was still at slumber, dribbling to her hearts content, and all was good with the world.

As I opened my post from the previous day, alongside the normal and irritating mail offering me great deals on things I will never want, there was an envelope from the New Forest District Council. 

As these normally contain bills or bad news, the law of averages says this should now be a good one. A nice council tax rebate perhaps, or notification that Milford on Sea was to get an emergency grant to get on with the beach hut repairs before all visitors write-off Milford on Sea seafront as little more than a bomb site.

Nope… the ‘law of averages’ was having a day off today, and his mate ‘sod’s law’ was in his place.

As I removed the letter from the envelope the headline jumped out and smacked me in the middle of the face. It read; ‘Parking Places and Restriction of Waiting’. Oh joy, more nanny state control of what we can all do and not do.

Please ensure you move your
car before the guys arrive.
Click image to enlarge
As I read on, I discovered on the reverse of the letter a copious list of roads in Milford on Sea which were to become car unfriendly. The list contained; Hurst Road, Sea Road, Castle Close, Island View Close, Gillingham Road, Lucerne Road, Danestream Close, Church Hill, Greenbanks Close, Lymington Road, School Road, and Keyhaven Road.

That’s a lot of new paint to go on plenty of roads in the village, so Mr Dulux should be happy. Better still, it should make visiting the village shops and collecting kids from school more difficult, and also decrease the capacity for parking at the seafront on sunny days. Sounds a fabulous plan.

The letter did not explain any reasons for these new parking restrictions, also (although it didn't say), it may have been printed on recycled paper.

Like a lot of people, I have driven around many of these roads at various times of the day, and I have to say I have never seen serious road safety issues, gridlock due to parked cars, or circumstances that create road rage. I must be living in the past to think that these were the main reasons for parking restrictions to be put in place.

Milford's new mode
of transport
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As the ever increasing parking restrictions will at some future stage make Milford a 'Car Free Zone', a new way will have to be found if anyone still wants to visit the village centre.

A local proposal to counter these changes has been submitted by Mr D Ung of the newly formed ‘Car Restrictions Action Party’. The action group have applied to establish a ‘Donkey Park & Ride’ scheme. This of course fits perfectly into a seaside village.

The New Donkey Taxi Service will have pick up points at a number of locations around the village, and each donkey will have a helper to get you on and off with the utmost comfort.

The park benches on the village green will be replaced with horse (donkey) troughs and several ‘dung boxes’ will be placed around the village containing a bucket and spade. (Not to be confused with the types used on the beach.) Milford Medical Centre were asked for a professional opinion on any effects that may occur from the equine taxi rides and bemusedly answered; ‘Yes, of course the doctors know how to treat chaffing.”

Back to the parking thing, I have to declare that I know several people who work for the council and I like them all, we have also found the car park management team really helpful for village events we have run, and they are helping us out again for the ‘Exotic Car Show’ being held during Love Milford week in February.

However, it appears that the council as an ‘entity’ seems to have a focussed agenda to raise money. Not really their purpose as far as I can see, but what do I know I'm just a tax payer. The infamous ‘committee process’ appears to have been in action, and in starting out to design a horse, they may have ended up with the proverbial camel. 

No doubt some people may argue that this is necessary to raise the cash needed to provide services under threat due to government funding cuts, others would say that rather than spending money on installing these parking restrictions, redirect the costs involved to the essential support services.

Whilst I am at it, and totally off the point, - why is it that some national politicians are clearly of the view that they can spend your money better than you can? Just leave normal people to regenerate the economy by spending their hard earned money how they wish.

Cynics may say that this new parking restriction proposal is to generate more cash for the council by forcing people into the car parks. A downside will be that on days when the car parks are full, visitors will be forced away from the village. Not sure the council will be too bothered though, as they will have maximised revenue in Milford on Sea, and the visitors are likely to end up in another NFDC car park giving them a few more quid to control the ever restricted lives of our poor pariah cars.

When I worked in the corporate world, every department fought tooth and nail for their annual budgets, then, as the year came to an end, a spending spree occurred to ensure every penny was spent – or the budget would be cut the next year. Surely things like this do not happen in public services?

A great use of yellow paint
by Banksy
Click image to enlarge
Totally off the point, Guildford Road Departments seem to have cash to splash at the moment. How is this for a waste of money, - my friend in Guildford lives in a cul-de-sac with 10 houses, then last week a 20mph sign appeared on a lamppost. He was unaware of anyone speeding up the tiny road, nor of any general threat to human or animal life should the speedo hit 22mph! Then, there are the speed humps going in a road that is quiet during the day, has no record of accidents and is gridlocked during the school run. It would be funny if not true.

Amusingly, the changes to the seafront in Hurst Road include adding ‘Free Parking Places’ - This will go somewhere you can park right now, but the road will be nicely painted with boxes in a luminous shade of yellow. The rest of the current road parking will disappear and anyone then parking illegally will be under threat of their car being exploded on the spot.

The new ‘Parking Places’ will have waiting limited to one hour from 9am to 7pm. This should create some interesting jousting, as drivers battle to obtain a precious free piece of tarmac gold. Watching the jousts could perhaps become a new pastime for anyone walking the promenade, If you have played ‘musical chairs' as a kid, you will see the irony. 

As my wife entered the lounge having raised herself off the bed I had strewn with rose petals, she looked straight at me with the warm greeting; ‘What are you ranting about this time?” As I started to explain the predicament to her, I could see her mind slowly turn off and her face glazing over.

Finally, our Parish Council have rightly expressed concerns over most of the parking restriction proposals, but whether they are listened to remains to be seen. The project feels a bit like 'le grand fait accompli' to me.

I'm off to buy a donkey.

PS: The NFDC letter explained that you can read the full NFDC proposals by going to: under 'Transport & Streets', then 'Traffic Management, then 'Proposed Permanent or Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders advertised'.

- or you could just click here!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Love Milford Week Launched

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 organised by the Food Week Team, 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 shop and discover just what they can buy locally may be very pleasantly surprised!

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 caf├ęs 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 a 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). There will also be a 'Local Business Exhibition' where you can come and meet local tradesmen and professional people providing services for your home.

To add to the fun, we aim to have village musicians busking on the village green, and an Exotic Car Show, featuring cars from the village and with the aim of drawing more people into the village. 

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 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

Love Milford Week

New Milford Artisan Market

Nigel & Victoria Harper, formerly of Milford Model & Hobbies Shop in the High Street, have founded 'Milford Artisan Market' along with Alison Aldridge of AMA Designs.

This non-profit making group is created to showcase local craft products.

The group has over thirty five crafters who plan to be involved, and The inaugural Milford Artisan Market opens its doors on Sunday 23rd November at Milford on Sea Community Centre for all to browse and buy from over 20 local Artisans.

Attending will be All Things Crafty, AMA Designs, Baker Jen, Blue Moon Bouquets & Bitz, Born to be Natural, Brighten Up, Bundles of Wishes, Chocolate Lime Needlecrafts, Crafty Cushions, FimoArk, Jo Vane Jewellery, Lights Fantastic, Made in Dorset, Monadikos, Monika’s Interiors, Moss on the Green, Patchwork Palace, Tessa Van Hasselt, The Adventures of a Plastic Bag, Take 2 Movie Memorabilia, Tipana Crafts, and Twinkling Hearts Jewellery.

You will be able to wander through 3 rooms and discover a rich mix of original work, from Art to Vintage, there is something for everyone. Candles & soaps, drift-wood art & interior decor, paper art, cards & crafts, coloured chalkboards, cute cushions and soft furnishings, decoupage glassware, festive decorations, funky cutlery, hand- made hampers, jewellery & beaded bouquets, lampshades, movie memorabilia, patchwork & craft haberdashery, paintings & prints and vintage items.

For the 'foodies' amongst you, select from scrumptious Cupcakes, Family Cakes & Sweet Treats, Welsh Cakes & Welsh Oggies!

Why not pop along, indulge your senses and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this unique indoor Market.

Future markets will then continue in May, August and November next year.

Crafty Cushions
01590 642112

Milford Models & Laser Cutting Service
01590 642112

Monday, 10 November 2014

Five Fallacies about Milford Wildlife

Newsletter from the Milford on Sea Conservation Volunteers 

Now in November 2014 the Government (DEFRA) has published a helpful National Pollinator Strategy which reinforces many of the things the Parish has been doing, in our gardens, the Village School, and also in our fields, commons and woods. 

In spite of the lessons we have learnt in our gardens, there are misconceptions about wildlife gardens which are still often heard, so here are five as a reminder.

Palmate Newt
1. You need a big garden to support wildlife.

Bees and other insects will be attracted to plants rich in pollen and nectar even if you just have a patio measuring six square feet with a few proud pots. A pond of similar size will draw newts and dragonflies to lay their eggs. You can of course grow plants up a pergola or wall: honey-suckle and ivy are great for hiding a nest box and for insect food, including for moths, especially in autumn. 

2. Wildlife friendly gardening requires a wilderness garden, which will be unpopular with your neighbours. 

A neat hedge or a few clipped shrubs are as likely to shelter the nest of a wren or hedgehog as a wee rough thicket or bramble patch. A small area of grass left to grow long for ladybirds or bumblebees to breed can look stylish just by mowing a windy path through the middle or round the edges, saving you work. A compost heap for toads or slow-worms can be concealed under a garden seat or inside an imitation bee-hive. 

3. You need to concentrate on wild flowers, which are short-lived in bloom.

This fallacy defies nature! Plants attract pollinators for their own interest and have evolved accordingly. The longer the plant is in flower the more beasties will come to it. Some of the best insect friendly plants, not thought of as ‘wild’ and which are found for sale alongside nurserymen’s specialities, are actually wild flowers in origin. Think of pulmonaria in spring and marjoram and viper’s bugloss in late summer, times when insects are hungriest due to their life cycles (these plants are all self-propogating). But of course some cultivated garden centre plants are also great for insects and birds. 

4. You will get bitten and maybe stung. 

If you are lucky you may get a wild bee swarm – perhaps residing for a month or so behind your air bricks and then harmlessly moving on. Wasps (there are many species) are mostly carnivores so you are more likely to get them indoors than on your delphiniums. Bumblebees very rarely sting (although it will help them if you cordon off a nest if you notice it). Grass snakes and slow worms (no poison) are a great treat to see when they pay you a visit. 

5. You need to banish cats from the garden.

It is true that even an apparently docile moggie is likely to kill slow-worms, dragonflies, frogs, and of course birds (the latter especially at dawn and dusk). A quick-release bell and keeping cats in overnight if possible are good partial solutions.

Go wild for conservation and get wildlife into your garden! 

To help you, there’s lots on the Hants Wildlife Trust website

If you want a copy of the Milford Wildlife Garden leaflet contact (01590 642558). There’s a short animation on

Milford on Sea Conservation Volunteers

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A Time to Remember

As many of us buy our poppies we will reflect on the monumental, tragic & heroic events of 100 years ago with both sadness and gentle pride.

WW1 was supposed to have been; 'The war to end all wars', but sadly that never became reality, and subsequent conflicts have continued to blight the world to this day.

Our servicemen have dutifully followed their orders to protect our country, regardless of whether in hindsight the political decisions were correct or not. Over the decades our armed forces have done their duty, and seeing the country wearing poppies in silent respect is simultaneously powerful and touching.

On a lighter note, it was only a few years ago that the troops came to the rescue of the 2012 London Olympics, by providing last minute security at numerous venues. They camped in the London car parks by night, and by day they made everyone who attended that magnificent national occasion feel totally secure and safe.  To any visitor there was a smile, together with an ordered efficiency to admire and be proud of. 

Tower of London Poppies
click image to enlarge
Last week we wanted to show our respect and gratitude to all that have served, past and present, so we travelled to the Tower of London to see the major art installation; 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'. Ten of thousand's of other people had shared the same idea as the crowds to view the 888,246 ceramic poppies were equally as crushing as impressive. The unique display itself is magnificent, thought-provoking and moving.

The spectacular display of poppies are free for all to see and can be viewed from all sides of the Tower of London. Created by ceramic artist, Paul Cummins, the poppies fill the entire moat, with each poppy representing a British or Commonwealth military fatality during the first world war. Each poppy has already been pre-sold for £25, which just goes to show how much people want to share in this historic occasion.

The Poppy Appeal organised by the Royal British Legion has not lost support over the years, indeed it is evident that support and respect for our armed forces is stronger than ever.

Last month on a trip to Belgium, we visited two significant landmarks of WW1 & WW2.

Dunkirk Memorial
click image to enlarge
Our first visit was to The Dunkirk Memorial which stands at the entrance to the British War Graves Section of Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Not the easiest to find, nor the largest wartime cemetery we have visited, but certainly worth taking the time to find.

You are greeted by ten large columns bearing names of 4,500 troops who died or were captured during World War II and who have no known grave. This is followed by The Memorial featuring an engraved glass panel depicting the evacuation.

We were surprised to find the 460 graves of WW1 soldiers, alongside the 793 British Expeditionary Force soldiers who never made it home from the war campaigns of 1939-40.

Dunkirk was the scene of the historic Operation Dynamo campaign. This included the 'little ships', which consisted of 700 private boats that sailed from Ramsgate to Dunkirk between 26 May and 4 June 1940. The operation rescued and evacuated more than 338,000 British and French soldiers cut off on the beaches from advancing German forces during World War 2.

Dunkirk had also played an important role as an allied base in World War I.

The other thing that struck us was the number of headstones that revealed different nationalities laying at rest. Soldiers from India, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Norway lay with their British comrades.

Memorial  Museum
click image to  enlarge
Our next stop was the 'Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917' in Zonnebeke, near Ypres. The museum focuses on the Battle of Passchendaele where almost half a million soldiers died, went missing or were seriously injured. Housed in a striking chateau, the museum features uniforms, weaponry, battlefield archaeology and exhibits detailing the contribution of soldiers from the various Commonwealth countries involved in the battle. 

The Australian section had a soundtrack of 'Waltzing Matilda' by Rolf Harris, I am guessing no-one has yet told them that this may no longer be appropriate.

Passchendaele Museum-Trenches
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Inside the museum is an ingenious reconstruction of haunting and realistic dug-outs and tunnels, built over a number floors this creates a sense of what life would have been like for soldiers working and living during battle. You then seamlessly wend your way outside and through a large warren of replica British & German trenches. 

This visit to Passchendaele was particularly poignant, as my own grandfather fought and won the Military Medal on the surrounding battlefields whilst serving with The Rifle Brigade. (Now The Green Jackets.)

Photo by: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo
click image to enlarge
Nearby is Tyne Cot Military Cemetery, the largest British and Commonwealth cemetery in the world. As we arrived dozens of volunteers were filling paper bags with sand and placing a tea light candle inside. These in turn were been laid in front of every single one of the c12,000 gravestones. We were to discover that this was in preparation for 'Light Front', where several WWI battle sites and a human chain of 8,400 torch-bearers were to light up The Western Front that evening to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War.

Tyne Cot Cemetery
click image to view
Tyne Cot Military Cemetery is built around three pill-boxes with the Cross of Sacrifice placed on the original large pill-box. These pill-boxes changed hands a number of times over the war, and finally became a British field casualty centre.

There are now 11,956 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried in the cemetery alongside 4 German soldiers.

Every visit to a war-time cemetery is a powerful and emotional experience. It is impossible not to reflect on why the men are there and the enormous waste and pain inflicted on so many families.

The whole experience hardens my view the every child should learn about WW1 & WW2 at school, and preferably also be taken to see the historic sights of France and Belgium. Medieval history may be interesting, but surely it is recent history they must know first, it teaches much and can't fail to affect the soul.

Finally, Boris Johnson...

I know.., he is a 'marmite politician' for people. Whether you see him as a insightful, highly educated, skilled, straight-talking politician with an ability to comprehend and deal with real issues, or blustering philanderer with a track record of misdemeanour's and mishaps which would have destroyed any normal politician does not matter. Whatever your views on the man, his new book 'The Churchill Factor' is worth a read.

Boris describes his book by saying; ‘I want to try to convey some of Churchill’s genius to a new generation, not through a simple retelling of his life: that has been done many times, and by scholars far greater than I will ever be. I propose to tell the story of the Churchill Factor, how his character made a difference to events – and how it is still helping to shape our world today.’

Now a good way through the book, I have discovered much about Churchill the man I never knew before despite copious reading about him.

A complex and flawed man, he was at the same time filled with compassion which was ably demonstrated in his relationship with his nanny, and how he ensured her well-being in later life.

Boris explains how and why prior to 1904 many felt the Nazis were less of a threat than the Bolsheviks, and he describes the fascinating and momentous day in 1940 when Churchill used all of his political skill to manoeuvre the members of the war cabinet who were in favour of negotiating with Hitler, to unanimously make a declaration to fight on. Throughout the book the stories keep coming.

This book gives a different aspect on Winston Churchill as a man and is a must read for anyone the least bit interested in the greatest British war leader or the lesser know tales from WW2.

War Memorials in Milford on Sea

Keyhaven War Memorial
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Keyhaven has a traditional War Memorial, but the village of Milford on Sea took a different route by building the War Memorial Hospital. The hospital still stands today and thankfully it has been saved on a number of occasions in part due to its war memorial status. 

Milford on Sea War Memorial
click image to enlarge
What people may be less aware of is that a wooden war memorial once hung on the side of what was the village bakers. (Now where Lynk Photography Studios are and opposite the Red Lion.) This memorial was moved and today can be found inside of the War Memorial Hospital.

All Saints' Church War Memorial
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WW1 War Memorial
in Hospital
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All Saints' Church also contains a stone war memorial. The War Memorial Chapel was established in 1917 in the South Chapel but was transferred to the North Chapel in the 2008. 

Our current Parish Council is currently evaluating another war memorial for Milford on Sea. This would not stand on the village green, but one proposal is for it to be in the front of the hospital grounds.  We understand that the NHS are not to keen on the idea, but hopefully this can be resolved. A number of residents have already pledged donations towards the cost involved in building a new memorial.

Personally, I hope that a new war memorial is built by this current generation to show our own respect for the many who gave so much.

A Family Story for Remembrance Day: please click here.

Tower of London Remembers
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

Tyne Cot Military Cemetery
click here

The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson