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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Get Out Your Bra's Girls

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The Community Centre are supporting a bra recycling scheme which also helps Breast Cancer Charities.

BCR collect and send old bra's to developing countries to be sold in local markets. This makes them more accessible and affordable, and also supports their local economy. Any bra's donated which are past re-use are recycled.

BCR weigh all of the bras received, and give £1 per kilo to Breast Cancer Charities.

Women in developing countries are seen to have prestige if they are wearing a bra. Bras are in short supply, and are expensive, therefore most women don’t own one. It is reported that women wearing a bra are less likely to be raped, as they are seen to have prestige or come from a more affluent background.

The Community Centre now have a ‘Bra Bank’ collection point in the Community Centre Centre, so clearing out your bra drawer now has a whole new meaning. Someone’s rags could literally become another’s riches, so sort out your bra's girls.

Editors Note: Has anyone considered collecting blokes old pants?

Lisa Wins Best Farm Shop

Lisa Morgan, of Lisa's Larder has one again scooped a prestigious award at the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2015.
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Lisa's Larder is now the proud holder of The Best Farm Shop Award 2015.

Lisa is inviting everyone to celebrate this wonderful achievement with mulled wine and mince pies when her shop is next open on: Friday 4th & Saturday 5th December (9.30am to 1pm both days)

This will also be your last chance to place your Christmas Order instore, or you can place your order online.

Congratulations Lisa, it is great to see this wonderful shop just go from strength to strength. 

Lisa's Larder
Aubrey Farm, Keyhaven, SO41 0TH

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Spot Father Christmas and an Elf at Sea!

Sean Scott and Claire Hanscombe-Vinton from The New Forest Paddle Sport Company, and owners of the kayak and stand up paddles board hire and sales shop in the High Street, Milford on Sea, are planning to paddle from Keyhaven to Hurst Castle this Sunday, 29th November 2015.

To make sure you can spot them, they will be dressed as Father Christmas and an elf!

Steve & Claire will start paddling around 11am and are offering a prize for the best photo of them out paddling in their festive outfits.

If you take any photos and want to join in, please post your pictures on Facebook and tag The New Forest Paddle Sport Company and also Hutch Sup Wear. Then, the photo with the most likes and shares will get a Hutch T-Shirt and a Free Hire Gift Voucher from The New Forest Paddle Sport Company.

The New Forest Paddle Sport Company
46 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 1QD

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Enid Blyton's Famous Five Discovery

A intriguing story appeared in the Daily Telegraph on 19th November 2015, which featured Roger How of Picture Perfect Picture Framers in Barnes Lane, Milford on Sea.

To explain, his mother, Mary Gernat, was an illustrator for many of the Enid Blyton Famous Five Books, and he and his brothers were often used as models in her work.

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When a customer was visiting Rogers framing shop recently she commented on a box of old paperbacks full of Enid Blyton titles. Roger told her of the story behind the covers and this prompted him to look for the original illustrations, which he found in his father’s house.

As a result, Roger is now planning an exhibition of the original illustrations that have never been seen publicly before, this is after they they has spent half a century in the loft. He also discovered some finished drafts for books at the same time.

Mrs Gernat, who lived with her engineer husband, Michael, and their sons on the Hampshire coast, illustrated Blyton books from 1963 to 1970. She stopped working in 1972, and died in 1998 at 72.

Sounds like an exhibition well worth visiting when it happens.

Reminiscence Session from Dementia Action Group

Milford on Sea Dementia Action Group are preparing to launch a twice monthly Reminiscence session to be held at the Community Centre on the second and fourth Thursday of the month between 10.30am and midday, commencing on the 14th January 2016.

The sessions will be lead by Richard Tuck who until recently was providing this popular gathering across the New Forest for Alzheimer's Society. 

Unfortunately lack of future funding meant these enjoyable groups ended in October at which time Milford on Sea Dementia Action Group stepped in. Chair of the group Jane Rowlatt commented "we recognise the great benefits reminiscence and memories bring to people living with Dementia their relatives and carers we are committed to ensuring as a Dementia Friendly Community the continued development of the reminiscence groups " We wish to thank Milford on Sea Arts and Music Festival for funding this fantastic initiative in the village.

Richard Tuck added " During my time running these Reminiscence groups I have witnessed the great benefit to both the group members with Dementia and interestingly their relatives and carers - some of whom attend the sessions and are able to participate in interesting topics - at another group we saw the spouses and carers gather during the session for a relaxing coffee and chat in a nearby coffee shop where they were able to share there experiences and gain valuable support from those around them".

For further details of the initiative do call Richard Tuck on 01590 719341 or email he will be happy to answer any questions and welcome new members to the group in the new year." 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Food Week is Back Next April

Milford on Sea Food Week is back from Bank Holiday Monday 28th March to Sunday 3rd April 2016 

Enjoy Food Week

During Food Week our village will be alive with Celebrity Shows, Themed Dining Evenings, Cooking Demonstrations, Educational Talks, Wine Tastings and Dining Offers. We also have lots of Kids Events to keep them entertained during the Easter Holidays, and the large & very popular Sunday Food Market gives you a chance to savour the best of local produce and street food.

Everyone of every age is included, and there are over 100 village events & shows, many of which are free, and all organised by local organisations, businesses, clubs and individuals.

Our New Forest seaside village is fortunate to be blessed with great places to eat and surrounded by quality local producers, so what better way for Milford on Sea to celebrate this than to have an entire week dedicated to the joys of food!

We hope that you can come along to enjoy the fun at as many events as possible.

Get Involved

Food Week can only operate from the generosity of time or donations from local people. Everyone is welcome to get involved:

Do a Demonstration or Talk: Any amateur local resident can demonstrate their family recipes or favourite cooking styles, or do a talk on your favourite food or wine subject. We supply the venue, you supply the skills!

Run an Event: Any local Charity, Organisation or Club can organise a food related event and this will be publicised as part of Food Week. You of course keep any funds that you raise.

Join the Team: We are totally dependant on volunteers to make things happen. We need people at event and selling raffle tickets, so if you have any time to spare for either and would like to meet some new people, please let us know.

Become a Sponsor: Local businesses can be a Gold Sponsor for £150, or Silver Sponsor for £75 - and get a high profile advert on our website and in the 30,000 free programmes circulated.

To find out more about anything above please contact David on: 

Become a Friend:  Becoming a Friend of Food Week is simple, shows you care, and helps to fund events to entertain and educate. All Food Week Friends a listed on the website and in the free programmes.

You can be a Friend of Food Week as an individual or family from just £25. please click here

About Food Week

Milford on Sea Food Week is coordinated by a small dedicated group of volunteers who provide their expertise and time for free. We are also fortunate to have a generous group of sponsors, friends & event organisers. 

As a 'not for profit' event, any income generated is only used to cover promotional costs and no fees or expenses are taken by any of the Food Week organisers. We are delighted to support local good causes from any profits that are made.

Every corner of the village community participate with food related events and demonstrations, including local amateur cooks, professional chefs, all village restaurants, pubs & cafés, plus many local village organisations, clubs and charities. 

Food Week is always held in Easter school holidays, and we ensure that there is lots for the family and the kids enjoy.

To promote Food Week 30,000 Free Programmes are circulated, there is a website, together with posters and banners throughout the village which leaves people in no doubt that something special is happening!

Whilst not a fund raising event, Food Week has been fortunate to generate profits and to involve local charities with events, from which around £20,000 has been raised for local village adult, youth and children charities/organisations in the past 4 events. 

Food Week is very proud that it is exclusively run by volunteers, whose sole reward is in the enjoyment gained by others.

Food Week is truly ‘By the community, for the community’ and your support is critical to us, we thank you for getting involved whether by participating or simply enjoying the many events throughout the village

Bank Holiday Monday 28th March to Sunday 3rd April 2016
If you love food, you will love Food Week!

New Milton Parade, Markets and Music

We do not normally published events as an article, (as they are all covered in, but to support our friends in New Milton we thought you may like to hear about the impressive events they are staging during the New Milton Christmas Festival.

The event kicks off with The New Milton Christmas Festival Artisan’s Market – “The Christmas Crafts, Gifts and Local Produce Show” which will be open from 10:30 am until 4:00 pm on Saturday 21st November at The New Milton Memorial Centre in Whitefield Road. 

This opening event of the 2015 Christmas Festival will bring together a unique collection of independent artists, crafters, designers and producers from the New Forest area. Amongst them they will be offering a wide range of strictly handmade and handcrafted items, gifts, arts and crafts and much more. Within the show, there will be chocolate cabins, wooden toys, ceramics and hand-thrown pottery, jewellery, home-made chocolates and Christmas cakes, leather handbags, belts and much more.

Alan Watson – one of the members of the Festival Steering Group and Organiser of this event, comments “I hope that the people of New Milton and surrounding areas will come along to this unusual event on the 21st , as 100% of the proceeds of this event go towards staging the main Festival Event on the 28th November. I am sure many will appreciate, the Main Festival is a very costly event to stage and we rely heavily on this Show to ensure we can stage the best ever Christmas Festival in our Town”

By helping to secure the funding for the Main Festival Event, the Organising Team can say that that this year’s Christmas Festival Event on Saturday 28th November will be the biggest and brightest to date. Over 125 Stalls, an authentic French Street Market, a whole afternoon of live entertainment will fill the Town Centre from 12 noon until 6pm. 

At 5pm, there will be The Lions Club of New Milton Illuminated Festival Parade which will travel the length of Station Road and then follow a circular route up Elm Avenue, into Old Milton Road and then back up Station Road North. The Parade will be followed by the traditional switch-on of the Town’s Christmas Lights at 5:50 pm and these have once again been enhanced by The Town Council from a number of very generous donations from local Businesses and Organisations.

Everyone can keep in touch with the latest Festival News on the Web Site – and if anyone can also lend a few hours of their time to help marshal the event, or would like to nominate someone or a group as a “New Milton Achiever”, then please email

For More Information :-

Alan Watson
Christmas Festival Steering Group
The New Milton Town Partnership
Tel : 01425 610052 / 07771 754025

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Increased Doctor Surgery Hours

A local Milford on Sea resident who is a member of the local Patient Participation Group and has informed us of some interesting news about the NHS Vanguard Project where local GP's initiative has been successful in getting funding from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund for a trial project.

This all sounds very grandiose, but it has a direct benefit for everyone in Milford on Sea. 
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Seven local GP surgeries have recently joined together to open an extra doctors surgery at Lymington Hospital. This extra surgery is called ‘The Practice’ and is available now.

It should now be easier for you to get an appointment at a time to suit you, as The Practice is Open from 8am to 8pm Seven Days a Week. A team of local GP’s, nurses and other health professionals will staff the surgery. (This is not a Walk In Unit, and it is based on an appointment service only.)

If you wish to make an appointment or need same day attention you should first contact the Milford Medical Centre Surgery, they will agree the best place for you to be seen. Our Local Surgery is computer linked to the ‘The Practice’ so if your appointment is there, then your medical history will be available and notes can be added to your records as usual.

Outside usual Milford Medical Centre Surgery hours you can telephone The Practice to make an appointment on 01590 630545.

If this arrangement proves successful the plan for the future is to create a ‘one stop’ service, based at Lymington, which works closely with diagnostic services, including X-Ray, endoscopy and phlebotomy and adjacent to the Minor Injuries unit and Community Health teams.

Do register on the Milford Medical Centre website to keep up to date with future service developments (, simply select 'Online Patient Access' in the right hand menu for details. Alternatively complete a registration form that is available from reception in the surgery.

Once you are registered you will be able to book your GP or Nurse appointments and order repeat prescriptions on line.

The national news have regularly covered stories relating to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund: which has the objective of 'Improving Access to General Practice.'

The National Association for Patient Participation (N.A.P.P.) was pleased to see the initial evaluation of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund. N.A.P.P. welcomed the range of projects that have increased patient access to GPs, including through extended hours, increased telephone access, and the introduction of online diagnostic and video consultation technology. The evaluation also indicates a reduction in people going to Accident & Emergency in participating areas, helping to take pressure off the wider NHS.

The Practice at Lymington Hospital is part of this project, and a partnership of seven local GP practices, including Wistaria and Milford Surgeries. Thisr pilot was chosen by NHS England to be amongst 37 schemes nationally to test new ways of organising, delivering and involving people in the design of local healthcare. This is an additional service to the one provided by Wistaria and Milford Surgeries. Patients should consider 'The Practice' as a branch of their own surgery.

Milford Medical Centre

Big Learner Relay Raises Over £90,000!

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Local driving instructor Louise Walsh, and founder and organiser of The Big Learner Relay has raised an astonishing £90,000 (yes, ninety thousand!) for the Children in Need Appeal 2015.

Louise (Daughter of Sue Whitlock) had ‘a bit of an idea’ whilst watching the Children in Need Appeal in 2013, she thought perhaps driving instructors could get together to raise money, and this small spark turned into a raging fire!

This years 2,800 mile relay started in Northern Ireland on Monday 26th October 2015 and finished in Swindon on the 13th November, which was Children in Need Appeal Day 2015. The relay covered England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales with 180 lead driving lessons and many hundreds of instructors and pupils joining the convoy. Louise travelled the whole of the UK in the back of participation driving instructor cars.

This month's First Friday Lunch at the Community Centre alone raised £545, so a big thanks go to everyone who supported the lunch. 

Well done Louise and everyone who got involved, the results all all the hard work are massively impressive.

Big Learner Relay 
Donation Page: Please click here

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Phantom Fryer Found

Last week we published an article after been asked to track down the Fish and Chip Van that visits Everton every week.

Well, thanks to an eagle eyed reader - We have found him!

The Phantom Fryer of Everton is unmasked as Mr Brennan of JBs Mobile. He come from Pennington and his contact details are: 01590 676469 -

We are told that he has been freshly frying fish and chips for the Everton Ladies Evening Group (LEGS) (who fortuitously meet on Monday evenings) for many years and comes highly recommended.

Job done!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Seeking the Phantom Fryer

Here in the Milford on Sea Newsroom we get a number of requests, some are physically impossible and others we just make up the answers to.

We have now been asked about the Fish and Chip Van that visits Everton every week?

My wife has now told me where Everton is, but knows nothing about the van.

Apparently, a mobile fish and chip van visits Everton every Monday evening – and has done for many years.

It starts off in Roberts Close at around 6pm, moves to Plantation around 6.15 and finishes in Buckstone Close around 6.30.

If you can put a name and contact details to the phantom fryer please drop us an e-mail at:


Thanks to an eagle eyed reader - We have found him!

The Phantom Fryer of Everton is unmasked as Mr Brennan of JBs Mobile. He come from Pennington and his contact details are: 01590 676469 -

We are told that he has been freshly frying fish and chips for the Everton Ladies Evening Group (LEGS) (who fortuitously meet on Monday evenings) for many years and comes highly recommended.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Verveine in Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants

David Wykes and he extraordinary food just goes from strength to strength, and the accolades keep coming!
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The latest recognition of his culinary brilliance is the prestigious listing for Verveine in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants - this adds to the Michelin Recommendation Verveine already holds.

The full Top 100, including rankings and an overall score was revealed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants on Sunday 8th November 2015.

Taking first place was Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, followed by Midsummer House, Cambridge and in third; L'Enclume in Cartmel which also ranks as one of the most expensive restaurants in the list, at £150 per head.

The list is compiled by The Sunday Times in association with Harden’s – now in its sixth annual edition, it is based on 63,000 reviews from almost 7,000 diners.

The South East has 13 entries in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants, which makes it the region with the most restaurants in the list outside of London.

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Dave now finds himself among famous South East restaurants such as; The Fat Duck and Waterside Inn in Bray, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, André Garrett At Cliveden, Cliveden House in Taplow, Drake's in Ripley, Surrey and The Latymer, Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey.

As this award is made based on 7,000 diner reviews, rather than the opinion of critics, it feels that bit more special.

Anyone who has dined at Verveine will see that this a justified and well deserved accolade. Well done Dave and the team!

Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant
98 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QE
01590 642176 -

Friday, 6 November 2015

The White Horse to Re-Open?

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Pssst.... Word on the street has it that The White Horse will reopen on 27th November.

Rumour has it that the new landlords may previously have been at, or may still be at, The Plough Inn in Tiptoe.

The Plough's website mentions Julia, Liz and Steve (JLS Publicans) as the managing team, so perhaps they are on their way to Milford on Sea, or perhaps not. Who knows!

As you can see no journalist investigation has gone into this article, but a man can a only spend so much time in 'a pub doing research' before he is facing divorce and having to do his own shopping, cooking and ironing!

We are delighted to have published another pointless article!

The White Horse
16 Keyhaven Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QY - which no longer works.

All Change at South Lawn

Tim Wedgwood & Nikki Rowe are delighted to be the new independent owners at South Lawn Hotel, and they come with an excellent pedigree and exciting plans for the hotel and restaurant.

They have already commenced the refurbishment of the restaurant which will be renamed and is due to open in early December. Bedroom and bathrooms refurbishment has also started on a rolling basis and improvements to the public areas are ongoing. The car park is also being stripped and re-graded soon, as Nikki & Tim quite rightly take great pride in the outside areas as much as the inside.

The Cedar Tree, as the new restaurant is to be called, will be hosted by Nikki & Tim and the kitchen will be headed up by Gavin Levens who has worked closely with the new owners at East Close Country House Hotel. 

Gavin has nurtured a brigade over the summer at East Close in preparation for their arrival at South Lawn and he is very proud of the quality of food he produces. The prices are planned to be reasonable, for example the traditional Sunday lunch will cost £16.50 for two courses. The Cedar Tree will be open for Sunday lunch from 12.30pm to 8pm. Throughout the week and on Saturdays they will be open from 7.30am serving Breakfast, Morning Coffee, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner with last orders at 9pm. the menus will see some classic dishes as well as a grill section that will include speciality burgers and local meats. They will always have fresh fish on the menu and Gavin’s team turn out some amazing and innovative desserts.

Tim was kind enough to provide a fascinating insight into his and Nikki's background before arriving at South Lawns - Tim says: "I am delighted to have acquired South Lawn, I have been trying to buy a hotel in the area for some time and have had several attempts at purchasing South Lawn but timings were never quite right and on two occasions I had my offer rejected as the vendors favoured other parties.

Serendipity eventually, I received a call from the agents in April this year informing me that the purchase had been aborted by the previous purchaser. As luck would have it I had just sold my hotel in the Midlands and was in funds so I without hesitation resubmitted an acceptable offer. It took some 6 months to complete but it was worth persevering. 

I would describe myself as a single hotel hotelier but in recent years it has been my pleasure to have had an addition to my portfolio. In November 2012 I took on the East Close Hotel and Conqueror Inn at Hinton. This gave me a flavour for the area and hence my decision to sell in the Midlands with a view to concentrating my efforts in this lovely part of the country.

My career from the age of 16 when school left me has always been in the hospitality industry, my first job as a kitchen porter put me in good stead to climb the ladder, I have worked in every department of a hotel and my employed career peaked when I spent 5 years at London's prestigious Grosvenor House on Park Lane. Four years as Banqueting manager organising events such as the Bafta Awards, Annual Dinners and Society Weddings. I also spent a year as guest relations manager and I enjoyed working with royalty and government officials in this high profile position.

In 1995 at 26 years of age I bought my first hotel and have since owned and managed six hotels. As an owner operator myself and my partner Nikki are fully committed to putting South Lawn back on the map. Both Nikki and I will be resident at the hotel and are embracing the challenge we have, Nikki and I have worked together in hotels for 18 years and we are a great team.

As a banqueting manager by profession the superb function facilities at South Lawn will be high on the agenda, we look forward to looking after local society events and have already had the pleasure of serving a number of local organisations. Food quality and service in banqueting is so important, we know what to do and we look forward to many years of looking after our guests.

Both Nikki and I sincerely hope we have the pleasure of looking after you."

It is great to see this motivated team taking over at South Lawn and bringing it into the 21st century, - and we hope that their changes will very soon be experienced by all of us. 

The Cedar Tree will be another exciting addition to the Milford on Sea culinary scene - and a further endorsement that Milford on Sea is a Foodie Heaven by the Sea!

South Lawn Hotel & The Cedar Tree Restaurant
Lymington Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0RF

Funds for Freda the Guide Dog

The Freda Cheyney MBE Memorial Fund has now managed to raise around £1650 towards the £2500 required to sponsor a Guide Dog for the Blind, the plan is to name the puppy 'Freda' - and the fundraisers are hoping for more donations to hit their target . 

Freda Cheney was a major village personality & heart of the community for many years. Freda lived locally for more than 80 years and in 2002 she was awarded the MBE for her renowned work with the Women’s Section of the local Royal British Legion, Milford Guides, charities and community events.

To donate towards Freda the Guide Dog please contact: Sue on 07920 281307 or at:

You can find out more about Freda by clicking here.

Wartime Memories in Brave Faces

Former Milford on Sea resident and author, Eve Warton has published a new book entitles Brave Faces (under the pseudonym Mary Arden). Eve will be doing a book signing at Waterstones in Lymington this Saturday (7th November) 11am to 12 noon.

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When one of Eve Warton’s granddaughters asked, “What did you do in the war, Granny?”, little did she know it would lead to a book signing 10 years later at Waterstones in Lymington – on the day before Remembrance Sunday.

Eve, now 91, first came to Lymington in 1959 to start a new life with her three young children following the death of her war hero husband Iain Robertson. She bought a house in Daniell’s Walk and ran a nursery school for the next eight years.

In 1967 Eve moved to Keyhaven where she met and married her second husband Robin Warton. The family joined the Keyhaven yacht club and spent as much time on the Solent as they could, also sailing to France and the Channel Islands. 

In 1985 they moved to Milford on Sea, and during the Falkland’s War Eve offered her nursing experience to St George’s Hospital. When she became a widow for the second time Eve moved to a small village near Salisbury to be closer to one her grandchildren. However, she often returns to the Lymington area to visit her friends.
Picture from:
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It was after that question about her war experience that Eve first began writing down her war memories – now published as ‘Brave Faces’ under the pen name Mary Arden.

In the book, Eve explains that when the Second World War broke out her parents were determined their daughter’s privileged upbringing should continue, and life should carry on as much as normal. She was sent to finishing school and became a debutante attending ‘coming out’ balls in London, despite nightly bombing raids.

Eve, however, wanted to do her bit for the war effort, initially volunteering as a Red Cross nurse before joining the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and embarking on a very different life –not as an officer, but as ‘other rank’.

As a junior Wren, Eve had to learn to live a very different kind of life to the one she had been brought up to expect. She was used to being chaperoned, only talking to men she had been ‘introduced’ to, so finding a suitable category for such a naïve girl was an almost impossible task for her senior officer.

Eve said: “I joined the WRNS in 1942 when I was 17, but unfortunately was not accepted as my initial choice, boats crew, as I was not considered strong enough. I was then tested as a driver but as I was only five foot two my legs wouldn’t reach the pedals. 

Luckily the First Officer Wren at HMS Vernon in Portsmouth, where I did my training, had just been contacted by the surgeon commander in charge of the special eye unit at HMS Daedalus in Lee-on-Solent to find a suitable girl to be trained as a night vision tester.”

She explained: “This role was perfect for me because the only qualifications required were a clear speaking voice and the ability to fend off amorous pilots when I was locked in the dark test room with eight of them at a time. Having been brought up with two noisy brothers and their rowdy friends I thought, ‘This will be easy’. It wasn’t!”

After initial training at HMS Daedalus, Eve was posted to six different naval air stations around England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as a leading Wren night vision tester. 

The many stories in Eve’s book include such accounts as the day a low-flying aircraft went past while she was cycling along a deserted road towards Lee-on-Solent and HMS Daedalus.

She wrote: “It was flying very low and the downdraft was so violent it made the leaves fall from the trees…It was almost as if the road had become the runway and it was now heading straight towards me.

“Wobbling all over the road and shaking with fear, I yelled angrily at the pilot, ‘I’ll report you to your commanding officer!’

“I then saw two aircraft following each other across the sea…Both aircraft were flying very fast and low, as if they were chasing one another. Low flying was forbidden in a built-up area and I thought you silly boys, you will get into real trouble.

“Both aircraft then swung towards the hill near my billet on the seafront and disappeared from view. I sighed with relief and was just regaining my composure, when I heard a loud engine roar…when I looked up I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. On the wings of the plane flying in my direction were black crosses. It was a German Messerschmitt.

“I then heard the sound of gunfire followed by a different sound, the roar of another plane. It was one of ours.

“My goodness, a dogfight is going on right above my head, I now realised, as more gun-fire sent me into a cold sweat. Suddenly a hail of bullets hit the road not very far from where I was, and that’s when instinct took over. I dropped my bicycle in the middle of the road and quickly ran for cover. I saw a high garden wall and decided that the sooner I got behind it the better. It was a life-saving decision. I only just made it over the wall, as more bullets hit the road right at the spot where I had been standing only seconds before.”

In the book Eve recalls screaming up at the sky that she was too young to die, adding: “The reality came as quite a shock. My parents would have been devastated if I had died. I was still only 18, the war having started when I was just 15, when passing my school exams had been my priority. Remembering the summer of ‘39 that I’d spent without a care in the world, I now thought how utterly and unbelievably different my life was now to how it was back then.”

Talking to the ‘Advertiser & Times’ about ‘Brave Faces’, Eve said: “I am hoping my book will bring memories back for those who still remember the war years, and that the younger generation might benefit from understanding what it was like having to put on a brave face every day and just getting on with it despite the war.”

‘Brave Faces’ is available via Troubador, Amazon, Waterstones and The Book Depository - plus of course Eve will be signing copies at Waterstones, Lymington, between 11am and midday on Saturday.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Time for Remembrance

At this time of year many of us wish to show our gratitude to those who have, and still do, risk their lives to keep us safe.

If that applies to you, then you may wish to join your fellow villagers at the events below:

Remembrance Sunday: 8th November Services
  • 10.50am: St Mary's Church Everton,
  • 2pm: Keyhaven War Memorial followed by a Royal British Legion & local Scout Group Parade to All Saints' Church, Milford-on-Sea
  • 3pm: All Saint's Church Remembrance Day Service.
Armistice Day: Wednesday 11th November
  • 11am: Act of Remembrance at Everton Recreational ground
  • 11am Act of Remembrance on Milford-on-Sea Village Green followed by wreath laying at the Village War Memorial Hospital.
Everyone is most welcome to attend any of the events as we remember in particular the past sacrifices made by inhabitants of the Parish of Milford.


A family Story for Poppy Day

I am sure that at this time of year many families recall stories of the war years & the part their own families played in the eventual victory.  Our family never really had any ‘war stories’, well we didn’t until my brother Peter, did some genealogical research during 2009.  Like most families I guess, the war was not discussed when we were children, & the only thing I remember was that my dad’s older brother had been a WW2 prisoner of war in an horrific Japanese camp, but he never spoke about it to anyone, ever.

I also knew that my Grandad’s lungs were badly damaged during the first world war, but did not know how. I remember him as a warm & kindly man who lived with us when we were children. In fact our three bedroom home in Kingsbury, North London, housed Grandad, my Nan, Mum & Dad, plus us three kids. He fondly told me great children’s stories as I sat on his knee, with his oxygen cylinder & mask sitting ominously next to him in the living room. He even caught me doing something I shouldn’t have, but kept it a secret from anyone forever. My other Grandfather, Albert Long, I remember as a stern archetypal Victorian man, in a woollen suit with waistcoat & fob watch. His house was a standard semi-detached in Hendon, North London with an allotment at the bottom of the garden where he spent many hours. He was certainly of a mind that ‘children should be seen & not heard’ & the front parlour was a special treat to visit only on special Sundays. This all seems so far from the days we now live in. Having been born in the mid 1950's, I grew up with the war as being something 'old people' talked about, & in my teens & twenties I was much more interested in girls & pubs!

Sadly, when I eventually became interested in what happened during the two World Wars it was too late to ask many of those I had known that had been there. It was not until I was in my early forties that I took a trip to Ypres & the Belgian World War One Battlefields & Trenches, and the experience was unexpectedly emotional & a disturbing realisation of the scale of the slaughter. In subsequent years my interest in the war years grew, as I tried to understand & make sense of what had happened. It just felt important to know. A visit to the World War Two D-Day Beaches of France soon followed. If these are trips you have never made, I thoroughly recommend a visit. I cannot say it will be fun, I also cannot guarantee you will not have an involuntary tear or two, but I can guarantee that the sights will put everything into perspective & steel your resolve for such a thing to never happen again. In my view, it should be on the curriculum of every school in the country to visit the battlefields & cemeteries to ensure our children never forget what happened to their own forefathers.

Back to Peter, (my Brother), a few years ago he gave me a surprise present of two photograph frames with the most amazing contents following his research: each had a sepia photograph, name & rank panel, miniature medals & script on the back. The photographs were pictures of each of my Grandfathers in their military uniforms during WW1. The stories on the back revealed amazing things about two ordinary men during wartime.

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My Grandad, Staff Sergeant Horace W Hunt had been in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during WW1 as a Mine Sweeper, unfortunately he was involved in an explosion which necessitated his return to Hendon Cottage Hospital, England for treatment for temporary blindness & respiratory problems. During World War Two he served as a corporal in the Southgate Home Guard. Being an engineer he invented an improved loading device for 97 round Lewis Light Machine Gun which improved the loading efficiency by forty percent, which he donated to the war effort.  Our family now has a letter from a Major M. A Moir, congratulating him on his ingenuity.

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My other Grandfather, Rifleman Albert Long, of the Rifle Brigade was one of the few to return from the atrocious battlefields of Passchendaele, Belgium. During his time in the trenches we were proud to discover that he had been awarded the Military Medal for an individual act of bravery. His Military Medal was awarded on the 18th October 1917. Unfortunately, all records of the exact event were destroyed during the bombing of the Army Records Office in London during World War 2. However, from family memory Peter discovered that he had saved a comrade from ‘no man’s land’ during battle. His medals were bequeathed by the family to his Regimental museum, the Royal Green Jackets Museum in Winchester, when he died in 1965 & can still be seen there today.

This personal story may not be read by many, but for those that do read this, I hope it conjures up memories from your own families.  Most importantly, now that I have written this story online my grandads will never be forgotten, and like so many other fathers & grandfathers who sacrificed so much, they never should.