Search This Blog

Sunday, 27 March 2016

It All Starts Tomorrow for Foodies!

If you have just returned from another planet, you may not have heard about Milford on Sea Food Week.

Well, if you are one of our new intergalactic friends, all of the information you may need is below.

Have a fabulous week, whatever planet you are from!

To buy Any Show Tickets: click here or visit the Community Centre Box Office

To View the Full Food Week Programme: click here.

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

Want to know more about Food Week? - please click here

Dragons on Beach

click image to enlarge
Phew, the weather on Good Friday was fabulous, and it was nice to see that golden sand was revealed by the missing shingle on the shoreline of Milford on Sea beach.

It took me longer than expected to build the dragon, but it felt worth it in the end. 

Shame the tide came in and just washed it away..., and now with a storm coming in, it is far too windy to create another one!

Saw another dragon on Milford on Sea beach yesterday.

OK, the pink one is not a real dragon. But there was nothing else to do as Storm Katie blew through, so I knitted it - and then released it to live on the beach.

click image to enlage

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Entertaining the Kids at Food Week

click image to enlarge
Educating and entertaining the children in the village is a key part of Milford on Sea Food Week.

Lots of the events are free, and we hope that many happy childhood memories are created.

Below if a brief summary of what the kids can do each day:

Mon to Sat: Food Themed Treasure Hunt
Mon to Sat: Food Colouring Competition
Mon: Kids Easter Egg Hunt
Mon: Sturt Pond Family Wildlife Walk
Tues: Kids Chocolate Workshop
Tues: Teenage Truffle Workshop
Weds: Kids Baking Masterclass
Weds: Revolting Recipes
Weds: Kids Chocolate Workshop
Thurs: Quirky Cooking for Kids
Fri: Teddy Bears Picnic
Sat: Woodland Wildlife Walk
Sat: CakeFest!
Sat: Kids Cupcake Decorating
Sat: Keyhaven Lambing Live
Sat: Lisa's Big Farm BBQ
Sat: Create a Pie Class
Sun: Free Seed Planting for Children
Sun: Free Childrens' Party at MoS Club

Don't forget to buy the School Ketchup around the village!

To View the Full Food Week Programme: click here.

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

Want to know more about Food Week? - please click here

Fancy a Massage?

New Forest Sports Massage have moved into new premises at the: Seafront Clinic, 10 Hurst Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PY, where Dr Gail Benes previously operated her Chiropractor Practice.

New Forest Sports Massage were formerly based at Shorefield Country Park, Sally has now bought her services into the heart of the village. Her new practice works alongside a new chiropractor, both operating from the Seafront Clinic.

Sally can now offer Sports Massage, Remedial Massage, and Medical Acupuncture Treatments.

To celebrate her arrival in the village, Sally is offering both existing and new patients their first appointment at the new clinic at £33 for one hour treatment. (Normally: £43 - Valid until June 2016)

To book your session please call: 07824 876884 - or email:

New Forest Sports Massage

Friday, 25 March 2016

Watch Out for Parcel Scam

We have heard that the scam below has happened in the village. Please watch out and let your neighbours know.

What happens, is that you get a parcel delivery from a valid delivery company that you are not expecting.

Soon after, you receive a phone call saying that the delivery was in error and that a courier will be round shortly to collect it. Soon after, your doorbell will ring and a man will be there asking for the package back.

The scam is that your identity has been stolen and used to purchase a high value item (usually a smart phone) which is then registered to you, and which you are asked to hand over to a stranger! If you do so, you will have difficulty getting the contract that has been set up cancelled, plus the phone company will consider that you have “lost” the phone.

If you receive such a package, do not hand it over, but contact the sending company and ask them what you should do.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Last Few Tickets for Howard & Ping

click image to enlarge
If you are looking to come to any of the Food Week Celebrity Shows, you need to get your tickets quick!

There are still a few tickets left for the delightful Ping Coombes (MasterChef Champion 2014), and the charismatic Howard Middleton (Great British Bake Off).

Rosemary Shrager, Culinary MasterClass and Only Fools & 3 Courses are totally sold out, - but don't worry, we have over 150 events, so still plenty to enjoy - and lots of the events are free!

Food Week's first big event is the ROCK & CHIPS PARTY: 7pm to 10pm on Bank Holiday Monday (28th March) in the MoS Community Centre 

Get your party shoes on, buy your fish & chips, and kick off Food Week with pulsating live entertainment from Zac and the Zeros, Hampshire’s premier Rock and Roll function band. They will get the party rocking with soul, rock & retro pop numbers. 

YOUR FOOD: Mr Pink’s will be open at 7pm and until 8pm - So, buy your fish & chips, or bring your own food with you - plates & cutlery provided! 

Doors & Bar Open: 7pm - Everyone welcome, just buy a ticket & have a great time - whatever your age! 

Tickets: £5 - (or Pay on Door: £6) - Advance Tickets Available from the Community Centre Box Office or online at:

click image to enlarge
Hear the band online at:


To buy Any Show Tickets: click here or visit the Community Centre Box Office

To View the Full Food Week Programme: click here.

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

Want to know more about Food Week? - please click here

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Food Week 'Dine In Friday' Explained

click image to enlarge
Dine In Friday on 1st April during Milford on Sea Food Week may need a bit of explaining... 

It's quite straightforward really; You simply invite friends, family or neighbours to come and Dine In with you on Friday. 

That is of course if you are not going out.

Now, its fine to go out, if you are going out to Dine In. This is because, the people who have invited you to Dine In will be Dining In, so in turn you are also Dining In with your Dine In hosts. 

For clarity and to put it another way, if you have an invite to go out, you are not going to dine out, you are going out to Dine In. Once you arrive, your are Dining In rather than dining out.

However, if you are not going out, but Dining In, then anyone you invite will be going out to Dine In.

It may also be a problem to Dine In without going out, as the rules say all your meal ingredients and drinks must be bought in the village, so you have to go out to do the shopping before you can Dine In.

Finally, beware of going out to Dine In if you have nowhere to go. In this instance you won't be dining out or Dining In, you will just be out.

One other thing to consider is if you have booked to go to a village restaurant to Dine In. Technically, you will be out, so you can't be Dining In. So whilst you are physically dining in the restaurant, you are actually dining out.

No idea why some people have thought the Dine In concept was a bit complicated!

Find out more about how you can join in Dine In Friday, it's fun and easy! - click here

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

Want to know more about Food Week? - please click here

Post Office Closing - Shop Staying

After much publicity and exploration of numerous options, the village Post Office at 35 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QF is to close towards the end of May.

click image to enlarge
The shop will however continue to trade selling kitting materials, stationery, books, greeting cards, stamps and more.

It is a stark reality of life, that running a Post Office is now not considered a viable business activity, particularly when you take into account the volume of small transactions and security aspects.

After many years of providing an appreciated Post Office service to the village, and attempts to sell the entire business, building and accompanying accommodation, Sue had made the understandable decision to close the Post Office element.

We understand that the premises will remain for sale, and without the Post Office, it is likely to be a more attractive purchase opportunity, 

Whilst the closing of the Post Office will be a loss for people in the village, at least the shop is not going to be empty and people will still be able to purchase an interesting range of knitting and stationery items.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Food Week Plugged on Radio Solent

My wife was relieved that the Food Week interview on Radio Solent this morning went reasonably smoothly.

Her concern about coughing and swearing never materialised and some of the the points made were sort of coherent. Either way, several thousand more people now know that Milford on Sea Food Week is coming, and hopefully they will make their way to the village to enjoy the numerous events whilst spending some money to the benefit of our local traders.

To listen to the interview please click here, - listen from about 30 minutes into the programme, just after the Abba track.

click image to enlarge

Milford on Sea Food Week
BH Monday 28th March until 3rd April 2016

Food Week Erection Team in Action!

click image to enlarge
You may have wondered how all the Food Week posters, signage, banners, bunting and flags magically appears around the village, - it is probably more likely that it has never crossed your mind, or even more likely that you are not bothered.

However, if you keep reading the nonsense in this article you will find out anyway!

We are lucky to have an energetic group of volunteers that make sure the window posters and programmes reach all of the shops.

Then, we have a motley crew of local men who form the Food Week Erection Team. On Friday they gathered in the Community Centre, with a range of tools in hand.

To record this activity for posterity, the picture below shows half of the Food Week Erection Team wrestling with the banner stands, without looking at the instructions of course.

Ignoring the instructions made it much more satisfying when the banner frame erection took something like the correct shape on the fourth of fifth attempt. Some of the tools the guys bought even came in handy, but not sure what we were supposed to do with a strimmer, radiator key and chisels. (Not sure why I bought those along.)

The other half of the team missed the photo, as they had taken the large signs and banners, and were busy putting their erections up around the village centre. 

The morning was quite strenuous, and taking the ages into account, it might be another week or so before the Food Week Erection Team are ready for action again. 

However this will be fine, as the Erection Team are not back on duty until after Food Week, when all of the erection activity will disappear from the village.

Hope you like the signage, and are looking forward to Food Week!

click image to enlarge

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

Want to know more about Food Week? - please click here

Friday, 18 March 2016

Go & See Irene's Easter Garden

If you are looking for somewhere to have an Easter walk, or to take the children, you could find it worthwhile heading up Church Hill.

click image to enlarge
Before Hurst Castle opened their shop in Milford on Sea High Street, you may recall that Irene Ellis ran Ellis Hairdressers from the same location. Over the year's Irene's shop window became locally famous for the wonderful creations she would make for window display's on just about every occasion.

Having sold the business and retired you would expect that Irene's public creativity would have waned, but it certainly hasn't. 

click image to enlarge
When you reach All Saints' Church, opposite the front Lynch Gate, you will find 'Irene's Pop Up Easter Garden' from lunchtime on Good Friday.

Ellis Hairdressers Shop Window
click image to enlarge
There is even a bench, for you to sit and while the time away.

Nice work Irene!

click image to enlarge
PS: What is a Lych Gate?

Lych is derived from the Old English 'lich', meaning corpse. From 1549 it was required that lych-gates be built at the entrance to churchyards.

They were meeting places and shelters for the party bringing a corpse for burial, and for the priest to receive the corpse.

Medieval lych-gates were made of timber and most have long since disappeared.

However, many new lych-gates were erected in Victorian times, sometimes as memorials to prominent local people or as war memorials.

Creating Food Week: The Statistics

Since being launched in 2010, Milford on Sea Food Week has grown in so many ways.

The initial concept was born out of wanting to boost local village trade by promoting Milford on Sea as a 'Foodie Heaven', - and with 20 great places to eat, what better way for Milford on Sea to celebrate than to have an entire week dedicated to the joys of food!

Very soon this concept grew to involve the local community en-mass in organising and participating in events, promoting the quality local producers that surround us, and adding celebrity shows to enhance the enjoyment and to raise the profile of Food Week.

This year the ever popular Milford on Sea Food Week returns from Bank Holiday Monday 28th March until Sunday 3rd April 2016, and this time it is bigger than ever, with over 10,000 people attending the 150 events (many of which are free). Actually, it is 168 events to be precise!

Food Week Purpose: 
The core purpose of Food Week is to boost and promote village trade, and to inform, educate and entertain the local community and visitors.

Creating the Food Week Events
It is important to us that as many corners of the entire community are directly involved as possible.

To create so many events, there are as you might expect, a lot of people across the village that get involved, whether as a business, local organisation, club or as an individual. A quick count tells us that to create all the Food Week events means that 129 people are organising or participating in one way or another.

We also have 80 local producers who attend the Food Market as stallholders.

Behind the scenes there is a Core Organising Team of 7 volunteers who make sure everything is in place, prepare the events, create the marketing, raise the income, manage the finances, and keep an eye on things throughout the week.

Finally, there are also 43 important and enthusiastic volunteers who work on the event preparation, and provide day to day services and specialist support. Plus, an awesome team of 44 people who do a great job selling Food Week raffle tickets.

So, that's 303 people to make Food Week happen!

Funding Food Week Events
Food Week is run on a shoestring, and we are fortunate that many skills that organisers of other events have to pay for, we are able to do for free thanks to the expertise and time investment of our volunteers.

However, one main element that has to be outsourced is the printing of the publicity collateral, and it is surprising how substantially the cost of publicity material mounts up. Things like local advertising, village banners, window posters, flags, signage, and 20,000 Free Food Week Programmes for the village and 25,000 Flyers for the surrounding areas do not come cheap!

The celebrity events are always a risk, as good ticket sales are essential to ensure that we do not make a loss on any show.

Food Week could not happen without donations, and we are fortunate to get excellent support from Brand New Forest at NFDC, local Councillors, our local MP, 6 local main sponsors, 67 local businesses as gold or silver sponsors, and 41 local residents as Friends of Food Week. Food Week 2016 has so far raised £15,425 from these generous supporters.

Food Week is not a charitable or fund raising event, however we do encourage local charities to take part in order to raise funds for their own good causes.

Should Food Week make any profits, donations are made to local good causes and also spent on projects that may benefit the village overall. Since 2010 Food Week has made contributions of £20,738.

Spreading the Food Week Message
Prior to the fun of Milford on Sea Food Week, there is the little matter of making sure that as many people as possible know that the events are taking place.

As previously mentioned, we do as much as we can without costs and through volunteers, such as; the website, all design and artwork, PR, marketing, social media, e-shots, blogs etc.

Spreading the Food Week message is a multi-level marketing activity, and we regularly use the following:
    • The MoS News Bulletin. This is sent directly to 2,626 email addresses in the village. (NB: Milford on Sea has around 5000 residents in total.)  -  Perhaps surprisingly, we have a further 201 people who we know live in Milford on Sea, but have chosen to 'Unsubscribe' from receiving the News Bulletin. (This might be something to do with some of the nonsense we publish!)
      • The Food Week News Bulletin: This is sent directly to another of our databases, which contains 1,543 email addresses of 'Foodies from outside of the village'. 
      • Facebook: Milford On Sea Page: We have 1,621 Page Likes.
      • Facebook: Milford On Sea Food Week Page: Only started this year, and we currently have 318 Page Likes to date. (Currently growing by around 50+ per week.)
      • Facebook: Post Boosts: Used tactically to spread the word about Food Week and specific events.
      • Twitter: 86 Followers. No idea what Twitter is all about really, we just randomly put stuff on it and hope that someone sees it!
      • Streetlife: This is a local social network, so we are also giving this a go.
      • Press Advertising & Editorial in Advertiser & Times, New Forest Post, Village Voice, Lymington Directory, Barton Bugle, Highcliffe Eye, Christchurch Eye, Hampshire Life and a few selected other local publications and magazines.
      • Media: We contact all local TV and Radio looking for on air coverage. This year we had an interview on the Nick Girlder Sunday Show on Radio Solent, and Radio Solent's outside broadcast team will be at Lambing Live during Food Week.
      • Press Releases: Articles are sent to local press and food/lifestyle magazine publications.
      • Free Food Week Programmes: 20,000 free copies distributed within Milford on Sea village. (3000 of which are generously delivered to every home in the village by the team that distribute the Community Centre What's On Magazine.) 
      • Food Week Flyers: 25,000 delivered door to door in nearby surrounding areas from Christchurch, and across the New Forest to Lyndhurst.
      Then of course, we have the messages that everyone sees, like the village banners, window posters, flags and signage.

      Milford on Sea Food Week is very proud that it is a not for profit community event entirely coordinated by a small dedicated group of volunteers who provide their expertise and time for free.

      The Food Week organisers are more than satisfied that their sole reward is in seeing the enjoyment gained by people enjoying the events. 

      Food Week is truly a ‘By the community, for the community’ event, so please come and join in or simply enjoy!

      Milford on Sea Food Week
      Bank Holiday Monday 28th March until Sunday 3rd April 2016

      Seeking New School Governors

      Milford on Sea Primary School are seeking two people to join the team of Governors.  

      In this role the governors provide strategic direction to the School and act as a critical friend. The school are specifically looking for finance and or premises management expertise.  Training is provided.

      Requirements: some daytime, some evening and some flexible hours, self starters, team players and a sense of humour.  Rewards; No pay, but personal satisfaction of contributing to the development of the School, and the future of the children in our our village. 

      If you are interested to know more please contact: Sue Towndrow, Chair of Governors at or on 01590 645442

      From Moldova to the West End

      This post has nothing to do with Milford on Sea, other than I was recently contacted by Tony Hawks, a comedian, writer, musician and philanthropist who is a funny man doing good for many less fortunate.

      Anyone who has read any of his books like; Round Ireland With A Fridge, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, One Hit Wonderland, Once Upon A Time In The West...Country, and my personal favourite; A Piano In The Pyrenees, - will know his talents as a writer with a great sense of humour.

      After accepting a bet from his mate and fellow comedian, Arthur Smith, Tony took on the challenge of finding the Moldova football team players beaten 4-0 by England in September 1997. The outcome is a funny as it is surprising. In his book; 'Playing the Moldovans at Tennis' he reveals his experiences in finding and playing each player one by one. As the story humorously unfurls, an unexpected subplot emerges when Tony, unexpectedly to himself, becomes entwined with a a local family and determined to help with creating a Care Centre in Europe’s poorest nation.

      Since that day his life has literally changed, and he today he continues to tirelessly raise funds for what is now the Tony Hawks Care Centre in Chisinau, where they do amazing work for poor families with children who have cerebral palsy.

      If you can make his 'Midlife Cowboy' show above in the West End you will be assured of a good night out. Click here for ticket information.

      You might even see him here in Milford on Sea one of these days.

      Tony Hawks

      Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
      A feel-good film with the unbeatable combination of tennis, Moldova and British eccentricity - Sandi Toksvig

      Tony Hawks Care Centre, Chisinau

      Food Week on Radio This Sunday

      It will come as much as a surprise to you, as it has to me, that your editor has been invited to again appear on the radio.

      If you are a radio listener, check out the Nick Girdler show this Sunday, 20th March 2016, yours truly will be on live on air between 9.30am and 9.50am in a radio interview with Nick.

      click image to enlarge
      We will be chatting about Milford on Sea Food Week and then reviewing the Sunday papers. Naturally this a an excellent opportunity to plug Milford on Sea and Food Week, but asking my opinion on the current affairs of the day could be unpredictable!

      As you may expect, I will first look for 'Food Stories', to give Food Week another plug. Next, I will look for 'Ridiculous Stories' which appeal to my inappropriate sense of humour. If I have to resort to 'Grown Up' stories, I will be able to give them the slant of a natural village idiot.

      I of course, have the perfect face and physique for radio. 

      Having done a handful of radio interviews before, I now consider myself a veteran broadcaster. (My wife considers me delusional.) As you may know, my wife never listens to me, so it will be interesting to see if she pays more attention when I am coming out of a speaker!

      If you fancy tuning in to witness my embarrassment, and to hear the nonsense we discuss from the day’s news stories, please just set your radio dial to BBC Radio Solent.

      A couple of years ago a good friend of mine (who obviously has a mind that operates in strange ways, and far too much time on his hands), created a rather odd 'Food Week Mix'.

      Steve 'Carrots' Carroll, is weirdly creative, and took as many strange bits from a previous radio interview as he could, and then mixed them into a nonsense soundtrack. Click here to listen to the 2014 Food Week Mix. Steve 'Carrots' Carroll's mind obviously works in a funny way, but the results are amusing!

      That's reminds me, Steve also did a previous video on the Milford on Sea Food Market during Food Week 2010, which is also worth a look. This guy is a bit too creative for his own good!
      Next Sunday, 20th March 2016 | The Nick Girdler Show from 09.30am until 09.50am

      BBC Radio Solent: 96.1 & 103.8FM: 999 and 1039 AM: DAB:

      Wednesday, 16 March 2016

      Tom Invents the Roccbox

      The Daily Echo has today published an insight into the successful oven business created by Milford on Sea resident, Tom Gozney.

      Tom founded The Stone Bake Oven Company in 2009. Since then, his company has received praise from national publications including The Telegraph, The Guardian as well as popular lifestyle magazines and can now be found in homes and restaurants across the world.

      Tom Gozney
      Pic: Daily Echo
      click image to enlarge
      Unlike other wood fired oven distributors, The Stone Bake Oven Company pride themselves in being both the manufacturer and distributor of all their products, giving customers the confidence they need in dealing with a member of the Stone Bake team directly.

      At just 31, Tom is CEO of a group of companies, and he has now invented the Roccbox, which he believes could revolutionise outdoor cooking. The Roccbox is billed as the world’s first portable and lightweight stone bake oven. It can cook more or less anything, with a pizza ready in under 90 seconds.

      In the Daily Echo article Tom's speaks of how he went from being expelled from school to launching a business driven by his passion for wood fired cooking.

      The business soon established, and eventually attracted such prestige customers as River Cottage, Marriott and Jean-Christophe Novelli, going on to make ovens for domestic use.

      Now he heads the Gozney Group, based at Christchurch Business Park, which has six subsidiaries.

      Tom says he generally never spends much on himself, but he has been able to fulfil two personal ambitions, one, to have a sea front home, and the other, his stunning Lamborghini Huracan which can often be seen around the village.

      Roccbox took four years to develop, boosted by Virgin’s Pitch to Rich initiative and crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Tom explains; “I set up an operation to make a product that worked in the same way as our big ovens, for people that didn’t have a big garden or the same budget.” 

      Among the 2,000 advance orders is one from Richard Branson.

      Looks like Tom is on to another winner to me.

      Read the full Daily Echo articleclick here

      The Stone Baked Oven Company
      Tom Gozney

      Vacancies at The Beach House

      As Easter approaches The Beach House are looking for friendly people to join their team.
      click image to enlarge

      There can be few finer historical houses to work in, and there are now opportunities for Front House roles in both the restaurant and bar.

      Various part-time and full-time shifts are available.

      For more information, please contact: Steve or Eve at:

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

      Throw Those Sprouts!

      Milford on Sea is about to host the first ever 'All England Sprout Tossing Contest'. (yes, really...)

      Organised by local resident Lord Grit (The alter ego of Fredrick Webb), this fun family occasion is designed for anyone with a sense of humour aged from 5 to 95. (Over 95's welcome if they are accompanied by their parents.).

      The Inaugural Brussels Sprout Tossing Competition is being held to deliver a laugh and looking to raise money for the Honeypot children's charity. 

      So, if you want to be a tosser it is £1, all spectators are free, giggling is optional, and all of this organised nonsense will take place at the Community Centre from 2.30pm to 5pm on Saturday 26th March.

      Food Week in The Sun

      Out of the blue we had a call asking for some pictures from previous Food Week's.

      The call was from The Sun TV Magazine, so it looks like Food Week is now getting noticed on a national level.

      Apparently, the article will be in The Sun TV Magazine on sale on 26th March. Not sure how much coverage we will get, but as they say, 'every little helps!'.

      Tuesday, 15 March 2016

      Milford connection to Easter Rising

      You may think that the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin this month has nothing to do with Milford on Sea, but there is a connection...

      Thomas Clarke
      click image to enlarge
      Thomas James "Tom" Clarke (11 March 1858 – 3 May 1916) was an Irish republican revolutionary leader and arguably the person most responsible for Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising. 

      A proponent of armed revolution for most of his life, he spent 15 years in English prisons prior to his role in the Easter Rising, and was executed after it was quashed.

      So, the connection? Well, Thomas Clarke was born to Irish parents at Hurst Castle, Milford on Sea in 1858. His parents were Mary Palmer and James Clarke who was a sergeant in the British Army. 

      In 1865, after spending some years in South Africa, Sgt. Clarke was transferred to Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland, and it was there that Tom grew up.

      In 1878, at the age of 20, he joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and by 1880 he was head of the local IRB circle. In August that year, after a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) had shot and killed a man during riots between the Orange Order and the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) in Dungannon, Clarke and other IRB members attacked some RIC men in Irish Street. They were driven back, however, and Clarke, fearing arrest, fled to the United States.

      In 1883 he was sent to London, under the alias of "Henry Wilson", to blow up London Bridge. He was arrested, and along with three others, he was tried and sentenced to penal servitude for life on 28 May 1883 at London's Old Bailey.

      Tom Clarke
      1916 commemorative plaque
       at the junction of
      Parnell Street and O'Connell Street, Dublin.
      click image to enlarge
      He subsequently served 15 years in Pentonville and other British prisons. In 1896, he was one of five remaining Fenian prisoners in British jails and a series of public meetings in Ireland called for their release.

      Following his release in 1898 he moved to Brooklyn in the United States where he married Kathleen Daly. In 1906 the couple moved to a 30-acre farm in Manorville, New York and in 1907 returned to Ireland.

      In Ireland he opened a tobacconist shop in Dublin and immersed himself in the IRB which was undergoing a substantial rejuvenation.

      When the Irish Volunteers were formed in 1913, Clarke took a keen interest, but took no part in the organisation, knowing that as a felon and well-known Irish nationalist he would lend discredit to the Volunteers. Nevertheless, he had close contacts within the organisation.

      In 1915 Clarke and MacDermott established the Military Committee of the IRB to plan what later became the Easter Rising. 

      When an agreement was reached with the Irish Citizen Army in January 1916, Clarke was the first signatory on the Proclamation of the Republic. It has been said that Clarke indeed would have been the declared President and Commander-in-chief, but he refused any military rank and such honours; these were given to Pearse, who was more well-known and respected on a national level.

      At The Easter Rising, Clarke was stationed at headquarters in the General Post Office during the events of Easter Week, where rebel forces were largely composed of Irish Citizen Army members under the command of Connolly. Though he held no formal military rank, Clarke was recognised by the garrison as one of the commanders, and was active throughout the week in the direction of the fight, sharing the fortunes of his comrades.

      Following the surrender on 29 April, Clarke was held in Kilmainham Jail until his execution by firing squad on 3 May at the age of 59. He was the second person to be executed, following Patrick Pearse.

      Before execution, he asked his wife Kathleen to give this message. Message to the Irish People; "I and my fellow signatories believe we have struck the first successful blow for Irish freedom. The next blow, which we have no doubt Ireland will strike, will win through. In this belief, we die happy."

      To read more about Tom Clarke please click here

      Can You Help at the May Fayre BBQ?

      The team organising the Milford-on-Sea May Fayre (Monday 2nd May 2016 -10am to 4pm) have two of their normal helpers missing this year, and they are looking for 3 or 4 people to help on the barbeque.

      click image to enlarge
      We understand that men normally see this as their primeval domain, but girls are welcome to help out to, you might even get a Food Week Apron!

      Henerieta said; "If any 'BBQ Volunteers' can spare a hour or so each between 10am and 2pm that would be marvellous and really doesn't take up too much time to support the day!"  If friends want to do together that's fine.

      Pitches are also available for local traders.

      To volunteer, or for more information please contact Henrietta on: 07745 365558 -

      Monday, 14 March 2016

      Food Week reaches New Zealand!

      click image to enlarge
      Local Milford on Sea residents, Chris and Alison Sanford decided a Food Week Bag would make a nice Christmas present for their adored god-daughter, Cassandra Fausett last Christmas.

      Whilst many bags may have been banished to the back of a cupboard by now, Cassandra's is getting well used and advertising Milford on Sea Food Week in a far flung land.

      Add caption
      Cassandra lives in Auckland, and it is nice to see that she is happy to scale the heights of the airport sign to get the word out!

      To save Chris and Alison struggling to decide on something from Milford on Sea as a gift for next Christmas, we think Cassandra's diligent work in the Southern Hemisphere has earned her a free Food Week Apron!

      Get your Goodies!: If you would like a bag, apron or any other Food Week Goodes, please opop into the Village News newsagent, or look our for our pop up stalls at various Food Week events.

      Saturday, 12 March 2016

      Tomatoes Invade The Needles

      Label Designer-Imogen Scott
      click image to enlarge
      Three tomatoes and a bottle of ketchup have taken over the Needles on the Isle of Wight as part of Milford-on-Sea Primary School’s entrepreneurial initiative to make its own 'school ketchup' for Milford on Sea Food Week.

      Three giant tomatoes have replaced the Needles and the lighthouse is now a ketchup bottle as part of the winning design by Milford pupil, Imogen Scott (aged 9). 

      The ketchup which has been designed and made in conjunction with Claire Lee, proprietor of Spice‘n’Easy (a Milford-based producer of fine pickles, chutneys and relishes), has enabled pupils to be involved in a product from start to finish.

      The Winning Label Design
      click image to enlarge
      Claire from Spice‘n’Easy commented; "The children tasted various ketchups and then collaborated to agree their preferred flavour option. It has been brilliant to have their feedback and I hope they enjoy selling their product in the village during Food Week. - Looking out for future entrepreneurs!”

      Matthew Hill, Head Teacher at Milford-on-Sea Primary School said: “What an opportunity this has been for our children, they have been involved in every step of the way, from taste testing to selling the product themselves to local businesses. It has enabled them to get a hands-on learning experience, and an opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills in dealing with local business owners."

      The great thing about this project is the way our progressive school and enthusiastic PFA support Parents Friends Association came up with the idea, and how the pupils are learning about product design, product production, direct sales, and profit and loss.

      Surprising what you can get out of a few bottles of ketchup!

      The School Ketchup will soon be on sale for £4.50 per bottle. Watch out for it in the village shops and all around Food Week - oh, and don't forget to buy some! - every penny of profit goes to our own village school.

      Hollands Home Deliveries

      One of the great delights of Milford on Sea is the excellent range of independent shops we have in our village centre. One of the busiest, and most popular, is Hollands of Milford, an independent family grocer and supermarket situated in the centre of the High Street.

      Paul & Maureen Holland opened their independent village supermarket in 2000, and they now stock over 2500 Products, including all of the big brands you would expect to see elsewhere, and indeed everything you may need for your daily meals, naughty treats, kitchen cupboard stocks, household daily use and celebration times.

      click image to enlarge
      They also love to support local suppliers and stock a tasty range of local New Forest Marque produce. Another delight is the cheese counter & cold meat delicatessen, which is hard to beat for miles around. You can even get your lottery tickets, although winners can’t be guaranteed!
      It is likely that you have shopped there many times, and like me, have been amazed how much can fit into such a small space! I wonder however if you realise all that they do?

      To keep you informed they have their website which tells you everything you need to know, and more importantly it carries all of their current Special Offers, so a regular look at the website could certainly save some of your well-earned cash. You can view the current Special Offers by clicking here.

      Hollands of Milford certainly do their bit for the community, they constantly support village events and are always willing to help out wherever they can. Their Opening hours of Monday to Saturday: 7am until 8pm and Sunday: 8am until 7pm ensure they are open when you need them, and they offer so much more than your daily groceries, including a full Takeaway Service.

      Paul’s van is a regular sight around the village as he makes his home deliveries, and yet another way Hollands serves our local village. The Home Delivery Service provides a convenient and friendly way of doing your shopping. Anyone can use the service, you can simply place your order by telephone for later collection, or for Paul to deliver by calling: 01590 641882. Now of course, you can also see all of the current special offers on the website to aid your shopping selections. Alternatively just pop in and select your own shopping and have it delivered. Delivery is free for all orders over £50.

      If you are not familiar with the shop, you will find Hollands of Milford right in the centre of Milford on Sea High Street, next to the village green. The High Street has free parking, and there are also a pay & display car park in Sea Road, opposite the store.

      A unique village shop offering so much deserves our support, and I for one will try and buy more locally across the village rather than using the large supermarkets. Why not join me, although best to come in when I am not there, I am pretty difficult to pass in the aisles!

      Hollands of Milford
      49 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QG | Tel: 01590 641882 |

      Thursday, 3 March 2016

      Cake Decorating for Adults

      Food Week has a great opportunity to discover how to make the decorations on your cake look that little bit special.

      Kate will get you hands-on to put her cake decoration techniques into practice. 

      If this sounds fun to you, you are likely to enjoy the Hands on Cake Decorating with Kate Wall on Wednesday 30th March from 3pm to 5pm.

      The cake is provided for you to decorate and you then get to take it home enjoy. 

      The Two Hour Session costs: £15 and is being done in aid of Marie Curie. 

      Closing date to book a place: Sunday 20th March - to allow your cakes to be made and all ingredients purchased. 

      To book call Kate on: 01590 643059 or 07788 970933. 

      Hands-On Cake Decorating for Adults
      3pm to 5pm in the Cookery Theatre at South Lawn 
      Max: 16 people - Limited places so book now!

      Kayaking or Paddle Boarding for £5

      To celebrate the opening of The New Forest Paddle Sport Company Ltd and their links with Hurst Castle, Sean Scott and his team are running a taster day at Hurst Castle on Friday the 8th April. 

      For £5 you can have a 30 min instructor led Taster Session in kayaking or stand up paddle boarding at Hurst Castle! Your ticket also includes your ferry trip to and from the castle. Sessions are pre- book only and tickets available from their High Street shop. All under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult while on the water.

      Tickets also available online with a extra 50p added for postage and admin costs - click here
      The New Forest Paddle Sport Company will also be running Castle Experience Tours on Saturdays from the 9th April through to October. Your tour will consist of a 2 hour instructor led paddle up the Keyhaven river to Hurst Castle where upon your arrival you will have access to the castle, lunch and a return ferry trip all included in your ticket price a truly fantastic day out! Adult tickets are £35 and child £25.

      The New Forest Paddle Sport Company at 46 High Street, Milford on Sea, can also supply local surfers looking for spares such as fin screws - wax and more. 

      Maybe you just want to mess around on the water as a family? The shop now stocks body boards to hire for £5 a day for those perfect messing around days at the beach!

      For more information please check out: or visit the shop.

      The New Forest Paddle Sport Company Ltd

      46 High Street, Milford on Sea, SO41 0QD
      01590 645270

      Wednesday, 2 March 2016

      Total Voice to feature in G4 Tour

      Our own village choir have been chosen to back G4 on one of their UK tour gigs.

      Acclaimed ‘pop opera’ quartet G4, runners-up in the very first X Factor series in 2004, have chosen Milford on Sea’s Total Voice Chamber Choir from dozens of contenders to appear with them at the Eastleigh date of their UK tour on Sunday 17th April at the Concorde Club.

      click image to enlarge
      The choir, founded by Victoria Hopkins and Christine Mulgrew in 2012, will perform songs from their own repertoire and will join with G4 to sing rousing favourites such as Nessun Dorma, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Barcelona.

      The organisers of the tour said they were ‘inundated with choirs’ applying to appear with the group. Choir Leader Victoria Hopkins said; "We are all very excited to be chosen to appear with G4. It’s a testament to how far our choir has come in the last few years that we have been given this opportunity".

      Total Voice Chamber Choir can also be heard on Saturday, 5th March at the Milford on Sea Community Centre in aid of Milford’s Community Library, and on Wednesday, 30th March at the Beach House as part of Milford on Sea’s Food Week celebrations.

      click image to enlarge
      The entire Total Voice Contemporary Choir are also performing during Food Week, with their 'Sing-along Choir Pub Crawl' at various village pubs.

      Between 7pm to 9.30pm on Friday 1st April the full choir will be wending their way from The White Horse, to The Red Lion, and then The Smugglers Inn.

      Hopefully they can get the choir singers out of each pub as they move along, and then at each venue they will burst into some rock and pop hits. You are welcome to join in a sing-along at the same time if you wish! 

      I was considering making a guest appearance as a token pub crooner, but it is unlikely as, I can't sing and once I am in a pub it is really hard to get me out.

      Total Voice
      07769 332342