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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Carols on the Green 2009 Remembered

Sadly, Milford on Sea Carols on the Green could not take place this year, but I have come across an old article from Carols on the Green in 2009. 

These were strange times when people could actually meet up in large crowds and enjoy each others company!

Hopefully the story will evoke some memories and even provide a smile or two.

Here is the old article from 2009:

Not a great start to the day in Milford on Sea, torrential rain in the morning, followed by an afternoon of horizontal stair rods. Thankfully, the evening changed miraculously to a dry crisp winters night. So, around 6pm we set off for the Village Christmas Fayre & Carol Singing Concert. As we approached the village centre we could already hear the sound of merriment, with Christmas music & lively voices. To start our evening we made our way to Monk Fishmongers, soon to discover that they had a new name, ‘Verveine’, on the front window (Verveine is of course a citrus herb. Yes, OK, Stacey had to tell me what it meant!). The new name is part of the rebranding for the new restaurant which is due to open early next year. As soon as we went in we were offered mussels by Dave, followed by a taste of a chocolate & fig compote, which was excellent. Next we popped into Inger-Lise’s & were forced to try some traditional Norwegian biscuits, of course we did not refuse. 

Things were going well, so onto the opening night of the Landfall Gallery. Now we know the new art gallery contained mince pies, but the thronging crowd inside prevented us reaching Sally’s generous offering. I suppose I have to be honest at this point, & explain that when I say ‘we’ in respect of food, my wife is normally a spectator as her body is a temple, mines more of a waste bin. I nobly tasted everything on behalf of us both. (I know, she is so lucky to have someone so caring.) Now off to the centre of the High Street, on the way admiring the Christmas decorations in DJ Gregory’s Butchers & the impressive nativity scenes created in Ellis’s Hairdressers window. Feeling peckish we (I) spotted that Dave Gates was providing Hog Roast Baps & Sausages in Rolls for a charity donation. It just seemed my duty to help the charity. My wife opted for a bag of chips, & of course I would do anything to keep her happy, whatever the expense.

As we wandered with food in hand towards the now thronging High Street, I helped out by testing her chips, & I can confirm that Mr Pink’s had done a good job. ‘Um, those chips have made me really full up’(?!!) my wife exclaimed, just before bumping into someone she knew. I picked her startled friend up & they started chatting. Whilst I pretended to be interested in their conversation, (you know what I mean guys), I concocted a plan to get myself another Sausage in a Roll. Without a moment’s hesitation, I checked they weren’t looking & then made a quick turn, rushed up Church Hill, and I was back near Dave Gates Butchers Shop. However, I then thought it might appear strange to be back so soon for another one. So, I put on my glasses to act as an effective disguise. As I reached the front of the queue I spotted Dave now had a turkey on his head! I soon worked out that it was actually a turkey shaped hat & not a real one, but I was now perplexed as to whether not only had he seen through my clever disguise, but also whether he thought his disguise would make me think he had a twin brother? I am not sure how a simple evening becomes so complex, but for us it is normal. A second sausage in roll was soon devoured, so I now had to get back without being missed. Luckily, I am good at plans. 

So, I went to the cake stall outside of Boots. A moment later I was the proud owner of two slices of millionaire shortbread & a cup cake. To give me energy for the journey to rejoin my wife outside of Piccolo Mondo I ate the cup cake. Her conversation over, I rejoined my wife & explained how a large surge in the crowd has involuntarily dragged me off & I had laid unconscious for several minutes before being taken to the St. Johns Ambulance tent, where they revived me. To make the story more convincing, I then explained how on the way back, I had fought the pain to buy her two slices of her favourite millionaires shortbread. In her usual caring way she playfully hit me really hard around my head, clearly stating that there was no St. Johns Ambulance tent (whoops, should have checked), that I still had tomato sauce on my chin, and that millionaires shortbread was a favourite of mine, not hers.

To make peace, I offered to show her a penguin, Father Christmas & an elf. How could any girl resist. So, our next destination was Ashton Estate Agents with Santa’s Grotto. I thought it might be best not to stop for a crepe at Christina’s Bon Appetite, or at the mulled wine stall at this stage. At Ashtons, Sarah & Isobel were dressed as Santa’s little helpers & the elf looked very similar to Nick, the guy from the Co-op. For some reason there was an under 50 age limit for sitting on Santa’s knee, so I couldn’t have a go, so we left. Outside I was attacked by the penguin, & all I could hear was Lesley for Sullivan Mitchells muttering something intelligible from inside her fur costume. The Village Coffee Shop stood aglow across the road with its colourful Christmas display and the Red Lion seemed welcoming, full of happy diners & even happier drinkers. "Shall we...?" "No we won’t, the carols are starting now", my wife explained with grace & a punch in my rib cage. Wasn’t thirsty anyway, I said to her, carefully just out of earshot.

The Lymington Town Band then fired up against the backdrop of the giant lighted Christmas tree on the green, we (I) quickly grabbed a bag of roasted chestnuts from the barbeque manned by Rob from the Bay Trees. We then bought our carol song sheet from a man in a funny Christmas hat. Moments later we were in a happy crowd humming & miming. Unfortunately, so was everyone else, so the first carol just had a mumbled accompaniment to the band. Not for long though. As the carols progressed, the significant crowd found its voice & soon everyone was joining in without a care in the world. My wife was even impressed that I knew the third verse to ‘O come all ye faithful’ without the song sheet. It is nice to be her hero sometimes. The atmosphere was genuinely delightful, & to feel the community spirit was special. 

At the close of the carols Reverend Eric Parker was presented with a memento for his retirement by the organising committee. Eric has led the Carol Singing for the past nine years. To round off the evening Father Christmas arrived on his sleigh, (from the North Pole apparently, which I understand is connected to Lymington Rotary Club), he was soon swamped with local children as he handed out sweets to eager hands. Now, I am not one for all of the hysteria around Christmas time, but to see delight on children’s faces genuinely made our night. A big round of thanks goes to Ray Sales & his team of little helpers at the Village Community Committee, plus all of the local shopkeepers, who did a great job for us all. Thanks everybody!

To view the evenings photo album, please click here.

Happy Christmas everyone!

click image to view album


  1. Happy Christmas David and thanks for everything you do!