Local Milford on Sea News Story Archives
8th November 2009: A potty day in Milford on Sea.
Have you ever fancied trying your hand at pottery? I remember my only experience at the potter’s wheel, I was confidently making an ornate vase & it came as a bit of a disappointment when I was told my creation looked more like the thing you wee into in a hospital bed. You are quite likely to have a better experience than I did, if you choose to spend a day with David Rogers our local potter. He is running a few of day pottery courses early in the new year at his studio in the cosy Vinegar Hill Pottery just off Barnes Lane. The course begins at 9am and includes Tuition, elevenses with homemade cake, tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and a delicious homemade lunch of seasonal soup, pies or such like, served with homemade bread, cheeses and fruit. All meals are cooked by Dave's wife, Lucy. Now, my potting skills have already proved dubious, however, no one can doubt that I am an expert at eating, & that menu sounds right up my street. So, I thought this might be a good day out for us, to entice my wife I suggested to her that we could go along and play out the ‘potter’s wheel scene’ from the film ‘Ghost’. She however felt it would end up more like a very messy scene from ‘The Generation Game’. Sometimes I get the feeling she has no faith in my romantic skills. Anyway, if you fancy finding out if you are as good as me at potting just give David Rogers a call. If you would like to cut out the messy bit, David also has a small shop at the pottery with a colourful range of his handmade pottery pieces, they also do vouchers for the ‘day pottery courses’ both of which could be ideas for a Christmas present?
Vinegar Hill Pottery can be found at Mockbeggars, Vinegar Hill, Milford On Sea, SO41 0RZ | Tel: 07881 658727 or 01590 642979 | www.davidrogerspottery.co.uk
8th November 2009: Family discoveries on Remembrance 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 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 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. So far from the days we now live in & I am only 53. As I grew up the war was something 'old people' talked about, but 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), he recently 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.
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.
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 Grandfathers will never be forgotten, & like so many other fathers & Grandfathers who sacrificed so much, they never should.
9th November 2009: Remembrance Service at Keyhaven War Memorial.
Poppy Wreaths were laid at Keyhaven War Memorial on Sunday afternoon to mark Remembrance Day. Wreathes were laid by the Royal British Legion, Major Desmond Swain MP, the County Council, District Council, Parish Council and local representatives from the RLNI, Sea Scouts, Beavers and Police. The service included a reading of the names of the Keyhaven (but not Milford) residents who gave their lives in the two great wars, the traditional silence, hymns, prayers and the 'Last Post' was followed by 'Reveille' played by five trumpeters. At the close of the ceremony there was a Parade to All Saints Church in Milford on Sea for a 3pm Remembrance Service.
On Wednesday 11th November a Remembrance Day Gathering & Service will be held on the village green, followed by wreath laying at Milford War Memorial Hospital. The names of the fallen from Milford on Sea will then be read, and local school children will lay an individual poppy in remembrance of each of the fallen.
14th November 2009: Beavers get a surprise.
We got a pleasant e-mail recently telling us of a surprise £50 donation from the Milford Community Committee to The Milford and Keyhaven Beavers. To keep the good news going, the Beavers have also given a poppy wreath by our local wreath Royal British Legion, which they placed on the Keyhaven Memorial during the Remembrance Service last Sunday. It's so good for the children to become involved with all the village activities & in particular to learn about Remembrance. It seems our local Beaver Group is an active association with 20 children aged six to eight, they learn a great deal from local businesses and organisations who support them with talks and demonstrations, (i.e. the Ambulance Service, Fire and Coastguard Services) and recently they celebrated the Hindu festival of Diwali Nepalese-style with a visitor from that country – fascinating for the children. Beaver Scout leader, Neil Constantine-Smith and Janet White, who a colony assistant at the Beaver Group, asked if we could pass on their thanks to everyone who supports the children so generously. Happy do so Janet, & we add our thanks to them too!
Milford & Keyhaven Sea Scouts and Beavers website: www.milfordseascouts.org.uk
14th November 2009: Get your business ready for next summer.
The Milford on Sea Parish Council have asked us to pass on a message to all local businesses in the village. As I guess you know, we have two Visitor Information Boards in the village (and possibly a third for next year) which are managed by a company by the name of Walking Distance. In the coming weeks either Martin Smith or Martina Garnham from Walking Distance will be in contact offering advertising space on the Visitor Information Boards and also in the “Discover the New Forest” publication. The visitor boards are of course well read by visitors & locals alike, & are a good place to advertise your services locally.
If you would like to contact them to book you space now, you can find Martin or Martina on Tel : 023 8023 7654 | Email: email@example.com
14th November 2009: The secrets out – We are having a Food Week!
You may recall my previous story about when I went along to the Parish Council’s Community Tourism Groups meeting, & was press-ganged into a project! Well the project is now revealed – we are having a Food Week next Easter! The Milford on Sea Food Week was officially launched at the All Saints Church Hall last night. The Concept is to create a food event for all of the village to enjoy & participate in, and to encourage visitors to the village to boost local trade. The launch last night was excellent & we now have the enthusiastic support of 32 businesses & organisations in Milford on Sea. Everyone seemed very excited about the idea & have committed to be involved. Just the small job of pulling it all together now! We already have a website which will be constantly changing as we add ideas & events (see link to website on icon below). We hope to involve all of the local eateries, businesses & shops, in addition to this we are looking for clubs and societies to run ‘food themed’ events or talks, so that everyone in the village is involved in one way or another. We are going to all we can to make the week great fun for everyone, from the kids to the ‘young at heart’! If you fancy getting involved or have any ideas for events you could run please let us know. The success of the Milford on Sea Food Week is of course totally dependent on the participation & support of everyone in village. Big or small, any help or event participation is appreciated. The organising group consists of only two people working on a voluntary basis (Jon & David), plus two dogs, Taz & Skye, (who frankly don’t help much, but are very good at sausage tastings). On our own the events would be restricted to a 'hot dog in a telephone box!', but with your help we can have a week full of varied events to be proud of.
Milford on Sea Food Week is being organised by the Milford on Sea Community Tourism Group with the project being coordinated by Jon Crouch & myself, any profits will be donated to Milford on Sea Community Centre. If you would like to be kept up to date with what is happening please go to our ‘Join Us’ page & register for our ‘News Bulletins’. Milford on Sea Food Week website: www.milfordonseafoodweek.org
14th November 2009: White Horse Seas
Yesterday saw the most violent storm so far this year at Milford on Sea. For the brave & for the foolhardy, a wander along the seafront promenade was a challenge to even stand up, and it seemed most dog walkers were struggling to keep any of their dog’s feet on the ground. I guess we would all expect to see the front deserted during this ferocious weather, but there was no shortage of photographers & observers lining the shore! The sea was spectacular, with massive crashing waves & dominant white horses, and the spectators level of wetness was clear indication of that individuals adventurousness. Teletext last night reported the highest recorded wind speeds hit over 100mph at The Needles. A fallen tree near the South Lawn Hotel caused a bit of excitement as half of the road was blocked for a couple of hours, and the Isle of Wight was also cut off as all ferries were forced to stop running. Halfway through the storm, my wife decided a trip to Lyndhurst would be a good idea, (apparently shopping always overcomes any form of danger), so we had great fun waiting to see if our car would be crushed on the journey. Nimble at the wheel we weaved between fallen twigs, rolling logs & the occasional remnants of trees, but much more importantly my wife got to visit the shops. Not agreeing to have gone would have been far more dangerous!