Category Archives: Uncategorized

March 2021 Talk

Sadly owing to Covid restrictions we will not be able to hold the advertised talk on the history of falconry. It will be replaced by our previously postponed talk on the history of Exbury Gardens.

The history of falconry presentation will be rescheduled to later in the year.

More information on the March 2021 Talk can be found on our Talks page here.

Online local studies session

Dear MHS Member.

 The below e mail is from Heather Needham of the Hampshire Records Office in Winchester. They are offering an online local studies session which will help you to research your family history. It takes place on Friday 18 September 2020 from 6pm-7pm. You must book a place for this online via the Hantsweb Shop. See below link. The cost is £5.00


Nick Saunders
Milton Heritage Society

Dear all,

Following the success of our online outings during lockdown, including Wessex Film and Sound Archive’s first online events, we are now launching our first online Hampshire Archives and Local Studies ticketed events this month, starting with ‘Sources for Family History at Hampshire Record Office’ next week – see

You may have attended events on-site at Hampshire Record Office in the past, and now you can do the same from the comfort of your own home. If you are cautious about getting out and about in the current circumstances, or not keen on looking for parking in Winchester on autumnal evenings, but still need your archive fix, this talk may be the answer!

It is ideal for those who want to find out about their Hampshire ancestors. It is aimed at the beginner and no previous knowledge of family history is required. If you have been tempted to look at your family history during lockdown, join us to find out more from the past. The presenter will be my colleague David Rymill.

There will be a second event towards the end of the month, when our planned on-site Mayflower event is translated online. More to follow on this; look out for details on social media and on the online shop.

Due to the way these events works, ALL bookings will need to be via the online shop, so follow the link above to book your ticket.

This is our first step into online ticketed events, so please bear with us, as it will be new to us as well as you. We will appreciate your support for our trial runs; do join us, so you can say you were virtually there for our first online talk!

Best wishes,


Heather Needham 
Principal Archivist (ICT & e-services) 
Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

First Milton Heritage Society talk of the 2020 – 2021


The first Milton Heritage Society talk of the 2020 – 2021 season is being given by Dr Henry Goodall on Friday 11th of September 2020 at 7.00pm. It is a fascinating account of the Mulberry Harbours and Lepe Beach in the run up to D-Day. The talk will be held in the Memorial Centre, in Whitefield Road, New Milton. It is also being shown via Zoom to an audience at home.

In the Memorial Centre, social distancing will be maintained. The maximum number in the audience has been capped. All seats have now been allocated by our secretary. All members attending must wear a mask. Hand sanitiser will be provided on the door. A register of attendees will be kept for track and trace compliance. Please do not turn up at the hall unless you have a seat allocated to you.

It is still possible to register to see the talk via Zoom. This is free of charge to Milton Heritage Society Members. For visitors there is a £5.00 charge or a £12 charge to become a member of the MHS for the next year ensuring access to all future talks.

If you are uncertain how to Zoom MHS Committee member Philip Benstead will be giving tuition at 7.00 pm on Thursday 10th of September 2020.

If you would like to register to attend the talk via Zoom or to take part in the tuition session please contact our membership secretary Steve West via, or via 01425 619958.


Nick Saunders


Milton Heritage Society.  

Newsletter No.1

Dear MHS Member

We welcome you to the 2020 -2021 season of talks and local history research with the Milton Heritage Society.

It has been a very strange time for us all. This year’s events will become part of our history in the not too distant future. If you have kept any photographs or records or documents of the ‘covid crisis’ please can you share them with us here at the MHS as we and the Hampshire Record Office are trying to compile a history of what happened to us during this unique time.

The MHS committee is determined to keep the society operating throughout the virus restrictions. We have put together a really interesting series of history talks which we hope will have wide appeal. We have enclosed a programme for you giving details of the six talks.

We have tried to make plans based on today’s social contact rules for events taking place in September onwards. At the time of going to press we are allowed to hold meetings in the Memorial Centre with a maximum audience of 40 persons. We are also going to use Zoom at the same time to broadcast the talks to MHS members who are in quarantine, socially distancing or feel uncomfortable with large numbers of people.

To attend a talk in the Memorial Centre, please book a place via our membership secretary, Steve West ( or 01425 619958) who will give you a seat number. Priority for seats will be given to those who do not have access to e mail and therefore cannot take advantage of the Zoom facility. BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. This is because it also forms part of our covid track and trace obligations. Please do not turn up without first speaking to Steve. The seats will be set a safe distance apart and you will be required to bring your own mask. Hand sanitiser will be provided on the door.

If you wish to watch the presentation via Zoom, please also contact Steve West via the above contact details. He will arrange for a Zoom invitation to be e mailed to you to enable to log into the meeting.

We have co-opted onto the MHS committee two new members. One is Philip Benstead who you will recall gave us an excellent talk on RADAR last year. Philip is an accomplished speaker and has, during lockdown, acquired much experience and knowledge in how to use Zoom and run Zoom meetings. Philip has been brought onto the committee to offer us advice, guidance and practical skills to enable us to make the most out of Zoom on your behalf. Some of you may not have used Zoom before or may not be too confident in its use. Philip has kindly agreed to run a short training session the day before our first talk. (Thursday 10th September). If you wish to take part in this training session please let Steve West know.

Our other new committee member is Mark Gallagher. He has been working behind the scenes for MHS for several years running our website. We are intending to create a ‘Members Only’ section on the website which will be accessed by a password. It will hold some recordings of the talks in the coming season. It will also hold some local history material such as maps and digitised history books of relevance to Milton parish. We are looking at ways to make this available to those without computer access. 

Please do take the opportunity to look at the website. There have been several new local history articles placed on the site. We are also grateful to one of our members, Philippa Turnbull who has kindly allowed us to publish on the website her mediaeval history of Ashley and another on life and growing up in Ashley within living memory. If you have a Milton Parish based piece of local history research and you would like to see it published to a wider audience please get in touch with Nick Saunders, the chairman.

 We are also planning to arrange several field trips in 2021 including one to Hengistbury Head, led by Dr Kath Walker, one to Exbury Gardens (linking in with our October speaker). Another field trip being planned is to the Chalke Valley History Festival on a selected day during the week 21st to 27th June 2021. Finally another potential field trip will be to Lepe Beach to tie in with our first presentation this season. More information on the field trips will be provided later.

The new season starts in September and we would be very grateful if you could pay your subscriptions of £12 promptly. Many of you are paying by Standing Order and we thank you and encourage that as the best method of payment. Those of you who book to attend the talk on 11th of September will be able to pay by cheque or cash on the door.

23rd of August 2020 saw some media attention relating to the 80th anniversary of the 1st bombing of New Milton in 1940. New Milton Town Council put out a press release which kindly linked to the MHS website inviting readers to look there for more information.  The New Milton Advertiser also had a good article which recorded the memories of a witness to the attacks. The article also invited readers to look at the MHS website.

Members of the society and members of the public are kind enough to offer the MHS photos, postcards, maps and other local history material. This is being digitised and will be made available to you. Recently a lady offered us three good quality copies of the spontaneous VE celebrations that took place in Fawcett Road in May 1945, one of which is reproduced here.

We have carried out some research into the event which has included putting together a directory of those people who were resident in Fawcett Road in World War 2. The New Milton Advertiser in May 1945 gave a good report of the event along with one of the three photos. Our research is about to be published on the MHS website. It has been fascinating to uncover the history of that street.

VE Day Street Party in Fawcett Road. May 1945.

If you are a Facebook user we would recommend you join the ‘New Milton Memories’ page run by MHS member Catherine Bates. It is a really interesting site with lots of contributions of photos and memories from people who are connected to Milton Parish.

We look forward to welcoming you either in person or via Zoom on Friday 11th September 2020 at 7.00pm. The talk will be given by Dr Henry Goodall on Lepe Beach and the D-Day Mulberry Harbours of WWII. Many of you will recall Henry gave us an excellent talk on the airfields of the New Forest in 2019.  

We will be sending out regular newsletters to you keeping you up to date on the latest local history news in Milton Parish.

Whatever the next year throws at us we will try and keep you entertained, informed and up to date on our local history.

With best wishes

Nick Saunders

Milton Heritage Society.     01425 618549

The Tucker Diaries Exhibition at East Boldre Village Hall

You are invited to attend our free exhibition of the WW1 military flying school at the East Boldre, Beaulieu Airfield, with some recently discovered, exciting new material. We have enhanced our exhibition to include the WW1 military hospitals at Brockenhurst, which treated many of the pilots injured in flying accidents at East Boldre. After his second crash, Sergeant Arthur Simmons spent several weeks in hospital where he took a number of photographs which we have restored and added to our collection.

During 1916, Corporal Gordon Tucker was an aircraft rigger at East Boldre. He later moved to airfields in Hounslow and Wye where he continue his career as an aircraft engineer. During his time in the RFC, he kept meticulous pocket diaries of his experiences, the repairs he made to aircraft, his run-ins with superiors, the food he was served, his romantic liaisons and the many flights he took. His letters and diaries are the most extensive record found to date, of the day to day life on a WW1 military airfield.

Gordon Tucker’s diaries contain many unexpected gems, for example, the entry for Sunday 12 November 1916 provides previously unknown information about the Commanding Officer. It reads, “Lovely day. Plenty of flying. Capt Westerdarp now CO. Lt Byers killed in a Curtiss nosedive.”

Recently, his sons, Michael and Stuart Tucker, have made their father’s memorabilia available. Michael Tucker, age 84, who has transcribed his father’s diaries and letters, has flown from his home in Australia to be present at exhibitions at Hounslow, Wye and here at East Boldre. He will bring a range of WW1 memorabilia, including his father’s uniform, diaries, documents, photographs and medals. His 90 year old brother Stuart, who lives in Surrey, is currently unwell but we hope he can also be here.

At 11:00 am on Saturday 27 July, we will formally thank Michael and Stuart and present them each with a signed copy of our book, ‘From Forest Field to Western Front’.

In addition to the photographs and the Tucker diaries, the exhibits will also include the New Forest National Park Authority’s mobile WW1 exhibition and stands for the Milton Heritage Group (Friday and Saturday) and the East Boldre Painters Group.

At the same time, the latest designs for the new East Boldre Community Hub and Community Shop will be on display in our new Robert Coles Room, and there will be someone on hand to answer your questions.

The exhibition will be at the East Boldre Village Hall on Friday 26 July from 1:00 – 5:00 pm, Saturday 27 July from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sunday 28 July from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Admission is free and refreshments will be available.

We look forward to seeing you if you can make it.

With best regards

Steve Antczak
Secretary, East Boldre Village Hall


Archaeology of Hengistbury Head Conference

Dear MHS Members. 

Please have a look at the attached information. It is an opportunity to attend a free conference at Bournemouth university on the history and archaeology of Hengistbury Head.  Day one on Saturday 6th of April 2019 is based at the University with a variety of speakers. Day two, on Sunday 7th, is a guided walk on Hengistbury head led by leading academics in this subject. 

This looks to be a fascinating conference on the early history of the area to our immediate west and by extension our own history. 

Nick Saunders
Milton Heritage Society

Archaeology at Hengistbury Head Poster
Archaeology at Hengistbury Head Complete

Be Involved – 16th September 2017

Dear Member,
I am very happy to announce to the Milton Heritage Society Membership
that Martin Axton has agreed to join our committee as the heritage
research coordinator. Martin was born in New Milton and lived all his
formative years in the New Milton Parish. His parents moved to Sea Road
Barton on Sea in 1952 where he attended St. Georges School in
Highcliffe, and then in 1957 to High Ridge Crescent in Ashley where he
attended Ashley Secondary School, where he was fortunate enough to be
taught History by the late great Arthur Lloyd. Martin was inspired by
Arthur Lloyd’s enthusiastic teaching, which made him decide to become a
History teacher later in his career.

We want the Milton Heritage Society to be more than just a group who
meet once a month for a talk and attend the occasional exhibition. The
MHS wants to inspire and motivate it’s members to carry out their own
research on local history or heritage matters. This can either be
carried out as an individual or in groups. The Milton Heritage Society
will offer guidance and support and will suggest methods of funding for
the research. In some cases, the MHS will be able to provide some data
and material to start the project off. It is hoped that members will
also contribute skills and knowledge to the various research groups. It
is intended that the material gathered by the groups will be written up
and published on the MHS website and in the form of books or pamphlets.
Martin Axton will coordinate and liaise with the groups. He is
contactable via e mail: or via 01425 276971.

Some suggestions for future research topics are; The naming of our
streets, a record of buildings of heritage merit in Milton Parish,
Milton Parish in the two World Wars, the three bombings of New Milton,
the fossils of the Barton Levels, the poor law and welfare in Victorian
Milton, the railway station, literary connections to Milton Parish,
education in Milton Parish through the ages, Marconi wireless
experiments in Barton on Sea, the water tower, the Indian Army in Barton
on Sea 1914-1915. We welcome your suggestions for interesting research

On Saturday 16th of September the MHS will be supporting the New Milton
Town Council project called ‘Be Involved. This is a way of promoting the
wide ranging community activities in New Milton for all ages and
abilities. The MHS will have a table of local historic maps and images
on display in the War Memorial Centre from 10.00 until 16.00. Martin
Axton will be available for MHS members to meet and to discuss any
historical research projects that they want to start up. In addition the
MHS chairman, Nick Saunders, will be leading a heritage walk around New
Milton. The walk will last an hour during which Nick will give a brief
history of the area and show historic images of locations encountered en
route. There will be one walk at 11.30 and another at 14.30 both leaving
from the car park of the War Memorial Centre.
For more information go to

Nick Saunders
Chairman Milton Heritage Society
01425 618549