2021-2022 Programme of Talks

The Milton Heritage Society are pleased to announce that the above talks will be given on behalf of the society for the 2021 to 2022 season.

MHS members will be e mailed with details of how to join the Zoom talk. Non-members who wish to see the talk either in the church hall or via Zoom should contact the MHS Secretary, Steve West via secretary@miltonheritagesociety.co.uk There will be a £5.00 charge for visitors.

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.

Update to Milton Heritage Society Membership re the History Talk on Friday 16th of October 2020

Dear MHS member

On Friday 16th of October 2020 we had planned to present to you a talk on the history of Exbury Gardens. Sadly the speaker and head gardener, Tom Clarke is no longer able to give the talk owing to health issues. He has said that he will come to give us the talk next season.

Instead we are very fortunate to have MHS committee member Philip Benstead step in as a last minute replacement.

His talk is on;

Building The Direct Line to Bournemouth – 1883 to 1888.

A tale of self-interest, optimism, naivety, fraud, bankruptcy, incompetence, arrogance, violent deaths, royalty & religion with congratulations to the non-participants & ignorance of the achievers. 

Before the so called, ‘Direct Line’, just ten miles long, was built the chief engineer of the LSWR declared that, “No substantive difficulties would be encountered”. 

The line opened two years late after bankrupting the contractors and was later described by the LSWR as “the most difficult of lines”. 

The talk opens with an overview of the socio-economic conditions in the 1800s and the existing rail network followed by how the politics of planning a line through the New Forest and land owned by powerful men was managed. A visual tour of the line, stopping along the way for a raft of anecdotes and stories, that paint pictures from outrage to tragedy & triumph. 

If only one of the main participants had been a gardener?

Philip is a lifelong railway enthusiast and has been involved in designing and implementing major capital projects around the world. 

After reading Jude James book on the ‘Direct Line’ he was intrigued by the story and during lock down, as his daily exercise, cycled to every part of the line to examine it at first hand.

The talk is starting at 7.00pm on Friday 16th of October 2020 at the Memorial centre and via Zoom. We have been allowed 40 persons in the hall. That is now fully booked. We are able to take more bookings for Zoom attendance to the talk. Please contact the secretary, Steve West for booking details via secretary@miltonheritagesociety.co.uk

Nick Saunders

Milton Heritage Society.

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 – seehttps://www.hants.gov.uk/shop/product.php?productid=55316&cat=513&page=1.

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, secretary@miltonheritagesociety.co.uk 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 (secretary@miltonheritagesociety.co.uk 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. www.miltonheritagesociety.co.uk 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.  https://miltonheritagesociety.co.uk/chapters/milton-in-the-wars/new-milton-on-the-23rd-of-august-1940/  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.
nick@miltonheritagesociety.co.uk     01425 618549

Building skills courses for residents

Dear MHS members, 

Theresa Elliot at the Town Hall has made me aware of the following training course that are available from New Forest National Park. They may be of interest to you especially if you own an older property, such as a Cob Cottage. if you are interested see the below for details and apply to NFNP direct. 


Nick Saunders
Milton Heritage Society.   

The New Forest National Park Authority and local buildings expert Kevin Stubbs are delivering a series of evening talks for homeowners in the New Forest.

The talks are part of the Building Skills project, one of 21 projects being delivered through the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme. The project is informing local people of the importance of traditional buildings to the area’s character whilst providing knowledge of specialist repair techniques. This information is helping conserve and enhance the local distinctiveness of the settlements within the Forest as they raise awareness and encourage sensitive repair and management.

The series of evening talks begins in November on Wednesday evenings in Brockenhurst Village Hall. The subjects that will be covered are as follows:

Local heritage of New Forest homes 
Wednesday 6 November, 7pm – 9.30pm.

New Forest cob, thatch, flint and stone 
Wednesday 20 November, 7pm – 9.30pm.

New Forest brick, mortar, plasters and renders 
Wednesday 4 December, 7pm – 9.30pm.

New Forest timber framed buildings and timber roof structure 
Wednesday 15 January, 7pm – 9.30pm.

New Forest tile, slate and lead roof coverings 
Wednesday 29 January, 7pm – 9.30pm.

New Forest building details and finishes 
Wednesday 12 February, 7pm – 9.30pm.

If you would like to attend one or more of these evenings, please visit our training webpage to book your place: www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/conservation/landscape-partnership/training/ . The cost of a ticket is £5 per person, and you can buy a ticket for all six evenings for £25. If you would like more information, please contact Richard Austin (Richard.austin@newforestnpa.gov.uk or 01590 664661)

Hi All,

The New Forest National Park Authority and local buildings expert Kevin Stubbs are delivering a series of evening talks for homeowners in the New Forest.

The talks are part of the Building Skills project, one of 21 projects being delivered through the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme. The project is informing local people of the importance of traditional buildings to the area’s character whilst providing knowledge of specialist repair techniques.

If there is any chance of you adding this in an article in your newsletters or monthly magazines it would be much appreciated.

Best wishes
Suzi Shilling

New Forest Heritage Centre event

Dear MHS members

The below conference may be of interest to you. The subject of this conference is how buildings and structures have shaped, and themselves been shaped by, the Forest.

If you would like to attend on the 1st of November please make contact with New Forest Heritage Cerntre using the contact details below. 

Nick Saunders
Milton Heritage Society

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