2020 – 2021 Milton Heritage Society talks

All presentations commence 6.30pm for 7.00pm and take place at
New Milton Memorial Centre
Whitefield Road, New Milton BH25 6DE

Friday 11th September 2020
Dr Henry Goodall – Chairman of Friends of the New Forest Airfields
Lepe Beach and the D-Day Mulberry Harbours of WWII
The presentation describes why the Mulberry Harbours were devised and how and why Allies took their harbours with them during the D-Day invasion in June 1944.The various types of equipment involved are described, what happened to them in practice and the relics left today in Hampshire, where many of the massive caissons were constructed.
Henry is a retired Consultant Occupational Physician, with a lifetime interest in aviation. He served in 10th Btn (TA) of the Parachute Regiment in the 1960s and, as a member of Pathfinder UK, has carried out six parachute drops from World War II veteran Dakotas and other aircraft. FONFA is a Registered Charity established by a group of aviation enthusiasts, veterans, authors, and historians who lived in the New Forest National Park area.

Friday 16th October 2020
Thomas Clarke – Head Gardener, Exbury Estate
The History of Exbury Gardens, and Rothschild’s influence on plant
collecting and horticulture
The early part of the 20th century was the golden age of woodland gardening and at the forefront of this was Lionel de Rothschild – ‘gardener by trade and banker by hobby’, as he famously described himself. He spent 20 years and a small fortune creating Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, world famous for its Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Lionel also sponsored some of the great plant hunters who traversed the globe in search of plants, some of which may still be found dotted amongst Exbury’s secluded glades and sweeping vistas. Join Exbury’s current Head
Gardener, Thomas Clarke, as he presents an illustrated talk on its history and creation as he lifts the lid on this fascinating chapter of Edwardian garden history.
A professional horticulturalist for 27 years, Thomas was an apprentice with the National Trust and specialised in woodland gardens and woody plants. He became Head Gardener at Trelissick near Truro before moving to Exbury 4 years ago. He has been on various expeditions to North East India looking for Rhododendrons and is interested in the temperate woodland flora of Asia. Thomas is a member of the RHS Camellia, Rhododendron and Magnolia Group, International Dendrological Society and a director of the British branch of the International Camellia Society.

Friday 13th November 2020
Paul Stickler – Hampshire Constabulary History Society
Policing in Hampshire, including the Second World War
The roots of the current Hampshire Constabulary may be found in 1832 when the first organised force was established in Winchester. Other borough forces developed alongside and gradually they merged before becoming one organisation in 1967. This presentation not only charts the development of policing in Hampshire, touching on some of its more notable incidents and crimes, but will outline some of the preparations that were put in place in Ringwood during the Second World War in anticipation of a German invasion. Using recently acquired material, you will hear about the work of the Invasion Committee and some of the lengths the civil defence forces went to, to ensure the area was ready for such a catastrophe.

Paul served for over 30 years in the Hampshire constabulary as a detective and senior officer, leading many murder and major crime investigations. In his retirement he graduated from the Open University with a degree in history and is also a member of the Hampshire Constabulary History Society.

Friday 8th January 2021
John Lay-Flurrie – Milton Heritage Society
‘The poor are always with us’
– Milton Poor House and Fusée Chains
‘The poor are always with us’ is a biblical quote but has been true through time. Provision for the poor has changed over the years as society takes wider responsibility for the poor and sick. The talk will explore how the needs of Milton poor have been met locally from early obligations for landowners towards their workers, to the creation of a parish poorhouse and finally with the establishment of workhouses nationally. A unique feature of local provision, which we will be exploring, was the employment of young children, not just as chimney sweeps, but in the making of fusée chains.
A former Headteacher and Special Needs Manager, John retired to the south coast where he began researching his unusual family name which brought him into the world of genealogy and local history – particularly workhouses. He is an active volunteer in the New Milton community and an ambassador for the Honeypot Childrens’ Charity for which he recently received a national Local Hero award from the Churchill Foundation.

Friday 12th February 2021
Steve West – Milton Heritage Society
Smuggling in the local area during the ‘Golden Age’ 1750 – 1840
Who were the Smugglers? Were they common criminals or is their story more complicated than that? Who were the ‘Law Enforcers’? What part did the trade play in our area? The presentation will examine the main characters involved and the events they were involved in – and there’ll be a song or two!
Having had a career in Barclays Bank, Steve is a songwriter and musician with a lifelong interest in local history and currently Membership Secretary of the Milton Heritage Society.

Friday 12th March 2021
Paul Manning – Lord Montagu’s Falconer
One thousand years of Falconry in South Hampshire
and the New Forest
The presentation covers the rich history of falconry, from its origins in the mists of time through the golden age of falconry, its demise and resurgence in recent times, the unique contribution that the sport has made to our history, language, art and culture and its special one thousand year history in the New Forest. And of course, the demanding and uncompromising nature of the birds. Paul will be accompanied by several of the falcons featured in the presentation.
Paul is Lord Montagu’s Falconer, and has practised the ancient art of Falconry for over 30 years. He runs “Amews Falconry”, a fully accredited falconry training centre, teaching and assessing for the national Raptor Awards qualification from Beaulieu in the New Forest. He is Chairman of the Wessex Falconry and Hampshire Hawking Club which continues the one thousand year history of hunting with birds of prey in the New Forest. Paul is also a member of the National governing body, The Hawk Board, which represents the interests of falconry at a national and international level.

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.

Do you have an interest that you think will be of interest to members of  Milton Heritage Society or have heard a presentation on local history or heritage relevant to Milton and district? Our Speaker & Events Secretary, John Lay-Flurrie would love to hear from you by email on ‘’ or on 01425 629874.