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

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