New Milton Mercury February 2021

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February 2021 Issue 47

Community Magazine & Local Business Directory

Meet the Locals

Philip Phi li p Daish-Handy Dai sh-Handy - Conductor Co nductor & Cellist Cellist

Local History

A Brief Brief History History of of the the Stanleys Sta nleys Estate Esta te

It’s a Dog’s Life

Bertie’s Bertie’s First First Christmas Christmas

What’s On Local History Meet the Locals

Going Places It’s a Dog’s Life Fiona’s Real Food

Book Reviews Local Articles Local Clubs & Societies



Rewires & Upgrades

Electric Gate Automation

Alarms & CCTV Installations

Home Automation - TV & Data Installs

Alterations & Additions

Landlord Testing & Inspecting

Solar PV & Tesla Battery Storage

NIC EIC Approved Contractor

Domestic & Commercial

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Designing and Supplying Quality Bathrooms in the area for over 30 years


The New Forest’s Premier Bathroom & Tile Showroom EST 1998 With over 60 displays, here at Coastal our team boasts an impressive 70 years combined experience working within the Bathroom and Plumbing industry. We have talented designers, knowledgeable fitters and an unparalleled range of bathroom products and tiles that means we can design the perfect bathroom for your space using our impressive 3D photorealistic Design Software. Left: 3 D image of Mr B’s Bathroom in Beaulieu

A luxurious space which Mr B said: “Our bathrooms were designed by Tara and we are over the moon with the result. The products and the tiles she chose for us work perfectly and the whole process from design to supply was seamless. I can’t recommend Coastal enough! Right: The Finished Project

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Welcome to the February edition. Despite the wintry weather, we have continued to get out and about in the local area with our two dogs. We have particularly appreciated the number of positive comments about the magazines in the last few months. It’s great to hear that you enjoy the local content we provide. We hope that you will enjoy the local history articles this month, many of the more mature local residents may remember the building in the article about Stanleys estate. Many people have asked how Bertie got on with the Christmas decorations and so you can read all about it in It’s a Dogs Life. Whatever you do this month, we sincerely hope that you all stay well. If you enjoy our monthly magazine the best way you can support it is to give a call to the businesses listed within.

8/9 Local History 12/13 Meet the Locals 14 Legal Matters 16 Holistic Health 18 Going Places 20 Fiona’s Real Food 22 Book Review 26 It’s a Dog’s Life 28 Local Nature 32 Sudoku 34/35 Local History 38 Crossword 40 Wordsearch 42 Community 46 Index of Advertisers

Please do your best to support local businesses this year.

Gary & Sally

Copy deadline for the March edition : 5th February Cover Design: Absolute Graphics Cover photo courtesy of: In the Frame (Highcliffe)

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Local History Stanleys estate which sits astride the Danes Stream is located in both Milton and Hordle Parishes. It has been in existence for hundreds of years. Stanleys was part of the manor of Ashley Arnewood. This was formed in about the 16th century when the manors combined. Both Ashley and Arnewood are mentioned in the Domesday book. The first hint as to how the estate acquired the name Stanleys is in 1670 when a George Stanley is named in Claim No. 170 for Forest Rights. He is noted as owning Manors at Eling, Paltons (later spelt Paultons) and Ashley Arnewood. George Stanley claims for rights of pasture and turbary ry. y Turbary ryy is the right to cut peat for fuel.

1906 Auction picture

The 1840 Tithe map and allocations for both Hordle and Milton show that William Sloane Stanley owned substantial areas of land in Hordle and Milton which formed one estate. It is interesting to note that at that time there was no country ryy house


shown in existence on either the map or the Tithe apport rtionment t book. The OS map published in 1872 does not show the house. The 1881 census shows a Mrs Mary ryy Gunning-Sutton in residence at Stanleys. She was at that time a 69-year-old widow, living on her own means. Her late husband, Commander Orlando George Gunning-Sutton had died in 1852. Their only daughter died in 1890. It is most likely that the Gunning-Suttons built the house at Stanleys at some time in the mid-1870s.

Stanleys Estate Lady Crew lived at Stanleys with her son and daughter. They were attended by a butler, a housekeeper, two footmen, a lady’s maid, a valet, a cook and numerous housemaids, kitchen maids and scullery ryy maids. Outside there was a coachman, a groom and Dorothy Jobling’s father, Harry ryy as head gardener with several men under him. The estate was roughly about a mile square and consisted of 355 acres, described as a ‘commodious family mansion’ with ‘excellent stabling for ten horses’.

Mary ryy remained at Stanleys latterly with her grand-daughter and five serv rvants. v Mary ryy was the mother-in-law of the Honourable Henry ryy George, later 2nd Earl of Ravenswort rth. t It was his daughters who inherited Stanleys aft fter t Mary ryy died on 31st of March 1900. In 1901 the estate was sold to Lady Harpur Crewe whose family moved over from the Isle of Wight to take up residence. They brought with them some of their serv rvants v including the head gardener Harry ryy Jobling who lived with his family in the gardener’s cottage which was at that time known as “The Shooting Box”. In 1984 Harry ry’s y daughter, Dorothy was interv rviewed v by eminent local historian Art rthur t Lloyd. He published her memories of living at Stanleys from 1901 to 1920. It is thanks to this book that we can gain an insight into life in an Edwardian country ryy house in Milton Parish.

Stanleys 1946 Auction photo

The main house at Stanleys had twelve principal bedrooms, a saloon or billiard room, a conserv rvatory v ry, y dining room, drawing room, library ry, y kitchen, Butler’s pantry ry, y housekeepers’ room, larder, scullery ry, y serv rvant’s v hall, knife house, coal store, Butler’s bedroom and two menserv rvants v bedrooms. In addition, there was a thatched building off fff of Ashley Common Road that was used as a laundry ryy for the all those living on the estate. There were two lodge houses. One had three bedrooms and the other four. Both had wells.

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There were two farms on the estate. Stanleys Home Farm of 152 acres and Vagg ggs g Lane Farm of 121 acres. There were large green houses in the gardens in addition to the conserv rvatory v ry. y On the death of her son Hugo, in October 1905 Lady Crewe and her daughter left ftt Stanleys. Harry ryy Jobling remained on the estate as the caretaker. His family moved into the main house. They remained in the main house until 1909 when the estate was sold to Captain Matthew John Vicars-Miles. The Jobling family then moved back into the head gardener’s cottage. Dorothy records some happy memories of her 19 years living at Stanleys. Her early memories were as a young child walking to the local school in Hare Lane in all weathers. She admitted it was a bit frightening walking home along the woodland drive to the main house on a winters evening and on one occasion was chased by a badger. She recalled happy Christmas part rties t in the mansion house for all the families of the staff fff on the estate, with the carpet in the dining room rolled back and dancing taking place. She remembered attending church serv rvices v in the tin mission hut at the top of Vagg ggs g Lane before it was replaced with the brick-built church that we now know as St Andrews.

Stanley Park Country Club 1980s

In the 1920s the estate was sold to a group of investors including a Captain Charles Cecil Yeldham who moved into the main house with his family. Captain Yeldham was a local magistrate. On one occasion he and his son were driving up to the house and were surprised to see the son’s car being driven towards them. A collision occurred and the two local thieves were later caught. In World War 2 Captain Yeldham left ftt the estate and it was taken over to house evacuees. The farm land was taken over by the War Agriculture Executive Exx Committee for intensive food production. In 1946 the whole estate was put up for auction. The mansion did not sell however and was used for a while as a home for young men with learning diffi fficulties. fi Later the house was sold to a Dr Peter Leslie Pratt, who leased it to Mr and Mrs Cross. They turned the house into a night club. The grounds around the house were

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used as a caravan park and later a site for mobile homes. Elsewhere the grounds were turned into housing estates.

Stanleys house in 2014

In the 1980s the club closed down and slowly the mansion became a derelict shell of its former self. It is a sad end to one of our town’s country ryy estates. Nick Saunders Nick Saunders is a local historian who would be pleased to hear from any reader who has information relating to local history ry. y In addition he would be interested to see any postcards or photographs of our district. Tel: 01425 618549

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Philip Daish-Handy Cellist & Conductor

Philip Daish-Handy is son of Lionel Handy and Jo Handy, both established professional musicians. Born in 1983, he is the eldest of four children and spent his early years in South East London where he was “strongly encouraged� to play music. When Phil was eleven years old, the family moved to New Milton and he was home schooled. It was at this tender age he met his future wife Fern, through a home education scheme; they spent much time sailing in Lymington on Wednesday afternoons. Participation in the home school community led to sharing Language, English and Music lessons and forming their own small orchestras; a good foundation for a future career in music.

national top ten of players for his age group. Around the age of fifteen, he had to decide whether to make a living from music or sport. He had worked his way through the music grade system without too much effort, but Phil made his decision and consequently threw himself into hours of daily cello practice in order to excel and achieve professional status as a musician.

Phil attended Brockenhurst College to attain A levels in Music, German and Sport. His academic studies fitted around playing the cello and he managed to take part in recitals and competitions and gain confidence and experience as a musician. He then attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for four years. During this time, Phil won Phil is also a skilled tablethe prestigious Music at tennis player. In his youth, Beaulieu Award which he was ranked in the opened doors and created new performing opportunities. He then moved to The Royal College of Music on a scholarship in London and then completed his musical education at the Royal Birmingham Phil, wife Fern and friend Andrew


Conservatoire from 2008 to 2012 where he was a Junior Fellow. Phil was part of the Boult String Quartet, representing the college at prestigious events, functions and concerts. During this period, he was also Music Director of Highcliffe Junior Choir, which was very successful, attending the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod which Phil enjoyed immensely. After his time in Birmingham, Phil took the opportunity to tour as part of a classical duo with his good friend, pianist Martin Penrose, on P & O and Cunard cruise ships. The duo often perform black-tie concerts, touring over a two-

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week period, usually around the Mediterranean and back again. Phil has also recorded 3 CDs with Mr Penrose to critical acclaim. Martin is the music director at St Thomas’ Church in Lymington where Phil and Fern sing in the church choir. In 2012, after over twenty years of friendship, Phil and Fern became a couple and they married in December 2014. They both happily live in New Milton, in the New Forest. Phil and Martin established the Nova Foresta Classical Players in 2017, an ensemble chamber orchestra specialising in baroque, classical and romantic eras, specifically the music of Elgar. The orchestra aim to make great music accessible to everyone and they also want to provide a platform for young musicians of the future. Phil is also the Chairman of the Beaulieu Awards promoting and encouraging young musicians to develop their skills. He encourages youngsters to perform at Nova Foresta events by providing a little

‘pre-concert’ to warm up the audience, this provides a positive experience for young musicians to play and their family can see them perform as part of a professional concert. Whilst this unprecedented year has been a struggle for the arts, The Nova Foresta Classical Players have performed several times during the pandemic, providing socially distanced concerts; entertaining audiences during these uncertain times. Their next ‘socially distanced’ concert will take place in ST THOMAS' CHURCH, LYMINGTON, SO41 9ND, Saturday 22nd May 2021 with a glorious program of inspirational music including Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Every effort will be made to provide

l & Fern prmen ior to Soon Half mmagazine arathon 2018 when PhiPlease lent this

safe entertainment and bring some musical joy back into our community, something Phil is passionate about after the constraints of the past year. Tickets and more information can be found at https:// -foresta-classical-players Currently, life for Phil is an active mix of performing and teaching young musicians, in schools and privately, as well as organising and participating in events. In his free time Phil has been an active member of New Forest runners for many years. He also enjoys martial arts, specifically karate and has taken to completing his own routines during the restrictions of 2020. Table Tennis-wise, Phil keeps his skills sharp and now trains with his brother in law who competes internationally, in Germany. E m m a R u s s el l

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Inheritance Tax Allowances

When a loved one dies a grant of probate (if there is will) or a grant of letters of administration (where there is no valid will) may need to be obtained. A grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration is the authority of the Court to the executor or next of kin to gain access to the assets of a deceased person. Before the Court will issue a grant they need to receive details of the financial situation of the deceased. There are a variety of HMRC forms that can be completed. It is important to use the correct forms in order to make sure that you are claiming all of the inheritance tax allowances that the deceased is entitled to. Missing one or more of these allowances can result in the estate of a deceased paying inheritance tax when this is not necessary. Some important allowances have been introduced recently. The Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) was introduced in April 2017. The RNRB is only available when the main residence passes to “direct descendants”. Whilst the phrase direct descendants does not cover your nieces and nephews for example it does cover beneficiaries other than your children and so it is important that you check whether your loved one is entitled to this additional allowance. When your loved one passes away he may not own a main residence but there is a downsizing allowance that may be available if your loved one sold his main residence after 8 July 2015. The Residence Nil Rate Band may be transferable to a surviving spouse or surviving civil partner. Broadly speaking, if a spouse or civil partner dies leaving his main residence to his surviving spouse or civil partner then provided the main residence


is ultimately passing to “direct descendants” the survivor’s estate will inherit an additional RNRB. In addition to the above the Transferable Nil Rate Band may be available. This applies to the estate of anyone who dies on or after 9 October 2007 who has previously been in a marriage or civil partnership that ended on the death of the other spouse or civil partner. It can apply irrespective of how long ago the predeceasing spouse died. Assets that pass from one spouse or civil partner to another are exempt from inheritance tax. So if on death, someone leaves everything they own to a surviving spouse or civil partner they have not used any part of their Nil Rate Band (NRB). That unused NRB can since 2007 be transferred to their surviving spouse or civil partner and used in working out their inheritance tax liability. So, for example, if Fred died in 2001 his inheritance tax allowance was £242,000. He used half of his inheritance tax allowance on his death by gifting £121,000 to his children. 50% off his NRB is unused as he left his remaining estate to his wife Janet. Upon Janet’s death in 2020 her inheritance tax allowance is £325,000. In addition she is entitled to the 50% of Fred’s NRB that he did not use uprated. Uprated means that Janet is receiving 50% of £325,000 (rather than 50% of £242,000). Janet is entitled to this even if Fred’s estate was not worth £242,000 when he died. It can be complicated and so it is important that you take legal advices to ensure that you receive all the allowances you are entitled to before you apply for any grant. We are here to help at Dixon Stewart.

Helen Stewart

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Due to an awfully hectic year, we are having a delayed celebration of the fact that we were nominated for, and have won, the GHP Healthcare Pharmaceutical Award of ‘Best Podiatry Clinic 2020 - New Forest District’ and we have a rather lovely trophy on display at the clinic. Is the clinic open? Yes, absolutely! Podiatrists provide a medical service - so don’t walk by, walk in (with your face covering on and we must say that we have been impressed by the very colourful array and themes that we have seen!) and book an appointment. Our Podiatrists hold the BSc (Hons) Podiatry degree and are members of the College of Podiatry and registered with the Health & Care Professions Council. For those stubborn Verrucae that can often be difficult to treat, a course of treatment with Swift has been found to be highly effective, with no requirement for local anaesthetic or dressings. Swift Testimonials from two of our patients:

truly over the moon with the outcome, thank you!’ Due to the current constraints on the NHS and their waiting times, we have been delighted to help out patients who have required Nail Surgery. We are always happy to work to schedule both assessment appointments and the procedures to fit in with our patients usually within 1-2 weeks of initial enquiry. Don’t forget to love your feet - with Valentine’s Day fast approaching - a Podiatry Treatment followed by a Prende Wax Therapy treatment is a super way to prepare your feet for that very well deserved foot massage from your loved one. Or could your loved one benefit from a pampering? If so, Gift Vouchers are available so treat those feet.

Car Parking - Our closest car parks are located in Elm Avenue (behind Bradbeers) and Crossmead Avenue. As roadworks are now in situ, please do allow extra time for parking - we love our parking clocks! - especially on Market Day (Wednesday). Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8.30 am - 5.00 pm (last appointment 4.30 pm)

Miss A (Barton on Sea) “Swift treatment was like magic - 8 years of verrucas, vanished!! Only took a few months to disappear. Lauren was absolutely brilliant, very helpful and “swift” with the treatment. Great service - thanks!!” Mr L (New Milton) “Having suffered with verrucas for over 12 years I decided to try Swift. After just three sessions they have completely gone and I am no longer embarrassed by my feet! Jane was absolutely brilliant and I am


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Holistic Health by Dr Damien T. O’Dwyer BSc, PGDipSc, MChiro, PhD

2021 - The Year to Fall In Love with Looking After Yourself Our PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL and EMOTIONAL states are connected, and all contribute to our health and wellbeing, or otherwise! Your health and well-being is all about what is going on inside your mind, body and spirit, as well as how you are reacting to your environment. Tears of joy are a physical response to positive emotions. Tears can also be a chemically produced, physical demonstration, of emotional strain.

Such a demonstrable sign of distress is your nervous system talking to you, and those around you. It is controlled by the Sympathetic Nervous System and, as the name suggests, is designed to inspire sympathy. Remember to be kind to yourself. Self-care is essential in 2021.

If you are finding it hard to cope at the moment it may be “these unprecedented times”, or it could indicate more about what is happening within your body – Your stress response.

Stress is your nervous system’s response to the challenges we face throughout our lives. What may start with mental strains and frustrations can quickly escalate to physical manifestations. Pay attention to these signs and do things that restore a feeling of wellbeing. Addressing the physical aspects can help remedy the emotional strains. DIET & DRINK:

Staying hydrated is important, especially with central heating Dark chocolate has been shown to lift your mood (if you need an excuse) Time out is essential to recharge and de-stress Take a warm magnesium (Epsom) salts bath – calming for tense muscles Being outside, even for a short time, will itself be of benefit Walking is even better as it gets the blood pumping and lifts your mood Stand tall and breathe deep – especially if you are sitting more than normal Keeping your home warm and bright – gives your immune system a chance Meditate or practise mindfulness – there are free apps to guide you Listen to music - radio entertains us and gives a sense of community Supplement with vitamins D and C – important for immune support Phone your family or friends for a chat – helping them may help you too!



The very good news is that making healthy changes TODAY will have an impact. We would encourage you to follow the advice of tennis legend Arthur Ashe:

Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can.

Dr Damien T. O’Dwyer BSc, PGDipSc, MChiro, PhD

Medical Researcher

Published Scientist

Doctor of Chiropractic


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St Lucia - Caribbean St. Lucia - Eastern Caribbean Island with direct flights from London, the capital is Castries a popular cruise port normally bringing many visitors to the Island. The whole island is a photographer’s dream with lush green mountains, majestic twin Pitons a spectacular landmark, on the west coast & a World Heritage Site, try soaking in the volcanic mud baths of Soufriere or for culinary enthusiasts looking to try the latest restaurants, fine dining, professional chefs pull inspiration from the sea & Saint Lucia’s Creole heritage to create amazing dishes to wow diners. St. Lucia comes with swaying palm trees, unspoilt leafy rainforests with waterfalls like the 15m high Toraille & beaches with the perfect mix of white sand & blue seas often known as the world’s most romantic destination scattered with sprawling banana, cocoa, coconut & mango plantations & fishing villages. A popular destination for both weddings & honeymoons it provides the

perfect escape for romance, relaxation & adventure. Activities such as rainbow coral reef dive sites, snorkelling in the crystal-clear water, to hiking, zip lines through the lush rainforests & turtle watching or explore abandoned sugar plantations, the Island is great for everyone including families. The weather is consistently warm throughout the year, busiest time is December to April & the driest season so take advantage of this to adventure through the Tet Paul Nature Trail in Soufriere. The Island has popular festivals such as the Jazz & Art festival at Pigeon Island National Park, a Carnival in July & flower festival in August. Martinique is part of the French West Indies, an Island off St. Lucia reached by ferry which takes 27 minutes, well worth a short stay visit, swim with the turtles, enjoy the


magnificent beaches, dramatic mountains, tropical gardens & fascinating history. Fort de France is the main city & capital, French & Creole cuisine & Les Salines is one of the best beaches in Martinique. Before you start travelling check the FCO advise for entry requirements during COVID and get Insurance cover our insurance with Travel Counsellors covers COVID if you contract it before departure, if asked to isolate, if refused boarding at the airport, if you must cut short your trip, if you become ill whilst aboard, do ask for a quote and a copy of all inclusions. For help with arranging your St. Lucia trip or any other destination contact Carole Bodley 01425 440008 or email

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22 years in New Milton Back Pain?

“I went from being in constant back & leg pain, feeling exhausted and run down to feeling 10 years younger, inches taller, the best health I'd felt in years and pain free after being treated by the team at BritChiro. What more can I say, they are an amazing team and really do care about not only making you pain free but improving your general health and well being. I wouldn't be without BritChiro in my life now. Give them a try you won't regret it.”

Neck and Shoulder Pain? Hip Pain?

“I was recommended BritChiro as I was becoming troubled by constant pain in my right shoulder and left hip. After a course of regular treatment over the last few months I am now pain free and less stiff in my lower back and have more movement in my neck. Hip and shoulder pain have dissipated. Highly recommended.”

Knee Pain?

“I had been suffering from severe hip and leg pain and was becoming less and less mobile. After only two weeks of treatment the pain has virtually gone and I am far more mobile and flexible. I would not hesitate to recommend BritChiro..”


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Lemon Bread & Butter Pudding

This a lovely way to use up leftover Panettone if you have some or either brioche or stale bread. You will need a deep oven proof dish and a mixing bowl or large jug and a whisk.

For 4 people you will need: Half a lemon Panettone or plain one and half a jar of lemon curd if plain. 6 eggs 1/2 pint double cream 1/2 pint milk 6tablespoons golden syrup 2oz golden caster sugar 2oz golden granulated sugar If using stale bread you will also need butter to spread on the bread and half a jar of lemon curd, do not use packet sliced bread it doesn't work as well.


Pour the golden syrup over the bottom of the dish and simply slice and layer the Panettone or bread with the lemon curd and butter over the bottom building up the layers with the caster sugar. When you have fitted all you can in whisk the eggs, milk and cream up and pour I over the bread. Then sprinkle over the granulated sugar and leave to soak for at least an hour. Cook in a 170 c oven for 45--60 minutes depending on your oven but till it is golden brown and firm to the touch. As a total indulgence serve with cream.

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‘Find Me’ by André Aciman This novel picks up where the story of Elio and Oliver ends. Many years later, Elio’s father Samuel takes a train to visit him. He meets the very young and vibrant Miranda and cannot deny the undeniable spark of attraction.

‘Postscript’ by Celia Ahern I never would have thought there could be a sequel after the beautiful story of ‘P.S. I love You’ back in 2003. Now, we finally get to read about what happened to Holly after her emotional journey, guided by her late husband Gerry. Seven years after her loss and six years since she opened his last letter, Holly opens her heart and talks about the experience on a podcast. Approached by a group needing help, she is reluctant to open up old wounds but despite this, another heartwarming journey begins. Celia Ahern writes such memorable, relatable characters with real depth. A warm book for you snuggle down and enjoy on a February evening. Published by Harper Collins ISBN 0008194904

Their own fast- paced love story is interweaved with Elio’s, his relationship with an older man and his thoughts about his first love, Oliver. If you never read ‘Call me By Your Name’ then the film is a fitting tribute to the book and well worth a watch. No spoilers here. As a stand alone novel, this was beautifully rounded with romantic settings, memorable characters. Most importantly, it gave me a great sense of satisfaction at the end. It’s a beautiful love story with a difference. Published by Faber and Faber ISBN 0571356508

‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ by John Boyne Cyril Avery is not an Avery. His pregnant mother was denounced from her Cork village in 1945 and gave birth to him in post-war Dublin. His adoption by a wealthy but eccentric couple is referred to as, ‘an eighteen-year tenancy’ not as a real member of a family. The novel follows Cyril through to 2015, a modern Dublin backdrop with modern sensibilities. Boyne writes with real stark observation and you feel pulled into his world. This is the book of choice for The Mandala Book Group, a bunch of friendly readers who currently meet online (Zoom) for a discussion. The next meeting is on 15th February 2021 at 7pm. The third Monday every month. If you’d like to join in, please contact Katrina on 01425 611393 .

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We are sttill here for yo ou

Because some eye problems just can’t wait. Regardless of lockdown rules, we want you to kno ow that we are always here for you. As before we will be keeping you as safe as possible with our one-to-one appointments. Even though we will be social distancing and wearing masks, be assure ed that a very ry y warm welcome awaits.

These are the key things to remember Please bring a face mask Please bring a list of any medication you take


Call for an appointment:

01425 272382

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Ber tie’s First Christmas Following on from the article in the December edition of the magazines, I thought you would like to know how Bertie behaved over the Christmas period, particularly with regard to the festive decorations. We follow a Facebook group of Bertie’s siblings, and were very concerned to read that some of them were unable to differentiate between an indoor and an outdoor tree. His brothers must be much more advanced than Bertie who does not ‘cock’ his leg’ yet so is not tempted to approach trees or shrubs in this manner. His only use for a tree or shrub is to rip off a branch and chew it! After a debate about positioning, we decided to go ahead with our normal floor standing tree on the agreement that we would keep the lounge door shut


unless we were in there with him. As many of you will appreciate, the putting up and taking down of decorations can be quite a protracted affair. In our house, Gary does the tree and I do the garlands and other things. Thankfully, Bertie took his cue from Bugle and just lay on the floor watching us, showing no interest in baubles or lights. Once the tree was up, he took a leisurely sniff and walked away. Bertie is only interested in all things food related and he decided that an artificial tree and some glass things were really not at all to his taste! From that point on we were able to relax as he totally ignored the tree and all other decorations. On Christmas Day, we had some friends round to help celebrate and this is where he really came into his own. Like Bugle, Bertie loves people and he ‘worked’ the room all day. Our guests soon learnt that if they stopped stroking him before he was ready to move on they would get a gentle nudge with the nose or paw as a reminder to keep going!

Bugle spent the meal under the table waiting to steal the paper napkins. He has a fetish for tissues and has to be rationed or he would work his way around carefully pulling each one off an unsuspecting knee. Fortunately all of our friends are aware of this habit and so keep their napkins firmly clamped in place. The boys were sent toys by my Mum, two different types of duck, there was a bit of argument about which belonged to whom but in the end peace reigned as Bertie just had them both! All in all it was a very pleasant Christmas break— the boys particularly enjoyed their beach walks where they were recognised and given the adoration they both think they deserve!

Sally Prince

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Nature on your Doorstep "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." Edith Sitwell The days are slowing getting longer but it’s been a cold year so far. You can be reassured that we are days or weeks away from sunshine and all the delights of spring. The wintry weather has no doubt been hard for wildlife, but they all need to survive for breeding season. Signs of life underfoot begin to appear now. First come the clusters of crocus, snowdrop and snowflake flowers along with celandines on the forest floor. Catkins and buds begin to emerge by the end of the month. There is a fair chance of spotting badgers at this time of year. They don’t hibernate but will opt to stay underground on wet or cold days. Early mornings and before dusk are the best times to see them. Look for tufts of dark bristly hair that may have caught on fences or in the undergrowth. Scratch marks on the bark may also be visible, where they clean their

claws. This is the period when cubs are born but they stay deep underground until April or May.

Make your own bird cake for the garden- Eden Project, Cornwall

Now is a great time to start feeding the birds if you can. Small birds need to eat a quarter of their bodyweight daily in order to survive. The Natural History Museum site shows you how to make a bird feeder here; How to make a bird feeder | Natural History Museum ( Peanuts and sunflowers are a good source of fats and it’s


easy to make a block of bird food from suet or peanut butter, seed and whole nuts. The Eden Project also has some great ideas;

Great tits and sparrows have visited my bird table, also quite a few large starlings that tend to squawk and scare them away. It’s difficult to believe that these are the same birds that swoop and dive in a vast, shimmering murmuration. Starlings move in these shape-shifting clouds before dusk and roost at night in a large flock. These displays will go on into March or April so make the most of their majestic spectacle and check out information on this website. Starling Murmuration Location Map (

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Local History

Lesser Known Christchurch 2

O.k. I’m not saying there definitely will be a second edition, but never say never. It’s just over five years ago now that my first book, ‘Lesser Known Christchurch’, was published (August 2015) and we’ve pretty much sold our way through the entirety of the print run. I have just 15 copies left that are occupying much sought after space in my study. If you’d like a pristine, signed first edition of the book then you know what to do (my contact details are on my website or you can ping me on Twitter; all details below).

it would give me the chance to include some ‘new’ stories I’ve come across over those five years. These are not all ‘new’, necessarily, mostly just new to me. I’d love to have those words ‘includes fresh material’ added to the cover. ‘So, what might some of that new material be?’ I hear you ask. Well, for a start rtt I’d either like to sneak in another walk, a seventh, or tweak one or two of the existing rambles. When I wrote Christchurch, I was allowed six walks at the back of the book. I spread them about (Town Centre, Bargates/Royalty Fishery ry, y Mudeford, Stanpit/ t/Purewell, / Highcliff ffe f and St Catherine’s Hill). I realise now that I short rtt changed people by not including something taking in Bridge Street (betwixt Castle Street and Purewell), as there are so many fascinating buildings and stories along there.

Lesser Known Christchurch. What chance a second edition? (Roving Press).

The interesting thing for me is that History ryy is not a static study. It never was. It’s being added to and reinterpreted constantly. If I was to start rtt working on the second edition that would give me the chance to correct a few mistakes (every ryy book has a list of errata: I’m happy mine is not too long). Just as import rtantly t though,

6/8 Bridge Street, Christchurch, just one of the many fascinating buildings in this street which the author hopes to sneak into a second edition.

One thing I wanted to do with both the Christchurch book and

‘Lesser Known Bournemouth’, which followed in 2019, was to record things already lost. I was able to do this part rticularly t with the latter book where I obtained a dozen or so images from Bournemouth Library ryy of buildings that are no more. History ryy is ever changing, and I already find aft fter t just five years that buildings I captured in glorious colour have gone, such as the ‘Old Hoy’ in Highcliff ffe, f which has been demolished. I’m happy I took a picture of it for the book. It’s now another library ryy picture, a part rtt of the historical record.

The Old Hoy, which has sadly now been demolished.

I’ve also found out lots of new things about Christchurch that I’d hope to incorporate into a second edition. I can whet your appetite. There’s a lot more that I’ve discovered for the ‘Art rts’ t section. D.H. Lawrence visited Christchurch (1912) whilst convalescing in Bournemouth, the novelist Vallings brothers (J.F. & Harold) both wrote books set in the town, whilst the historian Taylor Dyson contributed a history ryy of the borough in 1954.

I’ve also discovered the Goddard

forecast from Christchurch (BBC

sisters, Eliza and Amelia, both


talented art rtists, t who lived in the

Mort rtimer t & Whitehouse doing

town. Eliza (1840-1915), known




as the ‘Rose Art rtist’, t lies buried

Carol thing,


Kirkwood), to




Christmas lights (that was 2018)

in the Jumpers Road Cemetery ry. y

and a bit of ‘Coast v. Country ry’, y one

Taylor Dyson’s there too.

of those relocation programmes. We should not be surprised as our borough is forever scenic and a perf rfect f backdrop for a TV V Christchurch-born Olympian and Spitfire pilot Don Finlay (RAF Official, 1941).


Meanwhile, down at Hurn Bridge, Christchurch FC made history ryy only recently when they reached the FA Cup 3rd Qualify fying y Round D.H. Lawrence photographed in November 1915, getting on for four years after he visited Christchurch (Lady Ottoline Morrell).

for the first time and appeared live on the BBC’s red button. Fred Dinenage helped out in Christchurch in November 2018 when he switched on our Christmas lights. A genuine bloke (‘BMiz’).

I think I might want to bring my Sport rtt section up to date too.

Take care & stay safe folks.

I’m just about to research the story ryy of Don Finlay (1909-70),

Steve Roberts

a Christchurch-born Olympian

Steve Robert rts’ t first book, ‘Lesser

who I missed first time around.


Born in the town, Finlay won medals (silver, bronze) at two Olympic Games (1932 and ’36) and also flew Spitfires during

Hurn Bridge, the home of Christchurch Football Club, which made a live appearance on the BBC’s red button this season.

Talking of TV, TV V Christchurch has



published in August 2015, by Dorset book specialist Roving Press. His second book, ‘Lesser Known



the Battle of Britain, becoming

continued to make appearances

published in November 2019.

a wing commander, then group

on the little box (or more


captain and being awarded the

accurately ‘big box’ judging by

the publisher’s website www ww ww. w

DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross).

that thing most folk have in or the author’s

I can’t believe I didn’t find such

their homes these days). We’ve

website www ww ww.steverobert w t

a man

had every ryt ything t from the weather

(Twitter: @SRChristchurch)




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