Boldre Parish Historical Society Newsletter Spring 2015 - Autumn 2015 Volume 2 - Issue 2 History never looks like history when you are living through it. John W Gardner John William Gardner was Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson, the 36th President of the United States (1963-1969)
In this Issue Welcome from your Chairman Dr James Horsfall It is with great sadness that I have to record that Brigadier Robin McGarel-Groves, our President, died in early December last year. He had been a great help to the Society since it first started. He was very knowledgeable historically and had a wonderful collection of documents and photographs, which we were able to use on several occasions, especially where he had his own “In Depth” stand. We are now well into our selection of Talks and we are looking forward to the remaining ones and the biennial exhibition at the end of October. In this edition of your newsletter you will find an article about the exhibition and how you can help. One of the most popular exhibits at the exhibition are our files of photographs, postcards and newspaper cuttings of Boldre in the past. In order to continue the success of these files, turn to page 7 and find out how you can help us for the benefit of future generations. We are grateful to James Puttick for continuing to produce our newsletter twice a year so efficiently. Our membership list is still increasing but our annual subscription remains at £8.00.
The Annual General Meeting November 2015 This year’s AGM will be held on Friday 20 November 2015 at the Boldre War Memorial Hall at 7.00pm. After the meeting John Cockram and Richard Williams will tell us about The New Forest at War in 1915.
Welcome from your Chairman P1 AGM November 2015 P1 Forthcoming Events P1 Events Review P2 to P6 News P7 Exhibition 2015 P8 AGM November 2014 P8 Society Officials P8
Forthcoming Events at The Boldre War Memorial Hall at 7.00pm Wednesday 4 March 2015 Talk by Angela Trend “Lymington in the Age of Queen Victoria” Wednesday 25 March 2015 Talk by Jonathan Gerrelli “Work of the Verderers and Agisters” Wednesday 8 April 2015 Talk by Sarah Farley - Wessex Film Archive “Local Films from 1930”
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Events Review We are now half way through the “Events” season and looking forward to three more fascinating talks, as detailed on page 1. Highlights of our first two talks follows preceded by a summary of the entertaining talk given by Brian Goodall at our Annual General Meeting in November 2014.
1 The Good Life ………. After the formal matters of the AGM were concluded the members who had braved the elements on a wet and windy night were entertained by a sparkling talk given by Brian Goodall, who recounted his childhood days on Bamptons Farm in the 1950’s. Brian explained he was the 3rd generation of Goodalls to farm at Bamptons and the family celebrated their centenary just two years ago in 2012. At the time Brian was enjoying his childhood on the farm, food rationing was being phased out and the emphasis for farmers was to continue to increase production with an ever decreasing work force. Mass employment on farms was coming to an end as mechanisation replaced many manual jobs. The pleasure of sharing your working days with many like minded people was ending and farming was becoming a solitary occupation. Bamptons was a typical small family farm with cattle, pigs and chicken, with arable land producing feed crops for the cattle and pigs and soft fruit for the very lucrative early strawberry market. Bamptons were famous locally for their early strawberries and thanks to the dedicated staff, who worked many unsocial hours during the short strawberry season in the spring, they were able to send many 1000’s of punnets of strawberries to most parts of the UK within 24hours. A procedure that was considered normal and not special as it is today. Brian was filled with pride as he explained how many female employees would arrive at work between 4 and 5 am and pick the strawberries before going on to their regular employment in Lymington and close by. The strawberries would then be put into trays, covered with a wholesaler’s paper sheet and taken to the Lymington Pier railway station for onward transmission by steam train to Swanick station. Swanick station was known locally as Strawberry Central as it was the centre of an area, including Titchfield and Botley, where there were hundreds of small farms growing early strawberries. In the 1950’s speciality crops like strawberries were truly seasonal and so they attracted a premium price, selling at 10/- (50p) a pound. Farms, animals and children are a great combination and Brian delighted in telling us about the fun he had on a daily basis being part of an operation that without fail had to work 365 days a year. The dairy herd consisted of Guernsey cows who were all known by name and who were milked twice daily. The milk being stored in 10 gallon churns, which were cooled by running cold water down the sides. The dairy was a place of action from 5am in the morning. Brian well remembers the sound of the lorry with empty churns, rattling away in the back, as it came along the South Baddesley road to collect the filled churns. The moving of the churns and lifting them onto the lorry was a skilled operation. The lorry drivers were able to roll churns at an angle, one in each hand, along the bed of the lorry. The family enjoyed 4 jugs of fresh milk each day and Brian smiled, as he explained his desire to dip his fingers into the cream, which had settled on top of the milk. Unlike today the farmers received more money for a high fat content. With memories following thick and fast Brian continued smiling as he recounted his fun in helping move the cows from pasture to pasture in Vicars Hill and Lisle Court or to opposite the farm, where the Golf Course is now situated, after milking. Brian told us how he used to ride on one of the cows as they walked along the lanes and how he would ride his bike, between the cows from the back to the front of the herd to make sure they went in the correct gate. The calves also created a great deal of amusement especially when they were released from the barn in which they had spent the winter months. Brian described the exuberance of the youngsters as they frolicked around the fields. The sound of cows bellowing for their young, following weaning, is still very clear in Brian’s memory. This bellowing can go on for many weeks. There were 150 to 200 pigs at Bamptons and Brian’s parents built the piggery from WW2 airfield leftovers. Brian described in graphic detail how the pigs were fed twice a day with meal ground and mixed on the farm. The pigs knew when they should be fed and Brian mimicked, much to our amusement, the sound they make if their dinner was not in the trough at the correct time. We were also all amazed to learn how clean pigs were by keeping their outside arcs and indoor barn living areas clean and dry. When they had been fattened to the correct weight, 230lbs for baconers and 190 lbs for porkers they were taken to the local abattoir in Hordle. Brian made us laugh as he demonstrated the way the pigs were persuaded to go into the spring balance weighing crate. After afternoon milking. A young Brian riding on Treasure with Robin Gates in charge.
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Events Review continued ………. 1 The Good Life continued ………. The farm had about 250 chickens, which lived in traditional hen houses at night and roamed free range during the day. The eggs were sold to a co-operative for local distribution. Brian hated the cockerel because one day he chased Brian across the farm yard and when Brian tripped and fell the cockerel set about pecking Brian with great ferocity. Fortunately a friend was close by and rescued Brian. To this day Brian will not handle a cockerel. For a teenage lad life on the farm was exciting with lots of friends always visiting and not wanting to go home. A favourite pastime was riding their motorbikes around tracks on the farm and through the woods. Also haymaking gave the youngsters an ideal opportunity to have fun. The fields were put down to grass with silage being made one month before the hay in early summer. The silage was made in a barn and the bales of hay would be stacked on top. This would provide fodder for the cattle during the winter months. Brian loved this time of year as he could ride in the tractor trailer as the cut grass was blown into it by the tractor cutting the grass. He and his friends would try and level out the grass as it was blown into the trailer and when the trailer was full they would stand at the front of the trailer, on top of the grass, as it sped back to the barn. The fun continued when the trailer was tipped to deposit the grass onto the silage heap, as the trailer tipped more and more to the vertical Brian and co were left clinging to the top of the front edge of the trailer. The rear doors of the trailer would now be open and would soon slam shut as the trailer returned to the horizontal and Brian and his friends would find themselves standing safely on the floor of the trailer. Great but dangerous fun was had by all. Hay making, also fascinated Brian. He explained and compared in great detail the old hand method of using a pitch fork to the new tractor towed bale making machine and the clever mechanism, which tied bailing twine securely around the bales. The farm made up to 6000 bales of hay each year and before mechanisation this was back breaking work. When all the bales were safely gathered in and stacked to roof height in the barn another opportunity for the ingenuity of the young took place. Brian with his cousins would make tunnels in the hay stack and starting at ground level they would make tunnels and chambers from level to level until they reached the top. As Brian was one of the smallest he was often told to test the route before the others would enter. As with all areas of land, large and small, regular routine maintenance is required to keep the land in good shape. Brian’s description of hedge cutting with a bill hook highlighted the thought that maybe some of the time the old fashioned and manual methods are better than the 21st century mechanised methods. In the 1950’s hedges were cut to a nominal height of just over a yard. This made hand cutting much easier and meant the cuttings were easy to collect including those that may have fallen into a ditch. One of the pleasures at the end of a hard day’s work is having a bonfire especially when a few potatoes have been put into the fire to bake. They have a taste all of their own and one which Brian obviously enjoyed. Brian now became very serious as he described the modern flail cutter machines, which scatter the very small cuttings over a large area of lanes, verges and ditches making their collection impossible. The result of this method of hedge cutting is that ditches are now becoming blocked and this is causing ditches to overflow and roads and lanes to be damaged, a problem, which is giving Boldre Parish Council much cause for concern. Brian concluded his very informative and enjoyable talk by returning to where he started; the strawberry fields. He told us about the crops added value; the runners. The strawberry runners were dug by hand and packed into bags by ladies and then taken to Swanick to be sold to the many strawberry producers. This was a very good market until the urbanisation of the area made the value of land for housing and factories more profitable than selling strawberries. With a final few words about the 1950’s weather, was it really better than today’s, Brian finished his entertaining and informative talk. Brian and his sister Maggie
2 We are sailing, we are sailing ‘cross the sea .......… On another wet and windy night in January over 50 members attended a talk given by David and Annette Ridout entitled Boldre to Pilley via the Pacific. This was a sensational talk about sailing round the world on their yacht “Nordlys”. On several occasions they talked about the serious weather problems they encountered and how they dealt with them or avoided them. What was particularly interesting was the amount of time they spent exploring atolls, islands and mainland Australia. They met many like minded sailors and made many new friends. The boat was left for several months every so often to allow proper land exploration.
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Events Review continued ………. 2 We are sailing, we are sailing ‘cross the sea continued .......… In 1998 David and Annette sold their home, which was the 1869 Boldre village school in Boldre Lane and set about organising themselves to become full time yachties. They purchased a Swan 47 Ocean Racer yacht and spent two years refurbishing it and converting it into a real home. In the autumn of 2000, after a hesitant start they left for all points west to spend the next nine years circumnavigating the world, sailing 54,000 nautical miles. Their first objective was to cross the Atlantic and they spent two years exploring the Caribbean and the east coast of America as far as the Canadian border. Their furthest point north was Maine, the 23rd state of America. Maine can be likened to Scotland, as it is known for its scenery, mostly rocky coastline, low rolling mountains, forested interior and picturesque waterways. Maine is also considered the safest state in the US. Returning south they visited Chesapeake Bay, where they spent the autumn of 2001. The bay is approximately 200 miles long and 2.8 miles wide at its narrowest and 30 miles at its widest and the largest such body of water in the US. They sailed onto Venezuela and Colombia, where they visited the San Blas islands and the site of the Battle of Cartagena de Indias. The battle between the forces of Britain under Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon and those of Spain under Admiral Blas de Lezo took place in 1741. The battle resulted in a major defeat for the British Navy and Army. The defeat caused heavy losses for the British: 50 ships and 18,000 soldiers and sailors lost. David and Annette then set out for the Panama Canal to tackle, along with huge cargo ships the three locks going up and the three locks going down, before sailing into the vast expanse of the South Pacific Ocean. En route to New Zealand, during 2003, many of the South Pacific islands were visited including Galapagos, Marquesa, Tahiti, the Society Islands and finally Tonga before setting sail for Whangarei, the northernmost city in New Zealand. David and Annette decided to leave Nordlys in Whangarei and flew home to celebrate Christmas and the New Year in Lymington, returning to Whangarei in the spring of 2004. The sea, once again beckoned, and Nordlys left New Zealand sailing north to visit the South Pacific islands once more. This time Tonga, Samoa, Wallis, Fiji and Vanuatu were on the itinerary. The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean most of which lie south of the Tropic of Cancer and are a mixture of larger, continental islands e.g. New Zealand and chains of smaller volcanic islands and coral atolls. Tonga consists of 176 islands and Vanuatu 83 islands. It was from Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu that David and Annette set sail to Opua, New Zealand in October 2004. After some 7 months exploring New Zealand the delights of the coral islands and atolls called and in May 2005 Nordlys headed for the South Pacific islands once more. After so many visits to the sun drenched deserted beaches David and Annette felt, in October 2005, that it was time to return to “civilisation” and they set sail for Brisbane Australia and onward to Sydney Harbour. David admits to having a tear in his eye as Nordlys entered the harbour. New Year was celebrated by watching the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge firework display after which the sails were set to tackle the Bass Strait and the journey south to Tasmania. One highlight of the Tasmania visit was a seaplane trip over a mountainous region. David who was a professional airline pilot was a little apprehensive when the pilot told him he was going to land on the river in the gorge below. He was even more apprehensive when the seaplane came to take off, as part of the take off required negotiating a bend in the river, which the seaplane did by banking to one side with just one float in the water. In March 2006 it was time to leave Tasmania and head for Australia once more and the Freemantle Sailing Club. David and Annette had decided to leave Nordlys in Freemantle for number of months in order that they could return home. They returned to Australia in August 2006 to spend the next nine months on land! During this time they did the grand tour of Australia covering about 9000 miles in 4WD car. In May 2007 it was time to set sail once more to cross the Indian Ocean; their third ocean. Before arriving in Richard’s Bay in the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in October 2007 they had visited Christmas Island, Cocos Keeling, Chagos, the Seychelles and Madagascar. A three month stay in RSA enabled more touring including a trip to Namibia, which included a hot air balloon flight followed by a champagne breakfast. In February 2008 it was time to set sail once more to cross the Atlantic heading for the Caribbean. Two islands were visited during this passage, St Helena and Ascension Island. St Helena is where Napoleon Bonaparte was detained. He was taken there in 1815 and died there in 1821. Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island and hosts one of five ground antennae that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigational system. In March 2008 both Nordlys and our gallant sailors were in the Doldrums in a flat calm sea. Eventually they escaped and arrived in Tobago at the end of the month. At the end of April 2008 Nordlys was in Grenada chocked up and cradled ashore to be stripped and to quote David “stripped as she has never been stripped before”. David and Annette once again flew home returning to Granada in November 2008 to prepare for the final stage of their epic adventure. December 2008 saw Annette celebrating a “big” birthday, in Bequia, with many sailing friends including sixteen Lymingtonians.
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Events Review continued ………. 2 We are sailing, we are sailing ‘cross the sea continued .......… The start of 2009 was spent cruising around the Caribbean, which David and Annette describe as paradise before they reluctantly had to prepare to sail across the ocean once more. In April 2009 they arrived in Bermuda and June 2009 saw them in Dartmouth and sailing onward to the Solent, where they were met by family and many friends. They berthed in the Lymington Marina on 22 June 2009. David and Annette are now living in Pilley. The talk with excellent slides was enjoyed by everyone who could not stop talking about it for days afterwards. A lovely evening. For more information about this incredible adventure go to the web site blog.mailasail.com/nordlys
3 Secret Beaulieu ………. Once again the Boldre War Memorial Hall was full to overflowing, as members listened intently to a fascinating talk given by John Smith entitled “The Special Operations Executive in Beaulieu”. John’s polished presentation was gained from his experience as a broadcaster, compère and public speaker. Following 16 years as a teacher and headmaster he completed almost 20 years with BBC Radio. Neville Chamberlain resigned the premiership on 10 May 1940, eight months after the Second World War commenced. He was succeeded by Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill held the view that the war could not be won if we relied on the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force alone. Therefore, within weeks of entering No. 10, and the fall of France he asked Hugh Dalton to create a special force to “set Europe ablaze” by carrying out acts of sabotage and subversion behind enemy lines. This organisation was called the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Sabotage meant blowing up trains, factories and bridges and subversion the act of guerrilla warfare, of fostering revolt – propaganda in all enemy or enemy occupied countries. Few people were aware of SOE’s existence, even though its headquarters were in the heart of London at 64 Baker Street. From this unassuming building SOE commenced the recruitment of staff and agents. Staff were invariably ex-public school and university graduates whereas agents came from all walks of life including electricians, chefs and journalists. Agents had to have the ability to pass as a native of the country to which they were sent. This meant being able to speak the language, have knowledge of and understand the geography and local environment of the area where they were located. SOE soon found that it was becoming difficult to find agents with all these qualifications. They therefore needed to look further afield and made contact with resistance organisations in the occupied areas, requesting operatives travel to the UK to be trained. After training they were returned to their own country better equipped and financed. As the recruitment process gained momentum properties across the country were being requisitioned to act as training bases. Colonel Colin Gubbins was instrumental in acquiring many large houses and mansions from Scotland to the New Forest and Beaulieu as specialist training schools. Potential agents would have different training depending upon their area of expertise and where they would be operating. For example women wireless and telecommunication operators would be sent to Thame in Oxfordshire. Code breaking was taught at Bletchley Park and propaganda at Woburn Abbey. Also the ability to be able to parachute from a plane was of paramount importance because air transport was the most common means of delivering agents behind enemy lines. The technique of parachuting was taught at Ringway now Manchester Airport. The Westland Lysander and Handley Page Halifax were regularly used to transport agents and stores. However, before finally qualifying as an agent they all had to attend the Beaulieu Finishing School. The Beaulieu (Montagu) Estate was chosen as the Finishing School because of the secluded nature of the New Forest and the fact that there were many large houses in the area. Eleven such houses were requisitioned and used as training centres. The Rings, now demolished, was used as the headquarters of the school and here on the ground floor Lt. Col Stanley Woolrych, the Commanding Officer had his office along with Dorothy Wickins, his personal assistant. There were three secretaries who undertook all the administrative duties and typed the instructor’s lecture notes. The instructors had offices on the first floor, where they prepared their lectures. Because of the variety of skills an agent had to acquire, which could include arson, assassination, blackmail, breaking and entering, burglary, coding, disguises, forgery, invisible writing, key
making, safe breaking and silent killing as well as being able to live off the land, the instructors had to have experience and knowledge of similar talents. Many of the instructors are now household names. For example the couturier Hardy Amies taught agents how to change their appearance and the double agent Kim Philby taught the art of clandestine propaganda.
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Events Review continued ………. 3 Secret Beaulieu continued ………. A Scottish career criminal, Johnny Ramenski, taught safe-breaking and burglary. Other instructors included a librarian, a chartered accountant, a barrister, a pottery manufacturer and members of the Intelligence Corps. This eclectic and possibly eccentric character of the instructors was described by Kim Philby as “a shoal of pretty odd fish”. The House in the Woods was the Officers’ Mess for the School Staff. The other nine houses each taught a different group and the instructors travelled to the houses. For example, The Vineyards was where many radio operators did their security training and Boarmans was where the first intake of women agents were trained. The agents spent two to three weeks at the school. The instructors recommended to the commanding officer the names of the agents who had passed the course. Those who failed, for whatever reason, were sent to safe houses for the duration of the war because the secret nature of the SOE could not be compromised. So secret were the activities of the SOE that even the Montagu family and the local residents of Beaulieu and beyond were unaware of what was taking place. The SOE agents had notable success during the war. In Czechoslovakia in 1942 an SOE hit squad assassinated Himmler’s deputy, Reinhard Heydrich, with a grenade. In Greece, also in 1942, SOE agents blew up a railway bridge, which carried vital supplies for Rommel’s desert army and in Norway in 1943, SOE agents lead by Joachim Ronneberg destroyed the heavy water plant at Vermork, ending the development of the Nazi atomic bomb. Joachim Ronneberg was awarded Norway’s highest decoration for military gallantry, the War Cross with Sword, he was also decorated by the British with the Distinguished Service Order. Other gallant agents were Peter Churchill, Odette Sansom, Violette Szabo and Nancy Wake. Peter Churchill, in addition to his native English was bilingual in French and fluent in Spanish, Italian and German. He was assigned to the SOE French Section where he developed a close relationship with French courier Odette Sansom. After much valuable work both he and Sansom were arrested. They claimed they were a married couple and related to Winston Churchill hoping this would mean the Germans would want to keep them alive as a possible bargaining tool. They were sent to different concentration camps, where they were tortured and sentenced to death but both escaped execution. Peter Churchill was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order and the French Croix de Guerre. Odette Sansom received an MBE and was awarded the George Cross. After the war they married in 1947 but divorced in 1956. Violette Szabo was, at the age of 23, executed by the Nazi’s in the execution alley at Ravensbruck concentration camp, located in northern Germany. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross. The citation in the London Gazette summarizes her bravery. “Madame Szabo volunteered to undertake a particularly dangerous mission in France. She was parachuted into France in April, 1944, and undertook the task with enthusiasm. In her execution of the delicate researches entailed she showed great presence of mind and astuteness. She was twice arrested by the German security authorities but each time managed to get away. Eventually however, with other members of her group, she was surrounded by the Gestapo in a house in the southwest of France. Resistance appeared hopeless but Madame Szabo, seizing a Sten-gun and as much ammunition as she could carry, barricaded herself in part of the house and, exchanging shot for shot with the enemy, killed or wounded several of them. By constant movement she avoided being cornered and fought until she dropped exhausted. She was arrested and had to undergo solitary confinement. She was then continuously and atrociously tortured but never by word or deed gave away any of her acquaintances or told the enemy anything of any value. She was ultimately executed. Madame Szabo gave a magnificent example of courage and steadfastness.” Nancy Wake was born in New Zealand in 1912 and was one of the most decorated secret agents of the Second World War. In her early life she moved to Australia and then to Europe via Vancouver and New York. Working as a journalist she witnessed many atrocities being carried out by the Nazis. This made her determined to oppose Hitler at any opportunity. With Germany invading in 1940, Holland, Belgium, and France her millionaire husband was called up and Nancy signed up to work as a nurse. She helped ferry British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers to Dunkirk and refused to evacuate with them. With Hitler seizing Paris Nancy used her husband’s considerable wealth to shelter Royal Air Force pilots who had been shot down. For the first three years of the war she used safe houses she had purchased to help the pilots to escape across the Pyrenees. Nancy provided them with fake papers, new clothes and false identities. She obviously became a major pain to the Germans who only knew her by her nickname “The White Mouse”. She was eventually captured in 1943 and tortured for four days. Nancy did not reveal any secrets and because her captors did not realise she was “The White Mouse” they let her go. She escaped from France via the Pyrenees and travelled by boat to London. In London she was recruited by the SOE and finished her training at Beaulieu. In 1944 she was parachuted back into France with the objective of locating the French Resistance to provide them with the ammunition and arms that were being dropped by the RAF. Within two months she was responsible for an army of about 7000 French Resistance fighters. Nancy then spent most of 1944 leading guerrilla attacks on Nazi supply depots, railway stations and communication facilities behind enemy lines. In one raid she killed a Nazi with her bare hands. At the end of the war she received the British George Medal, the American Medal of Freedom, the French Legion d’Honneur and three Croix de Guerres.
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News ………. The present must look to the future – so the future can look to the past. You may find it odd that a historical society is looking to the future. Your Chairman, in his welcome notes, confirms the Society’s files of old photographs and postcards always generate a great deal of interest at the Society’s exhibitions. This is true; however, will the inhabitants of Boldre, in 100 years time, be able to look back at photographs and postcards of the parish in 2015. Probably not, as printed photographs and postcards are becoming a thing of the past because of the rapid increase in the use of computers, mobile phones and social media. Also many properties in the parish are being demolished and replaced with larger dwellings and others are being extended and altered beyond recognition. How many of today’s properties will be in existence in 2115? Unless steps are taken to record the parish the future inhabitants of the parish will have little to look back on. Therefore a number of your committee have decided to commence a project to record the dwellings and landscape of the parish. This is obviously a daunting and enormous undertaking, which will continue each year, ad infinitum. Any help members are able to give will be greatly appreciated. This help can include the submission of photographs, old or new, of your home together with details of when your home was built and who built it plus any relevant historical information that may be included in your deeds. Over the years a detailed record of Boldre will be archived. Please contact the Chairman or Deputy Chairman (for details see page 8) or email the Newsletter editor firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help with this project.
Well well well ………. Do you have a well or a well that has been filled in, in your garden or on your land? If you do the Society would like to know. Today, when we turn on the tap we expect fresh water to flow freely. Prior to the advent of a mains water supply water for drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning and for animals had to be found from springs, streams and wells or occasionally from rain water collected in tanks. There is still a well on the open forest at Pilley. The collection of water was not an easy daily task, as it had to be carried in heavy metal or wooden buckets and it was therefore used sparingly and carefully. It was not squandered or taken for granted as it can be today. The used water would have been returned to the land. Garden wells were constructed by boring or digging a shaft to access ground water in an underground aquifer. An aquifer is a body of permeable rock or other material such as sand or gravel, which can contain or transmit groundwater. Aquifers may also be referred to as a water table, although a water table is usually just the top of an aquifer. If we dig a hole in our garden it may fill with water – this is the water table. Therefore under our feet there is always a vast field of water. It may be stating the obvious but the ground water in an aquifer runs down hill, albeit very slowly. This is the water that is found at the bottom of a well. There may be more than one aquifer in any given location and at different depths. Where aquifers leak out onto land we call them springs from which the water forms streams and rivers and also ponds and lakes. The Society would like to record and map where all the wells are in the parish, which will help indicate where old demolished dwellings were located and where the main aquifers are located. Please contact the Chairman or Deputy Chairman (for details see page 8) or email the Newsletter editor email@example.com if you would like to help.
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Exhibition 2015 ………. The next exhibition will be held on 24th 25th October 2015 at the Boldre Memorial Hall, Pilley. As usual it will be on a variety of subjects connected with the civil parish of Boldre. Many of you will remember that the last exhibition featured a display about Elizabeth “Nanny” Gould and her Portmore nursing home. Subsequently we have discovered more about Elizabeth and her husband Thomas and we have been given more photographs and information from people who started life at the nursing home, so this will constitute one display. In the last Newsletter you will have read how Ann and I met Hazel and Malcolm Gee at Boldre Church. They were looking for information on Granny Hewitt who lived in Pilley in the early part of the 20th century. We have again found more information on the Hewitt family. While we have enough information for a display, we would like to hear from anyone connected with the Hewitt or Figgins families who may be related to Mabel (Hewitt) and Charles Figgins who were married at St. John’s church Boldre in 1911. Other displays will include a feature on Norley Wood, while another will look at life in the Parish during the 1950’s and 1960’s. We will also be looking at what was happening during the Great War at home. As an example we have a newspaper report of a soldier marrying his fiancée in Boldre Church in 1918 and then, after three days honeymoon, being sent to France. The above list is not final. I know there will be more ideas. So if you have anything that you believe should be exhibited or have any further information on the displays mentioned please let me or the Chairman know. (see below for details) Ian Wild - Deputy Chairman
Annual General Meeting 12 November 2014 ………. The Chairman reported that it had been a good year for talks and they had been well attended. He thanked Patrick Kempe (Membership Secretary) for his hard work on producing posters and membership subscriptions. The Membership Secretary reported a healthy membership of 110 members. This number is steadily growing and he reminded members to contact him at Bull Hill Farm, Pilley, Lymington, SO41 5RA, if they or their friends wanted to re-join or start a new membership. The new subscription is £8.00 per year. The Treasurer confirmed the accounts for 2013/2014 had been audited by Colin Wise and that the financial year ended with a bank balance of £1209. The income for the year amounted to £1144, which included £60 for the sale of WW2 books. Expenditure was £954 resulting in a surplus for the year of £190. All the current officers were re-elected and Deputy Chairman, Ian Wild, confirmed the preparations for the exhibition in October 2015 had been started.
Society Officials and Committee Members Chairman James Horsfall 01590 676728 Deputy Chairman
Part Time Secretary
Ian Wild 01590 673247
Tim Farquhar 01590 673744
Patrick Kempe 01590 675854
Patricia Langfelder 01590 688292
James Puttick 01590 623272
Ted Cantrell 01590 672388
Norman Gannaway 01590 677401
Committee Members Alison Bolton 01590 674607
George Gates 01590 678047
Angela Grainger 01590 675708
Pamela Keen 01590 626654
Margaret Orman 01590 675743
Every attempt has been made by The Society to secure the appropriate permission for material produced in this newsletter. If there has been any oversight we will be happy to rectify the situation. Written submission should be made to the Chairman.