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From our Files: Revolting commoners...banished to a horse...fired and retired


A THREATENED revolt by New Forest Commoners against the Southern Electricity Board (SEB) in which the commoners might have withdrawn way leave agreements for poles and wires on their land was soothed by peaceable words from a new spokesman for the board.

Strife had arisen following a case in which the board denied liability for injuries caused to an animal which had been caught between SEB stay wires and a pole in a field.

The SEB said the owner accepted a potential risk by grazing animals in a field where poles and stays had been erected.

But one commoner revealed he had spoken to a new member of the board who was “most perturbed” by the case and said it did not want any “conflict” and planned to reach a settlement with the owner.

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LYMINGTON magistrates were told by a defence solicitor that a man caught drink-driving was only going to be allowed, by his wife, to ride a horse or a bicycle.

She was so angry with him for ruining his 10-year clean licence that she was now “arranging a horse or a bicycle” and he would not be allowed to drive a car in the future.

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RESIDENT associations in Christchurch are being asked to unite in a fight to conserve as much open space as possible.

The call to join forces came from the chairman of the Friars Cliff Residents Association’s ‘watch-dog’ committee.

The area residents want to preserve includes Highcliffe Castle and Steamer Point – which the Ministry of Defence is expected to close down.

The two associations plan to join up to fight efforts to build on the open spaces which they say are “already inadequate given the increase in population resulting in high density housing”.

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FOR four years now the sight of attractive Miss Linda Davies driving class three heavy goods vehicles has met with many raised eyebrows.

And now Linda, a 25-year-old mother, has just passed the class one test which enables her to sit behind the wheel of a giant articulated lorry.

Born in New Milton, Linda became a driver for Wilmot Packaging Ltd at Totton. When they became short of a driver for one of their rigid four-wheel lorries, she volunteered her services.


From our Files, 25 years ago: A fresh appeal for householders not to put sharp objects into refuse sacks was issued
From our Files, 25 years ago: A fresh appeal for householders not to put sharp objects into refuse sacks was issued

A FRESH appeal for householders not to put sharp objects into refuse sacks has been issued by New Forest District Council after one of its bin men had a lucky escape when a ceremonial knife with a 15-inch blade fell out of the plastic bag he was carrying.

The knife, which had a carved handle, slashed through the side of the bag, just missing dustman Sid Browning’s leg.

“It was a lethal weapon and someone could have been seriously injured,” said Totton refuse supervisor Simon Smith, who is pictured with the knife.

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LORD Oaksey blamed the government for becoming an “endangered species” during a hilarious after-dinner talk to a packed New Milton Rotary Club charity lunch.

He said: I’m not getting old but am a member of an endangered species as the poor old hereditary peers are on the way out.

“I’ll tell you what happened, that bloody Peter Mandelson. I do not want to give up my title and I will certainly not be a Wedgewood Benn by renouncing my title.”

Lord Oaksey made the audience laugh when he told them how Mrs Thatcher was asked to differentiate between a disaster and a tragedy.

He revealed: “She said it would be a disaster if Mr Mandelson was to fall off a pier into the Thames, and a tragedy if someone was to haul him out!”

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NEW Forest-based photographer Simon Rowley extinguished a fire single-handedly on the A40 in West London using a retired fire engine intended for a scene in ITV series The Bill.

Mr Rowley, who is involved in Fire Aid which partly owns the vehicle, was driving it to London to take part in the shoot.

On his journey he saw a lorry on fire near Northolt aerodrome. After calling the fire brigade he took the matter into his own hands and used the old engine to put out the blaze.

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A REGISTERED alcoholic who made false representations to claim £4,000 in social security benefits told New Forest magistrates he was so drunk he could not remember what he was doing.

He had been drawing the benefits for four years and pleaded guilty to the offence, and asked for a further 51 to be taken into consideration. The defendant had been working in the Rydal Pub while claiming to be unemployed.

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THE remaining Gypsy families living illegally at Christchurch have lost their last-ditch attempt to stay put.

The four families have been living in mobile homes and caravans on greenbelt land at Dudmoor Farm for several years.

However Christchurch Council has never granted planning permission for the homes, and appeals by the Gypsies were rejected by the Environment Department.

A court has ordered them to move to a Gypsy site at Mannington Park in East Dorset.

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