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From Our Files: baby's miraculous escape, Forestry Commission 'vandals', and a tearful hunt saboteur

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A 13-MONTH-OLD baby had a miraculous escape from death when a 2-ton lorry ran over its pram in which it was lying.

The accident happened at Pennington, about midday on Friday in last week, when the lorry, with no driver at the wheel, was accidentally set in motion in the Square, outside Mullins’ grocery shop.

The pram was standing directly in the line of the route of the runaway lorry. Frantic but unsuccessful efforts were made to push the pram and its little unsuspecting occupant out of the way, but the lorry ran over the pram, and after it had come to rest against a fence four or five yards away the child was extricated from the completely wrecked pram beneath; unhurt except for slight bruising and abrasions on the left side of the forehead and cheek.

She was born on Friday, the thirteenth of November last year. When she grows up and is told of her miraculous escape she will be no supporter of the superstitions about Friday and thirteen!

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Mr and Mrs H. J. Taylor, of New Milton, have received the joyful news that their son L/Cpl. Frederick Herbert Taylor, Hampshire Regiment, escaped as a prisoner-of-war from Campo 82 in Italy and has now re-joined the British Army. An official intimation to this effect says that he will be brought back to this country as soon as suitable transport can be arranged.

L/Cpl. Taylor, who was a dispatch rider with the 5th Battalion, was captured in February of this year, and in a letter which his parents have just received, he says.

“Here we are again, free at last, and still grinning. Can’t tell you much about our episodes at present, but we are certainly being treated swell. I expect you have been wondering where I’ve been to all these months; you’d be surprised – tell you at a later date”.


CRITICISM of the Forestry Commission, for indiscriminate tree felling, was made by Mr Eric Dearing at the meeting of Lyndhurst Parish Council on Tuesday.

“The Crown has acted like vandals”, he said, in criticising the felling of trees at Queen’s House, headquarters of the Forestry Commission, after the Parish Council had tried to preserve them.

Mr F. Elcock, the parish clerk, recalled that as far back as the beginning of September the Council wrote to New Forest RDC asking them to consider making a preservation order on the trees.

Last month, he had received a reply from the Clerk, (Mr F. R. Appleby) in which he stated that as Queen’s House and its grounds were Crown property, it would be necessary before making any tree preservation order to obtain the consent of the Forestry Commission.

“I feel”, Mr Appleby wrote, “that so long as the present ownership continues there is little danger of indiscriminate felling and in the circumstances a preservation would not seem to be necessary.”

There was laughter when it was announced that the trees had been felled, but an angered Mr Dearing who first raised the subject declared: “This is a very serious matter. I think this is very sharp practice.”

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SIR, – I would ask the courtesy of your columns to tender some very sincere thanks which I cannot give personally.

I recently came to Lymington, after the shattering loss of my dearest friend, solely with the thought that near Lymington are expanses of deep water where a splash in the darkness of night was unlikely to attract attention.

But I had no more than stepped on to the platform of your railway station than I met with such exceptional and continual kindness from perfect strangers – beginning with the gentleman in charge of the station (who immediately found me a comfortable hotel and a taxi to get me there), and extending from him to the taxi driver, the hotel staff, shop assistants, people whose dogs I patted in the street, ferry staff – in short, such wonderful kindness from people who did not know me at all, that I abandoned all thought of the dark waters, spent two lovely days in your charming town, and returned to London with courage to face my loneliness and the unalterable conviction that Lymington people must be the kindest and most civilised in the world.

Please may I thank all you unknown people for “talking to a stranger” and saving my life!


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The New Forest MP, Mr Patrick McNair-Wilson, revealed at the weekend an embarrassing moment he recently had in Westminster.

“I had met a party of children from the Fordingbridge area who were visiting the House of Commons,” he said, “and had been telling them about the need for restricting imports to this country for economic reasons.

“No sooner had I done so than one child produced a picture postcard of the Yeomen of the Guard, bought within the precincts of the House. On it was shown that it had been printed in Spain!”

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A hunt saboteur was “moved to tears” during a meet of the New Forest Buckhounds on Monday, after witnessing what she described as “a dreadful scene”.

Rachel White, of Lyndhurst, told the A&T that she saw the hounds chase the buck into Eyeworth Pond near Fritham. “It looked exhausted and terrified and ducks flew up in panic as the hounds swam across the pond after the buck. It tried to reach the island in the middle and I could see its head and antlers just above the water.

“The hounds were close behind it and hunt supporters lined the bank,” she continued. “I ran round the pond to where they were and the buck came straight towards me, staggering out of the pond. Two men grabbed it, pulled it towards the track and held it down for some time before it was shot. Men were whooping and hollering as it died”.

Hunt master Christine Compton explained that instead of standing at bay, the deer went into the water. “This is a most natural thing for a hunted deer to do if there is water nearby and that day was just the same as any ordinary hunting day. I have often seen deer roll in water – it is very natural.”

She refuted the claim that the deer was held down for some time: “It came ashore and was dispatched within seconds – the whole incident was over very quickly.”


HAMPSHIRE has been refused an increase in police officers by Home Secretary Michael Howard, although Home Office figures show that the county is the most undermanned in Britain.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight had asked for funding for an extra 200 officers in 1994/95. Home Office guidelines show that the County is 223 officers short of Government manning targets.

The county’s Police Authority have attempted to make the best use of the officers they have by initiating a process of civilianisation, freeing an extra 100 officers from administrative posts and putting them back onto the street.

Although the Chief Constable of Hampshire John Hoddinott said that he was “naturally disappointed” by the Home Secretary’s decision, the Chairman of the Police Authority Coun. Matthew Clarke was more direct, saying that he was “dismayed” by the news.

“Hampshire is at the top of the national league of provincial forces with a shortfall of police officers” said Mr Clark, adding that even with officers “shaken out” by civilianisation, Hampshire would still be at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the country.

Crimes of almost every type in Hampshire have risen in recent years, some, such as burglary from residential houses, by over 50%. With juvenile crime, car crime, burglary and bail offending (some of which have been addressed by new Government legislation) still causing Hampshire police difficulties, the request for funding for more officers will almost certainly have to be made again next year, which will be the year that the Chancellor’s round of major cuts in public spending comes into force.

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