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From Our Files: battleship wants a bicycle, farming on the Forest, and a rave at Applemore

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THE crew of HMS Obedient, the destroyer which our Borough has adopted, wants a bicycle!

This fact was disclosed to the Mayor (Alderman E. Knight) on Thursday in last week, when two officers of the Borough’s warship sprang a surprise visit on him.

They drove to Lymington from London by car and called at the Town Hall. The police court had finished and the Mayor was about to go home for lunch, when the unexpected visitors were announced.

His Worship gave them a warm, if brief, welcome to the Borough, and entertained them to lunch at the Angel Hotel, with Capt. B. H. Goodhart, M.C., who as the Mayor had another appointment, gave the officers a “busman’s” holiday by showing them the ships in Lymington harbour, and, of course, the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

It was during the dinner table talk that the bicycle was mentioned. The mayor inquired what the crew of the Obedient would like most, and looked surprised when the reply was — “A bicycle”.

When his Worship mentioned this fact at a concert given by the Masqueraders (amateur) concert party in Lymington on Saturday, in aid of the Comforts Fund for the destroyer’s crew, the people thought it was a joke and laughed. Fancy a warship needing a bicycle!

And here is the reason. When ships — Naval or Mercantile Marine — reach a foreign port, runners are despatched for the mail. And the quicker the men get their letters, the better they are pleased. A bicycle can serve this very useful purpose. We have no doubt that enough money will be forthcoming to buy one, even if some kind reader does not actually give the bicycle!

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THE Ministry of Agriculture’s scheme for enclosing parts of the open wastes of the New Forest for food cultivation, and with the ultimate objects of improving the pastures, was presented at the Court of New Forest Verderers on Monday by Mr D. C. Bower, Assistant Executive Officer, Hants War Agricultural committee.

He said that the temporary enclosing of about 1,000 acres, for the raising of food crops was part of the Ministry’s general effort to meet the serious food situation. It was proposed to take three crops off the areas and to sow down grass with the last throwing them open again in the fourth or fifth year at the Verderers’ discretion.


THE area of derelict buildings behind the Ship Inn on Lymington Quay, which is the subject of a proposed change of use to boat building premises, is a matter of great interest to the members of Lymington Society.

At a meeting of the Society on Monday evening, Mr G. L. Bridger, chairman of the executive committee, reminded members of the decision of Lymington Planning Committee to approve an application to use the existing buildings for boatbuilding purposes.

The Society’s executive committee, he said, had made representations to the Borough Council following the issue of a public notice, putting forward the view that while boatbuilding was important to Lymington, the long term aim should be to make the whole riverside from the Ship Inn to the Tollbridge visually beautiful. It should incorporate a tree lined riverside path on each side of the present railway bridge, and the proposal as it stood at the moment would nullify the commencement of such a project.

The Council’s decision to acquire the old coal yard as an open space was “a grand conception”, but the provision of a car park blotted out a “breathtaking” view of the Lymington River.

The committee therefore suggested that the car park should be moved to behind the Ship Inn with easy access to the Quay, and by using Station Street and Mill Lane as access roads, the congestion in Captains Row and Nelson Place would be removed.

“Here is an opportunity to ensure that the Quay area is not marred by a collection of vehicles which destroy the beauty of the scene. By making the area really attractive the prosperity of the owners of the Ship Inn and the shopkeepers would be increased.”

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LORD MONTAGU of Beaulieu [was] seen on BBC 1 on Tuesday evening, when he appeared with three other members of the House of Lords in a team taking part in a challenge programme So You Think You Know What’s New, in which Cliff Michelmore conducted a quiz on recent new legislation, as it affected family affairs, crime, transport, the countryside, shopping, race relations and noise.

Appearing as rivals to the representatives of the Lords was a police team, and a group of housewives. The Lords team had a poor score on family questions, but were 100 per cent accurate on questions relating to shopping and the new Trade Descriptions Act, and scored 16 out of a possible 20 on the law relating to the countryside. They did not fall over the stile question, the correct answer to which was that it was the duty of the land owner to maintain stiles on public footpaths across his land.

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A THIEF who made an unusual entry into Lymington Community Centre on Tuesday night made up a bed with theatrical props and clothing in a loft store, and had a meal.

To gain entry the thief had climbed on to the roof, removed a skylight and dropped to the floor beneath.

When the theft was discovered on Wednesday morning it was found that the offices had been ransacked and that stamps, chiefly fourpennies, worth about £4 and about 30/- in small change had been taken.


AN all-night rave for youngsters at Applemore Recreation Centre on New Year’s Eve was a huge success and passed without incident, with just one complaint about noise from a neighbouring house owner.

The centre management came under fire from some quarters when their decision to allow the all night, alcohol-free party was made public. There were fears that gate crashers might cause trouble and that youngsters would disturb people on the nearby housing estate as they made their way home.

However, centre manager Paul Etheridge said that the event had gone off without any problems of any kind. Over 400 people had bought £17.50 tickets for the rave, which ended at 4am, and there had been just one complaint about noise.

The promoters, Equinox Promotions, employed their own security staff and a team of special constables was also in attendance throughout the night. “Everyone was very pleased with the way it went off,” said Mr Etheridge. “In terms of trouble it was a non-event.”

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THE old year was washed out along with railway lines, cars, and cows after two inches of rain fell on Thursday in last week and, with spring tides due next week, it could happen all over again. The effects of the downpour were worsened by soil becoming saturated several months earlier than usual and poorly maintained private water courses, according to New Forest District Council.

Carl Michalski, their principal engineer, said that the persistent rainfall over the last few months had soaked the earth and aggravated the situation.

“The soil normally becomes saturated around December to January, but this time it happened in October. Even with this, normal to heavy rainfall should not be a problem, but the trouble started when the rain just kept going. Then there was nowhere for it to go and this is when the ground water level rises so high it can come up through people’s floors.”

Mr Michalski said the Council were concerned over the condition of ditches, streams and culverts, many of which are in no state to deal with the rainfall, and said many people who blame the council for this are themselves responsible.

“Many of these are the responsibility of the owner of the land where they’re sited and often road ditches belong to the adjacent property. In the flatter areas, these will fill up quickly so if you do own a water course then for goodness sakes clear it out.”

New Forest District Council issued over 1,000 sandbags to residents who rang to ask for help as flood waters rose to emergency levels on Thursday night.

NFDC officer Peter Crabb told the A&T that the Council’s Technical Services Department, which had crews out until after one o’clock on Friday morning, fielded calls from hundreds of residents, mostly in the New Milton and Milford areas.

Extra sand was brought in to cope with the demand for sandbags and Council flood procedures were invoked. Around 30 houses in the area were flooded internally and old people were evacuated, along with their furniture, from bungalows at Efford.

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