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From Our Files: British Legion buys hall, fire at Fawley, and horse rider prejudice

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NEW MILTON branch of the British Legion on Monday approved a scheme for the acquisition of the Public Hall as a British Legion War Memorial at a cost of £4,000, which is less the site, building and its equipment have cost.

The directors, of whom Alderman Round OBE is chairman, having signified that they will recommend the shareholders to sell the Public Hall for this purpose at that price.

It is proposed to raise the purchase money by appealing to the public either for gifts, in cash or for interest free loans, which will be repaired in full. The County Council have taken over the hall during the war, but it is understood that they would vacate the premises which the war ceases in Europe.

The decision to purchase the hall as a British Legion War Memorial hinges upon the removal of a licensing restriction which was imposed by the Milton Unionist Club, Ltd, when they sold the land (which is at the rear of their premises) for the erection of the Public Hall.

The Unionist Club are being approached with a request to amend this restriction so that the British Legion may be able to use part of the premises — the Small Hall is suggested — as a duly licensed club.

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GEN. Sir Bernard Montgomery has been paying visits of inspection to troops along the South Coast this week and on Monday he inspected some thousands in a park in a South Coast town.

He was quickly recognised by local residents and greeted with cries of “Good old Monty,” the General waving his acknowledgements. About 100 civilians, who had arrived on foot and on bicycle, had the privilege of seeing Gen. Montgomery make his inspection and later, with the troops gathered closely round him, he addressed the soldiers for about ten minutes.

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From Our Files from 1944...
From Our Files from 1944...


FIRE broke out on Wednesday night in the No. 1 power former unit producing high octane petrol at the Esso Refinery at Fawley. It was followed by an explosion, but there were no casualties.

The fire, which broke out at two minutes past nine, was classified by Hampshire Fire Service as a major outbreak, and 21 engines were sent out to help the refinery firemen though less than half these were called upon. A further five appliances were standing by in case of another incident on the refinery. The Esso brigade itself was out very quickly to deal with the fire, using “monitors” — small, mobile appliances for directing water onto the fire, which are pushed into place and linked up by hoses to the main water supply.

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THERE was a full attendance at the New Milton Community Centre Luncheon Club meeting to hear Mr Hallet, sub-manager of Westminster Bank, New Milton, give an interesting and instructive talk on the new decimal coinage. When the United Kingdom changes over to decimal currency on Monday February 15 1971, and presumably the Republic of Southern Ireland will make the change over at the same time, all the countries of the world will be counting their money in decimals.

Most countries changed over in 1800; Canada, which was the first Commonwealth country to change did so in 1859, and India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand changed within the past ten years.

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NEW MILTON’S carnival queen is to be a Lymington girl. She is 18 years old Carole Blachford, a student at Brockenhurst Grammar School.

A month ago only one girl appeared to want the title, but on Wednesday night at a selection dance at the Camden Hurst Hotel, Milford, a record number of 20 contestants paraded before a panel of five judges.

Carole, of Ridgeway Lane, Lymington, was chosen from a final line-up of five. Runner-up was “Miss Bournemouth,” Marilyn Ward (19), of Heath Road, Hordle.


HORSE riders in the New Forest are being urged to co-operate fully with a new survey on riding which has been commissioned by the New Forest Committee. At Monday’s first annual meeting at Lyndhurst of the New Forest Equestrian Association, chairman, Ian Davis, said that charging to ride in the Forest was “back on the table” according to the Forestry Commission.

He said there was a considerable prejudice against the riding fraternity, and he warned: “We have got some powerful enemies.”

Mr Davis said the 700-member strong NFEA had told the Commission that if it wants to charge, then it should charge everybody who uses the Forest.

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CHRISTCHURCH businessmen want to see a better balance between preservation and a developing local economy to counter the prevailing BANANA attitude — Building Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

The BANANA acronym came from a businessman at a seminar backed by Christchurch Council designed to obtain current business opinion prior to the drafting of an economic development plan for the area. The view was that the attractiveness of the area was what brought most bosses to the area, but then they found that environmental pressures made business life difficult.

“BANANA was acknowledged by many to be a slight exaggeration, but feelings are strongly held that many local residents believe that doing nothing is the way forward”, said John Endacott, the consultant leading the discussion groups.

“At a time when the last big British car maker has just been swallowed up by BMW, we will have no jobs left for our children unless a better balance is found between the need for jobs and the environment”, he added.

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SIR – During recent weeks more road signs to Keyhaven have been put up.

Is the Council aware that the traffic to Keyhaven in the summer is already overcrowded with cars and boats and if more motorists are encouraged will become chaotic? From the war memorial to the harbour is a very dangerous stretch of road.

In the cause of safety to children and pedestrians in the summer these signs ought to be removed.

F. Bennett,


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OPINION in Highcliffe is split over whether the village should have a relief road, according to a survey carried out by the local residents’ association.

Around 7,500 questionnaires were sent to all the homes in Highcliffe, and the Post Office also mistakenly delivered some in Mudeford and Friars Cliff. The only question was “do you think that the relief road should be built”, and of the 3,675 that were returned, 53.6% said no while 46.4% said yes.

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