From Our Files: PoW passes exam, head retires after 20 years, and tension at Minstead parish church
75 YEARS AGO
FLIGHT SERGEANT Robert Ivan Stone, RAF, son of Mr and Mrs Edgar Stone, of New Milton, has obtained the senior certificate of the College of Preceptors in examination held for prisoners-of-war in Stalagluffe (airmen’s prison camp) in Germany.
Sgt. Stone, who qualified as a wireless operator in the RAF, was previously employed as a clerk in the New Milton Council Offices and intends taking up rating and valuation work after the war. The Red Cross sent him the necessary text books to study for the examination.
Sgt. Stone was taken prisoner in July, 1941. He was in a Sterling bomber on “a mission” to Berlin, when his aircraft was shot down. Happily, he successfully bailed out and landed in Holland. In his examination, he passed in seven subjects — English, English Literature, book-keeping, political economy, trigonometry and mensuration, and French.
The Retail selling price of the New Milton Advertiser and the Lymington Times will be increased to 1½d. per copy as and from next week’s issue, January 1st 1944.
50 YEARS AGO
IN a crowded schoolroom gaily decorated for Christmas, pupils of Brockenhurst Church School cheered loudly when the Vicar of Brockenhurst and Rural Dean of Lyndhurst, Canon C.R. Macbeth, called upon the assembled school to voice their appreciation of their retiring headmaster, Mr Edward J. Williams.
For the past 20 years Mr Williams has been headmaster at the village school, and the afternoon gathering in the classroom was the curtain-raiser to a series of presentations and congratulations which continued until well into the evening, reflecting the great popularity of Mr Williams in the village, and the esteem and affection of parents and pupils for the man Canon Macbeth referred to as “our best friend”.
Mr Macbeth, in a short speech at the first presentation of the day, paid tribute to the many years of fine service which Mr Williams had given to the school, and thus to the life of the village.
He then presented to Mr Williams, on behalf of the children and teachers, their gift of a cheque for £50 in a handsome wallet.
“This is something for him to spend on his holiday” said Mr Macbeth.
Replying Mr Williams spoke of his happy years with the “friendly helpful and willing people of the village”, and said that his work had given him a great deal of pleasure.
Three of the four Lymington dustmen who in May won over £43,000 on the pools are still working on their dustcart, busy collecting rubbish … and pocketing Christmas tips.
They are Mr Bill Zebedee (47), Mr Reg King (45) and Mr Mike Newman (23). The fourth dustman was Mr Roy Smith (37), who gave up his job.
Before collecting his pools cheque, Mr Zebedee and his wife lived in a council house and owned a £40 Ford Zephyr. Now he has a centrally heated £6,500 bungalow and a £900 Cortina. But, he points out, these were his only big buys.
“Some people are surprised that we are still dustmen after winning nearly £11,000 each. But I couldn’t afford not to work,” he said.
As for the Christmas tips, he added, “It doesn’t amount to very much – perhaps £3 each for my gang. But it all helps because our take home pay with overtime is only about £14.”
His colleagues have both bought new houses and cars.
Mr King said “We’ve kept our jobs and our friends – and not many pools winners can say that!”
Flotsam, of the famous Flotsam and Jetsam singing partnership – who died in London on Thursday in last week, had lived at Alum Green View, Bank, near Lyndhurst, for over 30 years. He was Mr Bentley Collingwood Hilliam, author, composer and actor, and he died in London, aged 78, while on a visit to his only daughter, Mrs Nancy Ross.
The songs of Flotsam and Jetsam were a regular feature of radio entertainment for many years, and their partnership was a melodious and happy one extending over 18 years, until Jetsam – Mr Malcolm McEachern – died in 1945.
25 YEARS AGO
A TENSE atmosphere is expected at Minstead parish church’s Christmas services, because a plan by the Parochial Church Council to block off part of the church to create a children’s Sunday Club room has cause a rift in the village. Some friendships have been strained by the quarrel and longtime residents said to be bitter because they believe newcomers are trying to force through changes.
“We could do with a bit more goodwill to all men” remarked Peter Bruxner-Randall, who is leading the campaign against the proposal.
All but three of the 16 PCC members are in favour of walling off the south transept of All Saints’ to create a space where children can meet while their parents attend Sunday services. “We see the provision of Sunday Club facilities as fundamental to the well-being of the church,” say the PCC “For too long they have been lacking”. The building work would cost an estimated £10,000 to £15,000, whereas putting a purpose-built hut next to the church would cost in the region of £22,000.
The south transept contains the Compton window, which was donated as a memorial by the Lords of the Manor of Minstead. The present Lord of the Manor, Peter Green, is a member of the PCC, and is understood to be opposed to the scheme. Villagers’ fears that there will be a loss of light from the memorial window have been rejected by the PCC.
A Pennington postman who had part of his finger bitten off whilst delivering mail, says he does not think the dog meant to hurt him, and attached more blame to a draught excluder.
Brian Anderson was forcing a letter through a stiff brush draught-excluder when the dog, a Labrador-Afghan cross, bit the tip of his finger off, but he feels this was not intentional.
“I didn’t hear it approach, it certainly did not bark and I think it was just trying to get at the letters and didn’t see my finger. I’ve had a letter of apology from the owner.”
Mr Anderson, of St Mark’s Road, says postmen are instructed to make sure letters go through the flap for security reasons but sometimes it is easier said than done.
“The problem was that there was just one letter and it was flimsy so I was worried it might rip. We’re not supposed to put our fingers inside but it is difficult when you’re holding up the letter box with one hand and then have to part the brushes of the excluder with the other.”
He had to cycle a mile from the house in Lower Buckland Road to hospital for treatment and though the mangled section of finger was recovered by the homeowner and rushed to the hospital by police, doctors were unable to sew it back on. Mr Anderson will now be off on sick leave until the New Year.
Heavy rain which swept through the New Forest at the beginning of the week, caused properties to be flooded out, as well as dangerous surface water on the roads. Both district and county councils said that the problem was widespread owing to the land being already saturated from recent steady rainfall.
One of the worst hit was the East End Arms pub near Lymington where staff were serving pints with welly boots on as flood water had surged into the building from the road.