* - Booking required

Wed 8 Apr - Smith and Bradbeer’s - Its History & Future Plans

7.30 Community Centre, New Milton

Anthony Davies, our speaker, is a family member who has been a director and has been with the firm over 50 years, 40 of those at New Milton.

SMITH BRADBEER was started in 1837 at Below Bar in Southampton. The larger store developed in Above Bar in 1908 received a direct hit in WW2 in 1940. The firm moved to Romsey and New Milton and later to Shirley and Eastleigh. There will be pictures with family members involved and the store developments.

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* Tues 14 Apr  - All Saints Church Thorney Hill & Cream Tea

Self-Drive – Meeting at All Saint’s Church at Thorney Hill at 2 30pm

The church was built in 1906 for Lord Manners of Avon Tyrrell to commemorate the death of his daughter from cholera.

Inside the church is an important mural painted by Phoebe Traquair. It fills the whole semi-circular apse from floor to ceiling, and depicts famous characters such as William Blake and Louis Pasteur.

We will meet at 2 30 pm at the Church for a tour and talk about its intriguing history. This will be followed by a cream tea in the Church provided by the ladies who are working to raise funds for the restoration of the Church (including providing a toilet, a facility not currently available at the Church).

There is some parking in the Church grounds and in the road outside, but car sharing is advisable.

If you would like to join us, but do not have transport, please contact Val Williams who will try to arrange transport for you.

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Wed 29 Apr - The New Forest from Conqueror to National Park

7.30pm New Milton Community Centre

Peter Roberts is the former chairman of the New Forest Association, a former verderer and a past president of the Hampshire Field Club.  He is the author of a handful of books on the New Forest and heavily involved with its conservation for more than 30 years.

He will give us a brief history of the New Forest from 1066 to modern times - indicating its uses, laws and how it has survived as probably the only pastoral economy in Europe.  This illustrated talk shows why commoning is crucial to its continued existence to maintain the open, internationally important habitats.

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* Thur 21 May - Visit  Nuffield Place (NT)

An opportunity to visit the home of the late William Morris,  Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motor Co.  A modest millionaire and philanthropist;  the house and contents, mainly of the 1930's era reflects this fact.

We will stop at Auderley Wood, a country house hotel, on the outskirts of Basingstoke for coffee and biscuits (cost included) and then on to Henley-on-Thames where we will have the opportunity to explore, have lunch or picnic before we leave about 1.30pm for our booked entry to Nuffield Place at 2pm.  

After viewing the house and garden you  can enjoy, if you wish, a cup of tea in the small restaurant.

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Thur 4 Jun - The Queen’s Dressmaker

7.30 Lymington  Community Centre

This afternoon we have Maureen Rose to give an interesting and enjoyable talk about how she became a dressmaker as a young lady and eventually became Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's couturier, receiving a Royal Warrant.

Maureen began making outfits for the Queen when she worked as a freelance designer for royal couturier Norman Hartnell and later Ian Thomas. Since then, she has created dozens of royal outfits.

Maureen says "As a child, I remember telling my mother that I wanted to work with Norman Hartnell and make dresses for the Queen. My dreams came true.”

Mary Martin, Ava Gardner & Barbara Cartland are just a few of the celebrities that she was dressmaker for.   Many of the clothes on the waxwork models at Madame Tussauds were also made by her.

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* Tues 16 Jun - Barnum at Mayflower Theatre

7.30 Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Bring your friends to a sociable evening at the exhilarating musical, Barnum.

Brian Conley stars as the legendary American showman, as we learn about his life and marriage before teaming up with JA Bailey to create Barnum and Bailey - "The Greatest Show on Earth".

The theatre is close to car parks and Southampton Station.  Please contact the organiser to discuss car-sharing.

We have reserved best seats in centre stalls, at the Group Booking Rate.

Closing date for these places is April 10, but book early to avoid disappointment.

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* Wed 17 Jun - Summer Lunch, AGM and talk

Noon for 12.30 South Lawns Hotel Milford on Sea

After the success of our Autumn Supper last year, we are returning to South Lawns in Milford-on-Sea where we have ample free car-parking, exclusive use of the room for our lunch, AGM, talk and draw. Lunch will be followed by the AGM and a talk.

The lunch will start at 12.30 hours and to avoid a last minute crush or, to enjoy a pre-prandial drink and chat, the bar will be open from noon.

The formal business of the AGM is scheduled for 2.00 and you are welcome to attend this, and the talk, without first joining us for lunch.

The speaker following the AGM will be one of our members, Sam Turner. “Hitch hiking 2000 miles through Kenya and Uganda in 1961" will be an illustrated talk by Sam who spent eight years in the RAF and served in Aden.  In 1961 he spent a two week break on a solo hike through East Africa.

If you would like to sit with friends, please indicate on the booking form, or, if booking online, in the same box as you enter your menu choices and every attempt will be made to accommodate your wishes.  Our lunches are  popular and, although space is not severely limited at South Lawns, it is advisable to get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Summer Lunch Menu

 A: Home Made Tomato and Basil Soup

 B: Chef’s Pate with Fruit Chutney and Melba Toast

 C: Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose Sauce


 D: Roast Pork with Apple Sauce

 E: Baked Cod with a Herb Crust with Dill Cream sauce

 F: Stuffed Courgettes with Pesto

     (Main Course Served with Chef’s Selection of Vegetables)


 H: Vanilla Cheesecake with Fruit Coulis

 J: Black Forest Gateau

 K: Warm Apple Pie with Custard


     Freshly Brewed Coffee or Tea

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Wed 1 Jul - Having the Time of your Life

7.30 New Milton Community Centre

Community Responders were started, following a Doctor identifying that early life saving intervention increased people’s survival rates. Community Responders are volunteers who are trained by the Ambulance services and respond to life threatening incidents within their community, 24/7, giving support until further assistance arrives.

Jacqui and Graham Reeve, our speakers for the evening, have been Community Responders in Lyndhurst for ten years. Graham was a Fire Officer for thirty years and is now a Fire Safety Consultant and Jacqui is a Risk and Business Continuity Adviser for Hampshire County Council.

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* Tues 7 Jul - Outing to The Vyne (NT)

The Vyne is a 16th-century country house outside Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. The Vyne was built for Lord Sandys, King Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain. The house retains its Tudor chapel, with stained glass.

On arrival we shall have coffee (included), then be divided into groups for a guided tour of the house which will take about 45 mins.  After the tour we shall return to our allocated room for lunch (included) and then be able to explore the house again, or visit the delightful gardens.  

The gardens are a peaceful escape with secret picnic spots, or you can stroll by the ornamental lake. You could visit the restored Walled Garden, now a working kitchen garden providing delicious, fresh and seasonal produce to our Tudor tea-room or the ancient woodlands.

There is seating on the large lawn overlooking the river (deck chairs, the sort they use to have on the beach that you could never erect yourself - they do come ready erected) hopefully the weather will be kind to us.

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Wed 5 Aug - Ringwood Railways

7.30 New Milton Community Centre

A talk about the two lines created in the 19th century, including details of the initiator of the first, Charles Castleman, who lived at St Ives Cottage/House from 1844 to 1862. Castleman was influential in The Southampton and Dorchester Railway coming via Ringwood in 1847.

The Ringwood, Christchurch and Bournemouth Railway was eventually to a design by his engineer, Captain Moorsom. The viability of both was hazarded by the direct line via Sway and New Milton in 1888. Beeching finished the job in 1967.

John Hawkins has been local historian for the Parish of St. Leonards and St. Ives since 2005,  a member of Ringwood Local History Workshop from 2007 to 2014 and the volunteer archivist at Ringwood’s 1727 Meeting House since 2012.

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