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Beaulieu Mill Revisited

It was with mixed feelings I visited a building I had spent a lot of my childhood within and for many years, through the wars, had been operated by my Grandfather and Father. There are many wonderful stories of their time spent in this building particularly the Christmas Eve Raffle which had to stop when the police became involved!
I was surprised by the new entrance into the building but on entering in further a lot of familiar features became apparent. I was relieved to see many features had survived the fire including the mill ladders worn into shape by much frequent use in the past. The leather driving belts had survived which the Norris's being saddlers as well would have made themselves.
Andy Phillips took us around and I was impressed with the amount of thought he obliviously had put in to this project to ensure sympathetic restoration to suit a changing need. It must have been quite a challenge. I thought the idea of not replacing the upper floors so the layout of the milling machinery could be seen and admired from below was inspirational. The colour scheme in the old corn room was brilliant. On a hot summer day early in the morning with a high tide and the mullet breaking the glass surface of the river the best view in Beaulieu can be enjoyed from this room. The electric lighting was well thought through as this would not be an easy building to light well.
I envy the new tenants being able to work in the warm ambience of this lovely old building. There is only one thing missing from this restoration and I was reminded of it not so long ago when visiting a groat mill in Scotland. It is the smell. The old mill had a unique smell a wonderful aroma of river water, freshly crushed grains and leather belt dressing. 
By Frederick Norris 

Broadband Update

The good news is that the HCC bid to the Rural Communities Broadband Fund that was submitted in February has been successful. The funding level is £1.04m to cover approx. 4900 premises .Delivery to take place between the second half of 2015 and end of 2017 across the New Forest and Test Valley. The intention is to bring superfast broadband to over 2000 properties in the New Forest with the main focus upon East Boldre, Beaulieu and Denny Lodge. 
The attached map shows the red area which has been successful in obtaining the funding. The fine detail of which post codes within this area are being supplied is yet to be decided but it will not be long.
B Map

Patrick's Patch

Patrick's Patch are offering FREE courses in gardening ....
There will be ideas and advice from gardening expert Martin Perry.
The Courses are .... 
May 10th ... Watering, Mulches, Successional Sowing and Thinning.
June 7th ... Feed and Diseases
July 12th ... Soft Fruit
August 9th ... Trained Top Fruit
November 8th ... Soil Perparation.
All these courses are free to attend .... Just turn up at Patrick's Patch on the day for a 10.00 start .... finish time around 12noon.


Church Burial Vault Revealed


During recent work in the Parish Church to upgrade the heating system, the existence of a burial vault was revealed. The Parish Church was once the refectory of the monastic abbey, but following the dissolution of the monastery in 1538 became the church for the village. The vault is almost certainly post-dissolution and was discovered when floorboards in the Chancel were removed.

A drawing of 1834 suggests that access was gained via a trap-door and stairway beneath the present Chancel. It has been known that such a vault did exist as there is reference to one in burial plaques around the walls of the church.

The vault is situated in front of the ornate memorial to Mary (Moll) Do, who died in childbirth in 1651. She is most probably buried there. Likewise, Edward Kempe of Gins Farm whose death in 1605 is recorded by a brass plaque on the West Wall. His is the earliest memorial in the church.  The shipbuilder Henry Adams who died in 1805 is, with his wife Ann, also buried there. The latest was in 1839.

In 1840 major alterations to the church took place and the access was sealed, to be covered by the font. Further changes in 1875, when the Chancel was enlarged and tiled with those of a monastic design, and the font removed to the rear of the church, probably saw the vault and trapdoor revealed for the final time.

Article by Anthony Norris, photograph by Ralph Montagu

Adder Bites

Hythe and Dibden Parish Council are reporting 4 dogs bitten by Adders in the Forest.
Advice from Seadown Vets .... If your dog is bitten by an adder take it to the vet  immediately.
Seadown stresses adder bites are rarely fatal.
The NHS has advice what to do in the event of you being bitten by an adder ... information on this website. http/
Warmer weather is making the adders wake up.
Adders and flower Reptile Centre 70