Readies; Reads; Resuscitation


Over coffee this morning, we had reason to try to remember the name of a cafe in Milford on Sea. We now have two reference points for such information. Jackie favours the Google walk; my preference is this blog. This morning we had a race to find it. I won. It was Polly’s Pantry.

Ditch maintenance

At Wilverley, on our way through the forest today, regular ditch maintenance was under way.

The forest pools and their reflections basked in sunshine,

as did ponies amid the bracken. These somnolent creatures perked up to pose for their pictures.

Pony on Road 1

As we ascended the hill up to Nomansland, a lethargic pony occupiedΒ the middle of the road.

Pony on Road 2

It took its own leisurely time in crossing to the other side.

The countryside is littered with obsolete, often derelict, iconic red telephone boxes. Apparently, when BT wish to decommission a phone box they must obtain a “No Objection” statement from the local District Council. According to Milford on Sea ‘Village Voice’ magazine for February/March 2017, one has been obtained for the structure on the Village Green. The periodical’s article says that “The Parish Council has applied to BT to adopt the box and is waiting to hear if this has been successful. The box could then be hired by local groups for displays, exhibitions, pop-up shops and other ventures on a monthly basis. If you have an idea about how best the kiosk can be utilised, let the Parish Council know!”.

Today we visited some of those within our vicinity.

At Pennington, one has been adapted as a cash machine. The telephone on one side of the box doesn’t work.

Book exchanges are popular. We spotted these at Fritham,

at Bramshaw,

and at Minstead Newtown.

That opposite ‘The Trusty Servant’ in Minstead itself has simply been disconnected.

Perhaps the most innovative conversion is the defibrillator at Nomansland.

On our way home we indulged ourselves in a late lunch at Holmesley Old station tea rooms, and very good it was too. My choice was steak and mushroom pie with tasty gravy, perfectly cooked carrots, cabbage, chips and peas. Jackie’s was a whopping Β jacket potato containing cheese and coleslaw served with plentiful salad. She drank coffee and I drank sparkling water. Later sustenance this evening was surplus to requirements.


  1. Ah Wilverley. What about the Naked Man then? It’s on the far side away from the railway road but easily accessed from the car park on the Brockenhurst side. Back in the day they propped up the old tree with struts. I think there was some legend that if it fell ill would fall on the forest or some such. Dad always wondered if it would survive. We’d often stop and think about its use for hanging smugglers.–page-2-.html I guess the replacement Oak is now growing well.. love the alternative uses of the phone boxes.

  2. I see the ponies rule the road! Not bad!! I have to laugh each time I see a British call box, it reminds me of the ‘Dr. Who’ TV show I watched about 50 years ago! I know his was a police call box, but still…..

      1. I’ve noticed here that old shows are being brought back, we have a new “Odd Couple”, “Hawaii 5-o”, “Nikita” and “MacGyver” just to name a few.

  3. We have a store that opened about a year ago a block away called “The British Store” I have shopped there only a couple of times to pick up some bangers and steak pies. They have everything from food to flags, photos, etc. Out front is a phone booth that I had thought was just a replica; however on my first visit was told that it was actually brought over. It has its original phone that, of course, doesn’t work but is a great conversation piece.

      1. My mother’s family came from Leeds (Father) and Cork (Mother). So, I grew up on a lot of traditional foods from both areas. It is nice to find a place to get them so close by. Certain biscuits as well.

  4. The defibrillator cracked me up – it would make sense to me if it was at the top of a hill or the end of a race track …… Of course I love the boxes as Little Free Libraries, we even have some of them here. That pony crossing the road has an air of Eeyore about him/her.

  5. My two favorite things, book and phone booths! I always love to see the ponies in your photographs, Derrick. It’s as though they’ve been waiting for you. πŸ™‚

  6. When my second daughter was 13, I finally managed to buy a house after several years of renting. I was delighted with the choice in a tiny village with a nice primary school and after fisticuffs with the council an agreement that the secondary school bus would divert to pick up the elder two safely rather than on the very busy A road half a mile away. I took the girls to see their new home and said number two specimen refused to get out of the car. I asked her what the matter was. ‘The matter? I’ll tell you what the matter is’ she replied ‘all this hole has going for it is a f***ing phone box’ …. she’s 26 now and remembers our five years their through rose tints but at the time I couldn’t reasonably argue (except with the language of course!)

  7. Some excellent and original ideas for those phone boxes. I probably watch the news too much, but isn’t one of those horses a little like Donald Trump?

  8. Interesting photos. I keep meaning to take pictures of our local boxes (mainly books, though a few with defibrillators).Never seen a cash point.

    As usual, I haven’t got round to it.

          1. I’m pretty sure I’ll have Queeensborough Terrace in my Streets of London series of photos. If I’ve scanned it already I’ll be able to find it, otherwise I’ll alert you when I get to it.

  9. If I showed those photo’s of the phone boxed to my Australian mates the response without doubt would be ” illy Bloody Poms!”
    Obviously the ponies woke, up looked up, expecting their carrots, as for the pony stuck in the middle of the road, he’s obviously there to drum up customers for the pub which you neglected to identify; which means I can’t go Google earthing this place.

  10. Loved the ponies… And so loved the conversions of those Telephone boxes.. I remember well as a child huddling inside with my siblings as my Mum would ring the Dr’s we had to walk about 3/4 of a mile.. I would put the pennies in the slot.. πŸ™‚ Then you had the push the button… lol.. Thanks Derrick for bringing back those memories.. I disliked the smell of them though as the ashtray was often full.. πŸ™‚
    loved the defibrillator one.. πŸ™‚

  11. Great use of the telephone boxes.
    Your horse pictures always make me smile πŸ™‚ Isn’t it wonderful that there is plenty of room for both humans and animals in the world.

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