In Keyhaven Harbour

Yesterday Ron told me about his discovery of a collection of negatives made by his father, Ray Salinger, in the 1940s and ’50s.

Ron scanned these high quality photographs of drinkers in The Walkford pub and e-mailed them to me. We think the man in the apron is the milkman who has just delivered the milk the barman is holding – by horse and cart, of course.

On a humid-damp, dull, overcast afternoon, after a visit to the pharmacy at Milford on Sea, Jackie drove us to

Keyhaven where I walked along the harbour wall.

Strong winds swept across the high tide surface, sending rippling waves shunting weedy scum seething against the stonework,

and sweeping bent grasses alongside.

I watched various boats speeding around the harbour; and a

sailboarder prepare his steed and weave his way among the moored craft.

A boisterous dog enjoyed chasing a floating stick its owner kept throwing for the purpose;

a pair of swans drank their fill.

Perhaps in consideration of the engineers involved in cable work, the owners of a house nearby had placed a polite notice at the start of a neatly mown drive across the sward.

We continued along Saltgrass Lane and observed walkers on Hurst Spit.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy lamb curry, savoury rice, and plain parathas with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Saint Emilion. I was given a special addition of a dish of fried onions, chillis, and garlic to increase the heat of my portion.


  1. The old photo convey a wonderful ambiance.
    I like the way you’ve captured the sailing weather in all its various imagery, Derrick.
    I am just wondering: do the dogs read the “no poo” sign?

    1. The pub and it’s fireplace is still there, just up the road a bit in Walkford, where Ray’s son Ron (my Brother-in-law), still lives.

  2. Wow! Just WOW! I feel so sorry for myself for not having discovered your pages before now. I love the photography, the words that go with each photo, and the old old photos that have been re-imaged by your friend. I am curious. Are you in the US? Or do you live somewhere in England?
    And you like Indian food and the hot spices!! Wow! Welcome to my world!

  3. Today I found myself particularly fascinated by the similarities between the ‘rippling waves shunting weedy scum seething against the stonework’ and the ‘sweeping bent grasses alongside’. Nature has a way of capturing the eye and the imagination with a single gust of wind!

    The old photos, featuring the male bastion of the pub, makes me wonder how much has changed in that world. I know the corner pub I walk past sometimes in the early evening is always at least 95% male jostling around the bar….. If you were to go in and photograph now, sepia up the shots, what difference would there be?

    1. Such insightful comments, Pauline.
      Lockdown aside today’s pubs are no longer male bastions; they are also more like restaurants than drinking houses; and smoking is not allowed. All so very distant.
      Thanks very much

      1. Ah, that is true about the smoking – now it gets blown over random passersby by those who have ducked out for a quick smoke πŸ˜€ I rather fear we are a little behind the ball when it comes to the corner pubs – though maybe I’m wrong as this is all based on cursory glances as I sailed past on my evening walks.

        1. Thanks a lot, Pauline. Jackie has just read out a news item about a pub in Oxfordshire that has banned under 25s after 8 p.m. because they ignore the rules and are impossible to control – less than a week after the restrictions were relaxed.

          1. Oh yes – the millenials! Mind, we had two in their thirties, back home, in quarantine for two weeks in a hotel with everything provided who didn’t like being told what to do so bunked off. I think both of them may have tested positive, certainly one did.

  4. Ray Salinger’s photos are so evocative of a long gone era. I enjoyed your harbor scenes and the motion of waves and grass.

    I’d probably enjoy your special portion with the added heat. πŸ˜€

  5. The well-seasoned (old is a word I rarely use πŸ™‚ ) photos are fabulous!
    They are pre-my-time, and I never tire of seeing photos from that time in history!

    Love your water photos, as always…and a joy to see those enjoying the water…especially the dog! πŸ™‚

    As for the polite sign…So little Winnie is not welcome?!?
    Oh, wait…it’s spelled Poo, not Pooh! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

    That last photo is so beautiful! πŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) for you and Jackie!!! πŸ™‚ And thinking of your Mum and hope she FEELS hugged, even tho’ we can’t give out real hugs these days. πŸ™‚
    PS…your additions to spice up the meal, reminds me of my mum…she always had such things available on the table so she and my dad could spice up their portions of the already spicy food.

    1. Thanks very much, Carolyn. I used to frequent Asian working men’s cafΓ©s in London’s Brick Lane in the 1970s. We could get the one set meal for Β£1. A saucer of raw chillis sat by the plate. That’s where I got my taste from. X

  6. Like your other readers, i really enjoyed Ray Salinger’s photos. I am envious of people who can take photographs of other people and make them seem full of life.

  7. Those photos are amazing. George VI framed on the wall, so pre-dating 1952. I love the juxtaposition of the publican in coat and tie, and the worker in a tatty apron. Looks as the publican is holding a bottle of milk? Surely not? So very evocative. They must be of interest to a local history group, and even the pub if it is still going.

      1. Ohhhh! What a delicious story. I misread it first time – through my filter – because just a few weeks ago I was talking to some of the ladies here who all knew the same local milkman. Apparently he was a bit of a player. So I was trying to imagine a milkman getting around in a coat and tie πŸ™‚ giggle. Of course it was the man in the apron, which does beg the question why “my” local ladies all fell under his (colleague’s) spell. I too remember the milkman with the horse and cart, and us leaving out the empties and our coins. And the baker who split the loaf in half, often leaving some with a hole in the middle while others got a bonus bump. Nostalgically, I think the environment would be better off if we returned to those days (overlooking the methane or whatever from the horse droppings).

  8. I love old photos. Those are in great condition! The dog must be a strong swimmer in those waves and a happy dog to be sure. Nice swan!

  9. With names like Milford on Sea and Saltgrass Lane, I think this must be a chapter in Howards End (Merchant Ivory film from the past). Such quaintness in the ‘everyday’ across the pond. I love looking at old photographs when I come across them at antique shows. It never matters to me, who’s family they are, I just enjoy seeing the vintage attire, cars, hair-do’s and such. But honestly, the capped chap could’ve walked out of Harrod’s yesterday ! Does that pub still pull pints? That’d be fab if they did and got a boo at the photos. ‘Salinger’ ? Any relation to the author I wonder?
    That sailboarder must be quite skilled ! Believe it or not, I used to board, but was never good enough to dodge in and out of moored boats. I’d end up in a galley for sure! Rig and all, ha! Cheers xK

  10. There is something special about old pictures, perhaps because there are so few of them compared with the digital frenzy of today! I remember the anticipation of taking a roll of film for processing and the crushing disappointment when collecting them a few days later.

  11. I love the old pub photographs, Derrick. I always wonder about the people in such photos, their lives, and what they would think of our world today. The bright colors of the sails was cheerful against the grey scenery of the harbor. I hope the dogs there can read that sign. That’s a real problem here on public trails.

    1. Thanks very much, Cheryl. I have the same thoughts about what those from the past would think about today. We have a numberof spots in the New Forest where dog poop is just left by owners.

  12. “Shunting” is a good word. I enjoy your love of words, Derrick. What splendid photos that Ron has. It must have been enjoyable to pour over them with him and decide what stories might be told in them.

  13. The old Ray Salinger photos are interesting, Derrick. Life in another time! An I loved your photos by the sea, too. We are about 2 hrs from the coast here, and I am not sure when we will be able to get back there to visit and walk about.

  14. I love seeing dog having fun.
    I remember being a kid and the wind blowing the grass, I thought the grass was waving at me. Haha
    Nice photos Delicious meal

  15. What a wonderful piece of history what a magnificent find. Such a lot of pubs have lost their atmosphere since being turned into gastro pubs. But thankfully, we still have a high number of original pubs up here where I can imagine my dad and granddad sitting at the bar.

    Our village pub has a restaurant upstairs, but downstairs the taproom and lounge bar are just as they always were with big stone fireplaces and still serving typical pub meals. If I were to go into the pub between six and seven in the evening the taproom would have it’s share of working men much like it did all those years ago, and propping up the lounge bar I’d find the suited brigade, the profession crowd!

Leave a Reply