None Of The Dogs


This morning Jackie delivered me to a bench on the corner of the green at Milford on Sea an hour before my appointment with Peter of Sears Barbers who cut my hair. Off she went shopping, leaving me to play with my cameras, and returned to collect me afterwards.

My vantage point allowed me to watch a variety of people crossing the road;

Boxes on barrow

One young man, passing The Smugglers Inn car park, toted a pile of boxes on a sack barrow.

Couple turning corner

A couple walked around the corner into Sea Road;

Biker and passenger

another took a similar route by motor bike.

The window of Biscuit House at 64 High Street attracted attention for some; others, more interested in their arms around each other, walked leisurely past.

Dogs were being walked;

one terrier in particular was content to be tied up outside Village Veg while its owners shopped inside. Afterwards a sparring partner was encountered.

Customers of Hurst On The Hill, with another dog, were happy to take their refreshments outside. Maybe they had obtained their cash from the ATM in Winkworth’s wall being passed by this couple. This building was once a bank, then a beauty parlour. The cash machine has been kept in service by each occupier.

Village VegConversation outside Village Charity ShopWalkers outside Village Charity Shop

Various conversations were held outside the small shops, one on a mobile phone as the family walked on.

There was an interesting juxtaposition of bikers and a cyclist, who, later pushed his steed up the hill.

CyclistCyclist tying up bikeCyclist with shoppingCyclist

Noticing another cyclist coming into view, I waited for her to pass a parked vehicle, not realising she would provide a little story. She swung round and came to a halt beside me, tying her transport to the railings at the crossing. It was some time later that she returned, and, sensibly clinging to the bottle, dropped all her purchases which she decanted into the pannier and set off back the way she had come.

Readers will by now be aware that there was not a great deal of road space either at this junction or up the hill between the green and shops. Imagine my surprise, then, at seeing a lorry carrying a LONG Salisbury static caravan up this route. One gentleman walked in front, shooed away vehicles such as an obdurate Land Rover, and guided the skilful driver through his obstacle course.

Man with walking aid

I really admire some of the ageing residents who manage with all manner of walking aids.

Couple at bench, phone box, pillar box

On an earlier visit to my barbers I had watched the telephone box, now taken over by the community, being restored. I wondered what it would be used for. In fact it contains racks for Dementia Information. At the moment they are empty.

Walkers along High Street

Across the road, indicated by its red and white striped pole, is the barbers.

Pointing boy

None of the dogs on leads tugged at their owners. That could not be said of this little boy.

This afternoon I watched the Wimbledon tennis match between Serena Williams and Evgeniya Rodina.

This evening we enjoyed two excellent meals at The Royal Oak. Mine was smoked pork rib, French fries, coleslaw, and fresh, well-dressed salad. Jackie’s was a burger in a brioche, with French fries. The fries were presented in large bowls, the coleslaw in a smaller one. Each meal was served on a large wooden platter with a handle. Jackie drank Amstell and I drank Malbec.



An Historic High Street

Brookley Road 2

When thinking of High Street shops today, one imagines the chain store outlets that can be found in major cities across the globe. Not so in Brockenhurst. It is possible to drive through this village for years without coming across Brookley Road, which is the high street. Jackie, Ian, Becky lead this group of pedestrians on the way to the rows of small, local, shops.

Somehow the buildings in this thoroughfare, some dating from the nineteenth century, have escaped succumbing to corporate facades.


Reynolds entrance

The ladies and gentlemen’s outfitters, Reynolds, for example still sports its original entrance complete with adjustable front railings.

Day Lewis Pharmacy

Day Lewis Pharmacy still has its original windows.

Jackie and Becky outside Brock Ante 2Jackie and Becky outside Brock Ante 3

Jackie parked opposite Brock Ante and led our daughter inside the antiques shop where we had bought one of Becky’s Christmas presents. In view of what I was about to see, the name of the barber was rather fortuitous.

Knots Knits & Crafty Bits

A short while later, Knots, Knits & Crafty Bits opened their door to display enticing yarns.

Village VegVillage Butcher

Alongside Splish Splash stand Village Veg and Village Butcher.

Brookley Road (Ian)

As I reached this point, I encountered Ian, who had wandered further down the street. He alerted me to the ford.

Heavy overnight rain had converted much of the forest into a mini Lake District. Some roads we had driven through were awash, and ditches lining the route into this end of Brockenhurst had run into the stream that was forded at the end of the street.

Village Centre via Ford

This made the signpost ‘High Street via Ford’ even more descriptive.

Car travelling through ford 1Car travelling through ford 3Car travelling through ford 4Car travelling through ford 5Car travelling through ford 7

Although some vehicles made an about turn and did not venture into the rushing water, others, at varying speeds, carried on through. The faster the car, the more the spray.

Ian came back to join me and we walked together back to the shops.

Queue outside Bakehouse

A queue had now formed outside Bakehouse. The youth of those present suggests that the bakers are feeding the students of Brockenhurst College, which must contribute to the village’s prosperity.

Bakehouse and Best Sellers

My earlier photograph also shows Best Sellers which is being decorated. I do hope that does not mean that this bookshop has closed down. I will keep an eye on it.

Pharmacy etc

The Post Office, a survivor of an ever-reducing band, stands next to Reynolds and the delicatessen. Jackie’s Modus is parked outside the pharmacy. In how many high streets could this happen?

After our rendezvous we all drank cappuccinos in The Buttery.

Dynasty entrance

Possibly the most modern building in the street is the Dynasty Indian Restaurant, to which we returned this evening.


Dimly visible on the pavement, a couple of ponies lurked outside.

Becky, Ian, Jackie, Derrick

The food was excellent and the service friendly and efficient. The staff offered to photograph the group. A notice proclaimed that reading glasses were available for customers who had forgotten to bring theirs.

We shared onion bhajis, and an egg paratha. My main meal was ayre jalfrezi with special fried rice. Becky drank zinfandel rose and the rest of us drank Kingfisher.


In order to highlight Gordon Le Pard’s important comment I append it here:

‘I, Like my brother, know Brock and its watersplash well. But on another note, here is a game you can try to see how historic a high street is. You will soon notice that, however modern the shop fronts are, they are all about the same width. If you pace it out you will find that they are about five paces wide, or ten or fifteen. This is because when the street was laid out the Saxon or medieval surveyors used the measurement of a rod, 5½ yards to lay them out.
The measurements remain as one of the most difficult things to move is a boundary, unless you own the lands on both sides, which is the origin of the two and three rod (pole or perch) width shops.’