Hurst Tidings

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					                                                                                                                                                     I must
      The all new                                                                                                                                  find a new

                   Hurst Tidings                                                                                                                    Friend!

ISSUE NO. 58                                 THE FRIENDS OF HURST CASTLE NEWSLETTER                                                       SPRING 2009

New Chairman
sets out his
                                                                                                                                  Midnight ramble to Hurst

plans for the                                                                                                                     in aid of Oakhaven P4

challenges ahead
       efore agreeing to take over the role of Chairman of
       the Friends of Hurst Castle from the admirable Robin
       Watson, I gave the idea very careful thought. It’s an
important job that requires my total personal commitment
if I am to do it properly. That includes having the time to
chair meetings, attend events and take part in our Monday
work parties to maintain a broad overview of how things
are going. I intend to be a hands-on Chairman!                   Although this is an impossible goal in the short term, there     Could our searchlights be
                                                                 is no reason why we should not explore every opportunity         restored to this? Back Page
   My overriding priority must be the importance of Hurst
Castle itself. Be in no doubt, the Friends of Hurst Castle       to reach this in the years ahead.
make a vital contribution to its survival in the absence of         To that end, I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm
funding from elsewhere. Without our help the Castle would        of members and the passion that they share with our
continue to deteriorate, making it less attractive to visitors   partners in the ALK and Hurst Ferries to protect the future of
thereby threatening its commercial viability. The Friends        this extraordinary building. However we cannot ignore the
of Hurst have a duty, therefore, to give future generations      truth that there simply aren’t enough of us to achieve all the
the chance to continue to enjoy visiting the largest fortified    goals we have set ourselves. There is no escaping the need
building in Europe and arguably the largest coastal fort in      for new members and we are working on a range of ideas           Anne Valdar shares her
the world.                                                       to engage and increase our dwindling numbers.                    wartime memories P3
   Under Robin Watson’s stewardship, the Friends, together          As a start I urge every member to find just one more
with our colleagues at the Association of Lighthouse             Friend, be it a colleague, an acquaintance or one of your
Keepers, have achieved much. The Trinity House Lighthouse        family; and yes please, do it sooner rather than later! One
Museum contains a major collection of exhibits of national       or two have already made welcome introductions, but it
importance. The Garrison Theatre, which celebrates its           is something we can all do. It’s only fifty pence a month
70th anniversary in 2009, has been restored to its original      to join and, even in the present economic gloom, surely
condition and the two shows staged last year contributed         that’s not too much to ask! Apart from the core support of
significant revenue. The new flagpole proudly announces            membership, we are also seeking help from local businesses
that the Castle is open for business, the Radio Room             to assist with specific projects we cannot manage on
explains the importance of Hurst as a communications             our own. Some interest has already been shown and it is          Grand Opening of the new
centre in WW2, and the memorial stone celebrates the             hoped to make an important announcement in the coming            ALK room Back Page
many thousands who served at Hurst during its 412 years          weeks.
as a garrisoned fort.                                               By re-launching Hurst Tidings, we continue the task so
   As I mentioned at the Annual General Meeting, the             ably performed for so long by Jackie Ellis. The newsletter
Castle means so much to so many different people. I know         will continue to keep you informed of progress on our
there are many who are only subconsciously aware of its          work programme together with news of forthcoming
presence, while a few might not notice its absence unless        (fund-raising!) events. We might even consider accepting
it disappeared for good. To others, it is a place of iconic      advertising. I hope that members will feel encouraged to
beauty – part of our sea and landscape, and of fundamental       contribute to our new Letters column with comments and           Friends in Action P2
importance to the preservation of the salt marshes, the          suggestions, maybe to write an article, or help distribute
coastline and the stability of the Solent itself.                copies locally.                                                                 �����

   Hurst Castle has been an intrinsic part of the heritage          In a year when we celebrate the 500th anniversary of
of the New Forest for centuries and I believe we may be          Henry VIII’s accession to the throne, we need you more
the only ones, unfettered by political and bureaucratic          than ever and I can assure you that, with your help, the
constraints, in a position to guarantee its future. To return    next few years are going to be exciting!
the Castle to its 1956 condition would cost an estimated
£3m, a figure requiring Lottery, corporate or grant funding.               David Pryer Chairman, the Friends of Hurst Castle       Dates for your Diary P2
                                                                 HURST TIDINGS SPRING 2009

                                    Dear Jonathan…                                                          Friends in Action

Hurst Tidings                       To get the ball rolling, here are two letters received after the
                                    1942 Concert Party in May 2008 that I want to share with
  Editor Jonathan Goodall
                                    you. If you have any comments or suggestions about Hurst
      15 Pound Road,
  Pennington, Lymington             Tidings, the Friends or anything else, please write to me.
      Hants SO41 8EL
    Tel: 01590 672068               From Betty Hockey of the          From Jan Press, singer with
   Mob: 07831 717770                ENSA troupe the Nonstops          the Windmill Swing Band
 Hurst Tidings is delivered free    Dear Jonathan,                    Dear Jonathan,
 to the Friends of Hurst Castle.    So many thanks for giving         I would like to express my
 Membership forms available         us all a wonderful two days
 from Mrs. J. Ellis, Thistledown,                                     thanks for all the hard work
 Sway Rd, Lymington, Hants.         at Hurst Castle. It was a         the Friends have put into           Pat Payne, Mickey Ellis, David Jupp and Hugh Carter
 SO41 8LJ. Tel: 01590 676319        pleasure to be with you all       renovating the Garrison                    cheerfully take the ferry to the Castle!
         © FOHC 2009                and we especially loved                                            Every Monday morning,              Mick Ellis and David Jupp
                                                                      Theatre and making the
                                    the warm welcome you                                               Hugh Carter has been             have been painting the
                                                                      Wartime Concert Party a
                                    gave to each of us.
Loos and things                       You have all worked
                                                                      most memorable occasion.         taking the ferry to the Castle   doors to the boat store in
                                                                                                       with his band of merry men       the East Wing, which were
It seems that the more              very hard on the Theatre             I feel very privileged
                                                                                                       and women for a day’s            sorely in need of a lick of
restoration and renovation          and now it seems ‘alive’          to have been a part of
                                                                                                       work. Despite the cold, he       Hurst Grey.
work we take on, the more           once again and I hope it          this historic occasion
                                                                                                       has been renovating two of                   ◆◆◆
there is to do. In November,        will continue. You have set       and as far as I am
                                                                                                       the cubicles in the ladies’        Anne      Shotter,    Bette
David Pryer, and Hugh               the scene for bigger and          concerned the event was          loos, ably assisted by Colin
                                    better things. Everybody          the best Windmill have                                            Keeping and others have
Carter toured the Castle                                                                               Camsey and David Pryer.
                                    enjoyed the show and the          ever appeared at. The                                             been hard at work cleaning
with Sean Crane, to identify                                                                             Les Carvall of Cubicle
                                    catcalls and wolf whistles                                                                          windows, polishing brass,
work that needed to be                                                atmosphere was amazing
                                                                                                       Systems of New Milton            sweeping and dusting. It’s
tackled urgently.                   made it so realistic for me.      and I hope you all enjoyed       has supplied smart lining        all part of being a Friend
                                    That was exactly what it          it as much as I did. This
  Despite the cold and                                                                                 materials and modern doors       of Hurst and makes such
                                    was like doing the shows          morning I am still on a
snow, some of these tasks                                                                              free of charge. We owe him       an important contribution
                                    in wartime. When the              ‘high’!!
are nearing completion as                                                                              a great debt of gratitude.       to the overall look of
                                    boys made all that noise,
detailed elsewhere on this                                               Thank you so much               Fixing the panels to the       the place. Anne is now
                                    we then KNEW they were
page. Nevertheless, there                                             for the beautiful flowers         concrete ceilings was found      determined to tackle the
                                    enjoying it.
is still a long list of jobs to                                       presented at the end of the      to be particularly difficult      two      WW2      bathrooms
                                      I must congratulate             evening. That was a lovely       and a number of drill bits       which are looking a bit
do including improving the
                                    your entire team for what         thought and they are now         were quickly rendered            sorry for themselves.
signage in the Castle.
                                    you have achieved and             gracing my conservatory.         useless. But the Friends
  The existing direction                                                                                                                            ◆◆◆
                                    I was so thrilled for you                                          persevered and the result is
signs, produced by English          that the evening went so             With best wishes and                                             The Winter Barbecue in
                                                                      here’s looking forward           very satisfactory.               Christmas week attracted
Heritage 25 years ago, are          swimmingly. Just a little bit
beginning to show their age                                           to the next time we can            Colin Camsey has also          an amazing 49 doughty
                                    further and you will have a
                                                                      appear at the Garrison.          installed lighting in each       souls who endured the
and do not include some             great refurbished wartime
                                                                                                       cubicle making night time        bitter cold to sample the
of the newer exhibits on            theatre. I am certain it must        Jan Press
                                                                                                       visits a less challenging        bacon burgers and fried
display. Would anyone like          be the only one left, so you
                                                                                                       experience. It is hoped          onions which Brian White
to take this on as a project?       really have something to
                                                                      EDITOR’S NOTE                    eventually to restore the        and Hugh Carter prepared
                                    CROW about.
                                                                      Congratulations must also        other two cubicles and fix        with their usual skill.
 Generous gifts                       The [Windmill] band was         go to the enthusiastic           a translucent roof over the                  ◆◆◆
                                    great. They are very good         audience for creating that       whole area.
Bob      Higgs’     Naughty                                                                                                               It is sad to report the
                                    and I know enjoyed by all.        special magic. We plan to                    ◆◆◆
Nineties troupe, accom-                                                                                                                 deaths of three of our
                                    So good luck to you ALL           have the Windmill Swing
panied by Mary Wharmby              and KEEP IT GOING!                                                   Kevin Sivyer has made          number. Eddy Pople, John
on the piano, not only gave                                           Band back this summer.           a splendid replacement           Schisan and Richard Miller
their matinée and evening             Best wishes and love            Details will be announced        sash window frame for the        were loyal members and
                                    to all.                           just as soon as the              workshop which is greatly        our condolences go out to
performances for nothing,
they have also kindly                Betty Hockey                     arrangements are made.           appreciated.                     their friends and families.
donated three professional
stage lights. Very many
thanks from all the Friends.
  It   should      not     go          �������
                                                                     DATES for your DIARY
unmentioned       that   the

Windmill       Band      too
performed at the theatre for                                          MARCH                            APRIL                            MAY
nothing, so a big thank you
to Bob and Penny Bishop                                               SATURDAY 28                      SATURDAY 4                       SATURDAY 2
and the band. Both these                                              Start of the 2009 season         Opening of new ALK Room          70th anniversary ENSA
shows provided valuable                                               Castle open every day till       After two years work, the        Concert, Garrison Theatre
funds to pay for the                NB These dates were               the end of October. Time         ALK opens the doors to its       The Mary Ward Players
renovation of the theatre.          correct at time of going          to renew your season ticket      new exhibition room. See         return with a specially
                                    to press. Please make sure        for the Ferry.                   back page for details.           prepared WW2 show.
  We are also indebted to
                                    that you check details and                                                                          Further details to follow.
Mr. W. Burgher of High-
cliffe who has generously           timings nearer the time.          SUNDAY 29                        SATURDAY 25
donated a Mk II Bren Gun                                              Brass polishing and              Annual Litter Sweep              SATURDAY 9
from WW2. We are looking            Have you paid your annual         window cleaning                  Ferry leaves Keyhaven            Midnight sponsored
for a suitable home in the          subscription yet?                 Dusters, polish and tea          11.00 am, returns 1.00 pm.       ramble to Hurst Castle
Castle and promise to take          If not, please do so. Your        provided. Depart Keyhaven        Gloves and sacks will be         Chartity walk in aid of
good care of it.                    contribution is valuable.         11.00 am return 1.00 pm.         provided by NFDC.                Oakhaven Hospice. See P4.

                                                          HURST TIDINGS SPRING 2009

                                                                                      Memories of a childhood
                                                                                      at Hurst in 1944
                                                                                      Anne Valdar revisits Hurst Castle after
                                                                                      a gap of more than 60 years

                                    Troops relax in the sunshine of the East Wing in 1944

                                                                                                                                       Anne stands at the
                                                                                                                                Tudor gate on her recent
                                                                                                                             visit, above, and as the gate
                                                                                                                             appeared in 1944, complete
     Major Bill Auxenfans with his NCOs                                                                                               with ugly drainpipes

                                                                                                     nne was six years old when her father, Major
                                                                                                     Henry William Auxenfans, known as ‘Bill’, was
                                                                                                     Commanding Officer of the Hurst Castle Garrison
                                                                                             in 1944. She and her mother Peggy lived in what is now
                                                                                             Shutlers next to the Old Post Office in Keyhaven and she
                                                                                             remembers often visiting the Castle, particularly when there
                                                                                             was a show on at the theatre.
                                                                                                  In April 2008, Anne returned to Hurst with her husband
                                                                                             Peter after a gap of over 60 years and her first stop was
                                                                                             the theatre. She found work going on to complete the
                                                                                             restoration in time for the first show on the newly-restored
                                                                                             stage. “I found it really quite moving to see the theatre still
                                                                                             exactly as I remembered it. The audience sat on wooden
                                                                                             benches in those days, but otherwise little has changed,’
                                                                                             says Anne who now lives in South West London. ‘I could
                                                                                             almost hear the troops wolf whistling at the performers.”
               The Garrison Band which probably performed frequently in the Theatre.              On returning home, she unearthed some old
        Note the Royal Artillery zig-zag insignia on their music stands. The officer in the   photographs of her Keyhaven days and has kindly donated
            picture may well be Lieutenant SJ Pratt, Entertainments Officer at the time.      them to the Friends’ archives. Particularly interesting is the
                                                                                             picture of the Garrison Band which used to put on concerts
                                                                                             in the theatre. This is the only known picture of them. It is
                                                                                             also of interest to note that the NCOs are wearing side caps,
                                                                                             not the berets which were formerly thought to be standard
                                                                                             Royal Artillery issue.
                                                                                                  Our thanks to Anne for her generous gesture. We wish
                                                                                             her well and hope to see her again soon.

Anne Valdar with her father in the garden at Shutlers, right

                                                                       HURST TIDINGS SPRING 2009

Could we restore the                                                                                                                                    Midnight
 WW2 searchlights                                                                                                                                      charity walk
                                                                                                                                                         in aid of
  at Hurst Castle?                                                                                                                                      Oakhaven
          uring the Second World War, Hurst Castle Garrison
          performed a vital role defending the western                                                                                                 Oakhaven Hospice, in asso-
          approaches to the Solent from sea and air attack                                                                                             ciation with Hoburne Holi-
equipped with 90cm searchlights, 40mm Bofors anti-                                                                                                     day Parks, is staging a mid-
aircraft guns and 12 pdr quick-firing guns. The searchlights                                                                                            night sponsored walk along
could throw a beam thousands of feet into the air powered                                                                                              the Spit from Keyhaven to
by 110v DC carbon arc lamps.                                                                                                                           Hurst Castle and back on
  Hidden away in the artefacts room in the East Wing, two                                                                                              Saturday, May 9th.
Mark VI searchlights languish in pieces (bottom right),                                                                                                   There’s a full moon that
unloved and ignored for years. But they could be restored                                                                                              night so why not find some
to look like the one top right, now on display at the Imperial                                                                                         sponsors and join the crowd
War Museum at RAF Duxford. The Friends aim to create                                                                                                   at the Keyhaven Sea Scouts
a searchlight museum at Hurst featuring these lights, fully                                                                                            Hut, where there will be
restored, so that visitors, especially the younger ones, can                                                                                           music and entertainment
have an insight into the Castle’s wartime history.                                                                                                     and free mementoes for all
  The problem is we don’t know if we have all the right                                                                                                participants, before setting
bits, nor how to reassemble them. We have tracked down                                                                                                 off for the Castle.
a manual that contains comprehensive details of the Mark                                                                                                  It is hoped that the
VI type and a local engineering company has shown an                                                                                                   Friends will provide a com-
interest in helping us put them back together. But first we                                                                                             fort break and a hot drink at
need to catalogue every item and identify which pieces                                                                                                 the Castle. Details will be
may be damaged or missing. This is where you come in.                                                                                                  available nearer the time.
  We are looking for someone with an interest in militaria                                                                                               You can get your entry
and engineering to help with the identification and cata-                                                                                               form by calling 01590
loguing of the parts, and to oversee the project. We also                                                                                              677773. Alternatively you
need to find a secure place ashore where the work could                                                                                                 can download it from www.
be carried out. Ideally it needs to be a dry garage or barn.                                                                                 
If anyone knows of somewhere in the area or would like                                                                                                 Sean Crane has indicated
to become involved with the restoration, please telephone                                                                                              that he will be walking, so
Jonathan Goodall in the first instance on 01590 672068.                                                                                                 you have no excuse!

             Keepers Watch                

ALK room opens its doors
Preparations are almost complete for the grand opening on
Saturday 4th April of the new ALK Room. The ceremony
will be performed by the Association’s President Gerry
Douglas-Sherwood, and Chairman and Founder Member
                           Neil Hargreaves.
                              A Northern Lighthouse Board
                           lantern (left) from the Holm of
                           Skaw in the Shetlands, bought
                           by ALK member Peter Arnold,
                           will be dedicated to Ray Stone, a
                           Principal Lighthouse Keeper from
                           Poole. In his spare time he made
                           model ships and aircraft that will
                           now be on display in the new
                           exhibition room.
   Standing centre stage is a large multiple-lamp optical
device from Coquet Island north of Newcastle, recently
restored by ALK member Phil Hyde. There is also a chart
of the Solent, which illuminates to indicate the location                     �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
of lighthouses in the area, while a mannequin sports the                          ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
uniform of a Principal Lighthouse Keeper. Younger visitors                     �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
will enjoy turning on the various lights and a fog horn by                    ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
pressing the appropriate control panel buttons.                               ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
   Sean Crane takes you on a video tour of Hurst Point Light
and a large drawing explains the layout of a lighthouse.
Altogether lots to see and a valuable addition to the Castle’s
exhibits. For further information about the ALK room email or call Mat Dickson on 01425 403243.

Printed by Smith and Son, New Milton 01425 615214                                     4

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