When I posted The Magnificent Seven, I was in France, and not carrying my archived photos from 2008. I was therefore unable to illustrate it suitably. This morning, having stored them on the new iMac, I picked a few at random and added a postscript. It wasn’t quite a straightforward operation because I had to change the original formats to JPEG in order to upload them. It took a wee while to work it out. I don’t fancy my chances of remembering how to do it next time.
In 1995 the B3078, Godshill Road, was named Roger Penny Way after a much respected local highway official sensitive to the forest. We have often driven along it from the Cadnam roundabout towards Godshill or Fordingbridge. Jackie has sometimes dropped me off along there for a walk across the heathland to meet her at Frogham. Our latest investigation into a possible new abode led us to take a turning to the right along this road. About three miles from the Cadnam roundabout lies Lyburn Cottage in Lyburn Road, Nomansland. This is actually in Wiltshire but still in the New Forest National Park, although the forest itself stops at the cattle grid on the hill at the top of the road. The now familiar ponies and their droppings trails are directly opposite this. Just around the corner stands the Lamb Inn with an interesting looking French restaurant, Mirabelle, next door. As I read the bilingual menu affixed to a post outside, a French family were leaving, and in conversation with a man I took to be the proprietor. The restaurant separates the pub from the methodist chapel.
The current owner of Lyburn Cottage was painting the outside of the garage, so we expressed our interest and had a good conversation. Not yet in possession of our money, we explained we were not ready for viewing. He said we were welcome to walk around the outside and take photographs. I had a very good feel about this one. The gardens are an attraction, as are the rose covering the frontage, and the vine over the carport.
We enjoyed a drink and a snack in the pub. The nearest shop, not far away is in Landford. This is run by an escapee from south west London who told Jackie some months ago that this was the best move she had ever made. The publican told me there was a cash machine in the Landford Post Office. Indeed there was. The woman serving summoned a man who was eating his dinner inside, and he came into the store to operate it for me. We took a slow drive back through the forest to Roger Penny Way and home.
When I got soaked a couple of days ago, so must have my camera, for today’s pictures have a kind of woolly effect on the far right of the frame. On inspection I discovered a smear on the lens. Hopefully, cleaning it will have done the trick.
This afternoon I finished reading Peter Roberts’ ‘Minstead: Life in seventeenth century New Forest Community’, lent to us by David Watson. Clearly, not much has been written on the subject in the past. A small forest village has probably not engendered a huge amount of interest and according to Roberts there wasn’t a great deal of local literacy at that time. The author has therefore relied heavily on such records as court rolls, wills, and inventories. We have a picture of people without full employment living off the forest as best they may. For me the book suffers from a certain adherence to facts and figures gleaned from the records with less attention to interpretation. It is, however, fascinating. And it offered an interesting addition to the possibilities of the origin of the word Seamans. Peter Roberts writes: “The name may originate with J. Seman, a forest officer in the reign of Henry VI. Whilst this could be thought to dispel the old story of the lane being used by the press gang, an item in the churchwardens accounts of 1666 for two shillings paid to ‘….8 sholgers in the conveying of prest men two Portmuth’ leaves room for thought as to how such tales start’.
Jackie’s juicy jalfrezi and scrumptious savoury rice, followed by New Forest strawberry ice cream, provided our dinner tonight. I drank Torretta di Mondelli Nero d’Avola 2011, and Jackie her usual Hoegaarden.