Estonia – Narva-Joesuu (Part 2) - Valya Schooling September 30, 2010

Estonia – Narva-Joesuu (Part 2)

ESTONIA – Narva-Joesuu

The exquisite sea side resort of Narva-Joesuu in North-East Estonia in the Ida-Virumaa region is the oldest resort in the country and is situated 200km from Tallinn, 155km from St. Petersburg, and just 13km from the city of Narva.

Narva is a border town famous for Peter the Great’s battles against Sweden in 1700 and 1704 and its 13th century magnificent Hermann castle which dates from 1256. The castle sits right on the river Narva (Narova) facing the Russian fortress of Ivangorod. The distance between the castle and fortress is unique in that it is just the width of the river.

A good road funded by the European Union now runs from Tallinn to St. Petersburg via Narva so hiring a car in Tallinn is an option, although comfortable coaches run from Tallinn to St. Petersburg via Narva.

This extraordinary peaceful relaxing resort of Narva-Joesuu is completely unspoiled and is situated on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the river Narva (Narova). Pine trees run down to the seven kilometre sandy beach, the longest in Estonia, in fact the entire resort is wooded and long recognised for its healthy qualities. Small roads lined with beautiful houses are ideal for walking and cycling. Cycles can be hired for a reasonable fee at your hotel.

Along with its beautiful parks Narva Joesuu makes an ideal holiday destination for both individual tourists and families. The small Museum on Nurme Street situated in a 20th century wooden house in desperate need of funding is worth a visit. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable curator Lubov Nikkar will make you feel very welcome.

There is a modern well equiped cultural centre where our family gather to enjoy recitals, poetry reading and Chekhovs plays. There is a wealth of serious talent in this region. Just a few minute’s walk from the Hotel Meresuu and Spa is a small wooden Russian Orthodox Church where my ancestors would have worshiped as we do now following in their footsteps.

I was thrilled to discover unique wooden-laced houses scattered throughout the resort. To my utter despair, sadly I quickly realised they were completely and utterly neglected by the Estonian government. Please, save them, Estonia, for future generations! They are your heritage.

Places of interest in the region are the Kuremae nunnery and the manors of Kalvi, Maetaguse and Illuka all over 100 years old and restored to their full glory. I have visited the resort in winter and it is incredibly beautiful under snow.

It is worth remembering that Estonia invented Skype so there is free internet everywhere. In Tallinn there are free connections in the parks. Something else you might like to know is how fit the Estonians are, helped by the fact that every Park in Tallinn has adult keep fit exercise equipment, enormous fun when out walking or running with friends.

Estonia – A Family Reunion (Part 1) - Valya Schooling September 23, 2010

Estonia – A Family Reunion (Part 1)

The story of my personal journey started when an amazing lady (my guardian angel and now one of my dearest friends) Irina Ivanchenko contacted me as a descendant of K K Sluchevsky and invited me to meet the newly discovered relatives she had found.

I come from the old Russian noble family Korostovetz, one of my ancestors was a plenipotentiary in Mongolia and China and was also private secretary to the Foreign Minister Count Witte journeying with him to Portsmouth America to negotiate and sign the peace treaty that ended the Russian-Turkish war. My great grandfather was a general in the Preobrazhenski Regiment created by Peter the Great when he was still in his teens. Another ancestor was Admiral of the Fleet. Tsar Nicholas II was my grandfather’s youngest brother’s godson.

In the mid-nineties Irina was asked to write an article on K K Sluchevsky. Whilst researching for her article Irina discovered that the Sluchevsky family had married into the Korostovetz family three times. So deeply did she immerse herself into the research she was conducting, that she made the decision to try and find ancestors from both sides of the family and bring them together. The result of Irina’s efforts has changed all our lives. Family from as far afield as San Francisco, New York, St. Petersburg, Moscow and in my case England along with eminent friends now gather every year for a family reunion in Narva-Joesuu.

Our newly discovered family are all ages and from many walks of life, artist, banker, top geriatric psychiatrist, some still studying.  The youngest member Katya at this year’s reunion is just 5 years old and already speaks English as does her cousin, Peter’s son Stanislav. Next year it is hoped that the youngest member of the family tree Lilia Rose aged four, will join us here in the New Forest

Irina has now written two books on the family from archive material we have given her along with many, many hours spent in the State Archive of St. Petersburg putting pieces of the family jigsaw together. The family are now in the process of organising an annual Festival of Culture in Narva-Joesuu.

There are many hotels in Narva-Joesuu, for our reunion we stay in the four-star Meresuu Spa & Hotel just minutes away from the beach with rooms overlooking the sea. Well-chosen time for our reunion coincides with the famous White Nights at the end of June. One could fully admire the sunset by going up to the 8th floor to sit with a nice drink.


Introducing myself - Steve Clarke September 16, 2010

Introducing myself


I’m Steve Clarke and together with Neil Tungate I have the privilege to represent the people of Bashley Ward.

I am very pleased that our council has introduced a blog to enable your Town Councillors to have another means of letting the people of New Milton know what we are doing and also to enable you to know who we are so that if you need to speak to us or ask a question that can be made easier.

First a confession, I am not what you could call a regular blogger so bear with me as I ramble on. It may take me a little while to get into this form of communication.

You can see from the other posts some of the things that happen in the life of a councillor especially our Mayor. I thought you might be interested in some of the things that we do on a daily basis to try to make the life of the town work smoothly.

A little about myself, I am a member of two of the committees which form part of the work we do. I am vice chair of the planning committee which meets every other Thursday throughout the year. We do our best to make sensible decisions about the various planning applications we receive. Anybody is welcome to come along to these meetings and see what we do and if you want to speak about any particular application we are pleased to hear your views.

I am also a member of the Finance and General Purpose committee which meets every 6 weeks and as the title suggests monitors how we spend your money as well as a number of other areas. Again we welcome the people who live in the town to attend these meetings.

Like Goff Beck whose recent post you may have read I also spent an enjoyable afternoon at the BMX event on the Rec. Neil Tungate came along as well and we spent an interesting time watching the acrobatics of the contestants and wondering whether we would have done this at that age. Certainly not now but all credit to the skills and bravery of all those who took part.

I have recently had several meetings with a local resident and Ken Thornber one of our county councillors as well as members of Hampshire Highways concerning the number of accidents along Bashley Cross Road especially near New Lane. Within the next 8 weeks the road here will be improved with signage and road markings in the hope that motorists will be better able to stay safe. I also discussed the problems that the residents of the nearby park home sites have turning onto Bashley Cross Road and the County Council have promised to review the speed limit and I hope that we will in time be able to reduce the speed limit along that part of the road to 30mph making it safer for all of those residents.

I also hope that the Town’s new speed limit reminder sign will shortly be in use. This sign will be placed around the Town for several weeks at time on roads where we see some drivers exceeding the speed limit. Rather than issuing speeding tickets and using cameras these signs work by reminding you that the speed limit is being exceeded. I’m sure many of you will have seen these signs elsewhere and appreciate how they work. If this stops someone in our town being hurt I believe the money we have spent on the sign will be well rewarded and I am pleased all the Town’s councillors supported my proposal to buy the sign.

You may also be interested in some of the other daily activities we get involved in. As part of my role on planning I look at all planning applications in Bashley Ward and go out and look at the various locations of these applications to help me discuss the application at the committee meeting. Yesterday I spent around one and half hours looking at applications for this Thursday. Recently I have also attended the District Council to represent the views of the Town at their planning meeting.

I think it is now time to finish my inaugural blog with the offer that should any of you have a question or query that I as one of your town councillors may be able to help you with don’t hesitate to contact me. My contact details can easily be found on the main site by following the links.

I hope you find this blog and the others which I hope my fellow councillors will soon be posting useful and perhaps even interesting

New BMX Competition for New Milton - Goff Beck September 10, 2010

New BMX Competition for New Milton

Congratulations to Zeke Rink, Outreach Worker of the New Life Church / Cafe Light Youth Project who had the courage of his convictions to plan and organise the inaugural New Milton BMX / Skateboard / Blades Competitions.  The competitions were hosted at the New Milton Skate Park on August Bank Holiday Saturday.  After the high winds and rain earlier in the week, the weather changed for the better providing the competitors a fine, breezy sunny afternoon to exhibit their mastery on their chosen apparatus.

Zeke approached me for advice regarding funding sources to stage this very impressive first event. Funding was subsequently sourced, sponsors found, two expert BMX riders were invited to act as judges and a DJ was engaged to enhance the venue and keep the competition moving.

In total there were 50 entries, ages ranging from 11 to 25 years old.  The competitions were organised into two age groups.  In common with the 300 spectators assembled to witness the competition, I was spellbound, witnessing the skill, dexterity and competence exhibited by all the competitors.  The winners of the competitions were:

BMX: under 16’s – TJ Whitefield, over 16’s – Will Peckham, Skateboard: under 16 – Ricky C, over 16’s – Dougal, Blades: under 16’s Dean Obard, over 16’s Tom Dobby. They were all presented with their awards by Zeke Rink.  Appreciation and grateful thanks are extended to “Gone Biking Mad” of New Milton for their support with the donated prizes.  Due to the skill of all the competitors there were no accidents or ‘skinned’ knees, arms or legs.

All competitors and spectators alike have intimated this competition should become an annual event in the Town Community Calendar, a fact that I would have no problem in supporting wholeheartedly. Perhaps August Bank Holiday is an ideal time for such future events to take place.

The Skate Park was officially opened in July 1998 at a cost of £25k and over the past 12 years it has proved to be one of the most popular sporting venues the Council offers to the local community. Participants of all ages can be seen using the facility virtually every day of the year – I would suggest this very popular sporting facility will shortly need up-dating with more modern equipment.

Cllr Goff Beck
Chairman NMTC’s Amenities Committee.

Amenities Update - Goff Beck September 2, 2010

Amenities Update

With the opening of the football season it brings our attention to the fact autumn is just around the corner.  All the winter sporting facilities have received their close season maintenance, the five football pitches at Fawcetts Field and the many rugby pitches at Ashley Sports Ground have all been scarified, topped dressed and reseeded.  The dry spell during June and July did present a number of irrigation problems, however it has been my pleasure to be the recipient, on behalf of the Council, of many comments of appreciation in respect of the playing surfaces. New Milton Town Council prides itself in offering public sporting facilities second to none in the County. Sadly these open sporting venues are the subject of dog fouling; dog owners are requested to exercise their pets off the playing areas and keep them on leads.  

As we move into the autumn the council are embarking upon their ground maintenance programmes in respect of the Bowling Greens and the two cricket tables at Fernhill.  The lower Bowling Green has been stripped, to remove the ‘thatch’ and improve drainage, levelled and reseeded in preparation for the 2011 season. The Tennis Clubhouse has been re-decorated.

The flower beds in Station Road have given much pleasure to residents and visitors alike.  The closing of Station Road (south) on Wednesday to accommodate the weekly market has been well received; the number of stalls has been a matter of
disappointment which the Amenities continue to address with the Market Contractor.

The War Memorial situated in the Recreation Ground has received a ‘face lift,’ which included plaques being placed on the steps of the Memorial to remember the many wars that have taken place since the end of WW2.  The Memorial is enhanced by the flying of the national and council flags.  It is essential the residents of New Milton remember and respect those gallant people who gave their lives to enable us to enjoy our lives today.  The Council are about to work in partnership with the New Milton Rotarians to plant 5,000 crocus bulbs  in the embankment fronting the War Memorial in recognition of Rotary’s aim to eradicate polio worldwide; additionally the council have agreed to purchase daffodil bulbs to enhance the project.  The committee are also investigating the possibility of installing water and electricity points on the Recreation Ground in the wake of increased “Community Events using this public open space.”

The Committee continues to investigate the improvement of Play Opportunities for our younger generations and the management of the many trees within the parish.  They are also working with the Town Partnership towards Christmas Celebrations, so watch this space.

 Keep up to date with the Amenities Committee minutes