I have become one of 10 finalists in the Beach hut of the Year competition run by Towergate Insurance.
As you know from historic posts my beach hut has been in the family for the last 30 years and I have enjoyed changing the decor every few years to a different theme and this year my theme is Indian Summers , inspired by my travels to India and my love of textiles!
So Ive been through all the old photos pre digiatal era, and put together a little history of my hut No. 85 Milford on sea (Hordle Cliff)
Almost 60 years ago, as a family we would holiday in Milford on sea, renting a caravan and a beach hut for a week at a time . I have fond memories of my grandparents coming with us , so 3 generations would fill the rental hut, bringing lunch down and staying for the whole day. My dad taught me to swim there and I remember once almost drowning as a wave washed me completely off of the inflated inner tube that I was sitting on! Of course, my dad rescued me and I'm not sure I was in danger but I still remember seeing the air bubbles above my head!
me at age about 6
3 generations- great granny, mum, me and my brother in the pram.
My lovely dad and nan and granddad with my little brother and our dog Trixie!
So the natural thing to do when we all moved down from London permanently in 1987 was to buy our own beach hut. This was done and the hut was on the beach level. Dad built a work top and fold down table inside. However , our joy was short lived as the great storm of 87 moved so much shingle that the hut was inaccessible! In those days, rather than submitting planning approval, we literally dismantled the hut and moved it to the upper level into a space that was vacant! We managed to put the hut back together and this survived well until I replaced it in 2004 with a new hut. i was faced with a blank canvas! what bliss!
the old hut moved up , some years after the storm.
The new hut.
For my first theme I decided to go with the typical red white and blue of the nautical style! I made all the soft furnishings and got the carpenter to put in a day bed and kitchen unit.
Time went on and I was soon looking for another summer project!The next theme was chabby chic,in dusky pinks and greens. I learnt how to change the seat canvas on directors chairs and was very pleased with myself!
Another couple of years on and I went into a charity shop and saw 2 pairs of multi coloured curtains- the carribbean calypso theme was born! This one has had over 600 pins on pinterest!
Summer comes around very quickly and anothe couple of years on I decided on a recycled denim and idigo blue hut- I love denim and had lots of jeans and shirts to recycle- I made lots of hearts and denim fish to hang in the hut and re covered the directors chairs in a lovely blue check. I made lots of cusion covers with the fron of old shirts as the backs .
I would have happily kept this colour scheme for a little longer but after a trip to northern India I was so inspired by the textiles that I decided to go for Indian Summers. I didnt make as much of the soft furnishing as usual as I had brought quite a lot of cusion covers and hangings back with me. I did patchwork the table cloth and seat covers and I made the mosaic plaque about 20 years ago since when it had been stored in the garage!
My inspiration from northern India, colour everywhere.
Since the outside of the hut had been forever some shade of brown, I decided to become the only black beach hut down there, so that the inside burst into colour as you open the doors. I am so pleased with the result, and every time I see an Indian artifact or trinket in charity shops , I snap it up!
so thats how it looks as one of the finalists for 2017 beach hut of the year run by Towergate.
As for lasting memories, a couple of things stick in my mind....like the time I was swimming and found a set of dentures! I brought them out of the water and put them on the decking to dry - later that day, another beach hut owner came by , didnt see the teeth but started to tell me how their visitor got knocked over in the wavs and lost his teeth!!! Gues what, I was able to save the day! who would have thought that was possible !Saved him 400 quid!
A couple of years ago the air ambulance was called to an elderly actor, Ronald Wilson who suffered a massive heart attack in the water. As I am qualified in life support, I was able to proved CPR until the ambulance arrived. Sadly we lost him but his wife was very grateful for all our efforts
And for the Bournemouth air show, its last appearance , the Vulcan Bomber just above the hut!
And finally this is a picture of a seal that I was lucky to see swimming just off the shore line a couple of years ago! He was having a great time checking out the beach!
Thats all folks,
sundown on its way at the beach.
Please vote for me by July 24th at towergateinsurance.co.uk/beachhutoftheyear
No.85 Milford on sea
many thanks in advance!