NICE to be back in my swivel chair after my recent illness, and thank you for all the well wishes and kind comments I received from so many of you, we are indeed, a TRM family.

Obviously, there's a bit of catching up to do, so without further ado, let's get on with it.

Here's another email from my old school chum, Graham Clarke.

"Hi Jeff...just received the Mercury for September 5, and have a little to add to your piece on fairs. I can confirm both Eastleigh Drive and the Pill Field. At the time, my father was playing cricket for Milford, and the Pill field was their home pitch. I can remember going with him to check the state of the square after the fair, and finding quite a lot of loose change in the grass.

“I can also add two other venues for fairs. Firstly, on the Rath, at the bottom of Sandhurst Road. This was probably in the 1940s. I wanted to go on the little kiddy-cars, could not wait for it to stop, so grabbed hold of one of the pillars, and was immediately dragged under the ride. Apart from grazed knees I was OK…and got a free ride.

“The second venue was the waste ground behind the Manchester Club (that became a bus station). I was well into my teens when the fair was there, and remember going through it one morning after we had had a big storm the night before. It was chaos. Tarpaulin around the stalls had been torn, prizes on the stalls had been smashed, and it was strangely eerie, as there were very few people about.

“Perhaps it was a Sunday and I was on my way to do the papers."

Cheers Graham.

Next up is TRM's popular Trawler Corner, and this week it's the Lord Keith LT181, a steel-sided drifter trawler, built in 1927, in Goole. 116 tons. 92' long.

Local owners included J C Llewellin (Trawlers) The Docks, and W H Kerr (Ships Chandlers) Milford Docks.

She landed at Milford from March 1931 to May 1936, and from March 1949 onwards.

Skipper…Chris Masterson (Jnr) In Sept 1939, as were so many vessels in the country's hour of need she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for Harbour Service, later as a barrage balloon vessel, before going on Auxiliary Patrol Service.

Here's a news cutting from The Irish Times of Friday, February 21, 1969, underlining the fact that, even 25 years after the war ended, there were still potential horrors faced by trawlermen.

"For 20 minutes yesterday evening, the crew of nine of the Milford Haven trawler ‘Keith’, were half paralysed with fright, when they hooked a mine, a grim relic of the Second World War, in their trawl. The vessel was operating in St George's Channel, about 28 miles south east of Tuskar Rock lighthouse, off the coast of Wexford at the time. There was a strong north east wind, and a rough sea, and blinding showers of snow.

“The trawl had been winched up from the seabed 250 feet below after a six-hour tow. As the net broke surface, a crew member spotted the shell encrusted mine projecting from the mass of skate, plaice, cod and seaweed. For several minutes, while the skipper was considering the situation, the net, with its dangerous load, swayed back and forth within a few feet of the trawler's side, as she rolled in the swell. Then the skipper decided there was no chance of saving his catch.

“He gave the order to cut away the end of the net, and mine and fish dropped to the seabed."

Here's a snap of her taken from the still sadly missed Stevo's collection.

Staying with the war theme, I've had this email from the ever-active Anthony Williams.

"Good afternoon Jeff…the intention is for the Legion to hold an exhibition on May 6 and 7 next year, depicting the involvement of Milford and its people during the war. To that end I am looking for anyone who is still alive, who was involved in the Forces, ARP Wardens, workers on the Dock, trawlermen, Home Guard etc…or descendants who have photos or information."

So, if anyone can help Anthony, please get in touch.

During my ‘spell of isolation’ I've been sifting through my ‘stuff’ and came across this piece...which I'm putting under the grandiose title of…Historical Milford.

It's about...Thomas Phillip Benjamin Davies.

A physician, obstetrician and in 1892, House Surgeon at Guys Hospital.

His father, J L Davies, was a distinguished Milford Haven figure, being a shipbuilder and owner, farmer and farm merchant, who lived in the Observatory Hall, Hakin.

Apparently, the good doctor TPB, after having brilliant academic success, had risen to the ranks, and was considered to be one of the greatest surgeons of his day.

This was undoubtedly why, during his residency at Guys, he was selected to be one of the team of surgeons who operated on King Edward VII, for the removal of his appendix… (an operation that delayed his coronation from June to August 1902).

It seems that this type of operation, in 1902, was unique…and, because of its successful outcome, then became acknowledged as the cure for what, until that time, had been considered to be an incurable illness.

In failing health, Dr Davies returned to his hometown of Milford, lived in Hamilton Terrace, and spent some time as a magistrate and county councillor.

He was unmarried, and, after his death, was buried in the family vault in the grounds of Observatory Hall.

Which leads me nicely to the next photo.

Now for all our teaser lovers. The last one (remember it?) was quite hard, and proved to bamboozle so many of you. The answer was 24 ounces, which was correctly answered only by two...the Rath pool model builder Brian Phillips (it's coming along nicely Brian) and the quizmaster Les Haynes.

Try this one. How many apples can you put into an empty box?

And that's enough from me...and probably you, too! All things being well...see you next week.