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The village

Outdoor activities are covered by a tennis club, two allotment sites and the model aircraft flying centre at Beaulieu Heath at the site of the WW1 airfield which was previously only the second flying school in the country, (set up in 1910); as such East Boldre played an early part in aviation history East Boldre Parish is one of the most unusual Parishes in the New Forest with one main road running from Hatchet Pond to East End, some two and a half miles. Almost all of the properties in Main Road were built on one side of the road outside the Manor Boundary, on encroached land. All of these roadside properties front onto the open forest and many were originally claimed under ’squatters rights’ where a family would take a plot of Crown Land and build four walls, roof and chimney and get a fire burning within 24 hours. There are also several roads running off at right angles to Main Road where there are small estates such as Sweynes Lease and Strawberry Fields. There are no really large houses in East Boldre with the exception of Hatchet Mill which is believed to have been built in the 18th Century. The building had become almost derelict but was rescued and restored by the present owners.

As at Dec 2011 East Boldre had 378 properties with a population of 832 and 724 electors.

For shopping, the Parish boasts a thriving post office with general stores, a garage and a car sales unit. The Parish is also the home of New House Farm which grows many crops including vast quantities of strawberries,

Food, drink and entertainment can be found at the Turfcutters’ Arms in Main Road and the East End Arms in East End.

Places of Worship in the Parish are the Baptist Church in Chapel Lane and St Paul’s Church of England at the corner of Cripplegate Lane and Main Road; the Montessori pre-school is held in the church hall.

The village is well supplied with halls – the Village Hall in Main Road founded in 1917 was used as an officers’ mess for the Royal Flying Corps flying school which was based at East Boldre during WW1 and the officer’s mess for Beaulieu airfield during WW2. There is a War Memorial and historical interpretation panel for WW1 at the Village Hall (at the model aircraft flying centre on Beaulieu Heath there is another historical interpretation panel for WW2). The Hall later became the Y.M.C.A. and it now houses a fine collection of photographic archives of the airfield, the parish and surrounding areas. There are regular activities here such as a doctors surgery, exercise classes, music and parish council meetings. The School Fields Trust Hall also has regular activities including painters group, yoga and coffee mornings. There is a children’s play area, playing field, basketball area, skateboard arena and tennis courts.

Both halls can be hired during the day and evening. In addition, both churches have halls which can be used by arrangement.

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