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D-Day veteran returns to New Forest after 70 years

An American D-Day veteran returned to a former airfield in the New Forest today - 70 years after he was stationed there. Herb Simmons, 92, from North Carolina, unveiled a new information panel by the New Forest Remembers World War II Project, at Newtown Park in Lymington.

Mr Simmons was stationed at Lymington Advanced Landing Ground in the build up to D-Day and is believed to be the last surviving member of the 50th Fighter Squadron. The airfield was one of five advanced landing grounds built in the New Forest to support the Normandy landings.

The 70th anniversary event included a display of several World War II fighter planes including two Spitfires, a Hurricane, a collection of military vehicles and the Red Arrows. Mr Simmons spoke to Meridian about his return.

Seaside homes get property price boost

On average, property prices in seaside towns have grown by 42% in the last 10 years to reach £196,826, according to Halifax.

But the typical price tag on a seaside home is still over £42,000 cheaper than the average house price across Britain, at £239,518.

Craig McKinlay, mortgage director at Halifax, said: "Seaside towns provide a unique lifestyle opportunity and remain popular places for people to live, while also attracting those looking for second homes or holiday properties which can place additional upward pressure on house prices.

Here are the 10 most expensive seaside towns according to Halifax, with the average house price:

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  • 1. Salcombe, South West, £615,344.
  • 2. Sandbanks, South West, £574,089.
  • 3. Aldeburgh, East Anglia, £446,576
  • 4. Padstow, South West, £381,812.
  • 5. Dartmouth, South West, £373,173.
  • 6. Wadebridge, South West, £371,670.
  • 7. Lymington, South East, £359,802.
  • 8. Budleigh Salterton, South West, £356,172.
  • 9. Mawes, South West, £329,998.
  • 10. Lyme Regis, South West, £326,813

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Three indecent assaults on women in three days

Three women have been indecently assaulted over three days in Lymington in the New Forest. The suspect is described as white, 5ft 7 tall, around 17-years-old and he was wearing a black hooded top and carrying a red rucksack.

At 7.50pm on Wednesday, the suspect indecently touched a 35-year-old woman over her clothing in St Thomas Street. At 3.20pm on Thursday a woman reported a man was exposing himself on the High Street. Then at 5pm on Friday, a 37-year-old woman was indecently touched over her clothing in Quay Street.

Detective Inspector Fiona Bitters said: 'We believe these incidents are linked and we want to identify the man responsible to prevent any further offences. Please be reassured that incidents of this nature are very rare and we are doing everything we can.'

Witnesses can call Southampton CID on 101.

Sir Ben Ainslie awarded freedom of Lymington

Sir Ben Ainslie is the first to be awarded with the honour in the area's history Credit: PA Wire/PA Archive

Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie is being awarded with the Freedom of Lymington and Pennington today.

It's in recognition of his achievements in the sport. The five time Olympic medallist is the first person to be conferred the honour in the area's history.

Police recover car used in New Forest armed robbery

Hampshire Police would like to speak to these two men Credit: Hampshire Police

Detectives investigating an armed robbery in the New Forest have found the car used by the thieves. Thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and cash was taken from Barry Papworth Jewellers in Lymington on Thursday. Officers want anyone who recognises either of these men to get in touch.

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Man arrested after series of armed robberies

Police launched major inquiry in the New Forest Credit: Meridian

Detectives from Hampshire’s Major Investigation Team have thisafternoon arrested a 44-year-old man from Lymington on suspicion ofrobbery.

He is currently in police custody where he is being questioned inconnection with the recent series of armed robberies in the Lymingtonand Brockenhurst areas.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Murray said: “This is just one lineof enquiry that is currently being pursued and we thank the generalpublic for their support so far, but continue to ask anybody with anyinformation to please contact us."

Recording of armed robber's voice

Anyone who feels they know who it is should phone 101 or the Crimestoppers charity line anonymously on 0800 555 111

He says: "I'm going to leave you here, I'm going to take your wife (unintelligible). "You can ring the police in two minutes, we'll be round the corner." Police say they hope someone will recognise the distinctive accent.

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