Mountfield

Peter and Valerie Miles, mountfieldvv@hushmail.com

Today, Friday, October 25 is the final day of the formal consultation process on the proposed closure of Mountfield and Whatlington School so the time for all the discussions, meetings and objections is over and we can’t do much more now than wait and see. Mountfield Parish Council’s objection has been posted on the parish website at http://mountfield.org.uk; if you do not have internet access, call us and we’ll organise a hard copy.

Barbara Valentine had an amazing week last week as, on the Monday evening, the President of the Royal Miniature Society phoned to tell her that she had won two awards at their annual exhibition at the Mall Gallery in London. The official opening was on Wednesday, October 16 and, at first, Barbara thought she couldn’t go to it as she was due to teach two classes that day at Mountfield Community Arts in the village hall. However, she made a few phone calls and her Wednesday afternoon students agreed to switch things around and attend a class on a different day. Barbara did the first hour of the morning class before she dashed up to town leaving daughter Juliette to take over as ‘guest tutor’.

Barbara won both the Group Award for a set of seven miniatures and The President’s Special Commendation for one of her larger paintings. The awards were presented by Michael Portillo.

And then, to round off the week, Mountfield Community Arts held an exhibition at Bodiam Castle over the weekend. Despite the rain, there were plenty of visitors and Barbara did lots of quick portraits. Nearly £200 was raised in aid of St Michael’s Hospice. All very exciting and many congratulations to Barbara.

Strictly speaking, according to the maps, Barbara is not a Mountfield girl as Mountfield Park Farm is in Brightling. But then Brightling doesn’t have its own Village Voice. This is because Brightling is a suburb of Mountfield, so that’s alright then.

As well as a final reminder about the Mountfield Bonfire next Friday (November 1st, 6.00pm, Solomon’s Lane), Caroline has asked us to say that for health and safety reasons, no alcohol, fireworks, sparklers or similar will be allowed to be brought on site. This will be strictly enforced as without these restrictions the organisers simply would not be able to get the necessary event insurance. But refreshments will include soup, BBQ and cold drinks so what more could you want?

Last Saturday saw the Mountfield Club’s Family Quiz Night with Nigel Jones’s “Runners” team winning with a very impressive score of 89 and two teams sharing the runners-up spot with 84 points. Despite the darts team losing to Crowhurst Park, Mountfield won the shove ha’penny match with Kevin Gray winning the deciding match. The Mountfield Snooker team get a break from league action this week when the Plate Cup competition takes them to Division 2 Hawkhurst.

On New Year’s Eve the club are laying on a Disco & Buffet to see in the New Year for members and non-members. Family tickets are just £17.00 with £5.00 for singles (£6.00 on the night). To book your ticket, please phone Sally Hayler on 079 888 72016.

Robin Harris has emailed the following: “Has anyone in Mountfield who receives their TV signal via an old-fashioned aerial, rather than through a satellite dish, been having problems with reception? The difficulty appears to be restricted to BBC channels, and manifests itself by the constant breaking up of the picture – commonly referred to as pixilating. The problem started to occur around three weeks ago. Enquiries made suggest that the trouble may be more widespread than just in Mountfield. There is a view that the interruptions may be related to some changes made to the Heathfield transmitter, or possible interference from the launching of 4G for mobiles. Contact with 4G brought about a response that their changes to masts have not yet taken place in this area so it would not be the reason for the problems here. Does anyone have more information?” If you have, give Robin a call on 880621.

Staying with things technical… We reported last week on the roll-out plans for super-fast broadband. Antonia Eriksson up at Parkpale reports a recent conversation with some BT engineers in which they said that households would need to be less than 1km from the cabinet at John’s Cross to get any significant improvement in broadband speeds, and then only after that cabinet has been connected to the Robertsbridge exchange. We think that this counts as spreading alarm and despondency in the ranks, which still carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for serving members of the forces. Antonia, as a civilian, will, I think, just get lynched.

What strange times we live in. We received an email this week from Sussex Police which opened with the statement: “Police have launched an initiative to tackle acquisitive crime over the autumn and winter period in Rother”. In old money, that used to be called theft — and you weren’t supposed to do it in spring or summer either! And, back then, police “tackled” it all year round. Hey ho.

Don’t forget the clocks go back an hour on Sunday. As ever, you know where we are: mountfieldvv@hushmail.com or 880614 (evenings).