REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: We start with this from Jackie Spriggs: “When Mountfield and Netherfield became linked with Brightling, all three parishes agreed that on Remembrance Sunday we would each have our own service to remember and honour those from our villages who fell in both World Wars and other conflicts. Our one remaining member of the Mountfield Branch of the British Legion, Fred Stace, has been poorly for some time but, to our great joy, Fred was let out for good behaviour and his daughter Sue brought him in very good time to ensure that everything was done according to tradition. He has been the Standard Bearer for so many years, but this year the Standard was placed by the war memorial. “Before the Silence, Simon Fraser read the names of the fallen, and then Fred recited ‘They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.’ It is very poignant to think that so many thousands, maybe millions, of people all over England and Europe are at that same time standing in silent respect, memory and gratitude for all those who gave their lives that we may live in freedom. “The service was conducted by Fran Huff, a Lay Reader in this Deanery, and the lessons were read by, respectively, one of the oldest members of the congregation, Bill Humphreys, and Caspar Fraser representing our younger people. “And the sun shone.”
FAMILY BONFIRE: Last week, we promised you a full report on the bonfire bash. Chris Holden writes: “It was a warm and dry evening on October 31st when Mountfield put on a great show with its huge bonfire, BBQ and fireworks display. “As soon as the gates opened at 6pm, over 300 people from Mountfield, Battle and the surrounding villages began gathering in the field on Solomon’s Lane to enjoy the best family bonfire celebration in the area. Being Halloween night, a giant pumpkin weighing in at 90 lbs, grown by Gussie in the Walled Garden, greeted all comers including witches, skeletons, fairies and lots of other great fancy dress characters. The delicious BBQ featured home-made soup, hot dogs with sausages from Taylor’s Cottage and burgers from Busters farm shop in Salehurst. Many thanks to the catering team: Jackie, Rooky, Donna, Sue and Charlene. The massive bonfire which had stood in the field for over a year, due to cancellation of the event through bad weather last November, burned brightly in the dark sky and filled the air with golden cinders much to the delight of the spectators (and probably passengers on the passing trains). A brilliant job was done by Kevin Gray and his team to make sure we had a fantastic and safe show. Then came the fireworks display put on by Wizard who really pulled out all the stops. Children and adults alike were wowed by the colours, wizzies and bangs. All eyes were raised skyward whilst oohs and aahs were heard all around.As families drifted away there were lots of thanks and compliments about the event. A great time was definitely had by all. The village hall committee wishes to thanks everyone who helped on the evening and with fundraising during the year. We hope to see you all again next year.”
MOUNTFIELD COMMUNITY ARTS: Barbara Valentine reports: “We had a great time at Bodiam Castle at the weekend and the weather wasn’t nearly as bad as we had feared. It was very quiet day on Saturday though, with the car-park half empty. Sunday made up for it with a constant queue of visitors wanting their portraits painted. As well as lots of children and adults, I painted six dogs, all of whom were excellent sitters. We made over £215 for St Michael’s Hospice, and, as we already had £70 in the box, from money raised in the class at the Village Hall, it comes to £285. Thank you to all my students for your work in fundraising. And, as we go to press, Barbara has just been in touch to say that she will be doing her quick portraits at the Robertsbridge Christmas Market on Saturday, November 22nd, from 10.00 am to 4 pm.
PARISH COUNCIL: Mountfield Parish Council met on Tuesday November 4th. A range of issues were discussed such as maintenance of the children’s playground, a defibrillator (or two) for the village, and the problem of how to route the school bus next year when we have the road closures associated with the Southern Water construction work. There was considerable discussion about the astonishingly low availability of the newly rolled out Superfast Broadband across the village — only about twenty percent of households. One aspect of MPC’s work which never makes the headlines is the stalwart job it has done over the last couple of years to combat a range of planning enforcement issues. It is a matter of pride that the Council has achieved some major victories such as at so-called Edlins Farm — you may have seen the derelict caravans that were supposedly hen houses — which was the source of no fewer than seven planning applications and one planning appeal in seven years; the owner has now sold up and moved on. And that is just one of the victories.
MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s snooker team’s fine start to the season continued with a good 3-2 away win at top of the table Battle D. There were frame wins for Ashley Sutton, Colin Elms on his debut for the club and Andy Saunders. The club remain second in the table with a game in hand. More snooker players are always needed and if you’re interested in being a squad player or just having the odd game, please phone Steve Smith on 07720 298971. Tickets are now on sale for the Club’s grand Christmas raffle at £1.00 each. The prizes are growing by the week so please ask behind the bar before all the tickets are sold out. On Saturday 29th November, the Club is hosting a darts bullseye evening, with prizes, starting about 7.30pm. Entry £2.50 per person or £5 per couple.
THE MESSENGER: Peter writes: “I have looked after the distribution of The Messenger in Mountfield for nearly five years and would like to hand it on to someone else. It is not a particularly onerous task. It involves collecting the magazines from Robert Chambers and delivering them to the seven gallant delivery boys and girls, namely John Snuggs, Michael Mayers, Hannah Taylor (well actually, Nancy), Jim Ray, Charles Carter, Barbara Downing and Jill Gyngell. If you think you might be able to take over from me or want to talk about what it involves, please contact me. Thank you.”
AND FINALLY: Throughout the year, we have occasionally noticed how so many things have been early — bluebells, woodpeckers drumming, and so on. And there is one more to add. The rut was a good three weeks earlier than usual. Most years, the rut for our fallow deer has been in the first week in November, give or take a few day. This year, we had a big old boy just across the lane from us in early/mid-October doing an impersonation of a pig farm .
We’d like to thank our various correspondents this week: Jackie, Chris, Barbara and Steve. If you’ve anything for the Village Voice, we are on 880614 or via email@example.com.
Peter and Valerie Miles