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CHRISTMAS PARTY: This year’s Mountfield Christmas Party will take place at Mountfield Village Hall on Saturday 13th December, from 4pm-6pm. All children living in the Parish of Mountfield of primary school age (0-11) are invited to this free party provided by the goodwill of the Village Hall Committee and the Parish Council. Additionally, any residents with grand children outside the village are welcome (for a small contribution).There will be traditional party games, a party tea, dancing and A Special Visitor! RSVP Vicky Staley on 01580 882147 or email mountfieldxmasparty@gmail.com. Don’t delay!

FAMILY CAROL SERVICE: Our Church Affairs Correspondent, Jackie Spriggs, writes: “Sunday 30th November is Advent Sunday. In Church tradition, Advent is a time of fasting and penitence in order to prepare ourselves for the great festival of Christmas and the birth of the Saviour. “These days we don’t beat ourselves so much, wear hair shirts or deprive ourselves of vino and chocolate, but hopefully we do use this month to ponder on some of the mysteries of the Incarnation whilst we make our own preparations for the ‘Very Best Time of Year’ to quote a Christmas song by the great John Rutter. “Advent is the time when we go from darkness to light and to celebrate Advent there will be an Advent Carol Service by Candlelight in All Saints, Mountfield on that day at 5.00pm, with seasonal readings, some biblical as well as poetry and prose and a jolly good sing, to which all are warmly invited. It would be advisable to bring a torch as there is no street lighting in Mountfield.”

DATES AND REMINDERS: Barbara Valentine will be doing her quick portraits at the Robertsbridge Christmas Market on Saturday, November 22nd, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, in aid of St Michael’s Hospice. The children or grandchildren will never be this age again so this is the opportunity to catch the moment forever and support a very good cause. (It would be interesting to know just how much Barbara has raised in the last twelve months for St Michael’s…)

UNSUPERFAST BROADBAND: We should still like to hear from people about the sort of download speeds they currently get. It would be particularly interesting to hear from anyone in the Vinehall area and round the church. Subscribers will not automatically get any supposed improvement as they will need to contact their ISP for a different modem/router. We’d be interested to know what subscribers are told by their ISP if they try to upgrade to the supposed faster speeds. If you don’t know how to check your speeds, just put “check broadband speed” into Google, you will be offered a range of options such as Broadband Speed Checker or BT’s own version. Please email your results to the Village Voice at the email address below. Thank you. We make no apologies for returning to this subject as we are right to be indignant. The fact that the rollout offers Superfast to 20% of Mountfield, an improvement for 50% and no change for the rest is a scandal that will be replicated across every rural parish in the county. Meanwhile, there is every chance that the national rollout to a largely urban population will encourage web content providers to design for Superfast so that content will begin to outstrip that improvement to the 50%, and will leave the bottom 20-30% unable to access planning applications, or download DEFRA documents, or partake in distance learning, or general studies, or school homework, let alone pictures of the grandchildren, online shopping, etc.

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE DAY: We were driven bonkers for three days last week by the sound of pile-driving from British Gypsum. The effect will have differed according to wind and location; somehow, we had a perfect sound corridor right to our doorstep and yet some folk up Eatenden Lane weren’t that bothered. We asked Paul Last and he came back with the following. “The noise that you can hear is work that British Gypsum are having done on the lower road replacement from the weighbridge to the train offloading pad. Thornes are ripping up the old concrete road that was collapsing and replacing it, the concrete is proving tough (100 years of heavy industry). They have had to get in a huge machine with a hydraulic breaker to smash up the concrete, as well as another one to pile drive metal retaining steel sheets in along the edge of the road to stop it collapsing into the river that runs alongside it. This pile driving work ended last weekend. It is a big engineering project costing around £500,000. They will be working from 8.00 – 5.00 so you should not hear anything outside of these hours. The work is scheduled to finish by the end of the year.”

THINGS THAT MIGHT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT: Paul has also written to advise that Network Rail and Colas will be doing some night work over the next couple of weeks and have used the mine sidings to deliver some heavy plant as they did when the railway collapsed at Whatlington back at the start of the year. So if you do hear any noise at night, don’t blame British Gypsum.

VILLAGE VOICE: We took on the Village Voice because we felt strongly that Mountfield needed it as a voice for local news, as a forum for discussion, and as a ‘village notice board’ for events. This was demonstrated when some people were upset not to hear about Reg Langley’s passing until after the funeral. And remember that the Voice also goes to people who have moved from or retired outside the village. So, if you hear any news, please don’t assume that someone else will pass it on, contact the Village Voice. Thank you. It occurs to us that The Special Visitor mentioned in the first paragraph might come from somewhere in northern Europe, so it might be safer to say that there will be a Special Visitor so long as he has finished all his plumbing jobs. If you’ve anything for the Village Voice, we are on 880614 or via mountfieldvv@hushmail.com.

Peter and Valerie Miles

mountfieldvv@hushmail.com