Mountfield

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MARGARET PERRING: We have to start by congratulating Margaret who celebrated her 110th birthday last weekend (March 1st). Dave the Post delivered the card from the Queen the day before and family visited on the Sunday to celebrate the great day.

LOUIS DODD: There is further information on the long-awaited Louis Dodd retrospective at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition — full title, Voyage: the Marine Paintings of Louis Dodd — will be open for the first time on Saturday 7th March at 10.00 am. There have been a few last minute changes and there will now be 29 not 26 of Lou’s wonderful paintings on show. His son, Laurence Dodd, has spent the last few months carefully cleaning one of the ship models that Louis made. As it had not been kept in a glass case, it took three boxes of cotton-buds for him to restore it.

Laurence will be at the exhibition on Saturday, if any of his old school friends want to meet up. As the exhibition is on until 7th June, there will be plenty of opportunities for reunions. Barbara Valentine and her painting groups at Mountfield Community Arts are planning to get together at the museum a few times, and will be in touch with ex-students about dates.

The museum, which is a great place to visit, is open Tuesday-Saturday 10.00 am - 4.00 pm and Sunday 12.00 noon - 4.00 pm, but in April will be open until 5.00 pm.

BROWNS FARM SHOP: After many years trading under the Poppinghole Farm banner, and following the purchase of the business by Sarah Geldard, our local farm shop has changed its name to Browns Farm Shop. This was the clear choice of its loyal, local customers and was the original name. Everything else is just as before with Sarah’s equally loyal team of Ruth, Lindsay, Dianne, and Vicky. The new signage was designed by Ruth and printed by Dave and Matt at Millbrook Design and Print at Johns Cross so it’s an all-local new look. Opening times are on www.browns-farmhouse.co.uk.

PARISH COUNCIL: Peter writes: Next Tuesday, March 10th (7.30 pm in the Village Hall), is the final full council meeting before election day. On May 7th, there will be elections throughout Rother District for both parish and district councillors. As a side show, there will be similar happenings elsewhere plus what pundits think is the toughest general election to call for generations but the eyes of the world will surely be on Mountfield Parish.

So… do you want to make a difference? Fancy a stint as a Mountfield Parish Councillor? If you think you might be interested, have a word with any of the current parish councillors — see the council website for names and contacts (http://mountfield.org.uk) — and, as the current chairman, I am always happy to talk it through with anyone, no strings attached.

I have often heard people from other parishes say that they went on the council to try and make a difference but… Well, Mountfield Parish Council has always made a difference. Historically, it made a difference over the proposed extension to the tip at the mine, it made a difference over the proposed expansion of the Darwell Reservoir, and with the incinerator, and the issue of DSG stockpiles at BG, and with Baldwins Farm. Most recently, we have lost two big fights (the right sewage system in the wrong place) and — the one that never loses that kick-in-the-stomach feeling — the closure of the school. But we’ve fought for Baldwins Farmhouse, we’ve jumped a massive queue to get Kent Lane (Church Road and Mountfield Lane) resurfaced, we’ve re-equipped the children’s playground, we’ve kept successful pressure on other planning and enforcement issues, we’ve successfully ensured common sense prevailed over the school bus, and more.

The current parish council brings a very wide mix of skills and experience to the table. It also combines councillors who grew up in the parish with others who are incomers (including yours truly). It would be good to preserve that mix but, above all, it requires good old fashioned common sense, a couple of hours every two months and a strong feeling for Mountfield. (Jim Ray was trying to tell us this week that, really, he’s in incomer as he’s only been the village since 1970 having moved all the way from Whatlington.)

REMINDERS: Everyone and anyone is welcome to go along and pitch in with ideas at the second meeting for Mountfield Kids Club on Monday March 16th at 4.15pm in the Village Hall. And there’s one more chance to drop off your contributions for the Grand Village Jumble Sale next weekend, Saturday March 14th between 10.00 am to 12.00 noon at the Village Hall. The event itself, of course, is the afternoon of Saturday March 21st

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s snooker team moved five points clear at the top of Division 3 on Monday night with a comfortable 5-0 home win against Burwash Common. Wins for Pete Last, Kevin Gray, Ashley Sutton, Andy Saunders and captain Steve Smith have all but secured promotion for Mountfield Club in only their third season in the league. On Tuesday night, the team travel to Burwash Common A Team where they hope to increase their lead at the top. (We also see from the sports pages that Mountfield are still flying high at the top of Division 3 of the East Sussex League.)

FINALLY: It gave us a very strange feeling to see the For Sale board outside Fred’s place when we drove past this week. As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via mountfieldvv@hushmail.com.

Peter and Valerie Miles

mountfieldvv@hushmail.com