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PARISH COUNCIL: Peter writes: The first Parish Council meeting since the elections was held on May 19th. As always at the start of what is, in effect, the new parish council year, the first business is the election by members of the chairman and vice chairman for the next twelve months. I and Jim Ray respectively were re-elected to these posts. The Council also congratulated district councillor Eleanor Kirby Green on her successes in the election and welcomed the two new parish councillors: Steve Rickman Smith, whose building expertise was immediately useful in the discussion of certain planning applications, and John Snuggs who, showing a complete lack of moral fibre, couldn’t be there as he’d gone on holiday.

One interesting item on the agenda, raised by Michael and Wendy Mayers, was the parlous state of Riverhall Bridge. It’s safe for traffic but a bit of an eyesore and not as safe as it might be for pedestrians. The Council is going to explore various options but if anyone has a view on what could or should happen, do please contact one of the parish councillors or your Village Voices. Perhaps, this is a good moment to remind everyone of their local councillors: Steve Rickman Smith and John Snuggs who are up at John’s Cross, Jim up Eatenden Lane, Caroline Hollamby at the crossing, Mark Hardy on Hoath Hill, and Sue O’Sullivan and me in what we prefer to refer to as Upper Mountfield. Perhaps we should devote part of future Village Voice columns to introducing the present councillors.

RIVERHALL CROSSING: Network Rail will be carrying out a major upgrade to the level crossing at Riverhall. Preliminary work is scheduled to start in July and is planned to continue into the winter. The work involves installing new level crossing lighting, a new equipment room to house the new signalling circuitry and will bring the existing equipment up to modern standards, such as ensuring adequate footpath widths and providing additional safety controls that were unavailable when the crossing was originally installed. Network Rail have booked the Village Hall from 6.00 to 8.00 pm on Wednesday June 10th as a drop-in session so that anyone can pop in and ask about what it might mean to people living locally or to your route to or from work — whatever. (It has to be said that there was delicious moment at a recent Parish Council Meeting when the chap from Network Rail was told that Southern Water were likely to be moling the crossing for the new sewerage pipes at the same as he was planning his millimetre-perfect upgrade…)

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s snooker team have now won back to back matches in the summer snooker league beating Benenden A 3-2. Kevin Gray won his singles on a re-spotted black and with the help of Steve Smith won the decisive doubles frame to win frame and match.

Tomorrow, Saturday May 30th, the Club is hosting its annual darts singles and pairs and shove tournament starting for about 7.30/8.00 pm. There will be a £1.00 entry fee but the Club is prepared to negotiate a payment plan if anyone wishes to spread the cost. Please contact Steve Smith on 07720 298971 for further information.

REMINDERS: First of all, tomorrow, Saturday 30th May, Lucinda and Simon Fraser are holding a coffee morning at Mountfield Court for the benefit of Church Funds from 10.00am to 12.00 noon. This will coincide with the first opening of the Walled Garden, a project which was taken on five years ago by Adrian and Gussy Bidwell when it had lain untended for many years. Gussy now has a produce stall every month at Brightling Market selling the fruits of their hard labours to tame what was a wilderness. Plants and in season vegetables will be on sale, and if her ‘girls’ are in good form maybe free range eggs.

Then on Sunday, May 31st, all hands are welcome to help with the planting of flower tubs at the Village Hall from 11.00 am. Any donations of plants would also be much appreciated. All help and donations from 11.00 am. For more info, contact Chris Holden on 01580 389053.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: So many things have flourished this spring but we don’t think we have ever seen so many FOR SALE boards before. They are sprouting up in every part of the village. As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via mountfieldvv@hushmail.com.