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CHRISTMAS GATHERING: Tomorrow (December 12th) is the Mountfield Village Christmas Gathering from 10.00 am till 2.00 pm in the Village Hall. There will be mince pies and mulled wine (courtesy of the Parish Council), tea and cake (courtesy of the usual Church stalwarts), kids’ activities, carols, raffle, stalls for local producers and businesses, local volunteer and sports groups, updates on Southern Water’s plans for the grand works, meet your Parish Councillors and have your say, the official launch of the Kids Film Club (see below), and the unveiling of the first of our new defibrillators. Above all go along for a good natter with neighbours. The Village Hall Committee has put a lot of hard work into organising this event so do go along and support it.

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY: Also tomorrow is the Mountfield Children’s Christmas Party with this year’s Winter Wonderland theme and, of course, a special guest. The festivities start at 4.00 pm with carriages for 6.00 pm. Full report in next week’s Village Voice.

NANA TSIBOE CONCERT: Next Wednesday, December 16th, in All Saints Church Mountfield, Nana Tsiboe and The Global Unity Choir will perform a concert of Christmas songs from around the world starting at 6.00 pm (NOTE CORRECTED TIMES!). Nana Tsiboe is a master percussionist of international renown who has worked with such legends as Nina Simone, Paul McCartney, Fela Kuti and Marvin Gaye as well as recording in his own right. He toured the States at the height of the civil rights movement in the 60s before settling in the UK. Tickets are just £5.00 on the door and include a complimentary glass of wine and mince pie. All proceeds to the Church Restoration Fund. A fantastic way to kick off the Christmas season.

KIDS FILM CLUB: Advance notice of another new date. On Saturday December 19th, 2.00 pm in the Village Hall there will be a screening of Elf, the movie that inspired a hit Broadway musical. Popcorn, drinks, tea and coffee. Christmas jumper optional!

M&W SCHOOL: Peter writes: We have received further clarification. Piecing it together, the position as far as I understand it seems to be as follows. Following the closure of the school, there was interest from three parties. Whether that interest was freehold purchase, leasing or rental I do not know. All three eventually withdrew their interest at which point it was deemed to be unviable educationally so the logical option was to sell the assets.

It was then discovered that there are apparently five different parties with rights to the land with ESCC being the largest. All the different plots apparently have “reverter” clauses whereby any proceeds from sale of the assets would be divided among the heirs and successors of the original donors. Tracing these has proved difficult and is costly. Since none of the gifts or donations was endowed in any way, the trustees (the priests and church wardens of the two parishes) were potentially facing insupportable costs. The Diocese therefore stepped in to fund proceedings with a view to recouping their costs when an eventual sale or new use is found. However, the Diocese also has limited funds to support all this so at the last meeting of the Trustees in April, it was agreed that ESCC, as the major beneficiary, would act on behalf of the Trustees and the Diocese in seeking to find a new use. (One source says that ESCC would “act on behalf of” and the other says “legal responsibility”.)

We are told that the ownership and responsibility for the site remain unchanged by this arrangement with the Whatlington churchwardens acting as de facto caretakers. This all seems very responsible, although there are still so many questions, and I’m sure we should be grateful for everyone’s efforts to resolve the situation but am I the only person who is uneasy that everything now seem to be in the hands of the ESCC who pursued the closure of the school with such utter, steely determination, and the Diocese who, in my view, side-stepped their responsibilities and collaborated? More positively, perhaps this is the opportunity for ESCC and the Diocese to make some amends — and help to provide some return to the community for whom the school was always intended.

JOHN’S CROSS INN: This column should not allow the passing of the village pub to go unmentioned. It has never been particularly central to the local community in our time but we know that it was the much more central in other times as the Cricket Club’s watering hole and the nearest point for a pint when you came off shift up the mine. But times change. We read of the problems that Harvey’s are having finding a tenant for the Seven Stars in Robertsbridge. And Jack Fuller’s is history now. Nonetheless, we raise a glass to John’s Cross pub and wish Dave well.

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s snooker team have won their latest league match, this time at Battle, 3–2 with frame wins for Pete Last, Colin Elmes and Ashley Sutton. With the run up to Christmas getting nearer, the Club will be open this Sunday (13th) from 12.00; all are welcome. On Wednesday December 23rd, the Club are holding a Christmas bullseye evening along with their grand Christmas draw. Squares are still available at £1.00 each and there will be many prizes to win on the night. The evening should start at around 7.30. If any one is interested in entering the bullseye competition, please contact Steve Smith on 07720 298971.

MISSPENT YOUTH: What did you all think as you read the snooker column in last week’s Battle Observer? You didn’t? Well shame on you. We can tell you that the current holders of the Hurst Green Winter League Cup (possibly managed by Mourinho) fell victim to Battle A. Who was the star striker for Battle. We quote: “Dave Wadeson raced into a 56–0 lead in the opening frame before Neil Sivyer rallied with a 38 break. Wadeson was unperturbed, though, and went on to win 71-47 to put the visitors in front”. On a different subject, was anyone else’s post late the next day?

CONTACT: As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via mountfieldvv@hushmail.com.

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