Mountfield

NEW FILM DATE: Mountfield Village Hall Big Screen presents: “What We Did On Our Holiday”, a comedy starring Billy Connelly, David Tennant and Rosamund Pike. Described as “witty and well-cast”, this 2014 release was co-written and co-directed by Andy Hamilton and his regular co-writer, Guy Jenkin. The venue, as ever is Mountfield Village Hall, the date is Saturday April 2nd, and the doors open at 7.30pm. £5 per person on the door, all welcome. The Mountfield Club will be open for pre- and post- film drinks and there will be complimentary refreshments available. These film nights are becoming very popular. The film starts at 8 o’clock so come early to make sure you and your friends get front row seats! (Or if you want to turn the clocks back, the back row seats.)

MOUNTFIELD WALKS: Peter writes: Lucinda and Simon have kindly given me permission to repeat the walk I have led for the last two years for one final year. I shall give more details over the next few weeks but, under the title “Through Trees & Time” the walk will look at a wide range of clues to why our local landscape looks the way it does. The clues will include medieval earthworks from the 13th century, industrial remains from later centuries (mine pits, quarries and kilns), evidence of historic woodland crafts (e.g. coppicing, charcoal burning, saw pits), the network of old roads which covered the parish, the clues in the botany of the Ancient Woodlands (including a rare plant population), and in the trees (including an even rarer tree, one of only three known in the parish), foraging (with a recipe leaflet to take home with you) and, above, lots of fun and laughter. The walking is easy (though muddy and brambly). The first two walks will take place on Sunday April 24th and May 1st with all proceeds going to the maintenance of All Saints, Mountfield. To book or for more details, call me on 01580 880614.

MAINS SEWERAGE WORKS: We now have outline dates for the work. As you have seen, they have cleared the hedges on New Cut and Solomon’s Lane prior to making access points. The disruption is likely to start with 2-way lights on New Cut from April 23rd to June 13th, followed by road closures to Eatenden Lane from June 13th to 27th, Solomon’s Lane for nine weeks, then New Cut, Church Lane, Hoath Hill, later. Your Village Voice will alert you to all the news there is. You will also find details on the parish website (mountfield.org) and on the Parish notice board on New Cut.

The Parish Council, particularly the Clerk, Irene Marchant, has been working hard to stay on top of things. In particular, we have done all we can to try to avoid rat run traffic going where it shouldn’t, including signage as far afield as Netherfield Church.

There’s no question that this is all going to be hellish but we can help ourselves by staying calm and reporting problems to Irene or a councillor as soon as possible so that they can be sorted as quickly as possible. Contact details for all councillors and for Irene are on the website and the noticeboard.

MOUNTFIELD PARISH COUNCIL: There was a very long agenda at the last meeting (8th) including renewed fencing for the King George Vth Field, the continuing lighting problems at Riverhall crossing, the sewerage works, the state of the roads, planning and enforcement, and plans for a programme of bulb planting round the village. However, the site of Mountfield and Whatlington School struck a sad note — not for the first time —where the sorry story has nearly run its course…

MOUNTFIELD & WHATLINGTON SCHOOL: We now know that the site comprises six different parcels of land. On the authority of the Secretary of State, they are going to be offered for auction as a single entity. The disposal is being handled by Orbis, a shared management operation set up by East Sussex and Surrey County Councils. The proceeds from the sale will be shared proportionately between ESCC who own the car par and one other portion of land and the descendants of the donors of the other four portions. I don’t think there can be any doubts that the site will be sold for development.

There was one particularly significant detail that emerged from my conversation with the Diocese. Having ranted about the unmistakable determination with which County had pursued the school’s closure, I was assured that, whilst she understood the distress the loss had caused the local communities, she had to advise that “many small schools” in the county would follow suit. In other words, M&W was suitably weakened so ended up being the first of many village schools that will close. So now we know, finally. The thought of this lovely county, bereft of its smaller, rural village schools with their playground sounds and the grapevine at the school gates is truly awful.

M&W WAR MEMORIAL: One of the questions throughout has been the status and future of the upper playground which was a designated war memorial. It is the legal view obtained by the Diocese that it is not the land itself that was the war memorial but the playground that was constructed on that land. This is borne out by the inscription on the plague which reads: “This Playground was constructed in Memory of the Mountfield Men Who Fell in the Great War 1914-18”. So in effect, apart from the plaque itself, the memorial itself has long since ceased to exist as the original playground has probably been renewed several times over the years. The Parish Council view was that all we can do is find a home for the plaque as it represents an important fragment of Mountfield history. It should certainly be rescued and rehomed somewhere like the village archive in the village hall. It’s final destiny will be decided by Mountfield Parish Council and Mountfield Parochial Church Council, in consultation with their counterparts in Whatlington (though the wording should be noted: “Mountfield Men” — I’d never noticed that before). All views and suggestions are welcome.

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: This Saturday (March 19th) sees the Club’ fifth Annual Club Tournament night which is open to all members. Being played will be the Fred Stace Darts knockout cup with the draw being made on the night, along with the Darts Pairs and Shove individual tournament. For more information please phone or text Steve Smith 07720 298971. A reminder to all members that the Club’s AGM will be held on Monday 4th April at 8.00.

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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