Mountfield village voice

Jackie Spriggs sent me the following report about Jean Woodgate’s talk in the village hall on 20th April:

Once again every chair at the Village Hall in Mountfield was used for the return visit of Jean Woodgate and her talk about farming in Sussex from the mid-1800’s to the mid 1900’s illustrated with her archive collection of slides.

There was ploughing with oxen and horses, about 80 oxen in precision ranks shifting a building, and just about every farming activity, including shepherding and sheep shearing, all aspects of cattle care, hop-picking and all the jollity that went with it, and the miserable task of chopping up turnips in winter’s cold. The artistic precision building of decorative haystacks was a joy to behold. One particular slide which caused much merriment was someone hand milking a cow and squirting milk straight into the mouth of a cat standing on its hind legs!!

Some of we older Mountfieldians recognised the older folk of our childhoods that appeared on the screen bringing forth remembrances and a lot of humour from the audience.

Then there were scenes of local places including John’s Cross Inn and children from Mountfield and Whatlington School posing for the photographs in the road – then not much more than a lane - where now the A21 roundabout sends traffic off at high speed in all directions with the school shielded by a high fence to minimise the noise and pollution of car fumes.

Jean, in her wonderful Sussex accent, bewailed the passing of simplicity in our lives and the stability that the seasons brought, with which we were all in agreement.

The excellent attendance and a good raffle brought in the magnificent sum of £508 for the restoration of Mountfield Church.

Thanks go to Mary, Julienne and Merrilyn at the refreshments bar, Barbara on the raffle , Dave, John and other helpful muscle for chair shifting, and particularly to Jean for giving her time and expertise to bring us such an interesting and fascinating insight into how those who have gone before us here worked the land and lived their lives.

On Saturday 28th April, Sarah G and the other 3 played live music at Mountfield Club. A good number of people attended and enjoyed the the performance. Donations collected on the night covered the costs. Congratulations to Danny Overy who won the sweepstake. A special mention goes to Maizie Last who also gave a good performance singing and playing her guitar.

Mountfield Lunch Club will be dining out at Leeford Place on Monday 7th May. Please let Ruby know if you would like to go and whether you need a lift by Sunday tea time.

If you have anything you would like included in this column, please let me know heather12mulligan@gmail.com

Heather Mulligan, 15 Eatenden Lane