Peter and Valerie Miles

Rock Cottage

The Darwell Area Conservation Society — DACS to its friends — has announced more information about its launch meeting at 4pm, Sunday July 7, in Mountfield Village Hall. At the grand, inaugural meeting, there will be an accompanying exhibition of photographs, most of them historical photos from the local archive, many of which have not been previously published or exhibited. These will be supplemented by some modern photos by way of contrast. The theme of the exhibition will be the Darwell Reservoir itself, its construction, and some of the old farms and hamlets round (and under) the reservoir. This ties in with the sale of local interest publications which will include a history of the building of Darwell Reservoir from the earliest parliamentary debates and local surveys to the finished article.

We are indebted to Colin for a lovely story about our own cottage’s part in the story of the Ressie. In the porch of what is now Rock Cottage, Carrie Walters used to set out various goods for sale — twists of baccy, matches, and the like — which the men working on the construction of the Ressie used to pop in and buy on their way to work. These goods were displayed atop an old barrel. This fact, combined with the fact that Carrie was apparently not, as they said then, well favoured (ie good looking) led to Rock Cottage being known to the workmen as The Drum and Monkey.

It all promises to be a fun and fascinating afternoon. All welcome.

A few years ago, before other things got in the way, we both did a bit of chauffeuring for The Happy Club. That’s the members’ own name for the Club for the Blind and Partially Sighted who meet in the Village Hall every Thursday.

Margaret Smith, the organiser, has called to say that they need an extra volunteer helper to pitch in with teas, activities, washing up and whatever else needs doing. The club meets from 10am to 2.30pm each Thursday with an average of about a dozen members each week. Appetito delivers lunch — apparently very good and much enjoyed — which needs to be served. And they go on an outing about once a month.

They are a lovely bunch and would be a pleasure to share a few hours with. If you think you might have a few hours to spare either regularly or from time to time, either call us (number below) for preliminary information, or call Margaret on 01424 774158, or just pop in and see the Happy Club in action for yourself.

Val and I have got new neighbours — 13 of them! And all very healthy-looking piglets they are too. Having taken on more land over the winter, Lee and Barry now have three breeding Oxford, Sandy and Black sows, a traditional rare breed, and there are always youngsters, either days, weeks or months old, so it’s fun to visit. Rare breed pigs are renowned for the the quality of their meat and the boys usually have joints, cuts, packs of bacon and sausages by the half dozen for sale — or you can buy half a pig, or adopt a whole one. To visit our new neighbours or buy some, call 880374 or have a look at

Now for a different sort of neighbours. Mountfield Cricket Club are playing Brightling at home on Sunday (June 30), first ball at 2.30pm on the King George V Field. Go along, laze in the sun (!) and watch.

And to finish on an upbeat note - some of our potholes have been fixed! Not all, and in truth not very many — but where there’s life there’s hope.You know where we are, so if you have any news or needs, give us a call on 880614 (evenings please) or