Pater and Valerie Miles,

As Caroline Hollamby said, it would almost have been better if the gales and downpours had actually happened. The weather forecast for the Mountfield Bonfire was dire. Caroline’s team left the decision as late as they dared but the forecasters stuck to their guns so the decision to cancel was made. It was too great a risk to buy all that food and drink only for the weather to ruin things. Also, the fireworks people could easily have decided that it wasn’t feasible from their point of view. Come six o’ clock, of course, conditions were just about perfect — at least until about eight o’ clock when the forecast finally came true — and the magnificently built bonfire was lit only by Vinehall School’s firework display which simply rubbed salt into the wound.

It was all hugely disappointing. Mountfield has a reputation as a child-friendly, lager-free display. Some stalwarts manned the gates to apologise to anyone who turned up — but in the event only eight or so did so and most were very good-natured and understanding.

Honourable mention should go to Caroline and the rest of the Village Hall Committee. Also to Kevin and the boys from the Club who built the bonfire. And to Lee who did the pole — we have an image of him in our minds, carrying the pole to the field looking a bit like Obelix. Dave Rook was all teed up to be head chef with Donna, Sue and others doing the NAAFI bit. British Gypsum and Jempsons had pitched in with pallets and high-viz gear. And more — so very disappointing.

However, the Village Hall Committee is still determined to go ahead with a bonfire at some point. This will all be thrashed out a the Summer Fête meeting which will take place at 7.30 pm on Tuesday November 19th in the Village Hall. This will be an informal meeting where everyone can pitch in ideas about both fête and bonfire. All it takes is a bit of commitment, large or small: bake some buns or a cake, marshal the parking, man a stall, barbecue a burger, grow some plants, organise a tractor display, or a guess the potholes competition, or vintage car rides... You get the idea.

The next Parish Council Meeting will be at 7.30, Tuesday, November 14 in the Village Hall. The agenda is a mixed bag of M&W School (though there’s not much we can do at this stage than wait), transport issues such as our potholes (sorry, assets), planning enforcement, and a new Parish Council noticeboard. There may be news by then on the “restructuring” (which is another word for “cuts”) at Rother District Council. We know it’s happening and we know it’s going to affect us but we still don’t know how.

Finally we have heard from Tim Miller of the Red Cross who tells us that the British Red Cross has extended its Free Carers Support Service to rural Rother. Its free short term care and support for unpaid carers in Rother and Hastings actively supports the carer and person they care for. The service offers: companionship and sitting service, light housework, meal preparation and shopping, dog-walking, looking after pets and general assistance with everyday life. The Red Cross is also recruiting, training and supporting Volunteers to provide support in the home.

For further information, please call 0800 0208 831 or email or if you would like to contact Tim directly, his mobile number is 07921 404 092.

That’s it for this week. Please let us know if there is anything you would like included in future instalments: or 880614 (evenings).