Peter & Valerie Miles,

Tomorrow, Saturday December 7, Spoonangel Arts and Crafts is holding its Christmas Fayre from 9.00 am until 1.00 pm at Units 41/42, Vinehall Business Centre. This is the perfect way to get ahead with your Christmas preparations as they will be offering a wide range of affordable Christmas gifts and decorations plus over 200 different craft and dressmaking fabrics, craft kits and more. Free tea, coffee and mince pies, free entry, free parking, plus a cake sale and charity raffle.

To remind you, Spoonangel is the company started by Lindsey Farhall whose original stock in trade was bunting but which now also produces exquisite craft gifts and products. We’ll be going (free mince pies!), so see you there.

We said we’d give outline feedback from the informal meeting (Tuesday, November 12) held to discuss ideas for a 2014 village fête. The first part of the discussion dealt with the cancelled bonfire and fireworks. It was agreed that, given all the factors, there had been no alternative to the decision to call it off. There was also a majority decision to postpone the fireworks until November 2014 but with the option to hold an interim knees-up with just the bonfire. Various dates have been suggested with the winter solstice probably the favourite. Everyone loves a knees-up and we, in particular, like the idea of a fireworks-free one so we can either take our bang-shy dogs or leave them at home with a clear conscience.

It was agreed to hold a further meeting in January to discuss the fête. Key issues carried forward till then include the venue — particularly in view of possible Southern Water engineering works — and finding the right people to drive the whole thing. So much more to be discussed and decided. In the meantime, the next Village Hall Committee meeting is next Tuesday, December 10th. Everyone welcome, as always.

Jackie Spriggs has managed to escape again and has sent the following: “Friday, December 13, will be a real red-letter day for our Benefice as, after three long years managing ourselves, our new Priest-in-Charge, Rev’d Anne-Marie Crosse, will be Licenced at Netherfield church at 5.00 pm. Congregations of all three parishes are invited, and it would be useful for catering purposes to know who is planning to come – so please give your churchwardens a call.

“As this is taking place after the publication of The Messenger, we have been unable to confirm church services over the festive period, so please look in the usual informative places — notice boards and the usual telegraph poles and tree trunks — for posters.” Or, of course, your local Village Voice…

We have just come back from two weeks’ holiday on Dartmoor. Our first observation is that the condition of lanes down there makes ours look downright third world and, for those of you who don’t know the area, we can assure you that Dartmoor lanes are a lot more remote than ours and the weather is a lot harsher than anything we get in winter here.

Our second observation is that, following a few helpful comments about our beautiful suburb in recent columns, we couldn’t help noticing that someone had erected a new signpost in our car park with a large arrow pointing to “Brightling, suburb of Mountfield”. Thank you to whoever put the sign up; it will undoubtedly be helpful to visitors so we might find a more prominent site for it somewhere along the lane. (Perhaps we should have another at the other end of the village saying “Beware Netherfield!”.)

If there is something you would like mentioned in the Village Voice for Christmas or the New Year, let us know as early as possible; we can then plan it into our lead times. You know where we are: 880614 (evenings) or