Peter & Valerie Miles,

We don’t know what the collective noun for BT vans is — an openreach of vans, perhaps — but there was a strange sight for a few days last week with no fewer than six OpenReach vans gaggling at the top of George Hill. This was the main “cabinets” going up which will supposedly deliver superfast broadband to Mountfield. There is an updated bulletin about it on the parish website ( The upgraded Robertsbridge exchange will link to a local cabinet in John’s Cross; quite what happens from there remains to be seen. It would seem it will deliver significant improvement for those households which are less than one kilometre away from that cabinet and a diminishing advantage to those further afield. We are not clear whether that is one kilometre as the crow flies or as a piece of copper wire wiggles.

Also on the parish website, Irene has posted the latest roadworks schedule from ESCC which indicates that the collapsed drain gully between New Cut and the roundabout was due for repair last Wednesday so, by the time you read this, it should have been fixed and there should be no more smashed cones and signs all over the road. We know they had to give some sort of warning but we would hate to have connected with either the sign or the cones, which lots of other motorists obviously did.

Otherwise, it has been a quiet week for Mountfield though that could be about to change as we know that the planning application for the sewerage scheme and treatment works has been received from Southern Water and, at the time of writing, is being “validated” by ESCC prior to publication on the county website. As soon as it is, we will provide exact details of how to access and view the application and also what Mountfield Parish Council’s plans are.

We now know from the Met Office that “parts of southern England” received twice the average rainfall in January. Although we may not have been the worst affected by any means, we were certainly one of those parts. And it wasn’t just January; it was Christmas eve that the Robertsbridge flood defences were used for the first time since they were constructed. The two main effects of all the rain locally were the disruption to the trains caused by the various landslips and, of course, our roads which have gone from worse to even worse. We wonder whether the water pouring down Rocks Hill outside our place will become a tourist attraction. After all, streets full of water seem to have done the trick for Venice.

You know where we are: 880614 (evenings) or