Most of you will have seen a couple of new things around the village over the last few days. First, signs have gone up at the start of Church Road and at the far end of Mountfield Lane warning of the impending roadworks and road closures. Work starts on April 24 and is scheduled to last for 10 days. They will be working from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm to get the work done in the minimum time. There will inevitably be a certain amount of inconvenience but it has to be worth it in the long term. Special arrangements have been made to protect access for employees of Photonic Science and the BACT buses and we can liaise with the Highways crew daily to ensure the least disruption for residents, village hall users, church visitors, etc.

Just by way of context, we have had to drive over to Ashford for our sins several times recently. Our route involves lanes and main roads in both East Sussex and Kent. The lanes are often as bad as our local lanes but we were shocked by the state of some of the main roads, particularly in Kent. It has brought home to us how fortunate we are that an unclassified road (i.e. not an A, B or C road) like Mountfield Lane should receive this level of repair works. It’ll be worth any short term inconvenience.

The other new sight is the new parish notice board beside the lay-by on New Cut where it looks very at home with the village sign and the phone box. It is strange in this day and age of email and internet that it is still a legal requirement for all parish notices to be displayed on a dedicated notice space but that’s still the law. The board will also be used as a welcome point for visitors to the village and the area. The parish council opted for something sturdy which will last and not become a liability. The old noticeboard on Hoath Hill has been taken down before it fell on somebody. Big thanks are due to British Gypsum for taking care of the cost and practicalities of erecting the new noticeboard, Paul Last acted as liaison and foreman.

Next week, we will report on the Mountfield Parish Assembly (April 11) but here are some other dates for you diaries.

First, preliminary details of the Easter church services at All Saints and the three parishes. There will be a one hour-ish Meditation for Good Friday at Mountfield Church at 12.00 noon, and on Easter Sunday the Communion Service for Brightling, Mountfield and Netherfied will be at Brightling Church at 10.00 am. All denominations welcome.

Jill Gyngell from Park Pale is involved in the organisation of a new Battle Arts and Music Festival which will take place in October. In preparation, the Battle Festival Sinfonia, which has been specially formed for the festival, will be giving its inaugural concert on Easter Monday, April 21, at 6.00 pm. in St Mary’s Church, Battle. The programme will include works from the Bach Passions, Vaughan Williams, Handel and more. The Sinfonia is made up of top flight musicians including current and former members of the LPO, LSO and RPO. More information is available at with advance tickets available from Farrago in Battle.

A reminder about the important Extraordinary Parish Council meeting on Tuesday, April 22 to discuss Southern Water’s planning application to lay a first time mains sewer round part of Mountfield, connecting to a waste water treatment plant at the far end of the football field in Solomon’s Lane. Please ensure that it is in your diary. The meeting will be at 7.30 in the Village Hall.

We mentioned her above but are pleased to announce that Jill Gyngell has joined the list of deliverers of The Messenger and has taken over Pete’s “paper round” which stretches from Dave Craven at one end to Hunter’s Farm at the other. This should enable everyone to get their copies much more promptly than of late. Pete will continue to collect the magazines and distribute them to the various deliverers around the village.

Since Brightling does not have a Village Voice of its own (they even have to borrow our vicar), and since the villages are joned at the hip in so many ways, we would always be happy to include items from or about Brightling. It is, after all, a suburb we hold in affection and esteem.

This Village Voice obviously depends on input. So if you have anything you think might be suitable for the parish pump — planning a tractor trundle, new neighbours we can welcome, special events (birthdays, anniversaries), good wishes for neighbours for whatever reason — do let us know. In these days of the tele and the internet, the grapevine is not necessarily as good as it used to be, so don’t take things for granted: if it’s shareable, let us know. You know where we are: 880614 (evenings) or

Peter and Valerie Miles,