Tuesday May 13th was the Annual Council Meeting of Mountfield Parish Council. The first business of the evening was the election of the chairman and vice chairman. After three years in the hot seat, Jim Ray had decided to stand down. Peter Miles was elected as chairman with Jim becoming vice chair.

Tributes were paid to the work that Jim has done over those three years during which it certainly has been a hot seat with a number of ongoing planning issues, the problems of the village roads and no fewer than four extraordinary council meetings: the Glottenham Farm camp site, the DSG storage at British Gypsum, Baldwins Farm and, most recently, the Southern Water application for the sewerage and waste treatment plant. We’re not sure of the exact tally but we think that Jim has served Mountfield Parish Council as, variously, councillor, vice chairman and chairman for something like eighteen years. It is reassuring that he is still in place to look after our interests.

The actual personnel on the Council remains unchanged so it looks like this: Peter and Jim, Caroline Hollamby, Sue O’Sullivan, Ray Barrs, Mark Hardy and Paul Last. So there are councillors covering most areas of the parish. To complete the team, mention should also be made of Irene Marchant, the long-suggering clerk. Contact details for all councillors — and Irene — are on the parish website:

One other particular topic for discussion was the idea of obtaining a defibrillator for Mountfield. MPC is taking advice from the local ambulance authority, SECAmb, over the most appropriate type, the best location, training and familiarisation, and possible grants. It may be that, with funding assistance, Mountfield could look at a second one at a later date as location is key: success or failure is counted in minutes with a maximum time frame of nine minutes and the first three minutes being crucial. Your Village Voice will keep you posted.

We’ve got three diary dates for you and we start with Mountfield Horticultural Society.

Sue Kennedy writes: “We will be holding a Coffee Morning and Plant Sale on Sunday, 1st June, 10.30-12.30 at 4, Eatenden Lane, by kind permission of Rachael Craddock. Please come along, have a chat, buy some plants (or even donate some plants), enter the raffle and enjoy coffee and cake.

“The next thing in our calendar is our annual garden visit. This year we will be going to RHS Hyde Hall; for more information and bookings please contact Celia Morris 01580 880458. Our annual Flower Show will be taking place on Saturday, 2nd August; schedules will be out soon.

“For the photographers amongst you, the photography classes this year will be: “Gateway”, “Sunrise or Sunset”, “Silhouette(s)” or “Blowing in the Wind”. (On this subject, one of the photography classes next year will be “The Four Seasons” entries comprising four photographs, one for each season so you will need to start planning now.) We hope to see as many of you as possible this year and hope you will take the opportunity to enter classes at our Flower Show.”

And on the same day as Mountfield Horticultural Society’s coffee morning, Sunday 1st June, is the Village Hall community event in the afternoon, from 1.00 to 4.00 pm. The posters have gone up round the village and most residents will have received a flier too (from the Flier Fairy — ssh). Peter will be there flying the flag for DACS (the local conservation group) but if you want to talk about the Village Voice or the Parish Council, feel free to wander up and chat.

Last week we announced two walks that Pete will be leading in aid of church funds on Sundays 8th and 22nd June. Stupidly we forgot to include the timings. Each walk will set off at 10.00 am sharp and, although only about two miles long, will take about three hours — that’s how much of interest there is to see. So everyone should be back at the cars by one o’ clock for handouts. It’s in a good cause and will change the way you look at the local woods, fields and tracks. Above all, it allows access to private land of extraordinary interest. It’s a rare opportunity. Call or email Jackie Spriggs on 880261 or

Mountfield Club news: Congratulations to Danny Overy and Jack Hayler who came from 1-0 down to beat Steve Smith and Sean Spillet in the snooker doubles semi final 2-1 and will now play Kevin Gray and Andy Saunders in the final.

The Club is to have its first table tennis tournament on Saturday, May 31st with a £1.00 entrance fee for any one wishing to play. Please phone Steve Smith on 07720 298971. The date of the forthcoming quiz night and presentation evening will be announced soon — watch this space. And more events will be announced in the forthcoming weeks.

Following the Club’s recent AGM, Hayley Last has taken over as the club chairman. New members are always welcome; contact anyone at the Club for more information.

After last year’s worrying experience, we asked a few weeks back whether anyone had heard any cuckoos. Paul and other Hoath Hillers reported that they had been hearing the call for sometime in the woods opposite. And then Bernie emailed to say that, after total silence last year, he had heard the cuckoo at New House Farm while out walking his dogs. And then we heard it too over somewhere on Baldwins Farm so a rather happier year.

If you’ve anything for your Village Voice(s), either call us on 880614 (evenings please) or

Peter and Valerie Miles