As the Village Voice goes to press, we have just heard that British Gypsum have donated two pairs of tickets for a grand tour of mine and plant. These will be auctioned by silent auction at the “yellow poster” community bash on Sunday, June 1st (see below). The two best offers as at the close of the event at 4.00 pm get the chance to tour Brightling Mine underground followed by lunch and a tour of the board plant in Mountfield.

We’ve lots of charity events to report this week. First up is Caroline Hollamby who has been in intensive training for a 100km cycle ride to raise funs for Tommy’s, a charity dedicated to the problem of stillbirth — a problem that Caroline encounters all too frequently in the course of her work. (For information on this very good cause, go to

And she really has been training. With her cycle buddy, Sue Newby, she has put in 68 workouts, over 88 hours and covered over 500km in training. All this is leading up to Saturday 7th June when, just as we are all going to bed, Caroline and Sue will be setting off to pedal through the night. She already has over £500 pledged. If you want to support Caroline and a very good cause, either go to or, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can either go along to the bash at the village hall on Sunday (see below) where Caroline will be posing with bike, or simply call her on 01580 880056.

A week later on June 15th, Mandy Sutton is doing the Race For Life for the fourth year running for about 3 miles from Alexandra Park in Hastings in the company of one daughter, two grandchildren and a pram. This is always a fun, pink ribbon event in aid of Cancer Research UK, with particular emphasis on breast cancer. Mandy tells us that she still has a few empty lines on her sponsorship sheet so either call her on 880916 or contact anyone at the Club (see below).

Looking further ahead, Mandy is also hosting a Blooming Marvellous Tea Party from 2.00–4.00 pm on Saturday 28th June at 2, Yew Tree Cottages. This is in aid of Marie Curie. In addition to delicious tea and cakes, there will be other events such a raffle, guess the weight of the cake, and guess-the-teddy’s-name —the winner gets to take teddy home! So make a note in your diaries for you and the children or grandchildren.

We’ve already mentioned the Special Woodland Walks that Peter is leading, on the 8th and 22nd of June, on behalf of church funds. The response has not been as good as expected so here’s a reminder of what’s on offer. The walks are almost entirely off any public footpaths and will cover the remains of a 13thC fortified manor house and other mediæval earthworks, some extraordinary trees and rare wild plants, the remains of local mining from at least the 16thC, fascinating local field and wood names, a Tudor version of Spaghetti Junction and much more. Above all, Pete can show you a completely different way of looking at this lovely part of our local countryside. For more information, call Pete or to book, contact Jackie Spriggs on 880261 or

John Ireland is still looking for someone to sit and natter with his mum from time to time so that John can get out to the shops, etc. Various worthy agencies have been contacted with limited success. We do feel that these formal agencies are not the only answer. John is the first to point out that everyone has their own pressures of work, family and so on but we wonder whether there is a neighbour somewhere in the village or local area who could spare an hour or two from time to time. It doesn’t even have to be a regular thing. One recent visitor wrote of Alcer that “she enjoys watching programmes like Midsummer Murders, Columbo, nature programmes and old comedies and enjoys reminiscing about growing up locally and used to love gardening.”

This Saturday night (May 31st) sees the Mountfield Club holding its first table tennis tournament. It will be a straight knockout tournament. The entry fee is £1.00 and if any one would like to enter please call Steve Smith on 07521902834. The Club’s snooker singles and doubles finals will to be held next Wednesday evening (June 4th) at the Club. If you want to play snooker for the Club teams, new players of all standards are always needed please get in touch with Steve (as above).

Two final reminders about this Sunday, June 1st. In the morning, Mountfield Horticultural Society’s Coffee Morning and Plant Sale will be held from 10.30–12.30 at 4, Eatenden Lane. And then in the afternoon, there is the “yellow poster” community bash from 1.00–4.00 at the village hall.

It must be almost exactly a year since Reg Langley died and now we have the news that Joan followed him last week at the age of ninety-four. Although in many way there must be a sense of release, it’s always a sad time and everyone’s thoughts will be for Joy and the family.

The early months of the year brought some extraordinary weather: gales and ridiculous amounts of rain. But the year has been very warm with no snow and few frosts — and what frosts we did have didn’t amount to very much. One of the principal effects of this general warmth is a huge tick population. We are particularly aware of the problem as we have two dogs who, for some reason, are tick magnets. It wasn’t as bad last year but in 2012 they picked up a cool 504 ticks between them (no, that’s not a misprint) and it looks as though this year is going to match that. Ticks don’t only cause problems for dogs and other pets, they can be a danger to humans too. We thought that we were free of Lyme Disease round here but then, a couple of years ago, a Mountfield child was diagnosed with Lyme so be vigilant, particularly if you have dogs or go walking through long grass of anywhere near bracken.

If you have anything for the Village Voice, please contact us on 880614 (evenings) or

Peter and Valerie Miles