THE BAD NEWS...: Last week, a number of sheds along Hoath Hill were broken into. Although in some ways it was a bit opportunist, the police reckon it is part of a local pattern and the toerags could well return as they have done elsewhere. As we have all seen, Southovers have been trying to cut and carry the wheat but keep being defeated by downpours and it was as a result of yet another downpour that the gate into the field was open. The thieves simply drove in round the headland and parked up behind the sheds. The estate moved quickly to stop the problem with the gates but we should still all be vigilant. We all know the usual signs: cruising flatbeds or transits — white of course. There may be a slight twist in that one suspect vehicle was one of those multi-cab jobs like railway contractors use.

...THE GOOD NEWS: Sue Kennedy reports that the Flower Show on the 2nd August was a great success. She writes: “There was excellent entry for this year, over 30 more than last year. Despite the rain the night before, the entries were all of a very high standard and we had several new names competing. Next year we hope that even more people living in the village will take part. Congratulations to all our prize winners and a big thank you to everyone who entered and, just as importantly, thank you to all those who helped with the organising, setting up, running and clearing up. We look forward to seeing you all again next year. Finally thank you to our judges. Our final comment is a request for more committee members, more hands make light work and contribute even more ideas for next year, if you are interested in joining the committee please let us know.” One of your Village Voices decided to try and look at least a bit respectable so changed into clean trousers before going up to the Flower Show. Net result was no cash and no wallet so much skulking away from the raffle ticket sales.

BRIGHTLING BARN DANCE: Dan Stewart’s country band, Swallowtails, will once again be gracing the stage of the Ox Lodge Barn in Brightling on Saturday 6th September for the Brightling Barn Dance. This authentic Barn Dance, held in a real barn usually used for agricultural purposes, is a much loved, and eagerly awaited, local event. Doors open at 7pm with Swallowtails starting to play at around 7.30. There will be a licensed bar (selling Harveys) and barbecue and the people of Brightling look forward to welcoming you to an evening of fun. Tickets are available from Victoria Fraser 01580 880500 or Vanessa Everett on 01424 838402 and cost £10 for adults if the tickets are purchased in advance and £12 on the gate. Children under 14 are £5. There is only a limited quantity of tickets so we strongly recommend you purchase your tickets prior to the evening — book early to avoid disappointment.

ROAD CLOSURES: We are still recovering from the nightmare on Kent Lane caused by those two weeks of road closure on Darwell Hill. As it was, we got away with one chap who managed to pile his car all by himself and block the lane in both directions, and a head-on collision involving two cars. To that, you can add dozens of near misses and hearts in mouths. Now we have news that the A2100 London Road will be closed at the (un)level crossing from Sunday, September 21st for five days, from 8am to 6pm for essential Network Rail work. Apparently, diversion signs will enable you to avoid the problem by laying on a diversion between John’s Cross and Battle via Hastings. It may be that you can devise something a tad less drastic. We will continue to remind you of this road closure as it will be a pain in the proverbial and will surely squeeze all sorts of traffic on to the local lanes again. Looking further ahead, Southern Water’s sewerage construction work will cause two major and long-term road closures in the village. Much more detail is required but, essentially, the work on Solomon’s Lane — from the playground to the Old Bakery — will run from October 13th to February 10th and on Eatenden Lane — from the mine road to the Old Bakery — from March 18th to May 17th. Obviously the details will be key in terms of residents’ access, diversions and so on. We will keep you posted here and Irene will keep the parish website up to date too so this is advance warning. Watch this space.

JACKIE SPRIGGS WRITES ABOUT: A Rwanda Aid exhibition called “A Photo Opportunity for Street Children”. I would like to commend to you this fundraising exhibition by children taken from a life of begging on the streets of Rwanda, and trained in photography on donated cameras by Richard Follet [formerly of this parish] in just a few days. These kids are now able to support themselves and have been given an aim in life. This is yet another amazing project of Rwanda Aid to help some of the poorest people to help themselves. The exhibition will start in Rye but will move to Costa Coffee (the old 1066 pub) in Battle for October 2nd and 3rd. For further information, contact

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club has been keeping busy. The last Village Voice reported on the car treasure hunt. Then there was the final of the Hurst Green Summer Snooker League in which Cramp beat Battle 3-2. It says much about the Club facilities that this is the second year running the final has been held in Mountfield. The August charity quiz night was a great success with only four points separating the top three teams. The eventual winners were The White Hart, by a single point. That event raised £70 for St Wilfred’s Hospice in Eastbourne. Next month’s quiz night will be Thursday, September 4th. To enter a team or for enquiries, call Steve Smith on 07720 298971.

UP IN THE AIR: Pete was showing our incoming guests round Butters Cottage on Saturday when, to their initial alarm, he started to point and shout: “Look, look, look!” And there, grinding magnificently across Mountfield’s skies were the last two flying Lancasters in the world flanked by a Spitfire and another chap in a hurry. Thankfully, our guests on this occasion were Dutch. The majority are German.

FINALLY: We should like to apologise to all those who have had dodgy emails purporting to come from us. Most people have worked out that our personal email got hacked. All indications are that there is nothing virally malignant, just phishing (if you don’t know, don’t ask) for addresses to flog snake oil slimming remedies to. We have been forced to discontinue our old personal email address and have notified everyone as best we can of our new email account. For the Village Voice, the email remains the same: Or call us on 880614 (evenings please).

Peter and Valerie Miles