THE MOUNTFIELD RIDE: It’s that time of year again. The 4th Mountfield Ride/Walk will take place on Saturday, September 20th, in aid of All Saints Church, Mountfield. This is the Ride that reaches parts of the Weald that other rides cannot reach, providing privileged access deep into the heart of local estates, beyond normal rights of way. The route will be different from the last two years and will cover some entirely new territory. The full route will be approximately 10 miles but there will be opportunities to shorten it as necessary for horses or walkers not at peak fitness. The full ride will be almost entirely off road round fields and woodland. The route will start opposite Mountfield Church and riders and walkers may set off any time between 9.30 and 12.30 — though have pity on the far flung marshals who need to get back before all the hot dogs have gone. There will be free parking and ample room for trailers. Refreshments will be available at the start/finish. The entry fees are riders £15.00 in advance or £20.00 on the day, under 16s £10.00 or £15.00 on the day and walkers £5.00 per person in advance or on the day. Dogs are welcome but must be on a lead throughout. To obtain an entry form, either email or your Village Voices (see below).

CHURCH NEWS: Jackie Spriggs, our religious affairs correspondent writes: “The early morning rain dried up and there was glorious sunshine in time for the wedding last Saturday at All Saints Church, Mountfield, of James Coulling and Clare Barber, long term partners, and to the great joy of their intimate congregation of nearest and dearest. James and Clare live nearby in Netherfield Hill and are frequent visitors to our church. “The church was decorated beautifully with flowers in a profusion of colours, mainly from their own garden, and red and cream roses which reflected Clare’s dress of red roses on a cream background with matching red shrug, shoes and fascinator. James looked very cool, too, in a cream suit with a red rose. The service was quite unostentatious, but with all the necessary elements, and they walked out of the church as man and wife to the strains of ‘All You Need Is Love’… and that says it all (thanks Sir Paul!).”

SOME REMINDERS: Tomorrow (Saturday, September 6th), sees Barbara Valentine doing her quick portraits at St Michael’s Hospice Summer Fair in the morning from 10.30 to 1.30. Then, in the evening there is the Brightling Barn Dance in the barn at Ox Lodge. And a final reminder that Barbara Valentine and daughter Juliette are currently taking bookings for their art classes. The Autumn term starts on Tuesday, September 16th in the Village Hall. Juliette’s portrait classes are on Tuesday mornings and Barbara’s Art Workshops are on Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. This year, they are offering a free first session to any new students who want to try before they buy.

MOUNTFIELD PARISH COUNCIL: The next parish council meeting will be at 7.30 pm, Tuesday, September 9th. The agenda will include a review of the children’s playground. One view to be discussed is that the playground caters well for toddlers and the lower half of the pre-secondary school age group but less well for the older kids. If you have any thoughts or ideas, on that or any other parish business, either let a councillor know or turn up and pitch in in person. It is also hoped that a representative from Southern Water will be able to make the meeting as there are some pretty knotty issues that need to be sorted out such as the effect of the planned road closures on residents, the rat run traffic along Eatenden Lane and the route of the school bus. The Parish Council is actively on the case. And talking of the playground, we now have two brand new, very jolly, red and blue toddler swings.

TO CONTACT YOUR VILLAGE VOICES: As ever, we can be contacted on 01580 880614 (evenings) or via

Peter and Valerie Miles