BRIGHTLING BARN DANCE: This was a riotous success with over 275 people turning up for the revels despite strong competition from other local events. Some people came from miles around. The band, Swallowtail, were excellent and Vic, the caller, did his best to control things but it was a close thing. The beer had run out by 8.30, requiring an emergency booze run into Robertsbridge. The BBQ did a roaring trade with precisely three sausages left. One chap declared that he had been a barn dance virgin when he arrived but was a complete convert now and when was the next one… (Answer: two years time.) At the time of going to press, final figures aren’t known but it should have raised a tidy sum for the Flower Show, Brightling village funds and the Church. Congratulations to all the organisers.

BARBARA VALENTINE WRITES: I had a great time at the summer Fair at St Michael’s Hospice and painted a lot of children and adults — though not as many as I would have wished. I still made £73.00 and hope to raise a lot more at the next event, the Fabulously Vintage Fair on September 20th.

Art classes start on September 16th and 17th at Mountfield Village Hall. Anyone interested is welcome to come along, and the first session is free for new students. The classes are suitable for all abilities, from absolute beginners to professional artists. Friendly, fun and a change to try new techniques and mediums. Morning classes are 10.00-12.30, and afternoons from 1.00-3.30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information, please call me on 01424 838264.

THE FARM SHOP: One of the reasons our local farm shop, Poppinghole Farm Shop, is fun to visit is that owner Sarah works hard to keep it interesting. One recent initiative is the introduction of the Little Attic which offers fun items described as “Vintage, shabby chic and new”. This is the stall-within-a-shop of Dianne Payne who, a few years back, used to manage the shop for the previous owners. Di has an interesting mix of glass, china, pewter, collectibles, curiosities and more. Prices range from a couple of quid up to twenty quid. An easy source for a last minute present at an affordable price.

The other recent introduction is the wonderful range of greeting cards from Sussex Stills. We have bought many of these over the last couple of months and try to keep at least one on in hand for that oops birthday moment. Sussex Stills is in fact photographer Nicky Flint, who lives in Salehurst. Nicky has been a taking photographs for over twenty years alongside her work as a garden designer and gardener. She has an extraordinary eye for an image and all her work is of local scenes. Village Voice recommended.

DATES AND REMINDERS: We wrote last week about the Mountfield Ride & Walk on Saturday, September 20th. If you need information or an entry form, contact either your Village Voices as below or (Pete is proposing to jog round the entire 10 mile course so sign up to see how he gets on.)

And a new date for the diary. DACS (the Darwell Area Conservation Society) will be holding its annual party and AGM from 4.00 pm on Sunday, September 21st, in Brightling Village Hall. All DACS members will have received invites (and I hope will have RSVPed), but non-members are very welcome if you want to find out what DACS has been doing during its first year and what the current challenges are. And, of course, new members are always welcome to join up over tea and delicious cakes.

We shall report next week on last Tuesday’s Parish Council meeting.

A BIT UP IN THE AIR: Further to a piece in the Village Voice a couple of weeks ago, our Aviation Correspondent, Richard Tilden Smith writes: “You will probably have heard, maybe even from Ted and Rosie Parkinson, up Netherfield, that the Hurricane that you referred to in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was most probably a late, clipped-wing Spitfire that young Parky [Anthony Parkinson, ex-Red Arrows] helps to fly. Mountfield was very privileged to have such a fly-by, I have to say, and it is all due to that family connection.”

YOUR VILLAGE VOICE: If you’ve any news, gossip, information or anything to publicise, contact us on 880614 (evenings) or via

Peter and Valerie Miles