CONGRATULATIONS: …are due. We will let Jackie Spriggs tell the story here.

“It was a great day in Solomon’s Lane, Mountfield, on Saturday 25th September 1954 when Eileen, youngest of the popular four daughters of Dos and Bunny Honeysett, married the dashing sportsman Jim Spray. The marriage ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Francis Vere-Hodge, Subdean of Battle, who at that time was living in Mountfield Vicarage. (I lived further along the lane from the Honeysetts, and weddings were a great occasion then: we would all turn out to see the bride being driven to church and often then go to the church to see them come out as man and wife.) Following the wedding, their reception was held in the function room behind John’s Cross Inn from where, after Eileen had been home to change into her ‘going away outfit,’ they left by taxi for their honeymoon in Brighton.

“Jim and Eileen lived in Battle and Hastings for seven years, then when the house next-door to her parents became vacant they moved back to Mountfield. Jim, being in the building trade, then began to modernise and extend the property and there they have been ever since, raising their family of three, Kim, Colin and Deirdre, and taking part in various aspects of village life, Jim being a team member of Mountfield Football Club.

“For very many years Eileen was the cook at Mountfield and Whatlington School, a stalwart fundraiser for the school, and in 1995 was nominated for and received the MBE from HM the Queen in acknowledgement of her services. Last Thursday, their Diamond Wedding Anniversary, they received a congratulatory card from the Queen.

“In their retirement Jim and Eileen have become keen bowlers playing with Battle Bowls Club, and Eileen a skilled flower arranger, frequently uses her talent to benefit the decoration of our church whilst Jim has become a Mr Fixit, often being called upon to deal with a construction repair — like the loo door of the church!

“Very many congratulations, Eileen and Jim, and we wish you both many more happy and healthy years to enjoy together in our very special community.” (Jackie)

Next week, your Village Voices will add an interesting footnote about some of the family names in Jackie’s lovely piece.

DIARY DATES: Two new dates for you this week. First, there is to be a table top sale on Saturday, October 11th, from 10.00 till 1.00 in Brightling Village Hall. Whereas jumble sales are, all too often, a dumping ground for tat and rubbish, table top sales are always a much more rewarding venture and a more worthwhile source of good bargains. Indeed, we can vouch for at least one of the table tops which will have an astonishing range of music DVDs covering classics (mostly), jazz (some) and classic rock (all your yesterdays), plus a selection of books for the more discerning: cookery, history, gardening and more. To book a table, call Jane Beard on 01424 838352. To book a bargain, just turn up on the morning. Coffee available throughout the morning. See you there.

And secondly, it’s that time of the year again. Harvest Festival is Sunday 12th October at 3.00pm followed by Tea in the Village Hall. Contributions of fruit and veg and particularly dried and packet comestibles will be very gratefully received, all of which will be taken to the Fellowship of St Nicholas in St Leonards-on-Sea for their work with disadvantaged young adults. (If you want to know more about what they do, visit

CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND: We are sorry to have to introduce one sour note into this week’s Voice but… There has been persistent dog fouling in the children’s playground recently. It’s not nice and it’s not necessary. We don’t think it’s dogs being walked — most people are too grown up — but dogs that are allowed to run loose. We watched the other day as an unaccompanied black cocker did the unforgivable before wandering back home for lunch. If it continues, I guess the Parish Council may need to reconsider the kissing gate at the end of the twitten but why should parishioners’ money — and the council budget comes out of everyone’s council tax — be spent making up for a few people’s irresponsibility?

SNAKES ALIVE: We left you last week with Bernie’s question about the mystery snake he’d seen. As we said, we had seen exactly the same just a couple of weeks earlier and had needed to look it up. So: 6” to 9” long, very slim, a shimmering gold with a handsome black stripe down either side… Is a juvenile slow worm. Like Bernie, we’d never seen one before and are astonished that anything so dull and inconspicuous as a slow worm can have such beautiful young.

TO CONTACT US: If you have any news for your neighbours, or sightings of strange snakes, unicorns or anything else, we are on 880614 or via

Peter and Valerie Miles