TOP OF THE TABLE: If you have queued up to buy your Battle Observer on publication Friday (and why wouldn’t you?), here is a final timely reminder about The Table Top Sale tomorrow (Saturday, October 11th) at Brightling Village Hall from 10.00 till 1.00. The table space has been a sell-out, the quality of the bargains on offer is beyond dreams, and the kitchen will be serving coffee and tea to the massed shoppers throughout. Remember, this isn’t a junk sale where everyone offloads rubbish; the vendors will be there and accountable. Strictly as an example of the pre-Christmas bargains on offer, your Village Voices will be setting out their stall consisting of approximately 200 CDs, consisting of over 60 classical CDs — including many classic recordings (including some real standards from old Decca and DG catalogues), plus jazz (Tatum, Garner, Brubeck, Marsalis and more), folk (Seeger, early Dylan and ol’ Bluegrass) and some popular combo music; and an exceptional range of hardback books, mostly of 20thC and Victorian social history. See you there.

HARVEST FESTIVAL: A final reminder that this Sunday, 12th October, is Harvest Festival at All Saints, Mountfield. The service starts at 3.00 pm followed by tea in the Village Hall. Any contributions of fruit and veg and particularly dried and packet comestibles would be gratefully received, either in advance or at the service, 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

ST MICHAEL’S: Barbara Valentine reports: “The Vintage Fair at St Michaels Hospice was brilliant. It was all great fun, and I dressed in a 1970s outfit. Not sure if anyone recognised me in the black wig! Worked non-stop the whole day, painting loads of children, and people dressed in 40s and 50s garb. I made £233 for the Hospice, which was the most I’ve ever made in a day — thank you, Mike and Wendy for your generous donation. “There was an elderly gentleman, who would have liked to be painted, but he very kindly kept letting the children in the queue go ahead of him, and by the time I’d finished the last one, the fair was over and he had gone. I phoned the Hospice the next day, and they managed to work out who he was, so I went to the Hospice today and painted him. Then some of the other patients and the volunteers wanted their portraits, and I made another £35 for the Hospice. I had to leave but have promised to go back for one of their Christmas Fairs, on the 4th December, to paint more portraits.

REMEMBER, REMEMBER: …the 31st of October (!). Gunpowder, treason and, er, the wrong month. But the Mountfield Bonfire bash remains the most child-friendly and family-friendly bonfire bash of the season. If you’ve not already booked your friends and relations for the evening, there’s still time. More details nearer the time but for now: just sort the guest list.

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s snooker team have gone from strength to strength, winning last week’s league match at Staplehurst 5-0. Pete Last, Kevin Gray, Steve Smith and Andy Saunders all won their frames. This leaves Mountfield sitting proudly at the top of Division 3 having won their first three matches of the season. Last week’s charity quiz night disappointingly didn’t go ahead due to the lack of people there on the night. The host Steve Smith would like to thank the few who did turn up. The club will announce more events in the near future.

THE LUNCH CLUB: Ruby rang to say that Last Monday’s Lunch Club at Leeford Place was enjoyed by seven stalwart diners. The food and service were up to the usual standard plus the fact that the whole event was topped off by the fact that each of them was presented with a slice of wedding cake from a marriage bash the previous Saturday.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Last week’s Village Voice carried Jackie’s lovely piece about the wedding, in 1954, of Jim Spray and Eileen Honeysett and we did promise to give a small footnote to that. To do so, we must take you back to the mid-16th century when, close to the A2100 London Road (which wasn’t there then) and the railway line (which also wasn’t there then), the principal industrial feature in Mountfield was the Furnace and Forge just the other side of Little Crabden Wood. This was first recorded in 1548 as a forge but twenty five years later also incorporated a furnace. And from 1576 to 1983, the “hammerman” at the forge was an immigrant worker from Namur in modern day Belgium called Peter Henesit. (Much of the technical expertise in the local iron industry was imported from Europe). Peter was the first person in England with that distinctive local name (albeit with a variety of different phonetic spellings) of Honeysett, of which Mountfield and Brightling had their share. A final footnote to a footnote is that Mountfield Forge was owned by Richard Weekes (also spelt Wekes), another name that has persisted in the area for centuries. And then on the 7th of June 1986, over four centuries after Peter Henesit first went to work for Richard Weekes, Eileen Honeysett’s daughter Deirdre married a certain… Dave Weekes! It’s called history.

THE MESSENGER: Apologies to those who subscribe to The Messenger for the late delivery of the latest issue of the magazine. It is usually due for delivery to Robert Chambers on the 28th of each month. Robert then counts out the right numbers for each of the four parishes and boxes them up for collection. We then collect ours and distribute quantities to six local deliverers who then sally forth. As often happens, the magazines were late from the printers this month. This was exacerbated by the fact that they initially short delivered. Then, when ours did finally appear, some light-fingered miscreant from Netherfield went off with Mountfield’s magazines instead of his own leaving us short. It’s the old story: when one thing goes wrong, the dominoes keep toppling. Anyway, by the time you read this, everyone should have received their copy.

THE MESSENGER (Part 2): There are still a lot of folk in the village who don’t get The Messenger which seems a bit strange as so many people put in so much time and hard work and, at just a fiver for 12 issues it remains good value for money. There are recipes, news, forthcoming events, nature notes from Dave Gasson in Brightling and Mike Russell at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, jokes and stories, adverts covering your every need (nearly), a regular thought from Ann-Marie, our priest in charge, and more besides.

TO CONTACT US: If you have any news for the Village Voice, we are on 880614 or via

Peter and Valerie Miles