PAT TURNER: We must start this week’s Village Voice with the sad news of the death of Pat Turner. She was taken ill late on the Saturday evening and left us in the early hours of last Sunday morning (October 5th). Before she finally retired to Newhouse Oast, Brightling, about six years ago, Pat was a part of Mountfield village for over forty years up at Banks Farm. Everyone’s thoughts go to Ross and Neil. Her burial service will be at All Saints Church, Mountfield, on Friday, October 24th, at 12.00.

MOUNTFIELD FAMILY BONFIRE: Only two weeks to go till the best local family-friendly bonfire bash at the Bonfire Field, Friday, October 31st. Gates open 6.00. All the usual fun of the fair: fortifying soup, bolstering burgers and soft drinks. Organise the family, galvanise the neighbours, invite your friends and their kids — and check the torch batteries. Sadly, we shan’t be there as we’ll be holding the paw of one very gun shy and firework shy dog. Talking of which, if you have an animal — dog, cat or other — who suffers in the same way, advice on reducing stress is available from Senlac Vets and online from Both can also offer advice on the supply and use of calming pheromones which can be administered via diffusers, sprays, collars, etc.

HARVEST FESTIVAL: Our Church Affairs Correspondent, Jackie Spriggs writes: “Mountfield’s Harvest Thanksgiving was on 12th October. The church looked magnificent decorated by the festival flower team in autumnal flowers and foliage, the biggest pumpkin ever covering four fifths of the font and plenty of tinned and packeted comestibles to be delivered to our usual recipients: the Fellowship of St Nicholas in St Leonards. “There was only one thing missing… a decent congregation. There were only seventeen in the congregation, a great disappointment for the first Harvest of our Priest-in-Charge, Ann-Marie Crosse. Nevertheless we ‘Ploughed and Scattered,’ ‘Thanked we all our God’ and came and were thankful. A huge spread was thoroughly enjoyed afterwards in the Village Hall by the intimate partakers, most going home with doggy bags which will see them through several elevenses and teas over the next few days. “The general subject of conversation was ‘where was everyone?’ The date was two weeks later than last year, there was a Battle of Hastings event at Battle Abbey, notice had been given in the parish magazine, the Village Voice and posters in the usual places, but there is no school now which always brought in some families. If anyone has any reasons we would be glad to hear.” Just before we filed this column, we popped into the church. We were there before it had been unlocked but the decorations in the porch alone were worth the visit: sedums, berried hawthorn, yew, chrysanths, ivy, privet and more. Lovely. We’ll pop back when the church is open to admire the rest of the team’s efforts. While we were there, we were very pleased to see that the access from the corner of the churchyard to the path along the edge of Church Field, which had been obstructed, has been reopened. Quite right too.

REPORTS AND DIARY DATES: Following on from the comments in Jackie’s report, there must have been something in the air last weekend because, although we’ve no new diary dates for you, we can report on the table top sale in Brightling Village Hall on Saturday. All the tables were sold and the standard was extremely high but the turnout was negligible. Although this was disappointing, Jane and Geoffrey’s efforts in organising it should not go unsung.

PETQUEST: It was nice to find some old friends turning up nearly on our doorstep. We have used Bev and Gill of PetQuest, stalwart suppliers of pet supplies, for years. They started in Northiam before being forced to find other locations. They have finally landed up in Cripps Corner. At first they will just be selling the usual food and accessories for all pets from dogs and cats down to hamsters plus wild and domestic bird supplies. They already do horse feed but hope to rebuild to the level of equine accessories they used to have at Northiam. For more information, call 01580 830038.

FORK EASE: We were much uplifted on returning from the station to see a full complement of geese on Church Pond. Thanks and congratulations to Terry and Julia on the new arrivals. Somehow, four is the right number so all’s well with the world. (Though apologies to the Two Ronnies…)

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

Peter and Valerie Miles