FRED STACE: We will do a full report in next week’s Village Voice, drawing on Dave Craven’s admirable Tribute, but suffice to say for now that Fred’s funeral certainly did him all the honours due to one of Mountfield’s finest. The turnout was just as you might expect but, somehow, everyone managed to get into the church and find a seat. Above all, given what a gap Fred’s passing has left in so many lives — not least Mountfield’s, collectively — it was a worthy celebration and, with Fred’s meticulous and delightful input in the choice of reading and hymns, under the Rev’d Ann-Marie’s baton, an upbeat occasion.

OTHER VILLAGE VOICES: One of the occasional pleasures of doing the Village Voice is when we hear from readers, particularly those from outside the village and last week we heard from two such who will be familiar names to older folk in the village. Following our mention of Fred Martin’s delivery van that John Breach restored so magnificently, we got a call from Tony Williams to say that the van used to stop outside his house at Riverhall Villas or 22 Hoath Hill as it is now more generally known. We had a pleasant natter about times past and another next day when I dropped Paul’s photo of the van round to him in Battle. Then, a few days later, we had a call from John Brown who used to live in Woodbine Cottage, opposite the old saw mill. He now lives in Sherburn, outside Leeds, where British Gypsum have one of their other UK manufacturing plants. He was following up on something we wrote last year about the anti-tank traps off New Cut. While we were chatting, I mentioned that I happened to know that Paul Last had just got back from a training course at Sherburn which immediately set John off on old Bill Last and “young Gerald Last”…

KIDZ: A reminder about the Mountfield KIDZ Club get-together next Friday (February 6th) at 4.30 pm in the Village Hall. This will just be an initial get-together, not a formal meeting — and so no-one will get roped into anything. The idea is to bounce ideas around, to hear what everyone wants for their children or grandchildren, to see what resources there are locally, to gauge what enthusiasm there is, and so on. In case you missed last week’s Village Voice, KIDZ is intended to relaunch the Children’s Club — which organises the Christmas tree Party and the Family Bonfire — so that it can provide a wider range of fun local activities throughout the year. KIDZ is, of course, about the children, but it’s also about adjusting to life without a village school and trying to put back some of the social cohesion that is inevitably lost when our kids now go to so many different schools. And if KIDZ is successful, it will offer opportunities to so many other clubs and associations in the village. If you can’t make the meeting, you can still email any thoughts or ideas to

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club has been chosen to host a charity quiz night on behalf of St Michael’s hospice on Thursday February 19th. More information to follow. The Club’s snooker team has moved three points clear at the top of Division 3 beating the team in second place, Battle, 3-2 at home. There were wins for Kevin Gray — his twelfth league win of the season, Colin Elms, with the help of a 21 break, and Sean Spillett. With only seven matches remaining, Mountfield are the current favourites to lift the title.

TALKING DOGS: As there are so many fellow dog owners and handlers in the village, we should pass on a new (to us) discovery. Granary Field Sports opened in the autumn at Beech Farm and, in addition to a good range of good but reasonably priced clothes, has just about everything for the dog handler: whistles, dummies (canvas, fur, and feather), leads, vests, launchers, etc. And you get to drive into the heart of the Beech Estate.

CONTACT: If you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via

Peter and Valerie Miles