LOUIS DODD: The late Louis Dodd, who lived and painted in Mountfield for the last 30 years of his life, is the subject of a major exhibition at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday 7th March to the 7th of June. The exhibition, called “Voyage: the Marine Paintings of Louis Dodd” features 26 of his incredibly detailed historical shipping scenes in oils. The exhibition also includes some of his preliminary watercolour sketches and drawings together with a ship model that he made and objects from his studio. The historian Brian Williamson has spent nearly 2 years researching the historical background of the events that Louis painted, and will continue this work for a book on Louis that he has been commissioned to write. Lou’s widow Barbara Valentine and daughter Juliette Dodd have also spent two years preparing the exhibition and hope that all his friends, as well as international marine painting enthusiasts will come and enjoy seeing Lou’s wonderful work.

For any readers unaware of Louis’s work and standing in the art world, your Village Voices would add this description of his work from Connoisseur magazine: “Dodd is a painter of 17th and 18th century marine art, both ship portraiture and port cities. His ability is unsurpassed. This is coupled with an intimate knowledge of ports and famous structures. He is possibly the most historically gifted artist to come into the marine field in the last 100 years.”

MOUNTFIELD KIDS CLUB: Please come along to the second meeting for Mountfield Kids Club on Monday March 16th at 4.15pm in the Village Hall. The idea is for a Kids Club to provide fun local activitIes for the children. Everyone is welcome so pitch in with ideas and suggestions for activities, look at resources, talk about how to make it work and maybe even offer support in some form. If you would like to offer your views but can’t make it in person please email It’s looking like it may start off being a monthly meeting to test the waters and then see what happens from there.

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: Sue Kennedy has emailed to say that Mountfield Horticultural Society will be holding its AGM on Monday March 2nd at 7.30 in the village Hall. All welcome. She also included a reminder that one of the photographic classes for this year’s Flower Show is four photographs depicting the four seasons which is a theme that can’t be put off till the last minute so start snapping.

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s snooker team is edging ever closer to the Division 3 title. Following last week’s 5 - 0 away win at Staplehurst, this week the team moved five points clear at the top thanks to a 4 - 1 home win over Cramp. There were wins for Pete Last, Ashley Sutton, Kevin Gray and Colin Elms.

The St Michael’s Hospice charity quiz night was poorly attended at the Club last Thursday with the winning team getting 72 points. The tournaments that the Club runs annually will be starting soon. More information to follow so watch this space.

TAKE CARE: You know you really can’t be too careful out and about these days. Even in Mountfield, you can meet some very dubious characters. Only last week we took the dogs out for a walk and met a very shifty looking couple of chaps driving round the lanes with a trailer.

NEW PARAGRAPH: We took the dogs out for a walk — only last week it was — and bumped into John Breach and his son Simon, both formerly of this parish. For those of you who don’t know John (or who never had Simon drive a motorbike through your front hedge), John and the boys used to live in the old laundry at 1, Banks Cottages. John received honourable mention in a recent Village Voice as the chap who restored the old van that Fred Martin used for his mobile grocery shop, which is now in Beaulieu Motor Museum. We had a good old natter about past times and people, particularly in that area of the village known as Upper Mountfield. Where we live.

CONTACT: Not only are the birds making obvious spring noises but we picked our first wild garlic this week. Warmer and lighter days are on their way. As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via

Peter and Valerie Miles