LOUIS DODD: Barbara Valentine writes: “The Private View of the ‘Voyage, the Marine Paintings of Louis Dodd’ exhibition (6th March) was a brilliant occasion, greatly enjoyed by the many guests. We had been worried that there would be too many people for Hastings Museum to cope with but it turned out to be the perfect number for our special party to launch the exhibition. Well, not quite perfect, we would have loved to see Peter and Val there, but it wasn’t possible with all their other commitments (we will meet up for a visit to the exhibition later, as it’s open until the 7th June!) Mountfield was well represented by Lou’s friends and admirers of his paintings: Jackie Spriggs and Richard, Trish Jones, Sue and Barry O’Sullivan, John and Ann Parsons, Derek and Jan Morgan, and Ross Turner. So many of Lou’s old friends came and, of course, a lot of people who didn’t meet him but loved his paintings.

Dendy Easton, who is the expert on Marine Paintings on The Antiques Roadshow, gave a wonderful introductory speech to open the exhibition and then there was a brilliant pianist/singer who got everyone to join in, enthusiastically, with a medley of sea-shanties. The 28 paintings were looking breathtakingly beautiful against the dark blue walls of the exhibition rooms, and everyone there said that they will return, and bring their friends, to see the pictures again and again. Juliette and I will be there quite a lot, so lets hope to meet up!”

BRIGHTLING HISTORY: Anne Holman’s long-awaited history, “Brightling: ‘An Old and Ancient Place” covers the history as well as the key changes that have taken place from 1700 – 1950. Anne will be at Brightling Market (10.00 - 12.00) on Saturday 28th if you want to buy a copy. Or, if anyone in Mountfield can’t get there that day, we’ll be going so can pick up a copy for you — just contact us as below. The price is £9.99.

EATENDEN LANE: Both Mountfield Parish Council and British Gypsum have been hammering away to get some action on the state of the junction where the Mine Road crosses Eatenden Lane. Action had been promised but with no date attached. In the meantime, the surface has become so bad that it is seriously dangerous for cars, never mind cycles or motor bikes. MPC returned to the fray through our doughty clerk, Irene, and Paul stirred things up at BG. The result was that Highways scheduled emergency repairs for Sunday 29th, with some extra interim patching to make it at least safer in the meantime. Mountfield Parish Council can and does make a difference (see below). Then, just when everything began to look good, the water bubbling out of the bank has threatened all the good works and intentions. The water appears to be neither foul nor mains so it’s a bit of a mystery. The guys will return in the next few day to jet and insert a camera to find out what is going on. It will get fixed — and soon — but, if you’re driving that way, do be careful.

PARISH COUNCIL: The final pre-election council meeting took place last Tuesday. That was too late for this column’s deadline so we’ll report next week but a reminder, in the meantime of the fact that May 7th is election day. There are seven seats on the council. All the present members have to stand for election again or stand down. If there are seven candidates or fewer, those candidates will be automatically elected with an uncontested election; if there are eight or more candidates, that would trigger a contested election.

People often say that they don’t have the time — and it’s true that it may well better suit someone who is retired or semi-retired — but it should be remembered that the general principle is that councillors discuss and decide and the clerk takes the action. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Councillors need to prepare for each meeting so that they have a thorough knowledge of the agenda and other briefings. Then council meeting take around two hours every two months. And from time to time, two or more councillors may go on a site visit, usually associated with a planning application.

All that is required is a reasonable understanding of the ways and people of the parish, a phone, an email/internet access, and a commitment to helping Mountfield. If you might be interested, the chairman would be pleased to have a natter, no strings attached.

REMINDERS: Tomorrow (Saturday March 14th) is the final day to deliver contributions for the Grand Village Jumble Sale between 10.00 am to 12.00 noon at the Village Hall. Also, do you have something that little bit more special but unwanted? If so, might it make an exciting raffle prize? And then we are looking forward to the big day: Saturday March 21st. Doors open 1.00 pm, entry 20p, then the thrill of the chase, refreshments, cakes, raffle and a natter with people you haven’t seen for ages.

And a final reminder about next Monday’s Kidz meeting (March 16th at 4.15pm in the Village Hall). Everyone welcome to go along and pitch in with ideas.

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: Following last week’s back to back victories, 5 - 0 at home to Burwash Common on Monday and 4 - 1 away to Burwash Common A, the club’s snooker team have gone seven points clear at the top of Division 3 with only 2 games remaining and are odds on favourites to be crowned champions.

A date for the Club’s darts and shove tournaments have been set for Saturday April 11th with 7.30 start. And the club’s AGM has been set for Monday April 13th, starting about 7.30. All members welcome.

A reminder to all members that their membership renewals are due by the end of March.

KEEPING IN TOUCH: One of the pleasures of writing this column is hearing from people who used to live in the village but who have either moved or retired elsewhere. If there’s anyone in that position reading this, we’d love to hear from you with any particular memories.

CONTACT: Well, spring is well and truly sprung: daffodils, the first primroses, bluebell and anemone leaves pushing through — oh, and our first three ticks on the dogs. As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via

Peter and Valerie Miles