CONNIE SAUNDERS: Following Cyril’s death in January, the call from son Graham was not exactly unexpected. Connie died on Wednesday March 11th at the nursing home. It was, in Graham’s words “a release really”. Connie was a feisty Belfast girl who during the war worked for an outfit that developed RAF reconnaissance pictures. However, she developed TB and was sent to Hurst Green for the cleaner air. There she met the young Cyril Saunders. She made several visits and on her fourth, announced that she was going back for good so Cyril proposed. They moved to Mountfield in 1969 where Cyril got a job on the Egerton Estate. Graham described her as “uncomplaining to the last”. Despite being virtually blind for the last three years of her life she continued to cook and look after Cyril and cook Sunday lunch for visiting family.

Connie’s funeral will be on Wednesday March 25th, 11.00 am, at Hastings Crematorium. The family extends a warm welcome to all afterwards in Hurst Green Village Hall (as Mountfield Village Hall was already booked).

MARGARET PERRING: Bizarrely, Connie’s friend and neighbour, Margaret Perring died just an hour later in her on home. She had just celebrated her 110th birthday at which she did say that she’d see that birthday out and then call it a day and was as true as her word. At the time of her death, she was the sixteenth oldest person in the country. We do not have final details yet but her funeral will not be held locally as she is to be buried in Tooting.

BARBARA VALENTINE: Barbara was in the news last week — literally. She made her television debut last week when BBC South East went to Hastings museum ‎to film Louis’s exhibition. They interviewed Dendy Easton, the marine paintings expert, and the historian, Brian Williamson and of course Barbara, who along with daughter, Juliette, curated the exhibition. The film also included marvellous shots of the paintings themselves. There was a short item on BBC South East at lunchtime last Thursday and a slightly longer one in the evening, during which, Barbara, having been asked about Lou’s approach to his work said that he was totally disciplined, became absolutely immersed in the job in hand, permitted himself a ‘lunch hour’ of 20 minutes and graciously accepted the “occasional cup of tea” from his wife. Barbara is rightly very proud of his achievements.

Sadly the programmes were only available on BBC iPlayer for 24 hours so you have no choice but to get yourself down to Hastings and see it for yourself. We haven’t been yet but everyone we know who has seen the exhibition has been completely bowled over. One interesting footnote: when Barbara watched the programme, she only knew it was her because she recognised what she was wearing! Funny thing, television.

JUMBLE SALE: We popped down to the Village Hall with final gleanings for the jumble sale and were amazed at the mountains of goodies for sale — it really will be a Grand Jumble Sale with masses to buy, some fantastic raffle prizes, refreshments and the chance of a good old natter. Tomorrow, Saturday March 21st, in the Village Hall. Doors open 1.00 pm — entrance 20p.

JOHN’S CROSS PUB: Peter writes: The Parish Council received notification this week that Dave Tayler has applied for planning permission to convert the pub into two self-contained, semi-detached cottages. The pub has been on the market since June last year with no significant interest. Mountfield Parish Council discussed this situation in detail at the January council meeting. The main question was the extent to which the pub constituted a community asset and whether it might have any value as, for example, a multi-use community resource: internet café, local shop, pub, events venue, etc. It was the unanimous view of the councillors that it was not suitable for any of these roles for a number of reasons and, however sad its loss might be, the pub could not be considered vital to the local community. The view was expressed that the building’s future was probably residential and it would probably go the same way as The Bell just down the road which closed for business in 1926. The full planning application is on Rother’s planning website and the link to the application is on the Mountfield Parish website (

THEY DID IT! Congratulations to the Mountfield Club’s snooker team who this week were confirmed as champions of Division 3 in the Hurst Green Winter Snooker League. They went in to last Tuesday’s match needing just a win to clinch the title and they did it in style beating third place Burwash A 5 – 0. Wins for Pete Last, Kevin Gray, Ashley Sutton, Andy Saunders and Steve Smith. Steve’ break of 22 was the highest for the Club this season and Kevin has now won 18 out of his 20 league matches and, with one match remaining, looks favourite for most wins in league. The team have the short journey to Battle to play the division runners up in last remaining game of the season.

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

Peter and Valerie Miles