Peter and Valerie Miles

EATENDEN LANE: Well it happened! After months of both the Parish Council and British Gypsum banging away about the state of the junction of the Mine Road and Eatenden Lane, just south of the crossing, it got so bad that it was downright dangerous and the pressure told. Last Sunday it was resurfaced. It was a bit touch and go as to whether the works would be feasible given that there has been water pouring out of the bank for several weeks. Southern Water did a number of tests which showed that the water was neither mains nor foul, so either storm or spring water, or both. In the event, it was possible for the works to go ahead. So if anyone fancies a game of bowls…

BARBARA VALENTINE: Barbara Valentine and her daughter Juliette Dodd are exhibiting at the ‘Big Easter Art Exhibition’ organised by St. Michael’s Hospice at Pett Village Hall. The exhibition is from Friday 3rd to Monday 6th April, 10.00 am – 5.00 pm each day. It is only held on alternate years, and is much looked forward to by the thirty exhibiting artists — and the many enthusiastic visitors. Several members of Mountfield Community Arts have been exhibiting there for some years but this is Juliette’s first time at this venue. This is because she normally only paints portraits, but, since becoming involved with the ‘Mermaids on the Beach’ event to raise money for the Lifeboats, she has produced some lovely mermaid paintings and collages, which will be displayed at the Pett exhibition.

Barbara will be doing quick water-colour portraits during the whole four days to raise money for the Hospice and hopes to make up for fund-raising time lost when she wasn’t well over the winter. Usually, she is at Hastings Museum on Saturdays, stewarding the wonderful retrospective exhibition of marine paintings, “Voyage”, by her late husband, Louis Dodd, and talking to the many visitors there. But no-one can be two places at once, and she loves doing the quick portraits — and getting people interested in learning to paint.

On which subject, Mountfield Community Arts classes have now broken up for Easter but the portrait class starts again on 7th April, while the watercolour, oil and mixed media classes begin again on 14th and 15th April.

CHURCH MATTERS: There was a different twist on the Palm Sunday service this year. Instead of the celebrant reading the very long Gospel, members of the congregation read the different characters with a narrator setting the scenes... we all agreed that the story of the Passion being read dramatically had a far greater impact being heard this way.

On Good Friday there will be an Hour of Reflection at 11.00 am, conducted by Rev’d Ann-Marie Crosse, in the ancient church of All Saints Mountfield, which in its current structure has celebrated 916 Easters. Anyone of any denomination (or none) is most welcome to attend.

Owing to the logistics of one minister running three parishes, the Easter Day service for the United Benefice of Brightling, Mountfield and Netherfield will be a combined one at Brightling Church commencing at 10.00 am.

PARISH ASSEMBLY: This year’s assembly will be held on Tuesday April 14th at 7.30 in the Village Hall. This is not a parish council meeting; it is an opportunity for the village’s clubs and organisations to report back on how everything is going. There should be contributions from the local police (sorry — had a big coughing fit there), the sports clubs, BACT (the buses), the Mountfield Club, the Village Hall Committee, DACS (the local action group), the Horticultural Society, etc. The assembly is a chance to audit and celebrate Mountfield. As a village, we have been under the cosh in so many ways — the sewage plant, the threat to the pub, and to local services and, above all, the loss of the school. It is time for Mountfield to fight back. The Kidz club is a start. Everyone welcome.

PARISH ELECTIONS: Peter writes: It’s a short hop from parish assembly to parish council. So this is a final, last orders, eleventh hour, seconds out, last ditch reminder that anyone wishing to stand for election to Mountfield Parish Council needs to submit nomination papers to Rother in Bexhill by 4.00 pm on Thursday 9th April. We have a number of long-serving members who have done their bit, at least one of whom is standing down, so it’s time for others to step up. Formal council business takes an average of one hour per month. Reading and sometimes responding to emails in the interim takes a bit more time but the work of the parish councillors does matter, does count, does have an effect and does have its rewards. MPC has made a real difference over the years and over the last term of this council. If you are interested contact me to discuss or Irene (see parish website) for nomination forms.

SWIMATHON: And talking of parish councillors, Sue O’Sullivan is very bravely taking on a 2.5km swim on April 19th to raise funds for Marie Curie who, as you will know, provide care and support for the terminally ill, providing thousands of hours each year of nursing care and support for those people and their families. A great cause and, if you would like to sponsor Sue, please have a look at and take it from there. Knowing Sue, her greatest challenge will be getting herself to Hastings by 09.30 on a Sunday morning but your Village Voices have backed her nonetheless.

BRIGHTLING VILLAGE MARKET: We popped in to the opening market of the year. We can’t usually make them as it generally clashes with changeover in Butters Cottage, our self-catering holiday let. Which is sad as we used to sell plants at the market in the days when we had our amateur nursery. Anyway, lots of new faces but also lots of old faithfuls. There were Beards in their den, and Joe Hughes (née Amos) from Homestead Farm, and Anne Holman doing good business selling copies of “Brightling: ‘An Old and Ancient Place’”, a history of the changes o the village between 1700 and 1950. The market is on the final Saturday of the month throughout the year.

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