PARISH ASSEMBLY: Peter Writes: This turned out to be a very constructive and very thought-provoking meeting. The turnout was modest but committed. In my review of the year, I started with a tribute to Jim who stood down as chairman after four pretty volatile years including no fewer than four controversial extraordinary council meetings. I identified the three big issues of the last twelve months as the state of our roads (with big victories over Kent Lane and, most recently, Eatenden Lane by the crossing), the siting of the sewage plant (where we lost), and the local broadband performance which is still ongoing.

Curiously, this last is arguably the most important challenge we face. Without sufficient — and assured — broadband speed, our businesses are threatened, landowners can’t adequately access DEFRA or RPA sites, residents cannot download planning documents or train for new qualifications, our children and students will be hampered in their studies, and everyone’s recreational use is threatened. As 95% of the country starts to receive the faster speeds, content providers will design their output with that capability in mind and we will get left behind.

There were positive reports from Battle Area Community Transport, the Cricket Club, the Football Club, the Hastings and St Leonards Bowmen who use the KGVF, Darwell Area Conservation Society, Mountfield Community Arts (the art classes and the Village Hall Committee. The VHC are also acting as an umbrella for the emerging Kidz Club whose progress struck such an optimistic note throughout the meeting.

There were less optimistic reports from the PCC which seems to be on an endless treadmill of repairs to the church and the Mountfield Club (“holding on by the skin of our teeth”). The Horticultural Society started a bit downbeat but is looking to explore working with Kidz.

REMINDERS: Just the one this week. We still have some places on the walks that Pete is doing in aid of the church on Sundays April 26th and May 3rd. These are a repeat of last year’s walks which were such fun and such a success. The walk covers woodland archæology, mediæval earthworks (including “the Castle”), other industrial remains, woodland crafts, botany including a rare plant population and an even rarer tree, foraging (with recipes provided), and more. The cost is only £7.50 per person with all proceeds going to All Saints.

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s committee has extended the deadline for members to renew their club memberships until the end of June. And of course new members are always very welcome at the Club.

The summer snooker league starts next week and, after the triumph in the winter league, Mountfield will be entering a team. Dates details for the Club tournaments and a treasure hunt, plus information on other events, will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

FINALLY: Good to hear from Bernie (and Betty and Prince, of course) who wrote: “I am pleased to announce that I heard my first cuckoo of 2015 this morning, Wednesday 15 April at just before eight o’clock as I was walking the dogs through Mountfield Court.” He added, “By the way I agree with last week’s VV that the primmies are many in number this year. Sadly some are beginning to go over now but we have my favourite spring flower to follow… the bluebell. Let’s see what they produce this year. Has anyone else noticed the primrose in one of the chestnuts through the Court which has been blooming about two metres up the tree. Now that’s what I have called ‘a bloom with a view’!”

CONTACT: As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, or want to book or discuss one of Pete’s walks, we can be contacted on 880614 or via

Peter and Valerie Miles