CORONATION FLOWER MEADOWS: Peter writes: Our local conservation group, DACS, laid on two walks round these meadows on the Beech Estate over at Penhurst with half the proceeds going to the DACS fighting fund and half being donated to the three parish churches of All Saints in Mountfield, St Thomas à Becket in Brightling and St John the Baptist in Netherfield. The flower meadows were an initiative by Prince Charles in honour of his mother’s diamond jubilee with one set of meadows in each county. The idea is for each initial location to inspire and, often literally, seed other locations in the county.

The meadows at Bunce’s farm provided the perfect canvas for former farm manager, Keith Datchler, to pioneer managed, species-rich meadows as they were taken over from retiring tenants who had only ever farmed them in the traditional manner. And the result is, at times, breathtaking. Both dates were blessed with perfect weather and the meadows were stunning. I went on the second day and can honestly say that I have never seen such a diversity of flowers and grasses in any field before. Indeed, I’ve never seen a swathe of orchids. Astonishing. And in such a glorious part of the Weald. Keith was an infectiously enthusiastic guide. It was a day that will stay with me for a long time.

I hope DACS will repeat the walks next year as I should certainly love to go again. If they do, your Village Voices will let you know.

CHURCH AND WAR MATTERS: Our Church Affairs Correspondent, Jackie, who is also War Correspondent this week (see below), has sent details of forthcoming Sunday services. Holy Communion is on June 14th at Brightling, the 21st at Mountfield, the 28th at Netherfield with a Morning Service at Mountfield on July 5th.

Additionally, on Sunday 21st there will be Choral Evensong at St Thomas à Becket Church, Brightling, at 6.00pm, followed by Cheese and Wine in the Village Hall to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Tickets are £8.00. Please contact Rev’d Ann-Marie Crosse on 01424838504 or Jenny Yeo on 01424838157. All proceeds to church funds. Ah, Waterloo —we think “schadenfreude” is a French word — after 1815, at least.

Jackie adds: “All denominations most welcome at our services” — presumably including folding money.

VILLAGE HALL: A reminder that it is the open meeting of the Mountfield Village Hall Committee on Tuesday 16th June at 7.30 in the hall. They are keeping a weather eye open for anyone who might be prepared to join the team. All that’s needed is a willingness to get a bit involved a bit of time. It’s all very informal, a good way to get to know more people in the village, and nobody need give more time than they can or want. Visit the website at to find out more.

MICHAEL KNIGHT: Just as we went to press, Jackie Spriggs wrote with this late news: Older Mountfieldians will be saddened to hear of the passing of Michael Knight, son of Fred and Fan Knight, and younger brother of Fred Knight. Michael had been in a nursing home for some time. His funeral will take place at Hastings Crematorium on Tuesday 16th June at 2.45pm.

Brother Fred died two years ago; he was in the Mountfield football team and was also Mountfield’s ‘Teddy Boy,’ resplendent in long-line jacket, ‘broffel’ suede shoes, curly and Brylcreemed slicked back hair, and called the pub the ‘boozah,’ a great fascination to us younger kids. Another piece of Mountfield history now consigned to the memories of us older members of the indigenous tribe.

NICKY FLINT: Nicky’s work as a photographer will be familiar to those of you who shop at Brown’s Farm Shop (formerly Poppinghole Farm Shop) up on the A21which stocks a selection of her remarkable range of greeting cards featuring local views. Nicky is very much a local lass, living a few doors away from the Salehurst Halt. As part of the local Open Studios weeks, she is exhibiting at Duval’s Farm, Hawkhurst, from Thursday to Sunday each week until June 21st. So a remarkable 16thC farm (or earlier), tucked away behind the back of beyond, and an exciting exhibition by an local photographer — unmissable. For those with satnavs it’s TN18 5DD; otherwise for more of Nicky’s work, visit

FINALLY: This last week, our noisy woodpecker family have fled their nest in the oak over the road. Mum and Dad have started relaying food across to the youngsters. Soon we’ll have the whole family on the birdfeeders. Can’t wait. As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via

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