HARVEST FESTIVAL: Jackie Spriggs writes: Thankful people duly on came on 4th October to our church, beautifully decorated with flowers, fruit, vegetables, and many kinds of dried goods, to give thanks that “all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin”.

Our own vicar, Rev’d Ann-Marie Crosse, being on holiday, the service was conducted by the Rev’d Patrick Sales, who during the first hymn received further gifts gratefully given to be donated to St Nicholas Fellowship in Hastings who care and work with young people who for various reasons cannot live with their families. We were very pleased to welcome, as always, the beekeepers to the service who brought jars of exquisite amber honey.

After the service coffee, tea and cake were enjoyed during the mingling and chatting, one member of the congregation being Joy Johnson, the daughter of Canon Roy McKay who was Vicar here in the 1930s, visiting from Gloucestershire, who makes an annual pilgrimage back to Mountfield.

And now the fields are ploughed again soon to receive the good seed for next year’s harvest.

Deo Gratias.

ARCHAEOLOGY: A reminder of the talk “Landscape Archaeology at the Gypsum Mines, Mountfield” by Vivienne Blandford tonight ( Friday October 9th) at 7.30 pm in Robertsbridge Hall. The event is open to non-members. A slice of history right on our doorstep from a very distinguished local archaeologist.

JEAN WOODGATE: An important new date for the diary. Jean will be giving one of her magic lantern slide talks, “Bygone Rural Times”, on Friday 23rd in Mountfield Village Hall. Doors will open at 6.30 for a 7.00 start with a break for soup and a ploughmans which will be included in the entry price of £7.50. Jean will be drawing on her large archive of pictures of the area, some of them dating back to the late 1800s, and talking about the various scenes in her inimitable style. An unmissable evening with all proceeds going to that other local gem, All Saints Church, Mountfield.

KIDS FILM CLUB: Amy Ely writes: “Our first Kids Film Club on Sunday September 20th went really well. We had a bit of trouble keeping the blazing sunshine out of the hall but after a scary trip up the ladder with a hammer and a few nails we managed to secure a make shift curtain. Eleven children came to watch Big Hero 6, an enjoyable action packed animation. Popcorn and juice flowed freely and all in all it was a success. The next screening is Sunday 18th October at 10am showing Nanny McPhee. Come along and see the new cinema equipment in action. The more the merrier.”

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: The Mountfield Hort. Soc. held its Annual General Meeting last Saturday. Peter managed to get there (late — in the middle of a changeover of foreigners in our holiday cottage: Swiss departing and Ipswich folk arriving). It was good to have a new face joining the committee in Alison Sarson from Hoath Hill. And, amid the sort of scenes of debauchery you would expect of the AGM, Celia Morris let drop that she reckons she’s been on the committee for fifty years. That’s a record to be very proud of.

MORE KIDS: Following on from that, here are some future dates. First, the Film Club will also run in half term; the date and film are still to be confirmed but most likely on a weekday. Then there is the Mountfield Family Bonfire on Friday October 30th: gates open at 6.00, BBQ and refreshments (and no alcohol). That is followed by the Children’s Christmas Party on Saturday December 12th from 4.00 – 6.00 pm in the Village Hall. This year it will be a Winter Wonderland theme and although there may be not be snow on the ground outside there will certainly be snow inside! There will also be a visit by a very special visitor. Finally, a reminder that the Kids Club is on the first Friday of every month 3.30 – 5.30 pm at the Village Hall. Next date is Friday 6th November. Last week the children enjoyed some very tasty crêpes.

PLAYGROUND SWINGS: Sticking with the kids… British Gypsum have very generously agreed to foot the bill for an extensive overhaul of both sets of swings in the playground. The work will be carried out by Playfoot Engineering and Jonathan advises that they expect to start work mid-October. They will remove the swings completely and expect to have them re-erected in all their glory about four weeks later. The whole playground will be safe for use throughout the period. Also, the Parish Council are looking to upgrade the surface under the swings and to renovate the rocking horse.

AND NEXT DOOR: A warm welcome to Michael and Jenna Quigley who have just moved into Fred’s old place on Solomon’s Lane next to the playground. We wish them both well in their new home and have to say that they are particularly welcome as the old house hasn’t looked right with no-one in residence.

FINALLY: Two other very different observations this week. The first is suddenly hearing a very deep exchange of cawing. This was quickly explained when one of the conversing ravens flew into view and over Taylor’s Cottage. Was this a pair from Brightling or does Mountfield have its own ravens? It’s only when you see one on the wing that you realise just how big the things really are. On a less happy note, we found ourselves in the churchyard recently enjoying one of our favourite views over Church Field and there was no getting away from the fact that the high seat on the edge of Lots Wood, positioned to face directly up at the church, strikes a discordant and intrusive note in the landscape.

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

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