RAILWAY CROSSINGS: No-one will have failed to be aware that Amey have started work on the Network Rail’s major upgrade to the crossings on both the main road and at Riverhall. Basically London Road crossing will be completely closed each night from 9.00 pm to 6.00 am with half the road closed and controlled by temporary traffic lights during the day. The Riverhall crossing will be completely closed to traffic (but not pedestrians) by day but will open at night, with traffic control, when the main crossing is closed. Both crossings will be manned 24 hours a day. There were a few teething problems which had to be sorted out but it must be said that they are a helpful and pleasant bunch. The works are scheduled to run until October 25th. We are writing this Village Voice on Day 2 of the works and it was working but it does involve allowing a lot of extra time for getting to work, school, etc.

KIDS CLUB: Amy who co-organises the new Kids Club has been in touch to ask us to pass on a big thank you from the Club to Lindsay Farhall for her very generous donation of fabric to the Club — a really kind and helpful gesture. They have started a sewing club within the session and hope to have a fleet of machines busy crafting and creating. Lindsay runs the Spoonangel Bunting Shoppe which operates out of Vinehall Business Park specialising in the creation and supply of bunting. (You can contact Spoonangel via Google, on eBay or on Facebook.)

JEAN WOODGATE: Jean will be giving one of her magic lantern slide talks (though her magic lantern is her daughter’s laptop these days), “Bygone Rural Times”, on Friday October 23rd in Mountfield Village Hall. Doors will open at 6.30 for a 7.00 start with a break for soup and a ploughman’s 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 All Saints Church, Mountfield — so one local gem helping to raise money for another.

A FRIEND’S TRIBUTE: Barbara Valentine contacted us to ask if we would include her personal tribute to her friend Val Miles. Barbara wrote the following.

“Val was very artistic but, being so modest, wouldn’t admit to that! Many years ago, she came to my art classes at Claverham Adult Education and later to Juliette’s portrait classes. She did some really good paintings and then got deeply involved with photography, winning frequent awards for that. She was the major helper and inspiration in all the exhibitions that we (Mountfield Community Arts) held annually at the Almonry in Battle and at Bodiam Castle and, later, at my Studio at Mountfield as well. In fact, she did all the work in setting up and stewarding for many years and she and I had a great time together doing that. We also enjoyed helping with the various national miniature painting societies exhibitions in London, Somerset and elsewhere. Val gradually amassed an impressive collection of miniatures which visitors to her lovely little cottage in Battle were always fascinated to see.

Val spent her life helping everyone: driving people to appointments, or just to do shopping if they had no transport, and dedicatedly visiting people in hospital. She was so very generous with her time, skills and effort, but also generous in every other way. My garden blooms with the flowers Val gave me and my pictures are full of the things that she gave me to paint. She was the best friend anyone could ever have had.”

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club’s newly-promoted snooker team has got off to a good start in Division 2 of the Hurst Green Winter League having won two of their first three matches and last week beat Battle 3–2 with frame wins for Pete Last, Alex Gray and Kevin Gray. Also, the Club have announced that they will be holding a Happy Hour at the club immediately after the Mountfield Family Bonfire (see below). More details nearer the time.

REMINDERS: First, this Sunday (October 18th) is the next Kids Film Club: Nanny McPhee (starring Emma Thompson, Colin Firth and Angela Lansbury), popcorn, orange juice, lights down roll! Next up is the Mountfield Family Bonfire on Friday October 30th. Gates will open at 6.00, BBQ and refreshments (and no alcohol). Then Friday November 6th is the next Kids Club (first Friday of the month) from 3.30 – 5.30 in the Village Hall. Finally, the Children’s Christmas Party is 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: Sorting out a couple of problems with Amey this morning, meant that I ended up reversing back from the crossing to Riverhall Bridge which meant that I finally noticed that Highways have mended the broken parapet on the bridge. At Michael and Wendy’s suggestion, the Parish Council did try very hard to have the parapet rebuilt in brick, even at our cost, but it falls foul of current structural policies. We tried. It was good to hear that it wasn’t just our imagination — Robin has also seen the ravens over the village. Good too that there’s been a decent dry spell so the tractors can get on the fields to harrow and drill.

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

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