FORMERLY OF THIS PARISH: We received news of two former, long term residents of Mountfield this week First, we were delighted to hear that Clare Miles has become formally engaged to Ted which is wonderful news. Two lovely people who deserve each other. For those of you who don’t know Clare, she grew up in Rock Cottage and lived there, or next door in what is now known as Butters Cottage, until about 2001. We are also pleased that they are both coming back to Mountfield for the local walk on the 24th (see below) where they will be joined by Clare’s old school friend Yve Puxty and her partner Jonathan. It’ll be like old times: Yvonne and Clare — stop giggling at the back there!

SYBIL PRICE: A resident of Mountfield for many years, Sybil Pryce passed away peacefully on 15th March, just two days after her 102nd birthday. Sybil was born and lived in Hastings until she married Battle farmer George Stevenson in December 1940. Together they farmed at Down Barn Farm, Battle, and subsequently (from 1958) at Banks Farm, Mountfield, when in 1968 George’s ill-health forced retirement and a move to Warbleton, near Heathfield.

After George’s sudden and untimely death in 1972, Sybil returned to live in Hoath Hill. In 1981 she re-married, to retired merchant navy officer Reg Pryce, with whom she had ten happy years before she was once again widowed. She remained living in Mountfield, where she was greatly helped and supported by a number of loving neighbours. In 2008 she elected to move to Saxonwood Residential Care Home in Battle where she very happily spent the rest of her life. On the occasion of her 100th birthday, she received a congratulatory card from Her Majesty the Queen, of which she was justly very proud.

ART CLASSES: Mountfield Community Arts start their Summer Term in the Village Hall on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th April. Juliette’s portrait class on Tuesday from 10.00 to 12.30, followed by Barbara’s watercolour and mixed media workshop from 1.00 to 3.30, then her Wednesday painting group from 10.00 to 12.30. New painters are very welcome to come along and see if they would like to join them. It’s all about having fun, trying new media and subjects, or just painting and meeting like-minded people. Phone Barbara on 01424 838 264 for details.

HGVs ON LOCAL LANES: Irene Marchant, Clerk to Mountfield Parish Council writes: Following recent complaints about HGVs using roads other than the designated Mine Road — particularly Solomon’s Lane, but also New Cut and Hoath Hill — I have been in touch with British Gypsum and they have asked that you report all such incidents.

You need to get the registration number, company name, date and time, that way it will allow British Gypsum to follow up and check if it has anything to do with them. This needs to be reported to Paul Last: telephone 01580 883490, email British Gypsum have very strict rules about their own drivers and contractors using the Mine Roads only so this also helps them to police these rules.

PETER’S WALKS: As we go to press, the first three announced dates for these walks have been sold out in the first week. The newly added date of May 15th is filling very quickly. If there is sufficient interest, Pete may add one further mid-week date. Details are on the parish website or from Peter at the phone/email below.

PARISH ASSEMBLY: Next Tuesday, April 12th, is the Parish Assembly at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall. This is not a parish council meeting but an opportunity for the various clubs and associations in the parish to report on their activities and for local people to raise issues of interest and concern. All very welcome.

FINALLY: Following on from the walks, Peter was talking to someone in the village the other day and mentioned the AONB. This drew a blank stare and the question as to what the AONB was. The landscapes legally designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty were brought into being by the same 1949 Act that created the National Parks. Both AONBs and NPs should enjoy exactly the same status and protection and this has been confirmed by later laws and yet you would never meet someone living in a national park who would ask: “What’s a National Park?” We shouldn’t underestimate the status of AONB. It identifies what is so special about this part of the world. It makes it a lovely and interesting place to live and work. It is reflected in the price of our properties. And it provides for all sorts of planning protection not available outside an AONB or National Park. It’s an important asset which is zealously defended by both the Parish Council — and by DACS who are sponsoring the walks that Peter is doing.

CONTACT: As ever, if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via We always welcome contributions and feedback.

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