WAYNE HARDY: We are sorry to have to start this week’s column with the news of Wayne’s passing last week (April 13th), at the age of only 44, following heart surgery. Arrangements for his funeral will be announced when all the formalities have been sorted out. In the meantime, our thoughts are with his family.

In his Mountfield Club report for the Village Voice (see below), Steve Smith wrote: “Wayne was a true Club champion in many respects. Wayne was very well known and very well liked and respected and will be greatly missed by all his friends at the Club. Only a few weeks ago he was winning the Club’s Shove tournament. The Club will be looking to arrange various events in Wayne’s memory and will be announcing things soon.”

BILL HUMPHREYS: We intend to have longer piece about Bill in next week’s Village Voice.

NEXT SOCIAL EVENING: Mountfield Village Big Screen Social Nights continue with another hit film on Saturday May 7th. Doors open at 7.30 pm. The suggested donation for the complimentary film and refreshments is £5.00 per person. The Club bar will be open from 7.00 pm. Meet up before the film, get front row seats where you can put your feet up. All welcome. If you’re not already on our mailing list for details of future films, go to the village hall website at where you can use the red envelope button to add your e-mail address and get a regular film update.

MESSENGER: We can now nearly announce the new committee for The Messenger magazine. Most importantly, Yve Puxty is happy to continue as editor. Peter Miles has taken over as chairman of the committee. David Gyngell is taking over the distribution so he will take delivery of the complete print run and divide it up as appropriate between the four villages ready for collection by each village’s distributor. And, at a meeting last week, Tom James agreed to take on the advertising role which is terrific news. This just leaves us short of a treasurer. This is not an onerous task as it only involves banking subscriptions from time to time, and some of the advertising income, and making a single payment each month to the printers on receipt of their invoice. Robert Chambers has agreed to continue for another couple of months only. We must find a treasurer fast.

PARISH ASSEMBLY: Peter writes: This was quite well attended and proved to be an occasion for a lot of constructive discussion of various issues. The Assembly (which is not a parish council meeting) traditionally opens with the chairman’s report. I duly reviewed our activities for the last twelve months. The two biggest issues both proved to be damp squibs as Southern Water’s construction works scheduled to start last autumn turned into a phoney war and the campaign for better broadband coverage merely turned up the twin facts that ESCC think the roll-out of superfast broadband is progressing well while we discovered from an analysis of OfCom data that only 10% of the parish are able to get superfast broadband — it’s a scandal!

I was glad to be able to thank British Gypsum for their continued generous support with a number of projects, Kathryn Field for her tireless efforts as our county councillor, and Eleanor Kirby-Green for her very energetic support as our district councillor. It was Eleanor who, when our application for a grant to fence the King George V Field was rejected, rode into battle and got the decision reversed. She has also been a stalwart in our planning enforcement efforts. I also paid tributes to my vice chairman, Jim, for his wise support and to our clerk, Irene Marchant, for keeping the whole Parish Council ticking over.

I finished, with extreme regret, on a very dark note as the twelve month period under review was the period which saw the closure of Mountfield & Whatlington School. I know we can’t fight lost battles and I know we need to move on, but it was the single most important event of the year as well as being the most devastating blow to Mountfield in living memory and beyond.

The report from the Village Hall Committee, by contrast was so encouraging that I have lifted a few extrtacts below from Caroline Hollamby’s report as chair. She and her committee have put in a really hardworking and successful twelve months. The full report can be read on the parish website ( I should explain that when Caroline talks about an adult film club, she means grown-up films not adult films. And the paragraphs where she did some name-dropping have been cut. Now read on.

VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE: Caroline reported: After superb project management by one of our committee members, Amy, we completed the installation last summer of our ciné equipment. We then extended the Kids Club activities to show films on a regular basis and what a delight to see littlies lined up in rows, sitting quietly whilst their favourite characters were on screen. We launched our adult film club on a trial basis…

We are pleased to announce that this has been successful enough for us to launch our Big Screen Social Club [see FILM CLUB above] which will entail a monthly film showing. Anyone is welcome to attend and can join on the night, but due to the terms of our licence, we are unable to widely advertise each individual film, so you will need to sign up to our email circulation list (via Chris Holden) or look out on our website or the blackboard outside for dates and showings as they are planned. We can announce that the next film will be ‘Lady in the Van’, to be shown on Saturday May 7th…

The Annual Family Bonfire event was again blessed by a good window of weather with a record crowd turnout and a firework display to surpass all previous. Provided that Southern Water’s occupation doesn’t scupper plans in the field this October, we hope to go larger, with a procession being planned from Hall to field to open the event. Please see our website for details and contact any member of the committee if you would like to be involved with any part. It’s always a fun event, with not even the rain dampening spirits on the night…

We topped off the Bonfire night with a dual event in early December. The hall was transformed into a winter wonderland for our lunchtime Christmas Gathering, which saw many locals get together, enjoy some mulled wine and minced pies (courtesy of MPC), sing some festive Carols and generally get in the mood for the season. Then we packed off all the adults and filled the hall with local children, who were entertained by two very lively elves, enjoyed a party tea and left in usual tradition with a gift from a fellow in a red suit and white beard! Thanks to the team from the Kids Club for making this such a successful annual tradition…

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: The Club Quiz went ahead on Saturday as arranged and was well attended. The winning team which was made up of Jack Hayler, Steve Sutton, Aimee Wright, Tasha Birley, and Will Monks won by just two points over the runners up. The money raised on the night will be put towards the Wayne Hardy fund. The Snooker Summer League starts this week with the club having to travel to Tenterden in a very difficult first match.

A reminder to all Club members that subscription are now due for the year, and if you would like to know any thing about the club please text or phone Steve Smith on 07720 298971 or email

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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