WAYNE HARDY: We now have details of the arrangements for Wayne’s funeral which will be held on Friday 13th May at Salehurst Church at 2.00. This will be followed by a private cremation for family members only who will then return to join his many friends, wider family and neighbours at Mountfield Club and Village Hall afterwards. His mum, Peggy, has requested bright cheerful dress in celebration of Wayne’s life.

BILL HUMPHREYS: At the celebration of Bill’s life after the funeral. Michael said, “It has been a great comfort to know that so many of you in the village and the wider community have been so thoughtful and caring, and we all thank you so much for your wonderful response on hearing of Bill’s passing. It has made us, and would have made Bill, very proud to be part of this village”. It was in this light that we promised a longer piece, with just a very few highlights from Bill’s long life, in the Mountfield Village Voice…

Bill’s family moved into the area just after the War when his father bought a grocery shop in Wittersham. Bill helped his father there before moving to Battle to run the grocery shop on North Trade Road where he became one of the familiar faces of Battle.

Bill was a great sailor who, with Doris as First Mate made many Channel crossings. He sailed and motored out of Rye Harbour for sixty years though he used to say, “It’s more often just mud: not so much mucking about in boats as boating about in muck”. He was also a born adventurer who would use the grocery van for holidays, with Bill and Doris in the front and Graham, Kim and Wendy piled in the back. And it was not just the New Forest but also Gibralter, Switzerland and Italy — trailblazing stuff in the 50s when the notion of foreign holidays was still mostly a thing of the future — and you had to buy your fuel vouchers in advance.

Bill had a strong sense of shouldering responsibility and not leaving things to others. He served as a member of Mountfield Parochial Church Council, chairman of Battle Rotary Club, and a local scoutmaster, teaching youngsters values as well as “the ropes”. It goes without saying that he was always a good and committed neighbour. Bill loved working with wood and he will certainly be remembered locally for his carpentry. His claims to fame included making garden furniture for one of the Great Train Robbers and a butcher’s block for Spike Milligan. Although the beautiful oaken east gate at All Saints Church, Mountfield, is dedicated to Jim and Doris Mayers, it will also surely serve as a memorial to Bill’s skills for many lifetimes to come.

Bill’s final years were blessed with the love and support of Marilin, which was a great comfort to his family. They were also grateful for the final, professional care given to Bill by Rev’d Ann-Marie, Dr Rivett and the whole team from St Michael’s Hospice.

Bill’s sense of responsibility, his carpentry skills, his neighbourliness and strong sense of community have been mentioned. At the final village Christmas party before his illness, all the children received a small wooden toy made by Santa’s elves…

NEXT SOCIAL EVENING: Mountfield Village Big Screen Social Nights continue with another hit film on Saturday May 7th. A tour de force by Maggie Smith is always something special. 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 the 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.

A VILLAGE ENCOUNTER: Last Sunday saw the christening of the first of the next generation of Lasts in Mountfield. Jodie and Elliott’s little chap, Freddie (born December 20th), apparently slept through the service. Afterwards there was a splendid bash back at the Club.

Those celebrations became enmeshed with the walkers returning from the first of Peter’s (sold out) walks, so there was the slightly bizarre sight of party folk in suits or pretty dresses and hats, mingling with walkers shod in wellies and anoraks against the mud and the chill. It seemed to work well though as the majority of the walkers were Mountfieldians, either past or present. Lovely to have Clare Miles (formerly of Rock Cottage) back with fiancé, Ted.

ALL CHANGE: More good news for the Last clan. After much waiting and hoping, Jodie and Elliott — plus little Freddie — will be moving into what most people still know as Reg and Joan Langley’s place at Mill’s Cottages. That’s a Mountfield home going to Mountfield folk. And Paul and Laura, who are currently living in the property but bursting at the seams with their extra addition to the family, will be moving into Hoath Farmhouse.

MESSENGER: We announced the new committee line up for The Messenger, the village magazine for the four villages, last week. We have to repeat the appeal for someone to step up as treasurer. It is not difficult or onerous and it means that something important can continue. The Messenger is just getting better all the time and has huge potential but all that could end up counting for nothing if we cannot find someone prepared, for a small expenditure of time and effort, to make a difference to not one, but four, local communities. Please, please, please call Peter for a chat.

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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