SIMON BREACH: As we were preparing this column, Paul Last phoned us with the shocking news of Simon’s death last Friday (May 6th) following some dreadful mishap while he was working under his Landrover Discovery. Simon was only 47 and leaves Caroline, the twins Bethany and Amber, his parents John and Shirley and brother Bruce. Also of course, having grown up in Mountfield, when the family lived at Banks Cottages, he will be missed by many friends locally. He always harboured an ambition to move back to Mountfield and had been intending to help Jodie and Elliott move into their new home at 3, Mills Cottages next week. Everyone’s thought will be with the family and close friends.

FAMILY PORTRAITS: Barbara Valentine Writes: “I’m going to do quick portraits at Netherfield School fete on Saturday 21st from 12.30 to 3.00 to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice. I am so glad to be invited to do this, having missed a few previous venues over the past six months due to inconvenient hospital visits! Hope that everyone who would like a little watercolour portrait will come and find me there. Barbara”

OPEN GARDENS: The open day at Mountfield Court last Sunday was blessed with wonderful weather and a cracking turnout. Around 180 people chose to spend what was probably the warmest and most glorious afternoon of the year in the 3-acre wild woodland garden; the bluebells were in full flower and while some of the flowering shrubs have been a little tardy to show themselves in all their glory, both the Handkerchief tree (Davidia) and the Snowdrop tree (Halesia) were doing their stuff and the gardens looked magnificent. Roughly £700 on the gate and an incredible £418 raised for the Church from the sale of teas and cakes. A big thank you from Lucinda and Simon to everyone — from those who worked on the gardens to those who provided and served the teas and cakes — who helped make the day such a success.

VILLAGE PEOPLE: Having opened the Village Voice with the dreadful news about Simon, we do have some happier news. There is a bit of musical homes rather than chairs as Paul and Laura plus the two youngsters and the dogs move from Mills Cottages into Hoath Farmhouse, and Jodie and Elliott with young Freddie move into Mills Cottages. Good luck to both in their new homes. And Jackie Spriggs is back home from having a new knee fitted so we should see her out and about soon. She has sent us a detailed progress report which we will spare you as this is a family column. Finally, Steve Sutton is now recovering from a major operation from which all his friends and neighbours wish him a speedy and comfortable recovery.

MOUNTFIELD CLUB: We’ve already mentioned Jodie and Elliott. They will be hosting a Mr & Mrs Game Show night at the Club on Friday May 27th at 8.00 pm. It promises to be a fun night with all funds going to Cancer Research. Contact Jodie on 07702 472131. Watch out for news of the Club’s snooker knockout competition, the New Members Day and BBQ, Treasure Hunt and more.

FINALLY: Valerie was the first to hear the cuckoo this year. Then Bernie chipped in a week later. And then an excited text from Shirley on Hoath Hill to say that she has seen one for the first time ever this week. Just as we finished typing this, there, right on cue, rattling against the window, was our first doodlebug of the year. Next week we’ll have news of this week’s Annual Parish Meeting (May 10th) and, fingers crossed, the swings. In the meantime if you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via We always welcome contributions and feedback.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @BattleObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.