CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND: Given that much of this week’s column is in a minor key, we are starting this Village Voice on a positive note with the return of the swings to the playground. These have been extensively refurbished by Playfoot Engineering and a very big thank you is due to British Gypsum who have paid for the refurbishment. The base of some of the legs, particularly on the senior swings, were beginning to rust through so it wouldn’t have been long before they became dangerous. There are a few final details to sort out: the seats of the senior swings will be replaced to the same standard as the cradle seats, and the Parish Council intends to replace the wood chip with long-lasting, all-weather safety matting.

SIMON BREACH: Simon’s family released details of his funeral in last week’s Notices in this paper. Services will take place on Monday May 23rd at St Mary’s, Salehurst, and 1.15 at Hastings Crematorium. The family have said that flowers are welcome or donations in memory to The Stroke Association, c/o F Jempson & Son, 38 High Street, Battle TN33 0EA (01424 772029).

WAYNE HARDY: Wayne’s mum, Peggy. would like to thank everyone who contributed to making Wayne’s funeral last Friday such a wonderful celebration of his life. The church was packed — and Salehurst Church is not small — and the glorious weather helped. The celebrations back at the Club were very upbeat with old friends and acquaintances meeting up as happens at these affairs. Particular thanks go to Debbie who did the food, to everyone who pitched in behind the bar, and to Sophie who did the flowers. Among the floral tributes, brother Mark commissioned in the shape of a push penny board.

DANNY OVERY: The day after Wayne’s funeral, Danny Overy from Castle Gardens was killed on his motorbike on the Kane Hythe Road between Battle and Netherfield following a collision with another vehicle. He was just 22 years old. As the accident is so recent, we have no further details though the Sussex Police website states, “A 30-year-old man from London, arrested on suspicion of drug-driving and causing death by careless driving, has been bailed until 26 August pending further enquiries”. Grim news.

SEWERAGE CONSTRUCTION WORKS: A big date for the diary. Southern Water will finally be starting work on June 6th so, in preparation and to update residents, they have booked the Village Hall from 4.00 to 7.00 pm on Thursday May 26th. Representatives from Southern Water will be there as well as from the contractor, MGJV. There will parish councillors on hand throughout and MPC will act as the first point of liaison for the duration of the construction operations.

RIVERHALL CROSSING: Representatives from Network Rail have agreed to meet local residents and parish councillors at the crossing at 9.00 pm on Tuesday 31st May. Unfortunately, this is uncomfortably close to the longest day but is hoped that it will still be dark enough to make the point about the problems caused by the current lighting arrangements.

A BRUSH WITH POSTERITY: A reminder that Barbara Valentine will be doing quick portraits at Netherfield School fete on Saturday 21st from 12.30 to 3.00 to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice.

PARISH COUNCIL: At the Annual Meeting of MPC on May 10th, Peter Miles and Jim Ray were returned as chair and vice-chair respectively. This was a particularly big meeting for the Clerk, Irene, as in addition to the year end reporting, she also presented new Financial Regulations and Standing orders that she had prepared which were adopted by the Council. These are vital to ensure both the legality and transparency of all the Council’s dealings.

The only other newsworthy item on the agenda was the latest planning application from the owners of Baldwins Farm. We normally avoid planning and enforcement matters in the Village Voice but the last major planning application at this site was the subject of a packed Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting in January 2013 and generated over 160 submissions to Rother District Council from local people. That application was finally withdrawn and the current one is solely concerned with the proposed extension and renovation of the old, Grade II listed, Wealden farmhouse.

MPC arranged for two sets of the application, running to over 300 pages, to be printed (hard copy is no longer supplied by Rother) and circulated round all the councillors in only six working days. The discussion was measured and informed. MPC have been vocal and active in their concern for the farmhouse since 2010 so it was with deep regret that Council voted unanimously to object to the latest application. The planning application can be seen in full on If anyone needs help accessing the application, or would like to see a printed hard copy, contact one of the parish councillors (contact details on The full text of MPC’s objection is also on the parish website.

KING GEORGE V FIELD: You may have noticed that the fencing round the field has been very replaced — and very smart it looks too. The contractors, Akita did an excellent job under the watchful eye of Tim Tidmarsh. Tim also dropped us a line to say that Mountfield Cricket Club, one of the regular users of the field, are very grateful to Thornes for kindly loaning a self-propelled roller to flatten the outfield in readiness for the new cricket season.

THE MESSENGER: Well, finally, the full team line-up can be announced. We announced recently that Peter had taken on chair of the steering committee, David Gyngell took on distribution, Tom James stepped up to the advertising job, and now Andrew Wedmore has agreed to become treasurer. The Messenger serves its parishes very well and has enormous extra potential for our communities that can be realised. It now has the team needed to support Yve in her key central role as editor. It’s been interesting and heartening to find so many people willing the magazine on. What must be said now is what a debt we all owe to Robert Chambers who took on the treasurership but ended up doing the advertising and distribution as well for over a decade. Thank you Robert.

A FORTUNATE VILLAGE: This is probably a very good week to say how very lucky Mountfield is. British Gypsum continue to be very good friends and neighbours, most recently with the renovation of the playground swings. Thornes loaned the roller for the KGVF. Robert and Yve kept the village magazine going for Mountfield and the other three villages. And our doughty District Councillor Eleanor Kirby-Green (a former M&W School pupil) fought for and got a fund-matching grant for the new KGVF fencing.

FINALLY: 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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