Mountfield news
Mountfield news

MICHAEL FRENCH: The funeral took place this week of Michael French, a true son of Mountfield. We will have a tribute in next week’s Village Voice. For now, here is Jackie Spriggs’s own person tribute to Michael.

“I was three years old when Michael sat me on his knee while he played the piano. Over the next year or so he patiently showed me how notes related to each other, first with the right hand then how the left hand found a harmony to go with it. Soon my party piece was ‘Put Another Nickel In’ with both hands. ‘On Top of Old Smokey’ followed and by then I was getting the hang of it and totally obsessed with picking out popular tunes I had heard on the ‘wireless.’

Miss Evenden the infant teacher at Mountfield and Whatlington school suggested to my mother that I should have proper piano lessons. The organ followed at thirteen, and the rest, as they say, is history: a career in musical education leading choirs and orchestras. But the foundations were laid in the front room of Mountfield Stores on Hoath Hill with ‘Put Another Nickel In.’ Thank you a thousand times, Michael, and wherever your soul now abides may there be ‘music, music, music’.” Jackie.

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST COFFEE MORNING: Last year, this event raised a cool £25 million pounds. Once again, people held a coffee morning at the same time on the same date all over the UK. The idea started back in 1990 since when it has snowballed. This year’s Mountfield Macmillan Coffee Morning will take place at 2, Yew Tree Cottages, next door but one to the Village Hall, from 10.30 on Saturday September 3rd, hosted by Gemma and Mandy. What a good cause. Be part of the event. Pop in for a cuppa and some delicious cake with every penny raised going to a fantastic cause.

VILLAGE AUTUMN GATHERING: We have already announced the Mountfield Village Hall Autumn Gathering on Sunday September 25th from 12.00 noon till 4.00 pm. The Village Hall Committee are looking for someone to give a demonstration on making corn dollies. Can you help or do you know someone who can? Also, if anyone is interested in a table to sell crafts or advertise a product or local event, please contact Chris on 01580 389053. We know that a number of people who no longer live in Mountfield read this Village Voice — there are even some who have never lived in Mountfield. If you are one of those, do come along and introduce yourselves and maybe meet old friends. More details are to follow but the Committee would like to have a display of corn dollies and horse brasses to celebrate the harvest so if you have any, do please bring them with you.

BRIGHTLING BARN DANCE: Following the barnstorming sell-out when over 275 revellers turned out for this event in 2014, this year’s barn dance will be on Saturday 10th September from 7.00 pm with music from the Catsfield Steamers. Licensed bar (which won’t run out this time) and BBQ (sold all but one sausage last time). Tickets are £10.00 in advance from Victoria Fraser at Banks Farm, Mountfield (01580 880500) or £12.00 on the door.

A2100 CROSSING: Peter writes: This saga seems endless. We have reported over recent weeks how the Parish Council have battled to get action on the road surface immediately south of the crossing which is simply life-threatening for cyclists and even motorcyclists, dangerous for all other vehicles, and potentially a serious hazard for trains. We have also heard from the folk working at the tip, just south of the crossing, that they are getting vehicles pulling in to their entrance to check the resulting damage to their vehicles. We had been given a date for repair of October 17th. This proved to be untrue. The final confirmed date — set by Network Rail, if you will — is December 10-11th. As soon as we knew the date was weeks not days away, we pressed for emergency signage warning of the hazards.

Having been assured that this was in place, I finally found it, on the second attempt. One stupid little triangular road bump sign, in the shade. nearly half a mile north of the crossing, nearer to the roundabout than New Cut. This was the final straw. Do people really not understand words like “life-threatening”, “lethal” and “corporate manslaughter”? I am pleased to say that Mr Karl Taylor, Assistant Director of ESCC, stepped in at this point and has promised adequate hazard signage. We suggested: DEAD SLOW/DAMAGED ROAD SURFACE and DO NOT CROSS/TILL EXIT CLEAR. We’ll see what we get. As I write, the new signage is not in place.

Please be careful and sensible and bear in mind that almost no-one else is being either!

REMINDERS: The Mountfield Club’s Charity Darts and Shove night in memory of Wayne Hardy is on Friday September 9th, starting at about 7.30 pm. There will be a £3.00 entry fee charged and all proceeds raised on the night will be going towards The British Heart Foundation.

The Mountfield Church Ride/Walk is on Sunday September 18th. A 10 mile route but with opportunities to shorten it according to fitness levels, with almost the entire route off road round fields and woodland that are off any public rights of way. Entry fees are riders £15.00 in advance (£20.00 on the day), under 16s £10.00 (£15.00), walkers £5.00 in advance or £7.50 on the day. Dogs (on leads — they can be extending leads) welcome. Free parking. Refreshments at start and finish. Setting off times are between 9.30 and 12.30. Also very handsome marshalls.

The Brede Flower Festival is this weekend. See the Brede Village Voice for details.

CONTACT: 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.