Mountfield news
Mountfield news

SW CONSTRUCTION: Southern Water’s contactors, MGJV, have been delayed with the work on Church Road as, on excavating the trench, they discovered the exact location of an old, beautifully built, brick culvert mentioned by one of the local residents who shall remain nameless. (Blame Pete Edwards.). They immediately contacted East Sussex County Council to try to ascertain the owner of the culvert and to confirm if the culvert was still connected at some point. Legally, they cannot demolish the culvert without these confirmations. ESCC were slow to respond despite repeated chasing by our site team however contact has now been made. Southern Water are aware of the issue and their designers, Atkins, have been instructed to come up with two solutions, one for an active culvert and one for a redundant channel. Unfortunately, this does mean that they have lost time on the original programme and it is likely that this piece of work will take an extra week to complete. This will mean that they will not be able to open the road a few days earlier than scheduled to accommodate the by-election and the bonfire party.

As we mentioned last week, special arrangements are in hand for the by-election (Thursday October 27th). We should also remind people that, for the duration of the closure to Church Road, there will be no scheduled postal collections from the post boxes at Church House/Pond or Banks cottages but Dave the Post will be collecting from them in the course of his daily deliveries.

IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS: Peter writes: BG was closed for production for most of the last week for maintenance and worse. Once again, they took advantage of the situation to lay on an EHS day — that is, Environment, Health and Safety. I was very pleased to be asked to lead five one-hour walks in their part of Castle Wood, which I did wearing my DACS (Darwell Area Conservation Soc.) hat. Small groups were ferried up to lower Laggan Ashes — where the Gyproc Club shoot. From there I led and showed them some small ditches, a dried up muddy track, some bigger ditches, and some dried up puddles before ending up on the same original dried up muddy track. That may not sound like fun but those thrills embraced the the iron age, the 12th and 13th centuries, the Tudors, Captain Cook (who invented Australia) and a road that dates back, ooh, over 5000 years ago. Some of the punters were really rough but not all of them were managers and so, overall, they were a hugely rewarding bunch. As ever, there were lots of jokes and lots of fun but the final irony is that, half way through one of the walks, the fire alarm went off at the board plant. We were ordered to stay where we were until, just as we were about to draw lots for who should become tea, the all clear was sounded.

LISTED STATUS: Following on from the last item, if you are interested in walks — long or short — through our local history, or talks or new publications, do please contact me by phone or email and I can put your name on the database. I am currently planning various adventures next year starting with a talk early in the new year on Mountfield’s Tudor iron furnace and forge.

BIRCHFORD COTTAGE(S): Ingrid Ashton ( née Vinall) and her brother Rodney very kindly dug out some old photographs of the first cottage they both lived in which was the last remaining of the old hamlet of Birchford, originally Birchford Farm. This was the public footpath on the highest point of the land south of Darwell Reservoir, behind Baldwins Farm, where those classic old oaks still stand, looking across the valley of the Darwell Stream. The photos show a dear old weatherboard cottage, with brick and crazy paved paths, flower beds and a rustic rose pergola — such a distinctive feature of gardens before and after the War. The family all look so relaxed and Ingrid’s Mum, Frieda, was such a pretty young lady but one day it was all wiped away by the landlords, Southern Water. The irony is that the demolition of the house and its gardens was quite needless as it never interfered with the completion of the reservoir or its intended expansion in 1990. The photos, together with some new ones of a pre-War class at M&W School and a hop pickers’ party at Glottenham Farm, are now with Trish Jones so that she can scan them for the village archive.

WAYNE HARDY: Tomorrow evening (Saturday 22nd October) is the big night with the Wayne Hardy Charity Darts and Shove night in memory of Wayne starting from 7.00ish. The event will take place in the Club and Village Hall and is expected to be very well attended. There will be a £3.00 entry fee charged, with all proceeds raised on the night will be going towards The British Heart Foundation.

OTHER REMINDERS: A final reminder about Spoonangel’s end of season sale tomorrow (Saturday October 22nd) at Unit 41, Vinehall Business Centre from 9.00 till 1.00. Bargains will include fabrics from £1.00 per metre, bunting from £1.00, pure cotton fat quarter bundles £6.00 (normally £12.00), kids’ sewing kits £3.00 and, going cheap, patchwork squares, fabric remnants, Christmas goodies and Christmas stockings, and more. Next Friday (28th) of course is the Mountfield Family Bonfire. Gates open at 6.00 pm and entry is £2.00 per head. Soup, BBQ and refreshments and all the fun of the fair. (In case of inclement weather, check the live website, at www. which will be finally updated at 2.00 pm on the day.) Next Thursday, October 27th is polling day in Mountfield with the by-election for a second district councillor to serve alongside Eleanor Kirby-Green. Details are online; put “darwell by-election” into Google for a list of the runners and riders. Finally, Mountfield Horticultural Society’s AGM will be held on Saturday November 5th at 3.00 in Mountfield Village Hall with tea and cake for all.

FINALLY: We won’t be alone in enjoying the sight of the three geese from Church Pond bowling around with their faithful honorary family member, the mallard duck. (Is it our imagination or has he perfected the same waddle?) Anyway, we only mention the little chap because we learned this week that the little chap is named for a famous ancestor. Apparently he’s called Francis…

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.