SOUTHERN WATER NEWS: Peter writes: I have had several conversations following last week’s Newsletter 4 to all households in the Mountfield Residents Group catchment. (These newsletters can be supplied to any other interested villagers — contact details at the end of this column.) Things are really looking up with the question being not whether but when we get our treatment works. I can now report that our MP, Huw Merriman, is on the case and is putting pressure on Southern Water to authorise the finance at the September board meeting. That really is the crucial detail as it dictates when construction of the treatment plant starts and therefore when the system can go live and when Mountfield gets its life back. The one piece of news not reported in the Village Voice so far is that Southern Water now have the final, revised designs for the pump station on New Cut. They still need to finalise the spec for the treatment plant itself in Solomon’s Lane. But, slowly, bit by bit, all the pieces are being put in place. There is still scope for set-backs but we are fighting on ever smaller fronts.

1-18 EATENDEN LANE: There is no point in anyone having any discussions about any of this unless the treatment works is in place or at least in the, er, pipeline (sorry). By the time you read this, there will have been a number of discussions with some residents and other parties about these properties. They are not forgotten.

THE VILLAGE HALL: Talking of waste water treatment plants, Mountfield Village Hall has been successful in its bid to the National Lottery for the balance of funding for the new treatment plant. This is fantastic news for the most important building in the parish. The Village Hall Committee, particularly Treasurer Neil Whines, have worked characteristically hard to raise the necessary finance. With the £4.9k from the Lottery, £6k from Mountfield Parish Council, £500 from Mountfield Estate and £250 from British Gypsum, they are now in a position to proceed with the project in the next few months. Apart from the Lottery grant, there is a pleasing local symmetry to the various sources of funding. We would expect the Parish Council to step up and allocate their slice of everyone’s council tax to such a cause. And British Gypsum has been part of Mountfield life for nearly a century and a half. The Hall was opened in 1928 in memory of Mabelle Egerton, Lucinda’s Great-Grandmother so the contribution from the Estate sends an echo across ninety years of local history.

THE OLD BAKERY: Sylvia & John Brady are opening their garden again this year in aid of St Michael’s Hospice. The garden surrounds three sides of the 16th century cottage that served as the village’s bakery for over a 100 years, only finally closing in 1996. The gardens are new and evolving with an eclectic mix of flowers, plants and sculptures of varying styles and size. The River Line flows along one side of the garden with a bridge giving access to the field and paddock beyond where eleven friendly pet sheep reside. Tuesday, 10th July from 10.30 to 16.00. Teas and refreshments. Admission: £5.00.

WOODLAND CONSERVATION WALK: A final mention of tomorrow’s guided walk round Dallington Forest to look at the old roads, the ancient and veteran trees, and the conservation work that is going on in. The walk is free. Meet at 9.30 at the triangle at The Mount, Brightling where you can park, and then walk down to the Observatory, opposite which is the entrance to the woods. The walk should take about one and a half hours and is, apparently, suitable for any capable walker. (Take water and sunscreen.)

THE FLOWER SHOW: Only three weeks to go till Saturday, 28 July from 2.30pm at the Village Hall. We hope the weather isn’t playing too much havoc with competitors’ plans.

CONTACT: We can always be contacted on 880614 (if no reply, just leave us your details on the answerphone) or via We always welcome contributions and feedback.