THE PEAL of eight bells in Waldron Parish Church will ring out a quarter peal at 2pm on Monday, February 6 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession in 1952.
It will be only the first of several special events for the village’s bells this year.
It was exactly 100 years ago in 1912 that the bells were recast at the famous John Warner Bell Foundry in Spitalfields, London. Waldron has had bells in its church tower for at least 300 years although the original ring was of only three bells. The remaining five are dated later than 1724 and make the peal one of only 18 in Sussex made up of eight bells.
The exact date of the bells’ installation after their recasting in 1912 was June 27 so Waldron’s ringers will commemorate that date that evening this year. Bell Captain Brian Tompsett (formerly Waldron’s police constable) wants to recruit two more ringers and says that perhaps they might be ready to ring for the first time that evening. “It would be nice if we could find another husband and wife team to add to our two existing couples” he says.
The bells will also ring out joyously on Sunday, June 3 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee while villagers have a Big Lunch in the centre of Waldron with entertainment laid on by the Friends of Waldron Churches. It coincides with the friends’ effort to raise enough money to repair the church tower roof. Friends’ chairman Valerie Chidson said: “It would be brilliant if we could get the tower roof repaired in the same year as the 100th birthday of the recasting – what a celebration that would be!” The ring of bells will be rededicated at the family service on July 1 with the tower open the rest of the day.