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News and Events

We aim to publish here details of any special ringing which has been requested and arranged including peal and quarter-peal attempts (3 hours and 45 minutes respectively) and visiting bands of ringers. As a part of Hurst Village life we are asked to ring for other special events, including the St Lawrence Fair and Hurst Festival, and details of these and social events of interest, particularly the annual Ringers' Outing, will appear in this section. In addition, we write and deliver a newsletter to our nearest neighbours in the village about 3 times a year.

Recent Activity and News

Forthcoming Events


Recent Activity and News

Ringing in memoriam: HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Friday 9th April at 6 p.m.
Tolling 99 strokes on the tenor
8: William Stafford

Saturday 10 April at 12 noon
Chiming 99 strokes on the tenor
8: Sue Elrick

Sussex County Association
Saturday, 17 April 2021
Rounds, Call Changes and Plain Hunting
2: Susan Elrick
4: Ann Langley
6: John Norris
8: Alex Martin
Rung half-muffled prior to the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Marie Curie Day of Reflection, 23rd March
We joined the national day of reflection and remembrance,
with chiming on a single bell at 12.01 followed by hymn
tunes, chimed by Jenny Brown.

Ringing for Captain Sir Tom Moore, 3rd February 2021
We joined the ‘national clap’ for Capt. Sir Tom Moore by
chiming a bell 100 times at 6.00 p.m., chimed by Alex Martin.

Peal to celebrate the 150th anniversary of
St. Lawrence School at Trinity Road.

Sussex County Association
Saturday, 7 September 2019 in 2hrs 52mins
5058 Yorkshire Surprise Major
composed by Dale Barton
1: Susan M Elrick
2: David R Finch
3: Rachel L Mahoney
4: Margaret L Sherwood
5: Paul J Wells
6: Mark Chittenden-Pile
7: William Stafford (C)
8: Stephen Pocock
First Peal as Conductor.
Rung to mark the 150th anniversary of St. Lawrence Church of England Primary School, Hurstpierpoint. Rachel and William are both former pupils of the School.

Ian Mayor-Smith’s first quarter peal
Sussex County Association
Hurstpierpoint, Sussex
Thursday 31st October in 45 mins
1260 Doubles (540 Grandsire, 720 Plain Bob)
1: Ian Mayor-Smith
2: Sue Elrick
3: James Stubbing
4: William Stafford (C)
5: Rachel Mahoney
6: John Norris
First quarter peal: 1.
Marking the 1st Wedding Anniversary of
James and Amy Stubbing.
Rung for Halloween

Quarter Peal in memory of David J Richardson
Sussex County Association
Hurstpierpoint, Sussex
Thursday 6th June in 46 mins
1287 Grandsire Triples
1: John R Norris
2: Frances P Gilbert
3: Josephine Leggett
4: Rachel L Mahoney
5: Susan M Elrick
6: Joshua Hutchinson
7: Paul J Wells (C)
8: William Stafford
Rung in memory and to celebrate the life of David J Richardson of Lower Kingswood.

Ringing in solidarity with the people of France, following the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral on 15th April 2019
Sussex County Association
Hurstpierpoint, Sussex
Thursday 18 April 2019
Tolling of the Tenor followed by
Rounds and Doubles

 Alex Martin
 Ian Mayor-Smith
 John Norris
 Jonathan Martin
 Joyce Robinson
 Simon Strange
 Sue Elrick
 William Stafford
86 strokes of the tenor (one for each decade since the founding of Notre Dame) followed by ringing for Maundy Thursday Eucharist.

Jonathan Martin’s first quarter peal of Triples
Sussex County Association
at the Wickham Ring
Friday, 12 April 2019 in 44 mins
1260 Grandsire Triples
1: Jonathan Martin
2: Sue Elrick
3: William Stafford
4: Frances Gilbert
5: Alex Martin
6: John Norris(C)
7: Joshua Hutchinson
8: Ollie Watson
First of Triples: 1.

Quarter Peal to celebrate the 18th Birthday of William Stafford
Sussex County Association
Saturday, 30 March 2019 in 48 mins
1344 Plain Bob Major
composed by William Stafford
1: Josephine Leggett
2: Molly Smith
3: Rachel Mahoney
4: John Norris
5: Sue Elrick
6: William Stafford (C)
7: Connor Hodkin
8: Andrew Alford
First of Major: 1.
Rung on the day of William’s 18th Birthday

Quarter Peal to celebrate the 80th Birthday of tower captain John Norris
Sussex County Association
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 in 47 mins
1288 Grandsire Triples
1: Sue Elrick
2: William Stafford (C)
3: Frances Gilbert
4: David Kirkcaldy
5: Joshua Hutchinson
6: John Norris
7: Paul Wells
8: Alex Martin
Rung on the day of John’s 80th birthday.

Remembrance Sunday, 11 November 2018
We rang half muffled as usual before the two minute silence and national Act of Remembrance at 11 a.m.
We then removed the muffles and rang ‘open’ from 12.30 to 1.00 p.m. in company with churches across the land to celebrate the coming of peace one hundred years ago.
In the evening we rang briefly from 7.05 - 7.15, in company with other local churches, to coincide with beacon lighting on the Downs and elsewhere – part of “Battle’s Over”, the evening celebrations organised by Bruno Peake MBE, the Queen’s Pageant Master, and supported by Mid Sussex District Council.

Rounds, Call Changes and Methods
were rung by:-
   Rachel Mahoney
   Alex Martin
   William Stafford
   Ann Langley
   Joyce Robinson
   Sue Elrick
   Jonathan Martin
   Simon Strange
   Sian Holmes
   Michelle Kenyon
   John Norris

Peter T. Hurcombe
It is with great regret that we report the death of Peter Hurcombe on Thursday 4th October after a long period of illness. A distinguished member of our band of ringers, former Captain, and a respected friend and colleague for almost fifty years, Peter was Vice President of the Sussex County of Change Ringers and had served two terms as Master. His grandaughter Rachel carries on the family ringing tradition.
Peter, with daughter Jackie and granddaughter Rachel, December 2015
Peter, with daughter Jackie and granddaughter Rachel, December 2015
Peter's funeral was held on Friday 26th October at 1.30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, with half-muffled ringing for half an hour before and half an hour after the service.
A mixed band of Hurst ringers and contemporaries and friends of Peter from other towers rang a full peal in his memory on the morning on Thursday 25th October.
Sussex County Association
Thursday, 25 October 2018 in 3hrs 8mins
5056 Plain Bob Major
Composed by J R Pritchard
1: Anne E Franklin
2: David D Smith
3: Andrew V Brown
4: Caroline C House
5: Joshua Hutchinson
6: David Kirkcaldy
7: Rachel L Mahoney (C)
8: David E House
Rung in memory of Peter T. Hurcombe, past
Tower Captain at Hurstpierpoint, Vice President
and past master of the Sussex County Association
of Change Ringers. Conducted by Peter's grand-
daughter Rachel.
First peal as conductor: 7.

Quarter peals rung at Hurst in memory of Peter Hurcombe

Sussex County Association
at the church of the Holy Trinity
Thursday, 18 October 2018 in 48mins
1280 Plain Bob Major
1: Alex Martin
2: Anne Franklin
3: Sue Elrick
4: Frances Gilbert
5: John Norris
6: Joshua Hutchinson
7: Rachel Mahoney (C)
8: William Stafford
Rung in affectionate memory of Peter T. Hurcombe, Hurstpierpoint ringer, past tower captain and twice past master of SCACR.
Conducted by Peter's granddaughter Rachel.
First of Major as conductor

Sussex County Association
at the Wickham Ring
Wednesday 24th October 2018 in 42mins
1260 Stedman Triples
1: William Stafford
2: Catherine Lewis
3: Frances Gilbert
4: Jamie Austin
5: Molly Smith
6: John Norris
7: David Kirkcaldy (C)
8: Joshua Hutchinson
In memory of Peter Hurcombe, past Tower Captain at Hurstpierpoint, Vice President and past Master Master of the Sussex County Association.
First of Stedman Triples: 3,4 & 5.

Two Quarter Peals rung by members of the Lilliputters Guild of young ringers on their summer tour

Monday, 6 August 2018 in 44mins
1260 Grandsire Triples
1: Euan Thomas
2: Andrew Alford
3: Harry Bickers
4: Molly Smith
5: David Thomas
6: Simon Edwards
7: Cameron Waters (C)
8: George Vant
First of Grandsire Triples as conductor

Monday, 6 August 2018 in 44mins
1280 Cambridge Surprise Major
1: Molly Smith
2: Cameron Waters
3: Joshua Hutchinson
4: David Thomas
5: Marc McDonald
6: George Vant
7: Andrew Alford
8: Simon Edwards (C)

Quarter Peal rung for Choral Evensong and
to Celebrate the 80th Birthday of Sylvia Thornhill, Grandmother of the Conductor.

Sussex County Association
Sunday, 10 June 2018 in 44 mins
1296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
1: Sue Elrick
2: Rachel Mahoney
3: Frances Gilbert
4: John Norris
5: William Stafford (C)
6: Paul Wells
100th Quarter Peal: 2.

First quarter peal for Jonathan Martin, rung as part of practice night on 15 March

Sussex County Association
Thursday 15 March 2018 in 41 minutes
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1: Jonathan Martin
2. William Stafford
3: Sue Elrick
4: John Norris (C)
5: Rachel Mahoney
6: Alex Martin
First quarter peal: 1.

Quarter Peal, rung as part of practice night
on 1 Feb, while several of our young ringers
were absent, taking part in the Downlands
Community School production of the Madness
musical “Our House”

Sussex County Association
Thursday 1 February 2018 in 45 minutes
1260 Stedman Triples
1: Sue Elrick
2. David Kirkcaldy
3: Helen Wells
4: Alex Martin
5: Kathy Howard
6: William Stafford
7: Paul Wells (C)
8: John Norris
First quarter peal of Stedman: 4.
First quarter of Grandsire: 4.

Peal Success, Friday Nov 3rd

The Ancient Society of College Youths
Friday 3rd November in 3 hours 3 minutes
5088 London Surprise Major
Composed by D.F. Morrison
1:  David E. House  (Conductor)
2:  Caroline C. House
3:  Timothy M. Payne
4:  David Kirkcaldy
5:  Peter W. Dickinson
6:  Philip R.J. Barnes
7:  John B. Keeler
8:  James Kirkcaldy
To mark 50 years of ringing by James and David Kirkcaldy who learned at this tower, with thanks to all those who have helped over the years.

Quarter Peal rung for Hurst Festival’s
“Super Sunday”

Sussex County Association
Sunday 17 September 2017 in 46 minutes
1260 Grandsire Triples
1: Siân Holmes
2. William Stafford (C)
3: Molly Smith
4: Alex Martin
5: Rachel Mahoney
6: John Norris
7: Joshua Hutchinson
8: Harry Bickers
First quarter peal as conductor: 2.
First quarter of Grandsire: 4.

Ringing World National Youth Contest, held in Birmingham on 1st July
Once again, ringers from Hurst were in the team representing Sussex. Here's William Stafford's report, reprinted from Soundbow:-

On 1 July 2017, the 7th annual Ringing World National Youth Contest rolled around the corner into England's second most populated city and home of the victors of the previous weekend's 12 Bell Striking Contest, Birmingham. It was a long trek for all of us with some going up the night before, but in my case leaving early on Saturday morning to try and get to the contest in time. We made good time and got to the heat tower with an hour to spare. Our heat tower was St Edburgha in Yardley; in the tower lies a 12cwt Taylor eight all cast in the 1950's. They sounded magnificent and also handled very nicely giving us confidence we could do well. After listening to a good yet slightly shaky piece by Bedfordshire (the winners of the last four years but this year with a completely different team) we ascended the many steps of the tower to the ringing chamber where we were greeted by some friendly locals and a very low door (not very good for the giraffes among us).

We each found our bell and got practicing right away, ringing a reasonable course of Grandsire before our test piece. After giving the signal we started our test piece which included lots of rounds at the start of it, this seemed to work in our favour. We had produced a pretty good 168 of Grandsire with only a few clashes and striking errors. After this we went back down and came out to a nice round of applause; we then had our photo taken and then headed off to Solihull for general ringing.

Here we had a go on the 21cwt Taylor twelve that was augmented to such a number in the 1960's. Ringing ranged from Call Changes to Plain Hunt Maximus with Mr Andrew Alford turning in the tenor. Overall I found these to be a very pleasing ring that handled extremely well and sounded like a charm.

After getting lunch in the many shops of Solihull city centre we headed off to central Birmingham for the afternoon; it was in this journey that the teams in the final were announced and after some deliberation in the car we realised we had made it to the final at St Pauls, beating out Oxford (which may be considered a near rival considering the amount of times we have been the same place as them).

After the journey we arrived at the church of SS Peter and Paul in Aston which is literally just a few hundred metres away from Villa Park, home of Aston Villa Football Club. After waiting in queue for about thirty minutes we were finally let at the 25cwt Taylor twelve that sounded very delightful and handled very well (a common theme for the towers on the day).

After some nice ringing here we trundled along to the final tower, St Pauls, which had held the 2012 Contest as well. With a hour until we were supposed to ring, we were well prepared with what to do here with there being a mini-ring on which some of us attempted some double handed rounds, and there was an ice cream van where the ever lovely Sandra treated us to ice cream.

After consuming the fine Mr Whippy's Sandra had got us, we went to the base of the tower where we listened to the teams that were before us, Bedfordshire and Yorkshire. Bedfordshire once again posted a decent piece that was good although it felt a bit shaky, but Yorkshire clearly rang their hearts out giving a very well struck and musical piece.

It was then our turn to go up the tower; when we got to the ringing chamber you could feel that it was hot. We started our practice on the bells to find they weren't very rewarding for us and we tried our best to do some Plain Hunt and a course of Grandsire in the practice, and they were achieved to a decent extent. With this we go on to our test piece; we started with lots of rounds before going into Grandsire. It was an arguably unsettled piece of ringing that had some very good parts with some excellent striking but also some parts that were prominent with clashes; overall it was a valiant effort and we can say we tried our best. After this we rang the bells down, had some photos taken and Rachel, our conductor, had a short interview for the Ringing World.

We then walked to St Martin in the Bullring where we would end our day. We rang on the 39cwt, sixteen Bull Ring cast by Whitechapel in the 1990's. They handled very well and I personally liked the challenge of fifteen with me finding the ring very rewarding and generally fun to ring on, others however were put off by them with the sheer number of bells being too immense and them sounding too clustered. Ringing here included Plain Hunt on fifteen and there were some jump call changes, where a bell holds up to ring over another bell so 1 to 15 could be called; they were called into Queens by Andrew Meyer who was ringing the 15th & 16th at the Bull Ring, tenor stood on two boxes, quite a feat if I had to say so myself.

With the ringing here over we went into the church where the results were going to be read out. The build up to the results was nice with us chatting away to each other and people we knew from elsewhere. Then came the big moment, the results. The comments were read out first followed by the grades of the teams in the heats, however ours wasn't read out until later as we had made it to the final.

Then the final grades were read out; a B was given to the Fen Tigers (Ely Guild) and The Gloucester & Bristol. Then the B+ teams were read out, they were Bedfordshire and your favourite team, Sussex. This was a good result for us considering the 'tense'piece we had rang. We then went up, collected our medals and had the official photo taken.

This was the conclusion to our day and it was a pleasing one with us coming 3rd out of 19 teams that had entered the competition. With this we said our good-byes and drove home. This was a very enjoyable and fun day that was something very special.

With this I must thank Sandra for being our responsible adult and team leader that day, she helped the day run very smoothly and acted as a catalyst of motivation and enjoyment throughout the day. I must also thank Anne Franklin for arranging all the young ringer practices leading up to this and being there in spirit throughout the day. Also the St Martin's Guild deserve a lot of gratitude for their hospitality throughout the day.

Finally I must thank our team for performing so well, Andrew A and Catherine for doing a very good job of representing Sussex over the last few years as they bow out with this being their final competition (you will both be missed!), and especially Rachel for being our conductor, our leader and our overall awesome person for acting so well and helping us all throughout the day. With this I must end as, 1200 words later, this probably feels more like an essay than a report. Thank you for reading and I will hope you support us in 2018 when the contest returns to London for the 3rd time!

Recent Quarter Peals
Sussex County Association
Thursday 15th June 2017 in 47 minutes
1260 Grandsire Triples
1: William Stafford
2: Sue Elrick
3: Frances Gilbert
4: Heather Jordan
5: Helen Wells
6: John Norris (C)
7: Paul Wells
8: Penny Neal
Rung on BBC Music Day to celebrate the ordination to the priesthood of the Rev. Jules Middleton, daughter of the conductor, by the Rt. Revd. Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes on 10th June

Sussex County Association
Monday 27th March 2017 in 46 minutes
1260 Grandsire Triples
1:  Susan M Elrick
2:  Andrew V Brown
3:  Caroline C House
4:  Rachel L Mahoney (C)
5:  Kathy Howard
6:  David Kirkcaldy
7:  David E House
8:  John Norris
Rung as a Golden Wedding compliment to
               Peter and Kate Hurcombe
conducted by their 15 year old granddaughter

Sussex County Association
Saturday 18th February 2017 in 45 minutes
1250 Cambridge Surprise Major
1:  Joshua Hutchinson
2:  William Wilson
3:  Caroline House
4:  Kathy Howard (C)
5:  Rachel Mahoney
6:  Steve Lucas
7:  William Stafford
8:  David Kirkcaldy
First quarter peal of Surprise Major: 5.
First quarter peal of Cambridge Surprise Major: 7.

Sussex County Association
Sunday 29th January 2017 in 46 minutes
1260 Plain Bob Triples
1:  Sue Elrick
2:  Paul Wells
3:  John Norris
4:  Rachel Mahoney
5:  Kathy Howard
6:  Alex Martin
7:  David Kirkcaldy (C)
8:  William Stafford
First of Triples inside: 6.
Rung for Evensong and as a 70th birthday compliment to Frances Gilbert
(and a belated 70th birthday compliment to
Stella Bianco and Sue Elrick)

Sussex County Association
Thursday 26th January 2017 in 45 minutes
1260 Grandsire Triples
1:  Alex Martin
2:  Sue Elrick
3:  Heather Jordan
4:  Rachel Mahoney
5:  Jonathan Franklin
6:  John Norris (Conductor)
7:  William Stafford
8:  Joshua Hutchinson
First of Triples: 1.
Rung to celebrate the 90th birthday of
Rosemary Brown, a member of the local
band for almost sixty years.

Dumbbell Dedication, 29th October
We now have in the tower a second computer-linked dumbbell, the bequest of our late captain Dennis Elliott. The dumbbell was dedicated by the Rev’d Jane Willis on October 29th in the presence of Dennis’ son Andy and his family, together with members of the local band of ringers and invited guests.
We have one dumbbell already, which has been an invaluable training aid, particularly for the early stages of teaching bell handling. The big advantage of a second dumbbell, which was very much in Dennis’ mind, was that it would allow us to practise ten bell ringing using our simulator with the two dumbbells and the eight tower bells with clappers tied.
Dumbbell No.2
We now have several young ringers in the band able and keen to ring on 10 so there is no doubt that the dumbbell will be both useful and used.

Another Peal Success, Saturday Nov 5th
In May 2015 we reported the first peal rung by Rachel Mahoney. Now another of our young ringers, William Stafford, has achieved this landmark. Well done William.
Here are the details:-

Sussex County Association
Shipley, West Sussex
St Mary the Virgin
Saturday, 5 November 2016 in 2 hours 39 minutes
5040 Minor (2 methods:
2180 Cambridge Surprise, 2880 Plain Bob)
1:  Joshua Hutchinson
2:  John R. Norris
3:  Rachel L. Mahoney
4:  Anne E. Franklin
5:  William A.G. Stafford
6:  P. Jonathan Franklin  (Conductor)
First peal: 5.
First on 6 bells: 1,3
100th peal: 2

Heritage Open Days
In 2016, for the first time, Heritage Open Days joined forces with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers to open up the heritage hidden inside England's bell towers and bring to life the 400-year old tradition of English-style bell ringing. It provided an opportunity for thousands of ringers across England to share their passion with millions of visitors who every year venture out to discover the treasures on their doorstep. The challenge was set to open up 500 bell towers for the public to explore and encourage ringing bands up and down the country to offer special bell ringing experiences.

Here at Hurst we took part in a national ‘collective bell ringing moment’ at 6 p.m. on Thursday 8th September

and also held a:-
Tower Open afternoon on Saturday 10th September
including visits to the tower, demonstrations and explanations of change ringing, tuition on a ringing dumbbell and demonstrations of rope making.

The national event attracted considerable media interest in ringing, including an interview on Radio 5 live for Hurst young ringer Rachel Mahoney and her granddad Peter Hurcombe.

Ringing World National Youth Contest, held in London on 2nd July
Three ringers from Hurst were in the two teams representing Sussex. Here's William Stafford's report:-

Background: The RWNYC (Ringing World National Youth Contest) is a striking competition organised by the ringing magazine the Ringing World for young people, to show their skill and give them opportunities they do not usually get. This year four Young Ringers from Hurst were part of the two Sussex Teams. I was conducting one of them. Here is what happened on the day.

The day started with an early rise at 5:30 a.m. I and the other Young Ringers had to get to Hassocks station for 7 and after a few changes we made it up to London. We walked from London Bridge Station to St Mary le Bow Church (The HQ) with its grand, Wren built tower. We started there registering, receiving our Programmes and Wrist Bands and finding out our tower for the heats of the contest. It was St Saviour in Pimlico, which wouldn't have been our 1st choice. We started out the day with some tower grabbing though at St Lawrence, Jewry, a heavy 8 which allowed us to practise our Test Pieces, they are bells that handle very nicely. We then had a grab at St Mary le Bow, one the most famous rings in the world with the tower being at the end of Oranges and Lemons, it was a very heavy 12 with the Tenor being 2 Tonnes! They were very nice bells though and sounded stunning. Next we went via the Tube to the heats tower in Pimlico, they were actually some nice little bells and both our test pieces went very well with just 1 or 2 faults here or there. All of us (The Sussex Group) then went to St James, Garlickhythe which is the home of the Royal Jubilee Bells (The ones on the Thames in the Queens Jubilee Pageant). They are a very nice little ring and we had some good ringing on them. While we were here our main team organiser, came back to tell us the teams that would be going into the Final from the Heats. Sussex Young Ringers which were ringing a Method had got through, but the team I was conducting (Young Sussex Ringers which were doing Call Changes) hadn't. After the results we headed off to St Boltoph, Bishopsgate where the Method teams had one more practice and I had a go on these very loud bells seeming as they were just above our Heads. Next was a go at Christ Church, Spitalfields where we couldn't at first find the Belfry because the church was so large but when we got a ring it was very nice. Sadly the Method Team didn't get a ring at this lovely tower because they had to go to the final. Once my team had rung we went off to the final tower and listened to the other team ringing a very nice piece that I thought had a chance of winning. Before going back to Bow we rang at one more tower, St Magnus the Martyr which is next to London Bridge, it was a very good standard modern ring of 12 and we had a brilliant ring there. After this we went back to Bow where there was one more opportunity for a quick ring and eventually it was time for the results. It turned out that my Team had just missed out on the Final by coming 3/8 in the heats and getting a B (We had to come 2nd to qualify), while the other Sussex team had gained an A in the heats, and in the final they came joint second with an A but Bedfordshire won overall (like they had done for the past 3 years). After this we went back home and reflected on what a day this had been. We will try even better next year when we go up Birmingham!

“The Day Sussex Died”

Bells across Sussex were rung in the early evening of Thursday 30th June to remember the more than 300 men of Sussex who died in the "Battle of the Boar's Head" on 30 June 1915, a diversionary tactic before the main Somme offensive, which started the following day.

At Hurst the following band rang
1020 changes of Plain Bob Minor
1: Alex Martin
2: Rachel Mahoney
3: Helen Wells
4: Frances Gilbert
5: John Norris (C)
6: William Stafford
To mark the centenary, today, of the Battle of Boar's Head, “The day Sussex died.”
This performance is linked to the event: Sussex County Association ˜ The Centenary of the Battle of the Boar's Head.
For more information visit
(Although no soldiers from Hurst are known to have been killed on 30th June, at least 10 with Hurst connections died in the main Somme offensive)

Quarter Peal for HM The Queen
Sussex County Association
Sunday, 12 June 2016 in 45 minutes
Grandsire Triples
1: Sophie Payne
2: William Stafford
3: Rachel Mahoney
4: Sue Elrick
5: Helen Wells
6: John Norris (Conductor)
7: Paul Wells
8: Alex Martin
Rung as part of the village celebrations to mark
the 90th birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II

Ringers’ Outing, Saturday, 4th June 2016
by William Stafford, one of our young ringers

Hello again, as I said last year: ‘Another Year, Another Outing’ this year the same format as last year in Cars and going to Kent again like 2014! First stop was St Nicholas in Leeds (Not the city in Yorkshire). Here it was already off to a very eventful start with us travelling through this nice village, almost getting locked out at the start and then when we eventually reached the Ringing Chamber we discovered how very old fashioned the ring of 10 was in this interesting church. Next stop was Holy Cross in Bearsted Green, it was a very nice little ring of 6 where we enjoyed some very good ringing including an unofficial Young People vs. Codgers contest, sadly the Codgers won. Next stop was the heavy ring of 10 of All Saints in Maidstone, the Tenor was roughly one and a half tonnes so people did well to ring it (including myself). Here we had some very good ringing including some Caters (Methods that affects 9 bells). After we finished we went out for Lunch and met up again at St Michael and All Angels Church also in Maidstone which had a very light ring of 8 which is dwarfed by comparison with All Saints! Here the very light bells were hard to handle for some but overall there was a lot of fun to be had. Next up was an old friend in the form of the church of St Peter and St Paul in Headcorn which featured as the first tower on the outing 2 years ago. Here there was some very good ringing on this heavy ring of 8 and afterwards there was Cake and Tea. Lastly, we were back in home territory, in Sussex, in Wadhurst which holds a very nice ring of 8, similar to Hurst, in its church of St Peter and St Paul. After this was dinner at the Wadhurst Inn before we returned to Hurst after a fantastic day of ringing. I may be writing again next year also and it is likely we may be trying to grab some Cathedrals in Hampshire! We will just have to wait and see ...


Quarter Peal for BBC Music Day
Sussex County Association
Thursday, 2 June 2016 in 46 minutes
3 Doubles Methods (360 Stedman, 480 Grandsire, 420 Plain Bob)
1: Joshua Hutchinson
2: David Cragg
3: Frances Gilbert
4: William Stafford
5: John Norris (Conductor)
6: Sue Elrick

Quarter Peal for HM The Queen
Sussex County Association
Thursday, 21 April 2016 in 48 minutes
1280 Plain Bob Major
1: Heather Jordan
2: Sue Elrick
3: Rachel Mahoney
4: Joshua Hutchinson
5: Helen Wells
6: John Norris
7: William Stafford
8: Paul Wells (Conductor)
First quarter of Major: 7
1st touch of Plain Bob Major: 4.
Rung to celebrate the 90th birthday
of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Horsham Festival of Bells

The first full peal in Sussex by an all Sussex band of ringers was rung at St Mary's church Horsham on 11th April 1766. Horsham Festival of Bells 250 was held on Saturday 9th April 2016 to celebrate the anniversary. There were a number of attractions to appeal to both ringers and non-ringers. Ropemaking was demonstrated by Sussex young ringers, including Rachel, William, Sophie, Ollie and Alex from Hurst, under the guidance of Sue Elrick.

South East Regional Striking Competition held at Epsom Common on 2nd April – A Bellringing First for Hurstpierpoint

Eight young Bellringers from Sussex took first place in the South East Regional Striking Competition at Epsom Common on 2nd April. They secured first place by ringing a very good touch of Grandsire Triples.
Among the ringers were William and Rachel from Hurst. They were joined by Josh, who rings at Burgess Hill and practices at Hurst on Thursday evenings, as well as 5 other under 18's from across Sussex.
Congratulations to them all. We look forward to their future achievements.

Quarter Peal, March 5th
Sussex County Association
Thursday, 3 March 2016 in 44 minutes
1260 Doubles (720 Grandsire, 540 Plain Bob)
1: Sophie Payne
2: Rachel Mahoney
3: William Stafford
4: Joshua Hutchinson
5: John Norris (Conductor)
6: Sue Elrick

Quarter Peal, Sunday January 24th
Alex Martin, another of our keen young ringers, took part in a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles rung for Family Eucharist and the Sussex County Association of Change Ringers Quarter Peal Week on January 24th. It was his first quarter peal and he rang very well. Well done Alex!

Here are the details:-

Sussex County Association
Sunday, 24 January 2016 in 44 minutes
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1: Alex Martin
2: Sue Elrick
3: William Stafford
4: Rachel Mahoney
5: John Norris (Conductor)
6: Ollie Watson
First quarter peal: 1.
For Sung Eucharist and SCACR Quarter Peal Week

Quarter Peal for the Carol Service, 20th December.
Sussex County Association
Sunday, 20 December in 46 minutes
1260 Plain Bob Triples
1: Sophie Payne
2: Rachel Mahoney
3: Sue Gadd
4: Sian Holmes
5: John Norris
6: Sue Elrick
7: David Kirkcaldy (Conductor)
8: William Stafford
First quarter of Triples: 1.
Rung for the Carol Service

Quarter Peal for the Advent Carol Service, 29th November.
Sussex County Association
Sunday, 29 November in 47 minutes
1288 Grandsire Triples
1: Ollie Watson
2: Sue Elrick
3: Rachel Mahoney
4: William Stafford
5: Helen Wells
6: Chris Pitt
7: Paul Wells (Conductor)
8: John Norris
First quarter of Triples: 1 & 4
Rung for the Advent Carol Service

Quarter Peal for H.M. The Queen, Wednesday September 9th.
Sussex County Association
Wednesday, 9 September in 45 minutes
(rung on the back six)
1260 Grandsire Doubles
1: Ollie Watson        (aged 11)
2: Rachel Mahoney (aged 13)
3: William Stafford   (aged 14)
4: Frances Gilbert
5: John Norris (Conductor)
6: Sue Elrick
First of Grandsire ‘inside’: 3.
Rung to commemorate HM Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history.

Visiting Ringers, Thursday 6th August.
    A group of ringers from Somerset and elsewhere on a ringing holiday in Surrey, Sussex and Kent rang a quarter peal of Piglet Surprise Major at Holy Trinity on Thursday 6th August.
    To limit the amount of ringing in one evening we forewent our local practice and joined the ringers at Steyning for their practice night on the same day.

Quarter Peal for Tony Humphrey, Tuesday July 21st.
    As reported previously, our fellow Hurst ringer Tony Humphrey died on 3rd July, aged 84. Tony learnt to ring at St. Nicolas church Brighton and after moving to Hurst was a stalwart member and officer of the band for over fifty years. His funeral was at Woodvale Crematorium on Tuesday 21st July and we rang a quarter peal at Holy Trinity in his memory late that afternoon:-

Sussex County Association
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 in 46 minutes
1260 Grandsire Triples
1: Ann M. Langley
2: Frances P. Gilbert
3: Stella G. Bianco
4: Rachel L. Mahoney
5: Susan M. Elrick
6: John Norris (Conductor)
7: David Kirkcaldy
8: Hamish M. McNaughton
First of Grandsire 'inside': 4.
Rung in thanksgiving for the life of Anthony (Tony) M. Humphrey,
a member of the Sussex County Association for over seventy years and a ringer in this tower for nearly fifty.

National Youth 8 Bell Striking Competition, Oxford, 11th July.
    13 year old Rachel Mahoney from Hurst was one of eight young Sussex ringers selected to represent the County in the National Youth 8 Bell Striking Competition held at Oxford on 11th July. Sussex did well, coming joint 2nd out of 19 teams. Here's Rachel's account of a memorable day, reprinted from the Parish Magazine:-

    On Saturday 11th July 2015, I attended the Ringing World National Youth 8 Bell Striking Competition in Oxford. It was my first ever striking competition and I was filled with excitement. Considering I have only been ringing for 2 years, it was a massive honour to be selected to represent Sussex in this event.
For the competition we had to ring 160 Call Changes with really good striking. We only had 15 minutes to do our practise and our performance which isn‘t that long for ringing time. The team itself only practised once all together as it was made up of ringers aged 18 and below from Warnham, Horsham, Southover, Steyning, Shipley and Hurstpierpoint and it was difficult to get us in the same place at the same time.
    It was an early start to the day as I had to be in Horsham by 7.00am in order to travel to Oxford for Registration at 9.30am. Once registered, we had the opportunity of practising together as a team at Mary Magdalen as well as ringing with members of the other teams. We had been given the time slot of 2.00pm for our competition piece to be rung at St Thomas the Martyr. This left us free to experience ringing at several different towers around Oxford city centre whilst completing a walking treasure hunt. It was nice to experience the different towers Oxford had to offer and meeting other young ringers from all over the country.
    At 1.55pm we walked into the church to get ready to ring. We rang a few rounds to check everyone was happy with their bells and to see if any ropes needed adjusting, and then the treble and the 2 gave the signal to show that we were ready. We completed our competition piece and it was the best we had ever rung together! We were thrilled! All that remained was to await the results, due in at 5.30pm
    All 19 teams gathered at Merton College for the results and prize giving ceremony. Sussex Young Ringers came joint 2nd with an A grade! We were overjoyed and received a silver medal each. Bedfordshire won with a grade of an A* and took away the Whitechapel trophy. This was one of the most memorable occasions in my ringing career so far and I look forward to hopefully being selected for the team again next year.

Ringers Outing, Saturday, June 6th
by William Stafford (aged 14), one of our young ringers

Another Year, another Outing – but in a very different style!
On 6 June, we went to the Guildford Area, not in a coach, but in cars.

First stop was the small but lovely, chocolate box village of Wonersh. It had a nice view of the Surrey Hills and the church was built in a garden. The bells were also very nice, being similar to Hurst's. Then we went off to the 6 bell tower of nearby Bramley. It was an interesting and busy little village and the bells were OK. Then on to the halfway point, the village of Cranleigh. The church there was like the Tardis! On the outside it seemed very small but on the inside it was a whole different story. The church and ringing chamber were massive and the bells handled like a charm. Next on the agenda was lunch in Cranleigh village where there was a lot of choice – some of us went for lovely pizzas!

Then off to the Tower in Ewhurst (Yes, Ew-Hurst is how you pronounce it). We had to climb a hill to get up to the tower but the grounds there were nicely scattered with trees; one was shaped just right for young ringers to climb. The bells there were also light and easy to handle so no problems here.

Next was the small village of Ockley. It was a beautiful place but I didn't get much ringing because Sue, who was driving the car I was in, got lost. After asking 3 people in the village and getting 3 different sets of directions, we found the Church with only 15 minutes left to go! Sue didn't mind as the heavier bells were not so easy to ring. Lastly, we went to the large-ish village of Capel. The ringing chamber there was very small and the bells were very light. But the highlight was a disaster! – because while ringing the bells one of the bell ropes broke and came off in Rachel's hand. Maintenance there will be required...

EXTRA EXTRA! There is More? Yes! We had a Big Group Dinner at the Sportsman after making the long journey back.

– And that is about all I have to say about the trip. Overall it was enjoyable and I might be writing the log of the outing again next year. So goodbye for now, aufwiedersehen or au revoir, depending on your country of origin!


Quarter Peal, Sunday May 24th
Sophie Payne, another of our keen young ringers, took part in a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles rung for Sung Eucharist on Whit Sunday. It was her first quarter peal and she rang very well. Well done Sophie!

Here are the details:-

Sussex County Association
Sunday, 24 May 2015 in 44 minutes
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1: Sophie Payne
2: Siân Holmes
3: Rachel Mahoney
4: Sue Elrick
5: John Norris (Conductor)
6: William Stafford
First quarter peal: 1.
For Sung Eucharist on Whit Sunday

Peal Success, Saturday May 16th
We were successful in our peal attempt to mark the tercentenary of the first true full peal, rung at St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich on 2nd May 1715. Three of the ringers taking part in the commemorative attempt at Hurst were from our own band. Among them was thirteen year old Rachel Mahoney, attempting her first full peal. She rang very well throughout – well done Rachel. Our conductor will be Jonathan Franklin who, like another of the five visiting ringers, learnt to ring at Hurstpierpoint in his youth before moving away.

Here are the details:-

Sussex County Association
Saturday, 16th May in 2 hours 57 minutes
5040 Plain Bob Triples
Composed by David R. Finch
1: Rachel L. Mahoney
2: Anne E. Franklin
3: Marisa A. Hayes
4: David Kirkcaldy
5: Susan M. Elrick
6: Thomas R. Neal
7: P. Jonathan Franklin  (Conductor)
8: John R. Norris
First peal: 1.

and here is the technical explanation of what it’s all about:

The word ‘peal’ is sometimes used loosely to refer to a ring of bells and, by non ringers, to describe a length of ringing but to ringers it has another more-specific meaning — a length of ringing comprising 5000 changes or more. If it is a peal rung on seven bells (plus the deepest bell, the tenor, ringing last each time) it is known as a peal of Triples and has to contain exactly 5040 changes. That’s all the possible orders in which the seven bells, numbered from one for the lightest bell down to the seventh bell, can be rung without repeating any or leaving any out.
This takes about three hours. It is not practicable for the ringers to remember all these orders or ‘changes’. Instead they memorise a pattern or ‘method’ comprising a much smaller number of changes. This ‘subset’, known as a ‘plain course’, brings the bells back to Rounds (ringing down the scale) at its conclusion. Or rather it would but for ‘calls’ known as Bobs and Singles. These calls interchange the work of three or two bells respectively and so bring the ringing into a fresh block of changes not included in the plain course. The calls are made by the ‘conductor’ at the appropriate points in the ringing according to a known 'composition' memorised by the conductor in advance.
All this is common knowledge to ringers but it was not always so. The origins of change ringing go back to the beginning of the seventeenth century when gradually the idea evolved of ringing changes according to a prescribed method. It was probably inevitable that sooner or later ringers would want to ring all the changes possible on a particular numbers of bells. It did not take keen ‘composers’ long to work out how to achieve this on five and six bells while on higher numbers of bells, eight and above, the time to ring all the changes is so long (about thirty years on twelve bells!) that the production of a suitable composition is largely irrelevant. However, 5040 changes, the total number of changes possible on seven bells, can be rung in about three hours. This was a realistic target for both ringers and composers and much effort was expended in the late 17th and early 18th century in trying to produce compositions that were ‘true’ and would produce all the possible changes — the ‘extent’ — without repetition or omission.
A number of false peals were rung before finally, on 2nd May 1715, what is generally believed to be the first true peal was rung. The method was ‘Plain Bob Triples’ and the peal was rung at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, one of the centres of ringing innovation at the time.

The 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE Day 70)
We rang as planned at 11.00 a.m. on Saturday May 9th as part of the national programme of events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Ringing included Rounds, Call Changes and Plain Hunt on 7 and among those taking part were four of our young ringers, aged 14 and under.

Forthcoming Events


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