The second Saturday in May, saw the Association’s AGM at Ardingly. A slightly different format this year, in that the open ringing was in the morning, followed by the service, a ploughman's lunch in the old school, and then the AGM. Many thanks go to Steph and Richard Pendlebury and to the Ardingly ringers who helped organise this event. However, I think that a lot of those present, including myself, were disappointed at the poor turnout. Out of an Association of over 1300 members, only 42 came to the AGM. I think this low figure is terrible. If you care about YOUR Association, come and JOIN a Team, or at least let those on a Team know your ideas about what is needed etc. Sandra or I would welcome hearing from you.
Marisa Hayes stood down from being the Secretary, and many thanks to Sandra Alford who has stepped forward, with assistance from my wife, Moya. Jack Burton from Westbourne has replaced Mike Wake as one of the Trustees, and there are some changes in the representatives from the individual Districts. At the ADMs, there had been only 2 nominations for Central Council Reps starting from May 2017; these being David Kirkcaldy for the West and Roy Cox for the East. Due to the number of members in our Association, we are entitled to 5 Reps., and there were no new nominations at the AGM. I shall therefore be raising this matter at the next General Committee Meeting in November.
Everything seemed to happen in May. This was also the month when Sussex was invited to ring in the Tewkesbury Shield striking competition. 7 teams entered and the Sussex team organised for me by Stephen Beckingham came 6 th. Many thanks to all those who took part and represented Sussex.
Following on from the Young Ringers success at Epsom, Anne Franklin and Sandra Alford organised 2 teams of young ringers to enter the Ringing World National Youth Striking Contest, which was in London on 2 nd July. This year 24 teams entered, so there were 3 separate heats. Both of our teams rang at the heat at Pimlico, with our method team, “Sussex Young Ringers” being one of the 2 teams to go through to the final. Standing outside listening, Moya and I believe that our 2 nd team, the "Young Sussex Ringers" came 3 rd with their Call Changes. In the final at St. Olave’s in Hart Street, our team came equal second to Bedfordshire – exactly the same result as last year. Well done to both teams. You did Sussex proud, and thank you to everyone for taking part. Also thank you to Anne and Sandra for their hard work, and to all parents and friends who accompanied the teams.
On 22 nd June, Moya and I went to the Redoubt Fortress at Eastbourne to join a gathering of Royal Sussex Regiment Veterans, the Mayor and some Councillors from Eastbourne, the Mayor of Richebourg, again with several dignitaries and several cyclists, from the Richebourg Cycling Club who had cycled all the way to Eastbourne, and by now, they will have cycled all the way back home. There were also some ringers from the Surrey and Middlesex Associations.
Peter Whisker, a ringer from Surrey, had a small piece of a church bell that his Grandfather, had brought home as a souvenir from the town of Richebourg. Peter presented the piece of bell to the Mayor of Richebourg watched by us all, along with Gary Baines from "The Royal Sussex Living History Group", who requested as many church bells as possible throughout Sussex to be rung for at least 15 minutes at 5pm on Thursday 30 th June.
Graham Hills (published in Soundbow Summer 2016).