Welcome to Gareth, our new Association Master!

Congratulations to Gareth Higgs, who was elected as the Master at the AGM on 13 May 2022. Gareth says:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become Master and carry on the great work that Rob Lane started.
A few words to introduce myself. I learned to ring in the Coventry Diocese at the age of 10 and ringing has been a big part of my life since then. I moved to Sussex in 1974 and became part of the Warnham band and a resident member of the Association having rung my first peal for the Association in 1972 (a scary 50years ago!). I moved to Crawley Down in 1977 and joined the East Grinstead band serving as tower caption for a time and being a part of the project to install the new ring of ten. During this time I served as Ringing Master of the Northern Division (as it was then), General Committee member, BRF Committee rep, Finance Committee rep, and Association Peal Secretary. In 1992 I moved away to Hampshire before realising the error of my ways and returning to Warnham in 2017. I am now Tower Captain and Churchwarden at St Margaret’s Warnham. So why am I getting more involved now? In 2019 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, my treatment was successful and I am now cancer free. Events like this make you take stock of your life and I decided it was time to give something back to the ringing exercise hence I agreed to stand as Master.
Where does the Association go now? I believe we have two major challenges, firstly recruitment and secondly making the Association relevant to every ringer in the county. I plan to work with each of the district secretaries along with Vicky Chase, in her new role, to see how we can address these challenges. I intend to get around the county as much as I can and meet as many of you as possible. .If you want me to attend an event or meeting please give me as much notice as possible - I suspect my diary will get very full!

See you soon,


Welcome to Vicky, our new Communication & Events Team leader!

Vicky Chase was elected as the Communication & Events team leader at the AGM on 13 May 2022. Vicky says:

I returned to ringing in 2017 after taking 30 years out. In 2020 I received the Michael Palmer Award for my commitment and dedication to ringing. This was also for getting Kirdford ringing again. I am now tower captain at Both Kirdford and Billingshurst. I also support and organise Teachers for Graffham. I organise various learners Practices pulling resources and teachers from towers within the local area. I make sure I am available for the learners and encourage them with their journey.

I hope in my new role as Communication and Events Team Leader, Training and Recruitment Team member that I will be able to encourage others to be as enthusiastic as I am. I will be visiting towers across Sussex in all Districts. If you need help with recruitment or maybe you feel we need more ringing courses or events then let's get organising together. I feel we are now in a really good position to recruit and also further the ringing of our existing ringers.

Restored Bells to ring out for the Queen’s Jubilee!

The long wait is over; the 139-year-old bells are returning to Eastbourne!

EASTBOURNE, EAST SUSSEX, May 2022 — After a wait of over a year, the 139-year-old bells of All Saints’ Church, Grange Road, Eastbourne, which had been taken out of the bell tower for long-awaited refurbishment in April last year, will be re-hung this month in time to be rung for H M Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Other than minor works, including new bearings in 1929, a new tenor bell clapper in 1982, and routine maintenance, no significant or major work has been undertaken on these 130+ year old bells.  
The newly restored bells, together with all new modern fittings, will be brought back to the tower on Friday 20th May and will be on display in the church that weekend. The bells will be dedicated during the 10.00am service on Sunday 22nd May.
All the bells have been re-tuned to bring them into harmony and the various harmonics within each bell brought into alignment. Each bell has been fitted with a new headstock, clapper, new double ball bearing, wheel and stay. Back in the tower, new sliders and pulleys will be fitted and a rope guide fitted in the ringing chamber. Andrew Nicholson, of the bell hangers, Nicholson Engineering Ltd, says “All Saints’ will have a really splendid peal of bells.”
Bell ringer Philip Pawley says: “The preservation of bells cast 139 years ago with their inscriptions and timeless sound is important for maintaining our heritage for future generations. This project has provided an opportunity to improve the sound and handling of the bells. This, in turn, will attract learner ringers and retain experienced ringers for All Saints’, as well as becoming a tower which visiting bands of ringers would love to visit. We look forward to ringing these bells for the Queen’s Jubilee.” 
The Revd. James Knowles, vicar of All Saints’, adds: “Along with the church family at All Saints’, I look forward to hearing the bells ring out again across the parish, calling people to worship the Risen Lord Jesus each Sunday morning.”

The complete ring of 8 bells will be on display in the church on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May 2022. The bells and fittings will be hoisted into the bell tower during the week commencing 23rd May 2022. 

[UPDATED] Death of George Francis (Warnham ringer)

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that George Francis died peacefully last night (1st May 2022) in hospital. The end of an era for Warnham and further afield. 

The funeral of George Francis will take place at St Margaret’s Church, Warnham on Wednesday May 25th at 2:30pm. 

If you are unable to make the service, you can join the livestream here: https://youtu.be/ptfnNSnVkuU


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