SLIDESHOW: Bells ring out in celebration of a remarkable peal first heard 250 years ago

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Horsham town centre resonated with the sound of ringing bells on Saturday.

It was all part of an attempt to mark the 250th anniversary of a remarkable peal first completed in 1766.

Bellringers marking 250th anniversary of their work in Horsham. The Master of Sussex County Association of Change Ringers - Graham Hills and Moya Hills.
The Chairman of Horsham District Council  Cllr Tricia Youtan.
The Member of Parliament for Horsham - Jeremy Quin on the mini ring.  09-04-16 Pic Steve Robards SR1610158 SUS-161104-082410001

Bellringers marking 250th anniversary of their work in Horsham. The Master of Sussex County Association of Change Ringers - Graham Hills and Moya Hills. The Chairman of Horsham District Council  Cllr Tricia Youtan. The Member of Parliament for Horsham - Jeremy Quin on the mini ring. 09-04-16 Pic Steve Robards SR1610158 SUS-161104-082410001

The ringing included the bells in St Mary’s Church in the Causeway, miniature church bells and handbells around The Carfax.

The mini-ring of church-style bells in the bandstand was particularly popular. Dozens of adults and children took delight in learning to ring the small bells, in between demonstrations of bellringing by the ringers from St Mary’s Horsham and St Margaret’s Warnham.

Horsham MP Jeremy Quin and Horsham District Council chairman Tricia Youtan received their first bellringing lessons, in front of an enthusiastic audience.

Meanwhile, more than 50 visiting bellringers from across Sussex and beyond came to ring the bells in St Mary’s parish church. The ringing room was open to the public, with around 200 people making their way up the spiral staircase to watch the ringing.

Among the visitors was the grandson of Horsham bellringer Thomas Fox (1909-2000), a name that features on several of the peal boards in the ringing room.

Members of the local U3A group, KIPHRA, and the Sussex County Association of Change Ringers entertained people with music on handbells and Belleplates.

There were also rope-making demonstrations and exhibitions in Horsham museum and St Mary’s church.

The event was held in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the first peal on church bells - three hours of continuous ringing with no mistakes - in Sussex rung by local ringers.

It was the brainchild of Horsham ringer Mike Cattell, helped by local ringers Sandra Alford, Val Burgess, Graham Burling and Stella Bianco.

More than 120 volunteers were involved, as well as the handbell and Belleplate musicians.

Anyone interested in learning to ring church bells, cam contact sec-north@scacr.org.