All Saints has a long history of bell-ringing with bells in the tower for almost 300 years. In 1724 it is recorded that just three bells were in place, this was increased to five in 1732, to six in 1773 and then to eight in 1789 - all tuned to the key of 'G'.
In 1912, these eight bells were re-cast and hung in a new metal frame as they are today. The lightest bell, the treble, weighs 3.5cwt and the heaviest bell, the tenor, weighs just over 12cwt. The total weight of all the bells is a massive 2.5 tons!
After 75 years of use in 1987, the bells were restored thanks to the funding and labour of the local community. The work included the cleaning and painting of the frame, the fitting of new sealed bearings and refurbishment of the clapper fittings.
Bell-ringing societies have been around for almost 400 years. Waldron is one of the founding towers of the Sussex County Association of Change Ringers from 1888 to 1933.
The current Tower Captain is Brian Tompsett who learnt the basics of bell-ringing in his early teens before he left Waldron to pursue his career. After a gap of thirty years, he returned to Waldron and took up bell-ringing once again. As Tower Captain his duties include maintenance of the bells and recruiting and training of bell-ringers as well as orgainsing the fortnightly team.
There are currently fifteen bell-ringers who come from all walks of life. The art of bell-ringing looks easy but it takes months to learn and years to perfect. Although there is no age limit, it does require a certain amount of fitness plus good hand and eye co-ordination. In return, it's a wonderful form of physical and mental exercise and a great social activity. New recruits are taught on a one-to-one basis, six new ringers having joined the Waldron team in the last three years.
The bell-ringers welcome new members to their team and invite you to come to their practice night to watch the fun! They ring on alternate Sundays and are very much a part of the church community, although Brian emphasises that you do not have to be a churchgoer to take up the art.
Anyone interested in a new challege and being part of a friendly team is invited to
......... give Brian a bell and he will show them the ropes!
Practice night: Mondays (excluding bank holidays)
Venue: Waldron Church
Time: 7.30pm - 9pm
Contact: Brian Tompsett→