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1855: Muffled peal of respect for leading change ringer at Cuckfield

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 29 March 1855



Our change ringers rang a muffled peal, on Tuesday last, to the memory of the late William Botting, of Westmeston, who died suddenly on the 12th inst.

Mr Botting was a member of the society of change ringers established at Cuckfield at the time the present peal of bells was hung, and assisted himself, and with his team, in bringing them from the foundry, in London, in 1815. (1)

The society stood high as ringers, and rang some of the most intricate methods ever tried in the county. Two of them have left, viz., Mr Isaac Tester, the well known vocalist of Brighton, and H. Bennett, of this place, the latter of whom took part in this last tribute of respect, which the ringers of the day feel bound to pay to those professors of campanologia whose superior talents were so widely acknowledged, and under whose tuition they arrived at their knowledge of the art.

The 'Waterloo' Bells at Cuckfield Church

Mr A. Dumsday, who undertook the lead in change ringing, when the late ringers resigned, conducted a peal of 500 on the occasion.

(1) Sussex Advertiser - Monday 25 September 1815

Cuckfield, Sept. 14

Our Town was greatly enlivened this day, by the opening of a new peal of Bells, cast by Mr. Thomas Mears of Whitechapel, London, which having been for sometime previously announced, drew together a concourse of ringing professors, round the adjacent country, who were anxious to display their skill on the occasion.

Several parties exhibited specimens of the art, in touches of Grandsire ripples and Bob Major, from an early hour until noon, when a select Eight of the College youths from London, unexpectedly appeared, and to the surprise of a most numerous assemblage, rang a true and complete peal of 5,088 changes of Oxford Treble Bob, in the very short time of three hours, one minute and an half, in most masterly style, and to the high gratification of the Rev. the Vicar, Church-wardens, Parishioners, and numerous Auditory, who testified their unqualified approbation of the performance.

The new peal, and the manner in which are hung, reflect the greatest credit on Mr. Mears, and his assistants.

The Bells were re-cast by voluntary subscription, to which all persons connected with Cuckfield, with one or two trifling exceptions, contributed.

For more on the Cuckfield 'Waterloo Bells' please follow the link....

Photograph courtesy of Mid Sussex Times

Cuckfield Museum is now open Wednesday and Saturday mornings (10am till 12.30pm).


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