January 3 2012.

The eight bells of St Leonards Church in Seaford regularly ring out to call parishioners to worship, but just after Christmas, on 27th December, there was a epic peal of bells to commemorate the bicentenary of the first ever full peal exactly 200 years earlier in 1811.

The peal started at 10am and lasted for just over three hours after 5040 rings known as a Grandsire Triples. The eight ringers were Linda Perkins, the Tower Captain, Sharon Stocker, the Tower vice-Captain, former Tower Captain Steve Lucas and Roger Murray who is the Steeple Keeper. They were joined by Marisa Hayes, Alan Baldock and David Kirkaldy of the Sussex County Association of Change Ringers. The eighth ringer was David House of the Ancient Society of College Youths, a bell ringing group which was established in 1637.

The ringers and other members of the church were thrilled that the full peal had been completed. Tower Captain, Linda Perkins said: "We finished the peal in three hours and five minutes thanks to Roger greasing the bells prior to our marathon ring."

Local Historian Kevin Gordon said: "It was fantastic to hear our ancient and beautiful bells ringing out on such an auspicious occasion. The bells were cast locally in 1724, but were recast in 1811 when the first full peal was made and again in 1923. Our bell ringers are following an ancient tradition. Long may it continue."

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