Sussex by the sea

The town crier on Sussex Day

June 16 is Sussex Day which celebrates the rich heritage and culture of our county.

One always imagines that days like these have a long tradition and go back centuries. Not so with Sussex Day, which came into being in as recently as 2006. It was Ian Steedman, a Worthing resident, who suggested the idea to politician Henry Smith, at the time leader of West Sussex County Council. He liked the idea and West Sussex County Council officially recognised the day in 2007.

There was much discussion about which day would be appropriate and fortunately a retired vicar pointed out that June16 was the feast day of Sussex’s patron saint, St Richard of Chichester.

It is easy to understand why Sussex is a great place to live, with its vibrant towns and villages, beautiful landscapes and spirited communities. This is the perfect time to honour all that there is to love about the county.

In Rye, at 12 noon on June 16 Paul Goring, the town crier, welcomed people to the town. Three rousing numbers were played by Ryebellion Drummers and then Paul read the Sussex Charter, the beginning of which is: “For all the people of the ancient kingdom of Sussex let it be known that June 16 of each and every year shall be known as Sussex Day.”

And it ends with: “Finally, let it be known, as guardians of Sussex, we all know Sussex is Sussex…… and Sussex won’t be druv. [we will not be driven]. In God we trust: God Bless Old England and the Ancient town of Rye and God Save the Queen.”

The town crier and those present then gave three cheers, Andi Rivett, the mayor, having sent his apologies because he was involved in a task on the river with the harbour master.

Rev’d Paul White, rector of Rye St Mary’s, read the prayer of St Richard.

The event ended with Rebekah Gilbert, the mayor’s consort, spiritedly leading the communal singing of Sussex by the sea.

Rye had certainly celebrated Sussex Day in style.


Image Credits: Kt bruce .


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