SUSSEX Day was brought to Bexhill Museum with a flourish on Monday when Rother member Cllr Paul Lendon rang the bell for the county.
Stalls in the Egerton Road museum’s Education Room were selling everything Sussex – from flags to illustrated maps drawn specially by Brady Ells of Heathfield - Libby Powell had produced a “Sussex S Factor” display featuring dozens of county landmarks and attractions, and Sandra Melvin was modelling a natty line in t-shirts incorporating both Sussex Day and Bexhill motifs.
Both the Town Hall and the De La Warr Pavilion were flying the yellow and blue Sussex flag, with its six mythical Martlet birds.
Accompanied by Town Mayor Cllr Brian Kentfield, Cllr Lendon proclaimed the Sussex Charter from the Town Hall steps: “For all the people of the ancient kingdom of Sussex! Let it be known: the 16 June of each and every year shall be known as Sussex Day. Sussex Day shall be celebrated according to the rites and traditions of Sussex.”
Cllr Lendon has long been urging Bexhill to take up the cause of rejoicing in its heritage as part of Sussex every year on June 16, the feast day of St Richard of Chichester, the county’s patron saint. The date marks the “translation” of the saint’s body from its original burial place in the nave of Chichester Cathedral to an elaborate shrine in the cathedral on June 16, 1276. Sussex Day has been celebrated since the idea put forward by Worthing resident Ian Steedman was taken up by West Sussex County Council in 2007.
Last year the Sussex flag was flown in each of the six ancient Rapes, or sub-divisions of the county, in the week running up to Sussex Day.