22nd February 2016

Steyning Bells


NOW SOLD OUT (14 April 2011)

This is the seventh puzzle we have commissioned from the Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company, as a way of raising funds for the CCCBR Bell Restoration Fund.

The photograph was taken by John Carter, a retired professional photographer and Steyning ringer, for the front cover of the 2000 edition of The Ringing World calendar, produced by the Sussex County Association of Change Ringers. John has kindly given permission for this picture to be reproduced.

This photograph was taken before the days of digital photography, which enables one to see the results instantly. It took John 1.5 hours to erect the special lighting above the bell frame and he took a long time getting the best shots he could of the bells stationary and turning. The vibrant results of his very careful work deserve to be reproduced.

There are eight bells (tenor 12.5 cwt) hung in the 17C tower. Six were cast or recast in 1889 by Mears & Stainbank’s Whitechapel Foundry, the 6th is by Pack & Chapman of London 1775 and the 7th was cast in 1724.

The church is dedicated to St Andrew, but there is a story of St Cuthman, the Saxon saint, who brought his mother to Steyning in a cart and founded a church. The church contains magnificent Norman work, notably the chancel arch, and is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Steyning will be celebrating the 900th anniversary of the founding of the church in 2009 and, unusually, the dedication is to be changed to St Andrew & St Cuthman.

Steyning Bells has been selected because it is an unusual photograph of ringing bells and as a challenge to people who enjoy jigsaw puzzles that intrigue, frustrate and confuse.

Wentworth has the ‘cutting edge’ in the jigsaw market place and uses lasers to make the intricate shapes called “whimsies”, which were so-called because Victorian puzzle cutters included them ‘on a whim’ and Wentworth have revived this tradition. We have chosen a different cut this year, including straight edges inside the puzzle and fourteen new and familiar ‘whimsies’ to add to the fun.

This puzzle has 250 pieces and measures: 250mm x 360mm (10″ x 14″).

Stella Bianco

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