Down Your Way: Pevensey and Pevensey Bay

TODAY is Leap Year Day so run for cover, fellas. You could do worse today than go bird-watching on the Pevensey levels. The East Sussex branch of the RSPB is asking people to spend the day watching out for our feathered mates.

It seems the leap year tradition dates back to 1288, when Scotland supposedly passed a law allowing women to propose marriage to the man of their choice on that day.

Tradition says they also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a leap year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves. Boom time for dress and glove makers.

Leap Day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after an archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992.

WORTH a saunter through the castle on Friday afternoon for the Women’s World Day of Prayer service at St Mary’s at 2.45pm. The speaker is Sister Elizabeth Gwen from Bexhill.

WHEN the Bells ring out from St Nicolas Church you are listening to history. I learn the original bell was inscribed “Roger Tapsell made me 1633”; the second: “William Hull made me 1676” and the third “Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum”, meaning “Let the name of the Lord be praised”.

By the time of the 19th century restoration, two of the bells were cracked and were melted down. New metal, apparently including silver, was added to make the existing ring of six so sweet.

KEITH BELCHER, Tel: 01323 764240, pevenseyscribe:fsmail.net