History of Lancing rings out, from The Bell to smuggling

The Bell Memorial Home in Lancing at the turn of the century
The Bell Memorial Home in Lancing at the turn of the century

“The Bell, The Bell!” was the likely cry as bulldozers smashed up the Bell Memorial Home in Lancing.

The Shoreham Society will be finding out all about its history at its next talk, to be held at St Peter’s Church hall, in West Street, Shoreham, tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Guild Care, the Worthing-based charity supporting people of all ages in Adur, Arun, Worthing and Henfield, bought the care home in 2015 and ran it for a year but reluctantly decided to close it due to many issues with the building.

The property, in South Street, Lancing, was sold to Roffey Homes for demolition in 2016 and modern flats are now being built on the site.

Guild Care has received £48,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its project, The Lancing Bell – A Care Home and its Community, exploring the important part it played in the life of Lancing, from when it was opened in 1928 until its closure.

Worthing local historian Chris Hare, who is co-ordinating the project, will be giving this month’s Shoreham Society Talk, Historic Lancing, and all are welcome, admission £3. The bar will be open and refreshments available.

Adrian Towler, from the Shoreham Society committee, said: “Chris will reveal what he’s found out so far about The Bell, an ongoing local history project, the good times and the bad, together with a bit of spice about Lancing smuggling.”

The Bell project, which started in December, will be running for two years and will involve many people from the Lancing area.

If you remember The Bell or anyone who used to work there, contact Chris Hare, project officer, at sussexhistory.hare@gmail.com or telephone him on 07794 600639.

Chris has also done detailed research into smuggling in Sussex and his book, The Secret Shore: tales of folklore and smuggling from Sussex and Hampshire, was published in 2016 by the South Downs Society, as a result of another Heritage Lottery Fund project.