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Happy Sussex Day!

sussexday

martlet

Don’t worry. Nobody here ever heard of it, either. I’ve had a good time today wishing people a Happy Sussex Day and getting that ‘dog hears hypersonic whistle’ look.

Well, the Sussex Police did post a lovely video, though I have no idea why they chose All Things Bright and Beautiful instead of the unofficial county song, Sussex by the Sea.

Go on, give it a listen. It’s a cheery march and a catchy tune. Brass bands play it at some of the fêtes and festivals (the ones that have brass bands).

I heard it played at a funeral once.

Sussex Day was invented in 2007 to celebrate the awesomness that is Sussex. Among the suggested celebrations, reading aloud the Sussex charter:

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.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for the maintenance of those boundaries that join to those of our neighbours.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for all the environs within those boundaries.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex shall recognise the inshore waters that lie inside a line drawn from Beachy Head, and extending to Selsey Bill as being, the Bay of Sussex.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex will undertake responsibility for the general well being of our neighbours.
Let it be known the people of Sussex shall be guardians of our wildlife.
Let it be known the people of Sussex will, through custom support all local business.
Finally, let it be known, as guardians of Sussex, we all know Sussex is Sussex … and Sussex won’t be druv!
In God we trust.
God Save the Queen!

We Wunt Be Druv — I love that — is the unoffical motto of Sussex. It doesn’t appear in print until the early 20th C, though it was described as a favorite motto. It probably originates in the Weald of Sussex, where also originated the two major revolts of the Middle Ages: Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, under Wat Tyler, and 1450 under Jack Cade.

rampion

The county flower is the round-headed rampion. I have never seen one; it’s a weird-looking thing. I think Dr Seuss had a hand in the design.

The crest and flag of the county feature six martlets, which is the heraldic version of either a swallow or a house martin. Ehhh…technically, it’s an emblem, not a coat of arms, as arms can only be granted to an administrative body (not a whole county) and Sussex hasn’t had a united one since the Domesday Book.

The martlet also appears on the arms of the fourth son of a noble family, as the martlet has no feet (only feathers) and so cannot land, and the fourth son hasn’t any land either. That doesn’t have anything to do with Sussex, I just thought it was a fun heraldic pun.

The 16th of June was chosen because it is the feast of Richard of Chichester (1197–1253), patron saint of Sussex. His shrine was once regarded as a place of miracles, almost as popular as the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury, but mad King Henry VIII ordered it plundered.

We’re going to celebrate Sussex Day by playing a boules match against those rotten stinking foreign bastards, The Next Village Over. See you tomorrow.


sock it to me

June 16, 2016 — 8:00 pm
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