Horsham woman ‘delighted’ after ring lost nearly 200 years ago is returned
A Horsham woman has had a family ring returned to her nearly 200 years after it was lost.
Sompting metal detectorist Geoff Smith discovered the ring lying in the shingle on Lancing beach in January.
He said: “I just saw it poking out of the sand. I had never seen a memorial ring before.
“It’s the best thing I have ever found. It’s probably my most interesting find.”
The ring is dedicated to north Horsham resident Amanda Edwards’ great-great-great-aunt Liz Honywood and is dated 1834.
Geoff posted about his find in Facebook group Memories of Horsham after working out that Liz was from the town.
He added that Jennie Hartwell traced the Honywood family to living descendant Amanda Edwards.
Jennie said: “When I saw Geoff’s post about the ring I thought how wonderful it would be to get it back to its family so I did a spot of research. I am so thrilled that the ring is now back with the family, I am sure it will be treasured for generations to come.
Amanda, who works for charity the Snowdon Trust, said: “It was overwhelming. We have had a really tough ten years.
“I lost my mum in 2013, I lost my father in 2016 and my sister in 2018.
“It’s been horrendous but how lovely that we have had some really, really lovely family news.”
Amanda said it was ‘very humbling and delightful’ to have the ring returned to her family.
She added: “I’m not selling it - in future I would be very happy to loan it to Horsham museum. I want to keep it for the family to have.
“Over the years Horsham has been chopped to pieces. I’m delighted that we have got something lovely from the town’s history.
“It’s the history of Horsham that’s the most important thing for me.”
Amanda thanked the Memories of Horsham Facebook group for its help in reconnecting her to her ancestry.
She said: “We have learned more about our family from Facebook than we knew from our previous family.”
Geoff added: “I would like to thank everyone in Memories of Horsham. They clubbed together to try and find the owner of the ring. It was so nice that everyone chipped in.”
Amanda praised Geoff as a ‘gentleman’. She added: “He was completely honest which was so lovely.”
Geoff said: “They’re a lovely family - I really like them. I enjoyed their company.”
He said he hoped reuniting Amanda with the ring would dispel bad press around metal detectorists.
Geoff added: “There are genuinely so many metal detectorists that hand everything in.”