Bingley Handbells News

Bingley Handbells News

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June 2018

2018 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Mon, June 04, 2018 19:54:51

It is a sad fact that many groups of handbell ringers are becoming short of members either on odd occasions or even every day for practices. In our own case we have lost of number of members over the last year or so due to death, illness, moving home or family problems.

We now have enough ringers for the full 3 Octave set if ALL our ringers turn up. So with this in mind we are practicing more 2 octave music and have been trying 12 bell music. In addition a group of our ringers attended a workshop in March to learn how to ring 4 in hand (4 bells at one time). All these give us more options but sometimes even these are not enough.

We rang for a partially sighted group in Ilkley in April and as this was in the middle of the working day we could not raise enough of our own ringers. However we were kindly joined by two experienced ringers from North Leeds who attended our practice one day and performed with us the next day. Clair and Diane from our band were then able to return the favour by practising and performing with the same band, Treble 8, at the regional rally in Grassington in May. Not only does it help on the day but it also gives us more ideas to share and pass on. With this in mind we hope to arrange more small rallies within the region to encourage future co-operation.

On 3nd June 6 of us (using the new 12 bell music) rang at the first of the town council markets in Bingley. We have always from past experience said that we would not ring outside but we were promised a gazebo and an amplifier so we decided to give it another chance. The day actually went well and the gazebo kept the bells dry even if our feet were literally standing in a stream running across the market place following over 12 hours of heavy rain! We are now looking at purchasing our own amplifiers and have offered to perform at another of these markets.

It just goes to prove that we should not stand still, but should be open to new ideas!

Don’t forget anyone who is interested is welcome to visit one of our Monday or Wednesday evening rehearsals in the vestry to see what handbell ringing is all about.



News May 2018

2018 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Tue, May 01, 2018 16:40:26

What a full and enjoyable day the tower bell and hand bell ringers had last month at the 250th celebration day. We started by ringing before the Service, watched by the Chair of Bingley Town Council and her colleague. As we had hoped a bell theme then ran through the whole service and included a special poem, appropriate hymns, readings by our ringers and pieces played by the hand bell ringers and the junior hand bell team from Trinity All Saints’ School. We enjoyed an excellent, humorous and supportive address and sermon by the Bishop, showing his impressive background research on our bells and the bell ringers past, present and recruited for the future. In general we felt the church had done its bells proud, and it was a pleasure to see the large congregation swelled by a number of past ringers, ringers from other local towers and special guests.

After the service refreshments and celebratory drinks were abundant, alongside our historical display, souvenir buns, biscuits and a tombola. Visitors had a go at ringing the Wombel, and our tower tour encouraged the Bishop to climb up to the bell chamber to take a good look at the action of bells as they were rung.

We ended the day with a successful quarter peal rung on 6 bells. The 45 minutes successful ringing, can be compared to the original 160 minutes of successful ringing, undertaken by the 6 Bingley ringers of 1768. This great achievement by an all Bingley Band of Ringers, so many years ago, deserved such a day of acknowledgement and celebration by the church, its current ringers and their communities. Our thanks go to everyone involved. We feel it was both a thoroughly enjoyable day and a fitting remembrance of our 18th century predecessors’ great achievement.

Solna Burnham & Ann Cossavella



New April 2018

2018 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Tue, April 10, 2018 11:15:02

Go Creative is an annual week in which different creative events take place in local libraries offering the public the chance to join in.

This year there was a specific plug for handbell groups to take part and we were asked by our national chairman to aim for target of 50 handbell events nationally.

We were able to arrange an exhibition and a demonstration in Bingley Library where we were joined by our new local junior team – Trinity All Saints Mini Ringers. They of course were happy to take advantage of the opportunity to leave school early that afternoon and made a very impressive show of themselves - however some became shy and were less keen to perform when their parents turned up!

The demonstration was a success although it was a shame that only a few people wanted to ‘have a go’ . We do however hope the event raised our profile in the town and maybe it will attract new recruits.



News February 2018

2018 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Thu, February 08, 2018 11:28:31

A cold, wet Saturday afternoon in the cafe at East Riddlesden Hall was the scene of our first performance of 2018

We were fortified with refreshments including a warm (non-alcoholic) punch and played at a social event arranged for the friends of East Riddlesden Hall. The age of the venue fitted in perfectly with the age of some of the pieces we played and the audience were most appreciative.

At the end we had our usual ‘have a go’ session and many of them joined in. A number of them were knowledgable about music generally and some even about bells specifically. Two of the ladies joined us at our next practice and we are hopeful they will become permanent members of our band. To assist we are trying to organise a special practice for them rather than throwing them in completely at the deep end.

Things are usually quiet at this time of year. However March sees a Get Creative week organised by the library service. We are hopeful that we will be able to arrange an exhibition, performances by ourselves and the children of Holy Trinity School and a have a go session for library goers young and old in Bingley Library. Maybe this will attract some more budding ringers.

Watch out for posters and other advertisments!



News January 2018

2018 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Fri, January 05, 2018 10:34:32

The Christmas period was busy as always.

Firstly we entertained the Wilsden senior citizens prior to their annual lunch at the village hall and the residents of Aire Valley Court in Bingley. We had rung at both these venues before and it is always gratifying when we are asked to return because we feel that we must have done something right the first time. This does however mean that we need to ensure that we play different pieces for them.

The same weekend we played for All Saints Carol Service, both as the congregation entered the church and in the middle of the service. The following day came our major performance at the Anchorage in Shipley where we played all three octaves as part of a musical evening together with the Shipley Male Voice Choir. This of course meant that when we reached the sing-a-long pieces the vocals were so strong!

So what will the New Year bring?

In the last month we have said farewell to Ann Parkinson and Ashleigh Holland both of whom have moved away. However Ann is only going to Skipton so we hope she will still play with us occasionally. Ann had rung with us since we first began playing our newly restored two octaves. She often marked up music, conducted us and was a keen supporter of the project to bring handbells into local schools. When Ashleigh moved to the area she was already a tower bell ringer and soon joined both groups. One of her many talents was the ability to ring both very high (small) and very low (heavy) bells often at the same time – something most of us struggled with.

We wish them both well and hope that we will find new recruits in the New Year to swell our numbers.

News November 2017

2017 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Fri, November 03, 2017 12:42:07

How time flies! I have realised that b the time articles are submitted for the next issue of the magazine Christmas and the new year celebrations will have come and gone! I will have plenty to report on then! The highlight will of course be our appearance at the All Saints Carol Service.

In the meantime we have continued to be busy,

Only a few short weeks ago a new ringer called Diane joined us. She had previously played handbells in the Philippines before she moved to Yorkshirre and had found our details on the internet. She has been regularly travelling all the way from Clayton to our practicesand has now joined us for two performances – talk about being thrown in at the deep end!

On 12th October we took 2 octaves of bells to Baildon where we played for the Parkinsons Group of which our Roger is a member. They made us very welcome and many of them enjoyed playing with us at the end of our performance.

Only two days later we were at Oxenhope as one of the many turns in a fund raising musical evening. Because of all our equipment we performed first but our space was needed straight afterwards so we had to pack up in record time of less than 5 minutes. The other acts were varied including young piano players, a choir and irish folk singers and we enjoyed sitting back to watch them afterwards.

At the end of October we were at the West Yorkshire mini rally to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the North East region of Handbell Ringers at Sowerby Bridge. Because this was only a small rally we had more opportunities than usual to ring both as part of the massed ringing and just as our group which made it a very enjoyable day. We returned with plenty of tips for improving our playing from experienced conductors and musical directors.

News October 2017

2017 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Mon, October 09, 2017 10:21:05

It has been a quiet month - a good one to prepare for the Christmas rush!

Last week a group of us polished all the bells so they will look shine through all our performances over the festive season.

This year saw the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain AND the 40th anniversary of the first meeting of the North East Region of HRGB so it has been quite a celebration.

We celebrated our regional birthday back at Grassington in May with a packed rally attended by many groups including some that had never been to a rally before.

There national celebrations will include a large regional rally in Sheffield on the same day as those in other regions. Technology permitting the rallies will all link up together and free food and cake will be available.

Because not everyone can make it to this event there will also be mini rallies in each part of our large region. Our Western one will be at Sowerby Bridge which is conveniently not far from us.

The real stars of the birthday celebrations have been the Jubilee Bears. Every region (or in our case part of a region) was given a bear at the National Rally in April and the plan was for them to visit every band during the next six months.

Our bear started its journey at Leeds in April and travelled via all parts of our area to reach Ryburn, the hosts, at Sowerby Bridge in October with photo opportunities at each stop!

News September 2017

2017 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Mon, September 11, 2017 14:11:14

Over the last month we seem to have travelled as far North and as far South as ever before for a performance.

In August we performed for a group of over 70s in Holmfirth. They provided us with a very welcome lunch and then 8 of us played a number of pieces for them.

In September we were able to take all three octaves to entertain the ladies of Hampsthwaite W I near Harrogate. We were concerned that due to summer holidays the whole band had not practised together for some time but it all was “alright on the night”.

Although both venues were geographically far apart the performances were very similar. Both were in spacious, well equipped halls with plenty of tables so we did not have to supply our own. Both groups provided us with tasty food and drink (the way to a handbell ringer’s heart is through her stomach!). More importantly when we had finished playing our pieces we offered the audience a chance to have a go and in both instances they were very enthusiastic and almost too many of them wanted to have a go resulting in some very creditable renditions of our pieces.

The journeys to both locations took us less time than we anticipated and we even managed to dodge the rain showers as we unloaded and reloaded the cars. However we have realised that Friday afternoons are particularly busy on the roads of West Yorkshire and whichever route we tried back from Holmfirth we met a queue of traffic – maybe we should stay at home on Fridays in the future!

Normally we would now be starting to practice our Christmas music, but this year we have bookings through October and November to prepare for first. Our diaries are certainly getting busier and we are always on the lookout for new recruits.

Don’t forget anyone who is interested is welcome to visit one of our Monday or Wednesday evening rehearsals in the vestry to see what handbell ringing is all about.



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