Bingley Handbells News

Bingley Handbells News

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August 2018

2018 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Fri, September 07, 2018 21:00:49

One of our ringers, Diane, works for Royds which brands itself as ‘a local charity for local people’ and they arranged an event on 5th July under the NHS 70 Tea banner.

They held their tea party at their headquarters on their enterprise park in South Bradford. Those attending where mainly members of their staff, local residents and people who make use of their other facilities including a number of elderly residents.

As the event was held in the middle of the day we had even more difficulty than usual putting together a band and only knew a few days before that six of us would be able to attend to play music arranged for 12 bells.

Still we managed it!

We played a few pieces and then were treated to a real afternoon tea including sandwiches with the crusts cut off, salads, baked salmon, cakes and scones with jam and cream – all served on china plates. Each table had a vase of flowers and their own teapot and milk jug from which tea was poured into china cups – a far cry from our usual rehearsal time mugs!

Of course every treat comes with hitch – in this case a fiendishly difficult quiz to work out Yorkshire place names from the literal translations of the ancient works – we might have known that Broad ford was the meaning of Bradford but how many of us knew Ilkley meant Ylica’s clearing?

After tea we took the bells around the tables to show them off and although they were very interested on this occasion none of the audience were brave enough to ‘have a go’ in front of everyone else.

We then departed feeling well sated and probably did not need to eat again that day!





July 2018

2018 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Mon, August 06, 2018 08:32:05

As a small group we always welcome new members, but if they are enthusiastic and musical it is a bonus. One such person was Mary Lister who joined us early in 2015. She knew some of our members through her other activities and interests including her attendance at St Wilfrid’s, Gilstead and her membership of Eldwick Tennis Club.

Mary was keen to ring the small bells as she considered they ‘had more of the action’ and she took part in a performance and workshop at Dewsbury Minster only a short time after joining us. After getting to know us better she had no problem making clear her wishes for us to play particular pieces.

It was particularly saddening that only a few years later, this summer she passed away after a long and valiant fight against illness. She never let it rule her life and latterly she would often make contact to say that she was having a good week or was less susceptible to infection so she would be joining us for practice – even if it meant spending an hour or so in Bingley whiling away time after a doctor’s appointment. In fact she was particularly cross that a change of bus timetable made it more difficult for her to travel to practices!

Her funeral was held at St Wilfrid’s which was packed with a choir and a huge congregation leaving standing room only. Jane, our chair, was asked to say a few words about Mary’s membership of Bingley Handbell Ringers at the service together with representatives of other groups which reflected her wide and varied interests.

So we say farewell to Mary and extend our sympathies to her son Will and other members of her family.





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.