Bingley Handbells News

Bingley Handbells News

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April 2019

2019 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Tue, April 09, 2019 13:05:28

After the hectic Christmas period the lives of Bingley Handbell Ringers are quiet in the run up to the regional Spring rally and a series of other events over the summer.

We are pleased to report that our new recruits are continuing to progress and it has been wonderful to be able to play all 3 octaves at the majority of our practices. Just before Christmas our numbers had dwindled so that even if everyone was there that was not possible.

We are looking forward to 2019 with renewed optimism. Don’t forget that if you want to book us in for a performance, particularly at Christmas, please think ahead and give us plenty of notice.

In the meantime the children of Trinity All Saints are going from strength to strength. The majority of the ringers who started last school year have stayed and have been joined by others from year 5. Jane and Kathy took two teams to the Skipton Music Festival and once again they returned home with a trophy.

We just hope that the older children will continue to ring when they move to secondary school and we are trying to think of the best way to ensure this.

Despite our increased numbers we still welcome new recruits so, if you want to give handbell ringing a try, please come down to the vestry at 7pm on a Wednesday to meet us. We have decided that the new system of having all our practices on a Wednesdays instead of alternating them with Mondays has had an overall positive effect and the attendance is better.



Talk about bells......?

2019 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Wed, February 13, 2019 17:17:47
From time to time one of our members is asked to give a talk, to groups, about bell ringing. Although the talk is mainly about church bell ringing he takes along some of the handbells to give people a chance to Have a Go. Here is Roger showing some of the Eldwick and District Countrywomen's Association how its done:


Performance for the Peace Lodge Dinner at Hoyle Court Baildon

2018 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Tue, December 18, 2018 17:17:56
Having performed before for the Masons (some time ago) it was great to be invited back again despite the late start and finish! A packed room left little room for our tables but with a little bit of maneuvering we managed to fit in. After playing some of our popular Christmas pieces (Jingle Bells, Walking in the Air, Frosty the Snowman etc) we gave those who wanted an opportunity to join us in ringing Good King Wenceslas. To every bodies amusement a few folk joined in and coped admirably as they learnt a new skill .... sadly we suspect none took up our offer to join us!

Performance at YACR Western Branch Carol Service

2018 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Tue, December 18, 2018 16:54:33
By special invitation we rang this year at the Carol Service for the Western Branch of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers that was held at Drighlington Church. With cold wet and icy conditions limiting numbers who attended the warm welcome we received was much appreciated.

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.



Farewell to tower and handbell ringer - John Nixon

2017 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Thu, August 03, 2017 18:43:09

In late summer 2015 a new person appeared, without announcement, at a Tuesday night practice. Little did we know then how significant a part of the ringing teams John Nixon would become, nor did we foresee how fond we would all become of him or how soon we would be saying our sad farewells following his death in early July this year. John was a very experienced ringer and brought over 63 years of ringing experience with him. John came that evening to ring tower bells, but by the end of the evening, and after a visit to the pub, we also found out he rang hand bells. So the very next evening, there he was at his first hand bell practice! We were very grateful for his experience and commitment both as a tower bell ringer and as a hand bell ringer.

In just short of two years John supported the teams ringing for Sunday Services, weddings and other community events. One of his greatest pleasures was conducting the “Firing of the Bells” in October 2016 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the opening of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. This enabled John to combine two of his greatest interests; bell ringing and Canal and River Trust involvement. John’s retirement meant he was no longer involved in active church ministry and so he was also able to be a great support to the Hand Bell Team as they often rang during weekday afternoons to entertain people at various local retirement and care homes.

John had a confident and very pleasant character and was never backward in encouraging ringers to push the boundaries of what they were capable of in bell ringing terms. He also very quickly became involved in the social side of bell ringing life, be that tower or hand bells. John’s interests often matched that of other retired male ringers in the tower and their anecdotes of older men misbehaving on various “Industrial Archaeology” jaunts, often entertained us in the pub after ringing practice.

We felt it very fitting that not only did John’s funeral include a fulfilment of his wish for the tenor bell to be rung 79 times as his coffin was brought into All Saints; that is once for each year of his life, but it also included the theme tune from “Last of the Summer Wine”, enabling us to smile and remember the lighter side of our too brief relationship with him. He will be missed and remembered by both the tower and hand bell teams at All Saints.



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