Bingley Handbells News

Bingley Handbells News


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2019 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Thu, June 13, 2019 09:03:52

We have recently attended two regional events.

The regional spring rally and AGM (well we have to have it sometime!) are traditionally held in may in Grassington Town Hall. It is a lovely place to visit although the event is so popular that parking for the cars and space for bells and ringers are at a premium.

As usual we joined in massed ringing with all the other ringers there and we also performed two pieces as a band. This was the first public performance by both Andy and Janet and they both did very well – even though the compere tried to embarrass them from the stage by pointing out to all the audience that it was their first event!

In June 11 of us took part in the Summer Ring at St Chads in Headingley. At this annual event we join in massed ringing of pieces we have never seen before. There are about 50 ringers and we all mix together so that you are ringing next to members of other bands. We practice the pieces for about an hour, then have a supper break before performing each piece – hopefully at concert standard! Altogether it is a very enjoyable evening and a good opportunity to chat with other ringers.

We are now practicing hard for a number of summer performances that we have been booked for. After these there might be a short lull until the festive season. Bookings for December are already coming in thick and fast so if you would like us to perform for you please let us know quickly.


2019 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Tue, May 14, 2019 19:48:06

The handbells which we discovered in the tower and raised money to restore were black and heavily tarnished mainly by smoke as they had been stored adjacent the chimney which ran up the side of the tower.

Once they had been restored they looked like entirely different being bright and shiny.

We make every effort to keep them like this and you will notice that we usually play wearing gloves so the bells do not get unnecessarily tarnished by contact with our hands. However, even so, they do need a regular clean.

This week, in anticipation of them being on display at the regional rally, we have arranged an evening session of cleaning the bells. A small amount of polish, clean clothes and lots of elbow grease will be needed, but it will be a case of many hands make light work and hopefully they will be back to their best very shortly.

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.

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