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.
2017 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Thu, August 03, 2017 18:43:09
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.
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.
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.
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.
2016 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Wed, January 18, 2017 23:08:46
2016 archived news
North East Region Autumn Rally took place this year on the 29th October
at Brighouse Central Methodist. Only a few of our number (as seen in
this photo) were able to attend.
is always gratifying when we get asked to return to a venue we have
performed at before. That way we feel we must be doing something right!
October we returned to Wilsden Thursday Group at the village hall
almost a year after our previous visit. We rang the three octave set for
about 45 minutes and then were able to offer the audience a chance to
'have a go' with us. Quite a few of them took up this offer.
us on this occasion was Kathy, a new ringer who joined us after the
Heritage week end. She was rather thrown in the deep end due to the work
commitments of others and took part in her first concert less than a
month after her first attempt on the handbells. Congratulations to
Kathy! We hope she has not been put off and is ready for the next event!
anyone else tried the handbells on the Heritage Weekend and wants to
join us on a practice night maybe with a view to becoming a handbell
ringer you are very welcome indeed.
We took part in the challenge made by the Central Council of Church
Bell Ringers to open up 500 of England’s bell towers in September. We
took advantage of the publicity to not only open the tower, but also
put on a display about the history of the Bingley Tower Bells dating
back to the 1600s, tell the history of the tower and introduce visitors
to some of the bell ringers who have rung the bells over the centuries.
We also told the history of hand bells, their rediscovery and
restoration over the past 6 years.
widely publicised handbell taster session was held on Wednesday 7th
September when 20 people joined us at our regular handbell practice, A
number of them ‘had a go’ at handbell ringing and some also ventured up
the tower - having been fortified previously by drinks and nibbles.
tower was officially opened to visitors on the afternoons of Friday
9th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September. The weather was kind to us
and we had a steady flow of visitors over the three days. Some were
local having been attracted by our flyers and others who had heard of
the event in the press, on social media or on the radio came from
further afield. Because we were one of the few events taking place on
the Friday we had our photographs taken and appeared in the weekend
edition of the T & A.
enjoyed the handbell demonstrations and tours of the tower and most had
a go either on the training tower bell or at tune ringing on the bells
and chimes. Refreshments were provided by the congregation in aid of the
Church Path Project which also benefited from the sale of raffle
tickets, plants and crafts.
shall have to wait however to see if the publicity brings forward any
new recruits at our practices. Don’t forget though if you missed the
week end you are always welcome in the tower on Tuesday evenings or in
the vestry for handbells on Mondays or Wednesdays (see diary for dates)
even if it is just to see what goes on with no commitment to come back!
preparation, cleaning, research, displays, practice sessions, banners,
balloons and flyers have all been part of our bell ringing activities
this month. As Connect 4 readers will have seen last month we are taking
part in the Heritage Open Days and are part of the challenge made by
the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers to open up 500 of England’s
bell towers this September.
will be open to visitors between 2pm and 4pm on Friday 9th, Saturday
10th and Sunday 11th September 2016. This will be an open event for all
ages to visit the bell tower, have a go on a mobile bell, see bell
ringing demonstrations and have a go at hand bell tune ringing. We
intend to put on a display about the history of the Bingley Bells dating
back to the 1600s, tell the history of the tower and introduce you to
some of the bell ringers who have rung the bells over the centuries. We
will also be telling the history of hand bells and their rediscovery
and restoration over the past 6 years.
booking is required, there is no charge for the open day but
refreshments will also be on sale in aid of the Church Path Project.
Details and flyers about our tower event are available in church. More
details about all Heritage Open Days are available on this link:
https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting. We hope to provide plenty
to learn about, to experience and to enjoy even if you have not got the
legs to climb the bell tower – so please note the dates and come and
many handbell ringers in our region Spring means Grassington. For more
years than we have been ringing the Spring rally and AGM have been held
in May in this Dales town.
year as we prepare our performance pieces we realise how we have
improved and this year ii was particularly so. We played Over the
Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz which we had attempted there three years
ago with mixed results – this year it went really well.
was disappointing was that despite having three octaves of bells we
only had enough ringers available to ring two octaves. We have lost a
number of our stalwart ringers in the last few months and, despite the
arrival of John and Clair, we are often struggling to ring all our bells
at practices and performances.
We need to attract new ringers and with this in mind are proposing a number of TASTER SESSIONS
watch this space - we always welcome people to watch us practice and to
join in perhaps with a view to becoming a handbell ringer but these
events will be more sociable and geared particularly to potential new
recruits young and old.
often play our handbells at old peoples’ clubs and groups, probably
because the bells are relatively simple to transport and we can play a
good variety of tunes they know.
introductions come around in various ways. Last year the mother of a
friend of a bellringer moved to Ashfield - a local authority owned care
home in Skipton. Relatives were asked if they could find unusual or new
activities and entertainments for their relatives. Hence why our
handbell group was suggested. We finally arrived there in April. By then
the friend’s mother had passed away but he and his wife still came to
was a most successful afternoon. There was plenty of space and light
for us and the audience joined in many of our pieces. The residents were
joined by others from the adjacent day care centre and many members of
staff turned up to listen too.
hope to be invited to play there again........not least because when we
finished we were given drinks and beautiful tasty homemade biscuits!
regional handbell committee came up with the idea of a joint handbell
and tower bell event as an opportunity for both types of ringers to find
out what the others do. In our handbell team there are 6 of us who do
both but our group is the exception rather than the rule.
event was based around Burley north Leeds where there are three towers
in close proximity, a church hall with plenty of room for handbells and a
well equipped kitchen. It is also a very central location for those
whom we expected to attend.
original plan was for both groups to do their own thing in the morning
and then to meet for a sociable lunch before trying the other. From that
point of view it was as great success although there were more handbell
ringers than tower bell ringers so the queue in the afternoon to try
tower bells was down the stairs. We have had to offer our own group
another opportunity to try the Bingley bells! Still Jane our tower
captain says she has found some naturals.
the handbell masterclass provided at least two Bingley tower bell
ringers a first try and we know where to look next time we are short for
a handbell performance! The only disappointment was that not as many
towers brought old distressed bells to the surgery for advice as we had
thanks to all from both Bingley teams who helped with the organization
and catering - as always the Bingley Belles could not be accused of
letting people go hungry!
our success in obtaining a grant from the Skipton Building Society
Grassroots Giving Grant Scheme we started contacting local schools in
November and received an immediate reply from Bingley Grammar School
asking if we could bring our new chimes in for a group of year 7s.
only problem than was getting the chimes. There was a considerable
delay in supply and so our first visit to the school was not until the
first week of January. However although it is early days the children
are keen and we are hopeful that they may be able to take part in a
school concert towards the end of term. In the meantime we were
contacted by Roy from the Skipton who asked us if we could attend and
perform at the society’s leadership event at the Harrogate International
This was the biggest venue we had ever performed at even if we were
only in the lunch venue outside the main hall and there was the added
enticement of a free meal! We spruced ourselves up, laundered the table
cloths and transported our bells to Harrogate last Friday. We set off
in wind and rain, but by the time we arrived the sun had come out to
such an extent that we had to move three advertising banners to cover
the windows and stop it reflecting off our newly polished bells.
course we had to play some pieces using the chimes that the Skipton had
so kindly funded as well as other favourites, old and new. We
alternated playing over the lunch interval with a group of singers who
also won money from Grassroots Giving. We thought we played well and are
told that the music floated beautifully down the stairs as people
approached. The event was very successful and we hope we played our part
in showing members of the Society what it does for the community.
is always our busy season and 2015 was no exception. After the Skipton
Building Society recognised us for supporting our local community we are
pleased to report that we played at two local nursing homes – Fairmount
in Shipley and Wingfield in Bingley.
of our members are also members of a rambling club and we entertained
their friends at their Christmas Social event. They were able to show
their friends that they are people of many talents !
14th December we played in the Brown Cow on Ireland Bridge – we were a
bit concerned that the customers would be too interested in drinking and
chatting so that we would have difficulty being heard. However they
allowed us plenty of space and the event appeared to go well with a
number of people joining in our Sing a long carols.
final event of the year was the All Saints Carol Service where we
played before the service and then (a first for us) accompanied Silent
Night during the service.
are not much quieter for us in January. By the time you read this we
will have given our first two lessons on the new hand chimes at Bingley
Grammar School and attended the Skipton Building Society Leadership
Event in Harrogate.
then have at least one performance a month booked in over the spring
and early summer. These include a hand and tower bell taster day being
held at St Matthias Church, Burley, Leeds on 27th February. If anyone is
interested in joining us for this please contact us and we will send
you further details.
2016 NewsPosted by Roger Pollard Sun, November 27, 2016 16:25:17
Setting out for a performance is like a military
manoeuvre! As not all of us have our own transport we need to sort out who is
giving who a lift and who is transporting what piece of equipment. There is
always the panic that if not everything is in writing we might forget something
- or someone!
If we have two performances on consecutive days
then we have the advantage of being able to leave things in cars over-night
(don't worry the valuable bells are only left in a car if it is in a locked
garage) as long as the same people are taking part in both performances.
With the busy Christmas season coming up with do
have occasions like these but we also had one at the end of October. On the
Friday night we took part in a concert with three other 'turns' to raise money
for the Steeton Christmas lights (one of our ringers lives in the village) and
on the Saturday we took part in the Regional Autumn Rally at Brighouse. The
first event was a great success - we had enough ringers to perform on the three
octaves and all our practising a couple of days before was well worth it.
The second event did not go so well - we only had
five and a half ringers (our esteemed leader Jane now works on Saturday
mornings so could not join us until lunchtime). We did however found three
other lost souls who were happy to join us. However we could still only ring
the two octaves and had of course never rung as a group before. Still it made
for some inter group harmony and gave all of us the chance to perform that we
would not otherwise have been able to do.
Our next performance was at a Carers Resource Group
monthly meeting in Steeton where the chance to 'have a go' was greatly
appreciated. Now it is on to our Christmas Season when, as well as All Saints
Carol Service, we aim to perform at a nursing home, a U3A group, a WI meeting,
a Ramblers' Christmas party and Crossflatts School Fair. Maybe we will see you
at one of these - if not here is wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!