Bingley Handbells News

Bingley Handbells News


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March 2019

2019 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Mon, February 25, 2019 08:50:38

All our new and recent recruits are progressing well and our increased numbers means we can ring all 3 octaves at each practice even if not all of us are there. In fact most weeks our musical director Clair is able to be just that rather than having to ring as well.

The new system of practising on Wednesdays each week seems to be going well and will continue for the foreseeable future although we have added a couple of new features:

Firstly Andy has printed us all personalised mugs with the Bingley Handbell Logo so there is no confusion and secondly Clair has prepared a number of exercises to play at the beginning of our sessions to assist our timing and technique before we start playing pieces.

We are beginning to receive booking enquiries for this year so if you are interested in booking us for a performance or Roger for a talk please don’t delay too long.

News February 2019

2019 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Thu, February 07, 2019 08:24:19

January is traditionally a quiet month for the handbell ringers after all the excitement of our Christmas performances.

We allow ourselves a short break and then meet together for a post Christmas meal. This year we returned to Galo’s and a very enjoyable evening was had by those who attended. It also gave new members an opportunity to mix away from the frantic rehearsals.

Practices started again in earnest on 16 January and we welcomed two new recruits, Colin and Janet, in addition to Andy, Diane and Geoff who had joined late in 2018.

Claire, our esteemed musical director, has devised some exercises for the beginnings of practices to help us all with our technique and timing. These proved very successful as well as fun.

We do not have any events planned until May and are confident that by then we will be able to ring all three octaves again on a regular basis.

After much discussion we are now running a trial of practising just on Wednesdays which should produce a better turn out. These will continue to be in the vestry except for when there are services such as on Ash Wednesday and in Holy Week when we will move into Church House.

Despite our improving numbers we still welcome new members at any time.

Christmas 2018

2019 NewsPosted by Solna Burnham Fri, January 04, 2019 14:45:10

As always we were busy over the Christmas Period.

We began with a visit to Gilstead Ladies in their impressive new venue at the café attached to the new Fern House on Fernbank Drive. Space was a bit short there but they made us very welcome and even provided a supper after our performance.

We returned to Shipley Musical Union at the Anchorage. This is always a group where there is plenty of room for us to perform and the sing-a-long part of our performance goes so well with their strong voices! However the Achorage is closing down now so they are also looking for a new venue.

In fact it was a season of returns. As you will also have seen we returned to the Western branch tower bell ringers carol service and to a Mason's event at Hoyle Court, Baildon.

We were very busy over the Christmas period and had to turn away a number of late enquiries. The message for 2019 is “Book Early!”

After a well deserved post Christmas break we returned to ringing on 16th January 2019 with a number of new and recent recruits which makes us optimistic for the future. Until Easter we are trialing practicing each week on Wednesdays at 7pm in the vestry although we may move to Church House during Lent if there are any services at this time.

Solna Burnham

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.

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