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News December 2020

2020 News Posted on Wed, December 23, 2020 13:03:36

At our AGM in November we realised that there were no chances of ringing together properly in the foreseeable future.

Even if we were able to meet up outside in groups of 6 the weather over the next few months was unlikely to be conducive to that!

Clair, our musical director, attended a national online conference and returned from that with plenty of ideas.

Since then we have tried various methods of virtual ringing – some are “air ringing” where the piece is played and the attendees mime their ringing using bells, spoons or other implements and some are Ringing Room where we play bell sounds using keys on a computer.

Neither method is perfect but it gives us an opportunity to get together and “make” some music. We have incorporated both of these into our own Christmas Social and a large regional online rally with nearly 50 participants.

Whilst there is no chance of us getting together in person for a Christmas meal or even mulled wine and mince pes, online events are proving to be a reasonable substitute and make sure we all keep in touch.

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a far better New Year.

Solna Burnham


News November 2020

2020 News Posted on Tue, November 17, 2020 18:04:10

This month we held our first AGM by Zoom.

It was really good to “see” so many of our ringers particularly Clair, our musical director, who has been shielding and therefore unable to join in any of our outdoor sessions or our solitary practice in Church House.

The business part of the meeting was relatively brief there being no financial transactions, rallies or performances to report on. However once this was finished we had a good opportunity to catch up on everyone’s news from lockdown.

As it seems likely it will be even longer that we anticipated before we can recommence our weekly practices so Clair is taking part in an online workshop to find ways that we can have virtual/online practices. In the meantime we are all looking forward to the region’s first online rally in December.

Solna Burnham


News October 2020

2020 News Posted on Wed, October 21, 2020 20:08:40

Or first session in Church House was a great success. As well as being able to practice it gave us the opportunity to catch up again with each other’s news.

However it was not to last!

Later that week Bingley was returned into the same lockdown as the rest of Bradford and handbell ringing was not considered to be one of those activities which were exempt and allowed to continue indoors.

So we cannot see us ringing again for the foreseeable future and the bells sit unused in their cases.

However life still goes on – we have always held our AGM in the Autumn and this year will be no exception. However this year it will be virtual event courtesy of Zoom. A new experience for us all – but hopefully a chance for us to catch up with those who have not been able to join our outdoor practices for various reason.

News September 2020

2020 News Posted on Fri, September 11, 2020 19:36:41

What an up and down year this has been and no time more so than September.

At the beginning of September venues opened in those areas of Bradford (basically the Shipley constituency) where the local lockdown was relaxed again. Some classes and meetings were allowed. Having checked on the rules we realised it might be possible to to hold handbell practices again.

It would of course not be possible to resume our meetings in the church vestry as it is too small to allow social distancing. However as not all the groups are returning there was some availability in Church House. OK we would have to change to Mondays but that was no real hardship!

Everything was set up with the first practice to be Monday 14 September and most of us were looking forward to meeting in groups of 8 and playing on 2 octaves of handbells for the first time since March.

Then came the introduction of the “Rule of 6” and we had to change our plans again. Ringing handbells is NOT an exempt activity so although we can still practice in Church House we will be limited to 6 at a time and will have to take turns on a rota basis.

At least we will be indoors and not reliant on the weather as the nights draw in.

We are all looking forward to this and hoping those of our members still currently in local lockdown will be able to join us soon.

At the moment we cannot welcome spectators or new members and because of our restricted practices are not taking bookings for the remainder of 2020.

Solna Burnham


News August 2020

2020 News Posted on Tue, August 11, 2020 09:04:45

After the optimistic tone of my last 2 pieces of news, we have taken a backward step now and with the tightening of restrictions in Bradford are unable to practice in a garden for the foreseeable future.

As Autumn approaches it will also be difficult for us to practice outdoors in any case.

We are now worried as to how often we will be able to practice before Christmas and thus how prepared we will be for performances during what is traditionally our busiest time of year.

There are many things we need to consider and I am sure our our AGM which is due to be held in the Autumn will be interesting. Although whether we are actually able to hold that is another matter……………….

All the best to everyone in these continuing strange times

Solna Burnham

07884 23382

News July 2020

2020 News Posted on Thu, July 16, 2020 12:57:10

The first outdoor practice proved such a success that we have continued with them on a weekly basis and we have noticed other groups following our lead. Since the first occasion all the sessions have all been held at Jane’s house as it is easier not having to transport the equipment to different locations each week.

Jane purchased a large gazebo specifically for the purpose of keeping us dry and sheltered from at least some of the wind. However even this could not protect us one very wet July evening when the rain started penetrating underneath until finally we had to concede defeat!

We began alternating practices between Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday evenings to give those who work full time more chance of taking part. However as lockdown relaxed and more activities were possible during the day we decided to move all the sessions to our usual Wednesday evenings. 10 of our band have taken part and as well as enjoying the ringing we have been able to catch up on everyone’s news be it happy or sad.

Hopefully we will be able to meet up inside again before the Autumn when the weather becomes colder and wetter (is that possible?) and the nights draw in, but for now our outdoor sessions have proved a great success.

Solna Burnham


Bingley Handbell Ringers Outdoor Practice

2020 News Posted on Wed, June 10, 2020 14:38:29

We have not practised or preformed on the handbells or chimes since places of worship were closed back in March.

Many of us were suffering severe withdrawal symptoms and looked with envy at groups comprised of family members who were able to make music together. A number of bands used modern technology to ring together via programmes such as Zoom. However we had a further problem in that our bells were locked in the church.

The government’s partial relaxation of lockdown allowing 6 people to meet together, as long as they were socially distant and outdoors, gave us the possibility of meeting up to ring.

Detailed planning was needed. It was decided to use the chimes rather than the bells as they are less fragile for outdoor use and freestanding music stands as they could be placed further apart than our usual ones that stand on a table. None of our equipment had been used since March and would not be used again for a week so we were doing our best to keep them free from lingering germs. We also made sure that each pair of chimes were only used by one person. As an additional precaution we wore our usual gloves.

Some of our band, understandably, did not want to take part for health or shielding reasons to protect themselves or members of their families. However 6 of us were only too keen to play. We found a date we could all make and met up in my garden. The weather stayed dry and not too cold – if only we had been able to arrange this in the previous dry and sunny weeks!

Luckily some of our music is specially written for 12 bells which is 6 people and we spent 2 hours playing a variety of pieces. One of my neighbours who enjoyed “the tinkling noise” travelling over the fence took a video and a couple of photographs to record the event.

The afternoon was a success and before we departed we began plans for the next two weeks. We hope that if the weather improves a group may be able to meet up in an evening to give those of us who work full time the opportunity to take part.

Solna Burnham

May 2020

2020 News Posted on Fri, May 15, 2020 08:17:17

This week the lockdown was eased slightly but still not enough to allow us to meet up – the church is still closed and people can only meet one person outside their family. It will be a long time before we are able to practise but luckily we do not have many bookings until the pre Christmas rush starts in November.

We have however had to cancel our first booked performance of the year at Aire Valley Court in Bingley, but we hope to be able to return there later in 2020.

We were also due to host a Summer get together of ringers from throughout our region in June, but this has also been cancelled. Because the calendar in the Autumn is likely to get busy this will not be held later in the year but instead we have offered to host the event in 2021.

In the meantime we are all keeping busy in our houses, gardens and allotments and are keeping in regular contact with each other passing on news, quizzes and brain teasers.

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