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Bingley Handbells News


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News August 2022

2022 News Posted on Mon, August 01, 2022 11:18:11

71 bells manufactured by Shaws of Bradford were always known to be in the tower of All Saints Church, Bingley, but it was not until 2010 that a group of the Tower Bell Ringers rescued them and started fund raising towards their restoration.

After the first 2 octaves of our bells were transformed into a beautiful ringable condition by Taylors of Loughborough, the Bingley Handbell Ringers were formed.

Orginally the group comprised just tower bell ringers but we were soon joined by others who heard about our efforts. The majority, but certainly not all, had some connection with the church.

Over the years ringers have come and gone and we realised last week that only 4 of the present team of 15 were founding members of our group.

One of those is Roger Pollard, one of those who was originally a tower bell ringer and is particularly musical. For the vast majority of the time he has been the only man in the team. How he puts up with all of us ladies I really don’t know.

Roger was our first treasurer when we separated from the tower bell ringers and is now our Webmaster. He was instrumental in setting up an online sign up sheet so that we all know how many people are available for a performance or practice and thus how much milk and biscuits we need!

As well as performing with the band Roger also goes on the road with a few restored and unrestored bells giving interesting talks to local groups.

10 years ago we held a joint 150th party to celebrate his 60th birthday and the 50th  and 40th birthdays of 2 other ringers. This year saw Roger’s 70th and it was time for another celebration.

We decorated our practice table with linen table cloths, china and glasses so that we could enjoy an afternoon tea on cake stands supplied by a local cafe and supplemented with tea, coffee and prosecco. It says something of how well thought of by the other members of the team Roger is in that there was a full turn out that evening even including one retired ringer.

Afterwards we were able to take the opportunity to take some new photographs and update our website and Facebook page.

Many Happy Returns Roger and may you continue to ring with us for many more years to come.

NEWS July 2022

2022 News, Uncategorised Posted on Wed, July 13, 2022 09:02:33

Another month, another performance!

On 7 July a group of us together with our 2 friends from Leeds again performed at Wilsden Village Hall for the Thursday Group. We have visited the hall on a number of previous occasions and even for that group before. Despite the hot summer weather there was a good turnout to watch us and our performance of our best 2 octave pieces was well received.

Sadly only 2 of the audience joined us for the Have a Go session afterwards but they did very well.

We do have difficulties performing mid week during the day as many of us have work or childcare commitments so without Christine and Roger joining us we would have struggled. We thank them for their assistance again.

Solna Burnham


June 2022 News

2022 News Posted on Tue, June 21, 2022 08:43:44

Over the jubilee weekend we rang handbells for the special event of a Christening. The baby concerned was Daniel Cater and we had previously rung for the wedding of his parents in the same church, St Mary’s at Burley in Wharfedale. We felt honoured to be part of the next step in the family’s life.

We rang a number of applicable pieces including a Cradle Song and Frere Jacques at the back of the church as the congregation arrived and mingled. Then we rang again after the actual baptism as part of the service.

Despite our location at the rear of the church and the various interruptions of child and baby chatter we felt the performance went well and it was good to perform once again.

8 ringers attended the Thursday Club at Silsden Methodist Church on the afternoon of 9th June. We played our regular repertoire of 2 octave music. It was the first proper concert for Zoila our ten year old young ringer. She did amazingly well and was the star of the show.

When we finished playing some of our audience came up to have a go, which was good fun. The afternoon finished with tea and cakes.

The Methodist Church is a great venue and we will return there on 8th October for the HRGB North East Region Autumn Rally.

News May 2022

2022 News Posted on Mon, May 16, 2022 18:57:19

On 14th May 6 of our ringers including Zoila, our young ringer, attended the regional Spring Rally in Grassington. This events usually takes place annually but due to COVID it had been cancelled in 2019 and 2020.

Normally the hall is absolutely packed but on this occasion fewer teams attended and most of them were short of players possibly because they were unwilling to attend a mass event or because they were unwell. Some of the groups had only just begun ringing together again and were short of practice.

We ourselves could only raise a band of 6 ringers for various reasons. However we performed a number of pieces for 12 bells and Zoila in particular excelled herself winning praise from a number of very experienced ringers.

We are now planning a number of other performances and events as handbell ringing hopefully approaches normality.

if you are looking for a new hobby why not join us in Church House one Wednesday evening to see what it is all about?

Solna Burnham


07884 233382

National Rally April 2022 (or was it 2020?)

2022 News Posted on Sun, April 17, 2022 17:47:02

Last weekend three of our group attended the National Handbell Rally in Sheffield.

The organisation of the rally is allocated on a rotational basis to each region of HRGB (Handbell Ringers of Great Britain) and in 2020 it was the turn of the North East Region of which we are part. 2 of our team, myself and Jane our Chair, are now on the regional committee and were involved in the planning which began back in 2018 with the search for a venue which met all the necessary requirements including a large concert venue, breakout rooms for workshops, reasonably priced en suite rooms and an easily reachable location.

After much deliberation the Royal Victoria Hotel in Sheffield (close to the M1 and railway station) was chosen and the work began. The hotel was an original Railway Hotel and we therefore chose a railway theme with platforms, enquiry offices and tickets!

However, as we could never have anticipated, Covid struck after all the arrangements had been made and items with the “Sheffield 2020” logo had been purchased. The event was cancelled and by some amazing piece of foresight it was postponed not to the next year but to 2022.

The bonus from our point of view was that Clair, our musical director, who had been unwell in 2020 was able to take part. She was chosen to conduct 2 workshops entitled Ringing from Scratch where she took a mixed ability band from sight reading to perfection on one piece in 75 minutes! She might have been billed as a New Leader but she was given participants who included very experienced ringers who themselves were leading workshops later in the day! Didn’t she do well?!

Jane and I spent 2 days stewarding (effectively guiding) delegates and we adhered to the Regional Chair’s instructions to “smile all weekend as if you have a coat hanger in your mouth” although I am not sure that all of them appreciated it when she took the Railway theme to the extent of telling them that they were too late for dinner as the Buffet Car had left the platform!

Not only did we all take part in interesting and varied workshops , but we also had the opportunity of attending 2 concerts – one by the Northern Bell Orchestra and one by a number of very different groups and we also met so many ringers with different skills from so many different parts of the UK.

As we drove back to Bingley late on Saturday night we reflected on the first National Rally we had attended and where we might go in the future. The general consensus was that although we might not make it over the border to Stirling in 2023 we were keen to visit Kettering in 2024.

Solna Burnham

07884 233382

March 2022

2022 News, Uncategorised Posted on Mon, March 14, 2022 11:45:05

Well this has been a quiet month so far with not much news to report. However I submitted our annual report to the PCC and a copy is below as a review of 2021.

“We began 2021 with our catch ups confined to Zoom meetings and online Ringing Room sessions.

When the restrictions were relaxed again in June we were able at last to ring together again meeting in Jane’s garden in Eldwick as we had done the previous summer.

Fortunately before the weather deteriorated the restrictions relaxed again and we were able to meet indoors.

During the pandemic we had been asked to move from the vestry, so it could be renovated, to Church House where Mark Stothers had worked hard to find us space in a new storage area in the back room (which we share with the Toddler Group) for our filing cabinet and metal cupboard. This has proved to be a great improvement with more space, superior kitchen facilities and efficient heating.

We began performing again in November, although we were less busy than in previous years, starting with a rearranged performance for the Frocks WI in church and finishing in the same venue for the Christmas Tree Festival wearing masks due to the Omnicom variant.

We are now looking forward to what looks like a nearly normal 2022 with performances, rallies, New Year and Big Birthday celebrations.

Sadly the junior ringers at Trinity All Saints School did not meet during the pandemic and it appears unlikely that unless someone comes forward to assist the group will not start again in the foreseeable future.”

Solna Burnham

07884 233382

News February 2022

2022 News, Uncategorised Posted on Thu, February 17, 2022 08:53:27

10 years ago when we were raising money to restore the handbells we held a fund raising ceildh to celebrate the combined 150th birthdays of 3 of our members.

How time passes – this year will see the 3 of them reach a combined darts score of 180!

The first of these birthdays was the 60th celebration of Jane, our chair. As a group we purchased a rose bush aptly titled “Birthday Wishes” for her garden – which was the site of many of our outdoor lockdown practices.

The ladies amongst us celebrated on Saturday afternoon when Jane, very generously, treated us together with the tower bell ringers and her other friends to afternoon tea at Cafe in the Opera at Salts Mill. A lovely time was had by all and there was the usual competitive moment when each table formed a team for a quiz. Although we did not win we discovered our musical director, Clair, has a secret knowledge of TV shows and films!

Roll on the next big birthday!

Solna Burnham

News January 2022

2022 News, Uncategorised Posted on Mon, January 31, 2022 09:39:16

A New Year, A New Start!

As usual we began January with our annual post Christmas Dinner. This was delayed by COVID at the venue and on the rearranged date the service and the food were disappointing. However we enjoyed meeting up together, reviewing the year past and planning the year ahead.

At our first practice we were joined by three new members, Eileen, Margaret and Tony who are already established ringers and we hope they will stay with us. This means that we should be able to get back to ringing the full 3 octaves regularly.

However we still welcome new members either beginners who wish to try handbells or people who can already ring.

We are already getting requests to ring for events so if you want to make a booking, particularly for the Christmas period please do not leave it too late.

Solna Burnham


07884 233382