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News November 2017

2017 News Posted on 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

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.

News October 2017

2017 News Posted on Mon, October 09, 2017 10:21:05

It has been a quiet month – a good one to prepare for the
Christmas rush!

Last week a group of us polished all the bells so they will
look shine through all our performances over the festive season.

This year saw the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the
Handbell Ringers of Great Britain AND the 40th anniversary of the first meeting
of the North East Region of HRGB so it has been quite a celebration.

We celebrated our regional birthday back at Grassington in
May with a packed rally attended by many groups including some that had never
been to a rally before.

There national celebrations will include a large regional
rally in Sheffield on the same day as those in other regions. Technology
permitting the rallies will all link up together and free food and cake will be

Because not everyone can make it to this event there will
also be mini rallies in each part of our large region. Our Western one will be
at Sowerby Bridge which is conveniently not far from us.

The real stars of the birthday celebrations have been the
Jubilee Bears. Every region (or in our case part of a region) was given a bear
at the National Rally in April and the plan was for them to visit every band
during the next six months.

Our bear started its journey at Leeds in April and travelled
via all parts of our area to reach Ryburn, the hosts, at Sowerby Bridge in
October with photo opportunities at each stop!

News September 2017

2017 News Posted on Mon, September 11, 2017 14:11:14

Over the last month we seem to have travelled as far North
and as far South as ever before for a performance.

In August we performed for a group of over 70s in Holmfirth.
They provided us with a very welcome lunch and then 8 of us played a number of
pieces for them.

In September we were able to take all three octaves to entertain
the ladies of Hampsthwaite W I near Harrogate. We were concerned that due to
summer holidays the whole band had not practised together for some time but it
all was “alright on the night”.

Although both venues were geographically far apart the
performances were very similar. Both were in spacious, well equipped halls with
plenty of tables so we did not have to supply our own. Both groups provided us
with tasty food and drink (the way to a handbell ringer’s heart is through her stomach!). More importantly when we had finished playing our pieces we offered
the audience a chance to have a go and in both instances they were very
enthusiastic and almost too many of them wanted to have a go resulting in some
very creditable renditions of our pieces.

The journeys to both locations took us less time than we
anticipated and we even managed to dodge the rain showers as we unloaded and
reloaded the cars. However we have realised that Friday afternoons are
particularly busy on the roads of West Yorkshire and whichever route we tried
back from Holmfirth we met a queue of traffic – maybe we should stay at home on
Fridays in the future!

Normally we would now be starting to practice our Christmas
music, but this year we have bookings through October and November to prepare
for first. Our diaries are certainly getting busier and we are always on the
lookout for new recruits.

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.

Farewell to tower and handbell ringer – John Nixon

2017 News Posted on 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.

Clair conducts at the Grassington Rally

2017 News Posted on Tue, June 27, 2017 13:26:48

Our musical director Clair took centre stage at the Grassington Rally when she conducted the massed ringing. Click on the link to see and hear more.

June 2017

2017 News Posted on Wed, June 07, 2017 09:41:07

At the end of May we attended the regional Spring Rally in
Grassington. This was a particularly well attended event as it involved the
celebration of 40 years of modern handbell ringing in the North East. The
region was formed following a rally in Selby in 1977 and many of the original
participants were at the celebration.

There were so many people there that we had to share our
bells with some ladies from Market Weighton for the massed ringing when everyone
rings together. One of these pieces was conducted by our musical director Clair
who is fast becoming a regional superstar.

Our performances of our own pieces also went well and
congratulations to Renee on her first public outing. She did so well having
only been with us for just over a month.

It clearly did not put her off and she performed again with
us at the beginning of June when we played for the Silsden friendship group.
This is a new club which meets monthly in the building next to the Catholic
Church in Silsden. Although many of their members come from the church it is
not exclusivly Catholicand there were other people from the locality some of
whom were attending their first meeting of the group. I have noticed over the
years how many groups there are that meet on an afternoon for a cuppa, chat and
some entertainment. There is no excuse for any retired person to say there is
nothing for them to do!

Our performance went well with Roger’s compering that he has
got down to a fine art. If we need extra time for bell or music changes he has
no problem talking on longer! Afterwards a number of the audience joined us to
have a go and a very creditable performance of Grandfather’s Clock followed.

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.

May 2017

2017 News Posted on Wed, May 10, 2017 08:37:45

We have spent April and May preparing for one of the main
events of the year – the regional Spring Rally in Grassington.

This event has been hald in the same venue for many years and
gives us an opportunity to ring bells together with other groups in what is
called massed ringing.

We also prepare and ring two or three pieces on our own which
we have practiced over the preceeding weeks. This would all be relatively
simple if the whole band intending to attend Grassington were available every

However due to holidays, illnesses, work and other
unavoidable events this has not been possible and other people have had to
stand in at each rehearsal. However slowly it is all coming together and as I
write this we are preparing for a final practice.

We have acquired another new member since my last notes,
Renee, and she has (as often seems to be the way in our group) been thrown in
the deep end. She will be taking part in the rally only a month or so after
joining the group! We are still looking for new members – anyone is welcome to
visit one of our Monday or Wednesday evening rehearsals in the vestry to see
what it is all about.

Solna Burnham
07884 233382

Spring 2017

2017 News Posted on Fri, April 07, 2017 04:09:57

The hand bell ringers have had a
busy spring season, with three small concerts using the 2 octave set of bells.
As these events often take place during the working day we are very lucky to
find at least eight members able to give their time to perform.

Firstly, made a return visit to
Crossflatts Over 50’s Club at St Aiden’s Court at the beginning of March. It is
always nice to be asked back to a venue, and Crossflatts is a regular
engagement for us now.Then a visit to Aire Valley Court on St Patrick’s Day,
this was a new venue for us and we were very well received by a large group of
residents who were in good voice, and joined the sing along to some of our
tunes, appropriately including Oh Danny Boy…..! This was followed by
refreshments and a chance for the audience to have a go on the bells.

Finally, another new venue on 4th
April when we visited Riddlesden Rest Home and entertained the residents and
staff. This was the first performance for Hilary, our most recent recruit. No
doubt she was nervous, but it didn’t show and she rang very well after just a
handful of practice sessions with us.

Looking ahead we are now
preparing for two Handbell Ringers of Great Britain events, at Grassington in
May, and Headingley in June. HRGB is 50 years old in 2017 so some special
pieces of music have been written for the occasion, we will now concentrate on
these pieces at our practice sessions and hopefully perform them later in the

As always if anyone is interested
in joining the team please contact me for further information.

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