April 2016

The bells rang out with joy on Tuesday 19th April 2016 at the beautiful village church of All Saints in Denstone, Staffordshire.

The occasion for this celebration was to give thanks for the life of Sir Arthur Percival Heywood who died on this day 100 years ago.

Sir Arthur was an engineer, well known with railway enthusiasts for developing his 15inch gauge railway.  He also had a keen interest in Church Bells and founded the Central Council of Church Bellringers.

Sir Arthur's father, Sir Thomas Percival Heywood, built the church, which was designed by George Edmund Street, an eminent Victorian architect, in 1862, and today’s service was attended by Sir Peter and Lady Heywood together with other members of the family.  Railway enthusiasts and bell ringers also attended to pay tribute to Sir Arthur and to give thanks for his life.

After the church service a short commemoration was held around the graveside, after which a short demonstration of rounds and call changes on 8 bells was performed by the Alton Handbell...

Celebrating AHR Silver Jubilee

This is a significant year for Alton Handbell Ringers as it is our Silver Jubilee. In January 2016 we discussed how we could celebrate the occasion on a “Team Day Out.” How about ringing the bells somewhere unusual, i.e at the top of Blackpool Tower, in a balloon, on an open top bus, on a boat?!!!! Perhaps not! 

More sensible suggestions were to perform at the local arts festival but it was too late to organise that this year. So it was proposed that we would offer to organise the Heart of England Spring Concert during Cheadle Arts Festival Week in March 2017. So watch this space!!!

However, we are hosting the 2016 Handbell Ringers of Great Britain (HRGB)* West Midlands Region Annual Rally on 1st October at Alton Village Hall.  Doors open from 10am at Alton Village Hall and the Rally will run from 11am until 4pm.

*HRGB was...

Bells to celebrate the life and work of Sir Arthur Heywood on the anniversary of his death on 19 April 1916.

Born in Denstone, Staffordshire, in 1849, and known for his pioneering work as a narrow gauge railway engineer, Sir Arthur was also a keen bell ringer and, in 1891, founded the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. 

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday 19 April this year, local bell ringers will join railway enthusiasts to mark the centenary of his death at a memorial service in All Saints Church, Denstone.

The Alton Handbell Ringers will ring rounds and call changes at his graveside, which will be followed by a peal of three Minimus methods rung on the church bells on behalf of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

Sue Fraser