Music heard in a Garden

Six resolute ringers in Alton

Were heard playing bells with their coats on,

The weather was foul

The wind it did howl

But brave souls they continued to play on.


Peter Walker 13.7.20     Photo by Alan Walters

12 Bells Blowing in the Wind


How did we play on Friday afternoon?

Did we play all the notes in the right place or too soon?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,

The answer is blowing in the wind!


Did we ever get to the end of a piece?

We pegged the music, struggled with our stands

We turned, clasped tightly and used both our hands,

Did we succeed?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind

The answer is blowing in the wind!


The gazebo danced and swayed………..

We battled on, our team of six

We laughed, we played, we did our best,

We didn’t even sit down to rest!

How did we manage to stay upright?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind

The answer is blowing in the wind!


When we valiantly managed to play our last piece

The wind finally started to calm and to cease

We packed up our bells and peeled off a glove

Then sat down to partake of date loaf and tea, which we love!


We talked of our pleasure

At being back together

Of sharing the space

Each in our own place.

What made it such fun?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,

The answer is blowing in the wind.


Jean Reilly 10.7.20     Photo by Alan Walters 10.7.20

Only in Alton!

Only in Alton …

Wind gusted, sky darkened, gazebo shook …. 

and we played on.

Music stands shifted, Sue’s stand nearly toppled ….

but we played on.

Pages blew open, rain threatened to fall …. 

and still we played on.

Sun shone fitfully, pages blew wildly, we held down our music …. 

and so we played on.

Socially distanced, wearing our gloves, undeterred by the weather, 

we kept playing on.


Smiles all round, having date loaf and tea.

Bells in the garden beat Zooming for me!


Sue Fraser 10.7.20      Photo by Alan Walters

Bells Or Bells? And Belles

Do you remember the time, or is it all hearsay

When we used to meet, every time on a  Wednesday

We used to start on the dot, at seven o'clock

For us all to ring bells, together en bloc.


The tunes used to flow with a regular beat

But remember it's not liked, if you tap your feet.

To help us achieve this and  keep us in time

There’s Wendy with arms waving, so sublime


The tunes are so varied some fast and some slow.

Occasionally someone has a one note solo,

If this is the case make sure you don't miss it

So play it with gusto and you'll get the credit.


The sessions will finish after two hours at nine

We have been known to have red or white wine

The occasion is only when it's someones birthday

so we round off the evening with a short soiree


One day a visitor came to surprise us

An unwelcome guest in the form of a virus

So meetings were canceled, no longer could we meet

Stay two meters apart when you walk down the street.


I'm missing these evenings of laughter and fun

But we all will be back when the dark days are done.

In the meantime I decided,to replicate these days

In a way that reflects my inimitable ways.


I wanted to energize, keep active my brain cells

So up to the loft to get my collection of Bells.

When last Wednesday came and  at seven o'clock

I started my practice a new skill to unlock


The Bells were lined up a full octave at least

Then practice began and the Bells number decreased

The tempo was steady, at the beginning

But before long, my head it was spinning.


The first tune that came out was by AC/DC

Titled of course 'Have a Drink On Me'

This was then followed by Metallica

A good old favourite, 'Whiskey in the Jar.'


It was Nine o'clock now, it had soon come around    

My feet were unsteady let alone tap  the ground.

My evening hadn't gone quite as I planned

The sound that I made was not AHR band.


I look forward to the day, when isolation is completed

And the unwanted guest we have finally defeated.

So look after yourselves and we will then ring those bells

See you soon Alan, Dave and all you wonderful BELLES

Peter Walker 8.4.20

Alton Handbell Ringers open evening

Have you ever wondered what is involved with ringing music on handbells? Now is your opportunity to find out.

The Alton Handbell Ringers ring on up to 5 octaves of handbells and handchimes and are offering an entertaining evening introducing the traditional art of handbell ringing with a chance to 'have a go'. Come along to St. Peter's Church Alton on Wednesday 15th April at 7pm for a demonstration, to learn about the origins of tune ringing on handbells, the sounds that different techniques can produce and a chance to 'have a go' at a simple arrangement.

We are looking to recruit this year so you never know, you might like to join us. Refreshments will be provided. For further information please contact Wendy Walters by email or look at our website

We look forward to seeing you!

Wendy Walters

Musical Director