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 founded in 1967. The West Midlands Region has a total of 28 active handbell teams with total membership of 234 ringers, 173 adult members and 50 from youth teams. The region stretches from Wales in the west to ourselves in the east and includes Birmingham. More details can be found on  http://www.wm.hrgb.org.uk 

Regional Rallies are always such good fun, starting off with “How do we fit every team into the hall?", and are a great opportunity to meet other ringers “ringing from the same hymn sheet” to coin a phrase! Well, not quite, as some teams ring from numbers, (horizontal or vertical) whilst others ring from real music where your own notes are there somewhere!! 

They will include teams of 3 ringers ringing 4 bells in each hand, to teams of up to 12 ringers ringing 3 octaves of bells. 

This is a great opportunity to show off what your team can do and on, the other side of the tables, to discover new music, witness different ringing styles and techniques and see how teams work together. 

The programme for the day usually involves the individual teams ringing 2 or 3 pieces (in approximately 10 minute slots) of their own choice.  At least 2 “mass ringing pieces” will be sent out to teams before the event to practise on home ground. After lunch, provided by AHR, it’ll be time for all the teams to practise together at the same time (great fun) ready to “perform” at the end of the afternoon.

Now, as it’s our anniversary, what piece could we do that’s appropriate for this mass ring? Perhaps the Anniversary Waltz? Congratulations?


Sarah Williams 17.04.16