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

West Midlands HRGB Rally 5 March 2016

A group of six of us represented the Alton Handbell Ringers at the West
Midlands Region of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain AGM and rally on
5th March in Norton, Worcestershire.

We had a very enjoyable day, meeting handbell ringers from all over the region and listening to a wide range of very beautiful handbell ringing, from a 3 octave team of eight to a team of two people ringing 4 or 5 bells in hand.

We ourselves rang "In an English Country Garden", "Pomp and Circumstance" and "Rule Britannia". We then all joined in ringing and singing "All Glory Laud and Honour" as a massed ringing piece.

We were able to invite everyone to our Regional Rally on Saturday 1st October in Alton to help celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Wendy 7.03.16

£1040.00 raised for the Donna Louise Trust at our Concert on 5th December.

Alton Handbell Ringers hosted a charity music and supper night in aid of The Donna Louise Trust with guest performers, Moorland Voices, who began the evening with three African songs in a flash mob style!

Musical feast
What a musical feast followed; such a wide variety of pieces and techniques from both groups! Carole Green and Judith Denning supplied a couple of monologues and Rob Johns accompanied the choir on guitar.  After a pie and pea supper, with home-made puddings, the groups performed pieces of a more Christmassy flavour including a bell team processional of The Little Drummer Boy with percussion. 

Baton twirling

My husband was impressed with Wendy's baton twirling!! She was playing two bells in one hand and conducting when her baton flew out of her hand and landed behind her on the hall floor. Wendy carried on as normal as did the team. A member of the audience picked it up and put it back on the table for her. She picked it up and continued!! Great recovery!!

Janet Allen

‘Blessed Assurance’, in an arrangement with ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’, was dedicated to the memory of Janet Allen, a much loved member of the AHR Team.


The last piece of the evening was a special joint item ‘Rejoice and be Merry’, arranged for the two groups.          

With many thanks to Moorland Voices and to the many generous people who supported us in every way.

By Sarah Williams

The Performance (Does this ring a bell?)


Have I checked my bells?

Is that the correct sharp?

Is this music on my stand the right piece?

Oh dear…concentrate!



Watch Wendy’s wand -

Keep together.

Here we go ------!

It’s now or never!


Our bells are raised, we are ready to ring,

Oh dear I can’t remember a thing!


Keep calm it will be ok,

If you focus and remember to count… they say.


Where are my specs?

Where are my chimes?

I can’t remember how many times

I chose the wrong bell or picked up the wrong sharp!


“I’ve got the joy”, or I think I have!

“Oh no the wrong music!” she said.

“I seem to be looking at “Nimrod" instead!”



We hold up our mallets,

Then cross them in front of our faces,

This is the time we lose our places!

Sticks are flying, bells are clanging

There’s plenty of noise and lots of banging!


“Over the rainbow” we're playing it quite well,

As long as we remember to pick the right bell.

Oh, play it again, don't forget the repeat!

Keep ourselves steady, don't miss a beat.


And as for dynamics, the fast and the slow...

Rallentando, diminuendo or fortissimo!

So much to remember, the notes flying by,

I've skipped a whole line, I can't tell you why.


We finish the concert with Jerusalem,

Hopefully this one won’t go wrong,

The WI ladies love their song.

We play at our best,

No time for a rest.

Hooray, it's over. We've passed the test!!


Jean Reilly 30.09.15



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