Bells at Draycott 10.2.19

It was a packed house when I arrived at the cosy church hall with 3 minutes to spare. Luckily for me I had a front row seat with my two children as my mum was one of the bell ringers!

The bells, music and associated paraphernalia were laid out on sumptuous velvet, whilst the ringers were dressed in black with matching scarves; dapper bow-ties for the men! All looked very professional, from the tiniest bell my son tested out, to the largest, which wouldn't have looked out of place in a church tower!

The ringers began their first set, the melodious and mesmerising tones filling the sunlit hall. The pieces were varied and played to perfection, ranging from tunes from popular musicals to original compositions for handbells, capturing the beauty of the stars and the aurora. The concentration on the faces of the ringers was evident- timing is key!

Some amazing and original singing and accompanying keyboard marked the end of the first and beginning of the second halves, whilst the good- humoured audience were treated to tea and homemade cake.

The bell ringers commenced their second set with the same enthusiasm for their art as before- interspersed with engaging insights into the pieces and the surprising variety of methods of creating the beautiful sounds. A delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon; well done Wendy and the team!

Lucy Wilson 11.2.19

A Sideways Look at a Concert

Thursday the thirteenth in the month of December

Although a cold night, a night to remember.

Off into the hills, a concert  for us all.

The venue to be played at was Whiston village hall.


Time to set up and check you have the right bell,

Put the C.D's on a table during the interval to sell.

Time for a photograph: let's all form a group.

The young one with no tie at the back he must stoop.


To ring a selection of pieces was our intent

As we all looked forward to this special event.

A Women's Institute party with gifts and balloons,

Fancy hats, Christmas trees and other festoons.


With bells nicely polished and music on stands

We stood at the ready with bells in our hands.

Wendy set us all going and as time did elapse

One of the stands, it decided, to have a relapse.


The ringers at eighteen and down to fifteen

Were now left to play with their music unseen

But Wendy to the rescue and was quick to put right

The stand, she adjusted, back to a  correct height


The rest of the first  half went without any hitch

And then it was time to have a sandwich.

There was plenty of food. What a wonderful spread:

Lobby, soup, casseroles and lots of fresh bread.


After trifle, pavlova and a selection of  cakes

Let's start second half and make no mistakes.

Now's the time, for our audience, to join in and sing

Unfortunately not at the same speed that we ring.


A difficult piece is ‘Three for the Road’.

The words would fit  better if only we'd slowed.

But, so what, it's a great bit of fun

That brings laughter to all when it's all done.


At all of our concerts there's laughter and fun

And ringing and chiming till it’s all done.

Then put bells in their bags, dismantle the tables

And, at some venues, disconnect all the cables.


Two vehicles to load, bring everything out,

Each of us carrying, it's like a workout.

To get it all in is a really tight squeeze

But with Alan in charge its done in a breeze.


We're quite a big team, too many to name,

But to miss us all out would seem quite a shame,

So let's give it a go see how we get on.

(At this point it's a pity there isn't a John.)


There's Josie and Joan, Sonja and Lynne,

Judith and Beryl, Wendy and Jean,

Callum the only one still  a young teen,

Sarah and Dave, Peter, Alan, Sue R.

There is also Sue F, that's all, Hoorah!


We wear a smart uniform, red scarves and bow ties

But cufflinks are banned for us old fashioned guys

I found out to my cost 'cause they create an odd sound

When on the end of the base chimes they tend to rebound.


The ladies also have to watch how they dress

Although they usually all like to impress.

No buttons on tops or necklaces too long

‘Cause when damping the bells they tend to go ding dong.


Well that's it for this year, as a full team,

But it won't be long now, before our normal regime

Of practice on Wednesdays, meet at Glenfield

Ready for Wendy her baton to wield.

Peter  19.12.18

A jolly New Year meal out!



No concentration required! 

A relaxing evening with our lovely Team and friends.


Photo by Paul Denning 18.01.19




Christmas Bells at Chatsworth House

Ringing the  bells at Christmas time is different from any other time of the year. Ringing Christmas carols on handbells is somehow special and the highlight of our year and ringing at Chatsworth House, in the Marble Hall, is extra special. Well, that is what a group of us did on Thursday 20th December.

It takes about an hour to get there so we set off around 4ish to arrive and set up to ring around 5.30 - 6.00pm ( all dressed accordingly in our thermals...the words ‘marble hall’ gives you an inkling that it might not be the warmest of places!)

We were met and it was explained to us that they were running late. Apparently, it was the day the House gives a Christmas party for the children of the village and they were running late and as it was held in the Great Hall no visitors were allowed in ‘til it was finished. So we waited...we looked around the gift shop and some of us sneaked into the next room to see the beautiful decorations .. the giant trees are so spectacular ..we could also look down on to the Great Hall and see Santa sitting half-way up the staircase giving out presents to the children. It looked magical.

Anyway the time came when visitors were walking through and we began to play.  Some carried on walking past but the majority stopped and listened, took photos and videos of us and gave us a clap. We gave out the sleigh bells when we rang Jingle Bells and one little girl was thrilled to ring them. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening although very tiring. We rang for nearly 2 hours nonstop!

The journey back was good, no snow this year! Big thanks to Josie and Alan for driving.

We have put the bells to bed now until 2019 when we look forward to another eventful year.

Sue Robins 22.12.18