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All Saints Handbell Group

 In late 1978, the ringers decided to ring carols on handbells around the parish. They taught themselves to ring simple carols, and went round the town ringing them in the classical way of carol singers – standing under a street lamp to see their music, while one of them knocked on doors to ask for donations. Their first outing was picturesque, with gently falling snow! They donated the money to charity.

 After a few years, a small group formed, mainly youngsters, to practice regularly and give performances at other times of year. The group grew and developed. At one time there were so many members that it split into two groups, one meeting on Tuesdays and one on Sundays. Most members are not now tower bell ringers (they don’t need to be) but they retain a link with the tower, and several of them are members of HRGB (Handbell Ringers of Great Britain).

 Each year the group is invited to perform for public and private events. They perform regularly in old people’s homes, and for other charitable organisations. Highlights include ringing for the Townswomen’s Guild Christmas service at St Martin in the Fields church in London, and ringing for Snowdrop Sunday at Swincombe, Oxfordshire.

 If you would like to join the group, or if you would like them to perform at a function, please contact: Mrs B Tomlinson, 0118 978 3125.

Handbells are not only used to ring tunes. Keen ringers also ring changes on them. Each ringer rings two bells, which adds to the complexity. Change ringing on handbells isn't often performed in public. There are occasional public performances, or ringers may simply ring for pleasure in the open air, as in the case of Cambridge undergraduates in the river Cam, shown on this page . See more about change ringing on handbells .

The bells used by the group date from 1873, when a set cast by Blews of Birmingham was presented to the newly formed Society of Honorary Change Ringers to help them practice change ringing.. See also: History of ringing at All Saints . The set was later augmented.


Click each to enlarge and move between pictures using the arrows.

In action1982
The 1982 group 
The modern group in action 
Photo call

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