Handbell days

A handbell day or handbell gathering is an event where people get together to ring handbells intensively.  They often last over the course of a weekend.  We think these kind of events are great for promoting handbell ringing and for supporting handbell ringers.  It brings together expertise within an area so that people can learn new methods or try new things, hopefully with a stronger band than they normally have.  Also, it is good for us handbell ringers to ring with different people from time to time, so that we don't fall into bad habits or develop strange quirks.

The biggest handbell event is the Oxford handbell weekend, held every year around Easter, which attracts 30 or more ringers who are scheduled into an intensive day of quarter peals at all levels of expertise.  When we started running Scottish handbell days, we used this model to get ourselves started.  But many other ringing associations and groups also have events, and the number is increasing all the time.

We decided to host a Scottish handbell day because we kept hearing about this person or that person who rang handbells but weren't active due to a lack of available ringers.  So we decided it would be a good idea to get all these people together in one place and see if we could get some more ringing going in other parts of Scotland.  Plus, it is a good excuse for a party. 

Since our first handbell day, we have held them regularly twice a year, and each time the people and format change just a little, just so it doesn't get stale, and still offers a good opportunity for the ringers who attend.  What started as a private initiative on our part is now included in the Scottish Association calendar. And yes, there is more handbell ringing in Scotland than previously, but we are not sure we can take credit for that.....

Another successful weekend

The handbell day on Saturday went well, although it was almost delayed because a train derailment meant that nearly all the trains from Glasgow to Shettleston were cancelled. Fortunately there was one remaining train at just the right time for all the ringers who needed it, and we managed to...

Handbell days and weekends

Yesterday was the Oxford DG handbell day in Reading, which logged an impressive 31 quarters in BellBoard involving 35 people. The next Scottish handbell day will be on 7th May, and we have 21 people signed up. Slightly smaller than the ODG day, but when you consider that the Scottish...

Using failure to progress

For the first time ever, we failed to complete a single quarter peal at a Scottish Handbell Day.  And yet, it was a very successful event.  How are both of those statements true? 

We have been spreading the conducting load around a little lately, in an effort to develop our...

Cambridge Maximus

We are just back from a handbell weekend in Tulloch, hosted by Helen McGregor and Peter Bevis. Saturday was the general handbell day, with practice sessions and quarters including Plain Bob Minor (Thomas Gay's first quarter), Stedman Triples, Yorkshire Major and Kent Royal. We had also planned to spend Sunday...

The 14th Scottish Handbell day (bookended by peal attempts)

There were points during the previous weekend, especially on Sunday, when I thought we had bitten off rather too much - again. 

Our programme to ring a peal Norman Smith's 23-spliced coincided with our usual semi-annual handbell day.  Simon has already written about our first attempt on Friday evening, which...

The 11th Scottish Handbell Day

Saturday 4th October saw one of our biggest handbell days, with a total of 19 ringers attending.  Handbell ringers came from Aberdeen, Dundee, Dunblane, Haddington, and Edinburgh.  There was even a representative from our unoffical Southern Branch in Penrith.  This may be our broadest geographical spread, and in itself shows...