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.....

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By most standards, scoring less than half of one's scheduled quarter peal attempts would be considered a bit of a letdown.  However, our haul of five quarters from thirteen attempts felt – and was – very successful.  And the mix of Plain Bob and Kent on 6 and 8 represented...Read more

Our seventh Scottish Handbell Day started with Plain Bob, finished with Glasgow and in between there was a lot more Plain Bob, fun with other plain methods, extremely satisfactory plain hunting, and well, just more fun.

We had a smaller pool of ringers on this day, which sometimes isn't a...Read more

Yesterday we rang a quarter of Cambridge Royal, getting us to the milestone of 100 quarters in the house. A total of 33 people have been involved, which we are pleased with as part of the point of the Scottish handbell days is to increase the number...Read more

Yesterday was the Scottish Handbell Day, a high point in the calendar at 1 Albany Quadrant. It was the best one yet, and everyone went away happy. We had 18 people, and by lowering our sights a little instead of forcing everyone to ring on 12, we...Read more

After successfully sending our Handbell Club students away happy with their accomplishments, we turned to the more challenging part of the day, which consisted of satisfying various Surprise Major requests, and filling in the rest of the bands appropriately around them.  We had a small number of attenders, but a...Read more

Our fifth Scottish Handbell Day was a day a two parts, and the first part was dedicated to the Mount Vernon Handbell Club.  We invited pupils to come for one session and have a 'masterclass' with experienced handbell ringers.  About half the club was able to come, and we arranged...Read more

I needn’t have worried about having enough turn up to the Okehampton handbell afternoon: 31 people were there ringing handbells!


In the last few days the worry was ‘will we have enough experienced ringers?’ as more and more novices signed up, or turned up on the day, but we...Read more

Here we are less than three weeks off the Okehampton handbell afternoon. I’ve had it on the education programme since the start of the year, and in recent weeks sent emails to anyone in Devon I know of who rings handbells; as well as sending a poster out through branch...Read more

One house, one day, three dozen ringers and a similar number of planned quarter peals.  That was the formula for the 2012 ODG Handbell Day, held in Reading Saturday.  It’s an annual event that has grown over the years.  The first one I attended, in 1987, was in a village...Read more

Handbells, and why more people don't ring them, has been a subject on the Change Ringers mailing list over the last couple of days.  The debate has been fairly lively, not yet very conclusive, and so probably far from over.

In the midst of this, Lester Yeo, from the Guild...Read more


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