100 year old hand bells
Fun with BellsMay 02, 201900:32:4322.53 MB

100 year old hand bells

Ever wondered what the attraction of handbell ringing is? Well, Judy Vale gives Fun with Bells Podcast host, Cathy Both, a whole raft of reasons to take up this absorbing and musical hobby.

Handbells are part of our history and tradition, you can take your handbells out to places like care homes and really connect with your audience and you don’t need to be able to read music to play a tune.

And just like tower bell ringing, Judy explains, handbell ringing is a team endeavour, needs commitment and a great deal of technique. There is also cake involved.

What do you do if you want bells at a wedding in a church that doesn’t have a tower? Just bring your own.

Finally, you can forget about freezing cold church towers in the middle of winter, one of the perks of handbell ringing that Judy reveals is the pleasure of ringing in a medieval banqueting hall of a stately home with a roaring fire.


Top five takeaways

  • Learning to ring handbells is like learning to ring tower bells. You start off with learning technique and then move onto simple tunes.
  • You can find a handbell group near from the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain
  • A set of handbells is a bit like a piano – if you get any of them repaired, you’ll need to get them tuned to fit in with the rest of your bells.
  • Good handbell ringing, like good striking, takes practice and commitment
  • When planning to ring outside always remember to have some cover in case it rains!

Ask the Expert

Pip Penney answered the following question in this episode:

  • Jessica: “What does ‘Don’t drop your backstrokes!’ mean, and what do you want the recipient, of this instruction, to do differently?”

Sponsor: This podcast is sponsored by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART).  To find out more about learning to ring, learning to teach or other resources to support your ringing go to bellringing.org

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