Web Master: David Sandham

Eccleshall Hand-Bell Ringers

6th December 2015

Playing at St. Dominic’s Social Club - Stone

We met up in Eccleshall and drove in two cars to the Social Club of St. Dominic’s Church in Stone. By some miracle there was a space for two cars to park almost right outside the doors. So it was quite easy to carry all the items into the hall. Tables had been put out for us in the usual U-shape - we had to add another table and then we started to set up.

The cloths went over the tables and then the music stands and the drapes were added. The four cases of bells were opened and distributed to their playing stations. We then had a “cuppa” and waited for the audience. Once the mass had been complete in the church the congregation drifted in and soon the room was full to bursting.

We played a selection of our Christmas repertoire and then all stopped whilst the Priest drew the winning tickets for the raffle. There were some excellent prizes, £200, Flat screen Television, Tablet, lots of whiskey and wine.

After all the excitement we played a few more tunes and then finished.

We drove back to Eccleshall and left the equipment (except the bells) in the car ready for the next concert on Thursday.

An interesting if unusual experience - our performance was appreciated but I feel that most of the audience came for the raffle draw as the departure after the draw was quite rapid.

Concert for Trinity Luncheon Club 10th March 2016

This concert was a little different due to the fact that we had our lunch along with the rest of the audience prior to playing the bells.

Unfortunately our leader, Veronica, was ill and could not attend but we were fortunate to have an ex-Ecclian Handbell ringer in the audience.  With a little persuasion Doreen came to our rescue, despite having not played the handbells for two years.

We played an eclectic repertoire which was well received by those present.

How lovely it was to be playing “at home” in the Parish Room where we have our practice sessions. So easy to pop the bulky items back up into the loft when we had finished instead of the usual maul into the cars and then the drive back.

Photograph - Tony Pace Carol Concert at Holy Trinity Church 17th December 2017

We played our  hand bells  as the congregation came into church for the carol concert.

Concert at Hilderstone Hall 18th April 2018

After a car ride through Stone we arrived at the village of Hilderstone and found Hilderstone Hall. They were having major alterations and decoration carried out so we had to play in the dining room. However, we set up the equipment and the concert went well with lots of singing from the audience. The occasion was enhanced by the fact that it was also Miriam’s “special” birthday (fourth from the left).

Photograph by Sharon Ecclestone

Birthday Party at practice session 23rd April 2018

When Miriam turned up for the practice this week, she was moved by the fact that we had arranged a little party for her in the Parish Room. We had a lovely cake and some wine.

Opening the Music Festival during the Eccleshall Festival June 2018

The tables and covers  were set up and then at 10am we started to play. The concert went well and the sound from the front of the church was really good. We had a good response from the audience even though many of them were actively looking at the exhibits around the church based upon “Stories from the Bible. We had entered an exhibit based on the only mention of bells to be found in the bible, when Moses describes what Aaron should wear, including bells around the hem of his robe.

Open evening at our regular Monday evening practice. June 18th

The first event for the 2018 biennial Eccleshall Festival was an open evening in the Parish Room as we held our weekly practice session. We had put out two small rows of seats and were quite amazed when after a few minutes past the start they were full - a total of 10 visitors who joined in as we played, explained how the bells are rung and the music notation which we use. Some brave souls even had a go at playing with us and to be honest they were quite good. An excellent evening enjoyed by all.