Top reader and contributor David Evans recently sent in this great 1970’s picture of Stonnall Handbell ringers. How many do you recognise? Over to David for the details:
This really is ‘a tangle of bells’. I thought your Stonnall readers would like to see this photo of a worthy and very successful group of tintinnabulists in the 1970s. I feel sure that some faces will be instantly recognised by the villagers.
The bells were made by Whitechapel foundry in London, who also made Big Ben- their bells are certainly the world’s best for clarity and purity of tone. Handbell ringing in this country has a wonderful, rich dimension to its history. Just imagine the huge national rallies of the late 1800s… a glimpse at the intricate set competition music of that era gives an idea.
At a national rally in Wembley Conference Centre a few years after this photo was taken, one group actually played the Black and White Rag… on Handbells! Amazing. The biggest handbell is nearly as big and as heavy as a bucket!