The swans were out late on Wednesday evening performing "Swan Lake" on the "Crammer" pond. I was walking home at 9.45pm from our handbell ringing evening at "Crammer Court," a group of very plush residential flats for the elderly. We played a number of Christmas carols, and many of the residents joined in for a good "sing up." Two ladies held some little bells, and joined in with a lively accompaniment. After playing, we always invite people from the audience to come up and have a try. Last night one brave lady offered to play "Good King Wenceslas" with us, and she did really well. Ringing is not easy!
There are nine of us in the group, although Terry who plays the three lowest sounding bells was missing last, as he is on holiday in France somewhere! To the right stands Mike, and I stand between him and Celia who can be seen in the middle of the photo. To the left stands Doreen, Tony, Jackie and Rachel. The highest sounding bells are played by Linda, who is to the left, out of the photo. We are wearing our bright red "Potterne Handbell Ringers" sweat shirts, with white polo shirts underneath.
Celia is holding bells C and D in the photo, with C# and D# lying on the table. Handbells are not easy to play, with the sound being produced with an upward motion of the wrists, the makes the hammer hit the side of the bell. A great deal of concentration is needed so that we don't get lost! We all have to count the bars or sing along with the music as we did last night, and attempt to play in the correct bell at the right time! We all get lost from time to time, or pick up the wrong bell in the wrong hand, and then the music is completely out of tune! We all laugh at our mistakes, which is about all we can do really. Handbell ringing is great fun!