The Bells we Play

Many a fine tune played on old Chobham bells…

The Chobham based Handbell Ringers are keen to continue their charity fund raising concerts.

The bells we play are now the grand old age of 106 years. They were cast in the same foundry as Big Ben, in Whitechapel London, and they have recently been returned there for refurbishment.

We hold many concerts throughout the year but the Bells are especially popular at Christmas time…

“The bells were cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London in 1908, for the Clifton Village Handbell Ringers, who used them until 2002. There are 105 bells – a traditional “long set” – that is five octaves of bells with the most frequently used bells duplicated. They have been used by St Lawrence Chobham Handbell Ringers since 2002, but the St Lawrence group has been ringing for many more years than that. It was founded by Alan Collings in 1976 and has a strong tradition of raising money for children’s charities, including the Children’s Society, the Chase Children’s Hospice, a school in the Philippines, the 2012 Tsunami Appeal and Helen and Douglas House Children’s Hospice.  The group estimates that they have raised over £20,000 for children’s charities. The bells have also been heard in other parts of the world at international handbell events and all over the UK on national radio and television – most recently last Christmas. The sound of bells is particularly popular at Christmas, and in other countries is associated with the UK – this type of bell is called the “English handbell” in America and many other countries because it was invented here in the 17th Century. The bells were last serviced in 1986 and the moving and soft parts (mostly springs, leather and nylon) have become worn and need to be replaced. This will cost about £70 per bell – a total of around £7,000 – and the group is keen to raise these funds quickly so that they can focus once again on raising funds for charity.”

…If you can help us in any way, please contact: Tim Willetts on 01483760746.

We would love to see you at one of our future concerts. We would also be very grateful to hear from anyone who would like to sponsor an individual bell (£70) and will repay your generosity with a free family ticket to one of our future concerts.