Crosland Moor United Hand-Bell Ringers

The Crosland Moor United Hand-Bell Ringers was formed in July 1890, and its founder and first conductor was Thomas Cartwright, a Huddersfield solicitor, and former member of the Holmfirth Temperance Hand-Bell Ringers. The band began with a peal of 50 second-hand bells, but, by 1891, they had a new set, purchased by public subscription funds, and, by 1901, had a peal of 172 bells.28


Crosland Moor United Hand-Bell Ringers

Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, UK

Handbell Ringing Bands


The first band was formed to provide a respectable rational recreation for the area’s youth, and consisted of a group of boys around 15 years old. Their first rehearsals were in a former slaughterhouse, known locally as ‘Th’owd Killin’ hoil’.

After their appearance at the 1891 Belle Vue competition they became known as ‘Wark’ ‘us lads’ (work-house lads), a name that stayed with them even though the membership of the band became older.

From 1900 they had repeated success at Belle Vue, eventually leading to a celebrated tour of Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania, from 1911-1912. It was noted that many ex-Huddersfield residents came to support their concerts. The local press in the towns they visited enthused about the musicianship of these people from Huddersfield. One Christchurch correspondent wrote: ‘The Huddersfield Bellringers have reduced bellringing to fine art, and, having conquered everything there was to conquer at home, have Alexander-like, sought new worlds. Their reception at the Antipodes has been worthy of their merits, for they certainly provide a revelation in their own particular line of musical casuistry… The Huddersfield [hand-bell ringing band] displays a marvellous exactitude, and secures a wonderful tone.’

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