Mirfield Hand-Bell Ringers

Mirfield Hand-Bell Ringers were active from at least 1886, when the Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser reported in 1886 that they performed ‘in excellent style’ at ‘the annual parochial tea and entertainment in connection with St Mary’s Parish Church [which] was held in the National (Boys) School Room’.28

Location:

Mirfield Hand-Bell Ringers

Mirfield WF14 8DU, UK

Handbell Ringing Bands

Description:

Mirfield Hand-Bell Ringers reflected a common trait of many musical groups in the West Riding by rehearsing in public houses. Pubs were social places to be, and often acted as meeting places for any number of community groups. Indeed, the landlord of the Shepley Arms was a member of the band. The band was also known to practice at the Plough Inn, opposite the Shepley Arms, in Mirfield. The band’s account books reflect the sociability of pubs as meeting places as they contain records of money spent on beer for the members at rehearsals.

In 1886 they came third at the Belle Vue Competition and in 1888 and 1889 they came second. In 1909 the band’s committee voted to sell their peal of bells for scrap for four pounds and two shillings to J.E. Cartwright. The band’s committee voted to buy Cartwright a cigar for the trouble taken to buy the bells.

Many of the band’s members never returned from the First World War, nevertheless, after the conflict, they continued as a trio, under the leadership of Fred North. In the 1980s the bells, a peal of at least 100, were still in Mirfield in the possession of his daughter.

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