U3A Massed Ringing Event
To celebrate their 20th Anniversary Sawston U3A encouraged study groups to hold special events and so it was that in March 2018, Bedford U3A handbell team were invited to join other ringers for a workshop to improve ringing techniques and to ring together. We practiced pieces in preparation but unfortunately couldn’t make the journey down to Ickleton because of the snow.
Rearranged for May, when hopefully the weather would have improved, 11 members of the Bedford U3A team together with leader Maggie Bullen drove on a lovely warm day to Ickleton at last, to take up Sawston’s invitation.
As well as Sawston U3A we were joined by a team from Meldreth U3A and two other local teams Heydon Bells and Bottisham – 42 ringers in all.
The event started with a workshop on Weaving ably run by Maggie. For the uninitiated, this is a technique for playing 3, 4 or more bells without needing to hold them all in your hands at the same time, something that really wouldn’t be possible with the larger bells. Some of us had trouble recognising our left hand from our right; after a while most people got the hang of it although some managed to go up the table but struggled to reverse the process. We were then treated to a marvellous demonstration of solo ringing by Rosemary Galloway.
Time for Tea and CAKE (especially the coffee and walnut!); a chance to talk to the other teams and afterwards we played three pieces of music. First of all, Maggie Bullen conducted and directed La Cinquantaine, arranged by Gay Cooper. This was followed by Robin Benton’s Dance Suite for Bells, conducted by Mrs Monica Hunter from Sawston U3A and finally, we played a particular favourite of Bedford U3A, The Heavens Are Telling arranged by Sandra Winter and also conducted by Maggie.
We owe a big thank you to Maggie for all her hard work and to Mike Rowland the leader of Sawston U3A’s handbell team who organised the event.