Handbells at Heritage Quay

In the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the area around Huddersfield was home to the best handbell teams in the world. These groups, which were mostly male and often pub-based, rehearsed, performed and competed with the same seriousness as brass bands. Their story, however, is much less known.

It is this story, of working-class musical activity, fierce local rivalry, and mass entertainment which is showcased in our latest exhibition. Using the recently deposited archive of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain, it explores the rich local history of handbell ringing, as well as its vibrant – and global – present. The exhibition is free, and open Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, and Saturdays 9am to 5pm.

A free afternoon event on Saturday 8th July will include an exhibition tour, a performance by the Clifton Handbell Ringers and a chance to have a go at ringing.

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