Concert to restore Stretham handbells is a right old ding dong

The Bottisham Handbell Ensemble at St James's Church in Stretham

The Bottisham Handbell Ensemble at St James's Church in Stretham - Credit: Archant

YOUNG musicians from the 1st Little Thetford Brigade joined the Bottisham Handbell Ensemble and Fordham Handbell Change to raise more than £750 towards the cost of restoring Stretham’s rediscovered set of handbells.

The Bottisham Handbell Ensemble at St James's Church in Stretham

The Bottisham Handbell Ensemble at St James's Church in Stretham - Credit: Archant

Dozens packed into St James’ Church, in Stretham, on Sunday to enjoy the repertoires of all three groups.

Under the direction of Jane Dunseath, the boys and girls of the 1st Little Thetford Brigade opened the concert giving their first public performance of pieces for Belleplates.

The eight-strong Bottisham Handbell Ensemble then took centre stage to give renditions of popular and classical numbers as diverse as Oh, What a Beautiful Morning! and Last of the Summer Wine.

After the interval, both groups performed a second time before the Fordham Change-Ringers provided a fitting finale with a faultless touch of Grandsire Doubles.


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Concert organiser Peter Binns said: “We have been overwhelmed with people’s generosity and the level of support for the concert. The £750 it has raised takes us over halfway to our target for having our own 100-year-old set of 12 handbells restored professionally.

“I am also very grateful to the performers who gave us their time and talent totally free. As a result of the concert, the opportunity to use the refurbished bells to start a new Stretham & Little Thetford Handbell Group is now that much closer.”

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