The Pilgrim Ringers are a local Guildford team with two and a half octaves of handbells. We practise weekly on Wednesday evenings 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm at Normandy Village Hall (click here for map).
Our team was founded in 1989 by a group of folk dancers. Since then, the team members have nearly all changed as people have moved away or become elderly and our standard has improved as some of us have become advanced ringers. We currently have a team of lively friendly members and have given over 300 concerts.
Concerts are given to local groups, WI members, elderly and disabled people. We welcome new members aged nine to ninety, but it helps if you can read music. We gain satisfaction from giving pleasure to others and we have a lot of fun in the process. For further information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concert held at the Guildford Club for the Visually-Impaired, June 2016
Musical Director: Shirley Aston
In January 2009 The Pilgrim Ringers celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a festive lunch, created by ourselves, to which we invited past members and others who have helped us over the years.
Photo: Ralph Page
We have come a long way from our early beginnings, when a group of us, most of whom could not read music, met once a fortnight at Wanborough Hall, Surrey, where, in those days there was no car park, the local residents did not like us to park outside their cottages and the muddy lane was full of potholes and unlit, so we had to carry torches as well as all our equipment whenever we met. Gradually, the members who didn't really want to be there drifted away and others came.The Handbell Ringers of Great Britain offered a course on conducting in 1991 and thus we acquired our permanent conductor and musical director. By this time we had a core of members who could read music and we agreed to meet weekly for practice. The first rally which we attended was at Old Woking and we learned to play the St. Antony Chorale which was four lines long! We played our first team solo piece, a simple version of My Grandfather's Clock, at a rally in St.John's, Woking. At Christmas 1993,four years since our founding, we finally plucked up courage to give our first concert. It was at a Care Home in West Horsley where we played carols for half an hour. Steady progress and improvement of skills has taken place since then and we have now given over 250 concerts in the Guildford area. Our current team consists of fourteen lovely and enthusiastic people.
We had a new bell engraved to commemorate our 20th anniversary. It reads:
"The Pilgrim Ringers 20th Anniversary 18.1.2009"
Clicking the image below will take you to the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain South East Region website.