by Ann Walter
Bill conducting at the Golden Anniversary concert (photo: Thatcham Photographic Club)
| The team at the Golden Anniversary concert
(photo: Thatcham Photographic Club)
|Our birthday cake
(photo: Helen Secker)
|The new 50th anniversary badge
2015 was a special year for Barfield Handbell Ringers as they celebrated the 50th birthday of the group. Bill Butler started the group based in Thatcham, built it up and has remained its Musical Director until he decided to retire at Christmas 2015.
The group organised and performed in various events in their 50th year.
June saw a full school hall in Newbury for an HRGB SouthEast Region rally attended by 18 teams. Tables and teams were decorated with gold and we had an enjoyable day’s ringing with, needless to day, a good supply of cakes.
In September we held our memorable Golden Anniversary Concert with music specially chosen by Bill. Some is part of the group’s history (Bill’s arrangement of Whistling Rufus and Sandra Winter’s specially written Call of the Bells). Other pieces are favourites; Blessed Assurance and God’s Train .The pieces chosen for the concert show the breadth of music which Bill conducts and performs.
Several handbell ringers in the audience said that it was good to hear some tunes they had not heard played recently. We were pleased to see so many relatives, friends and colleagues from both the handbell and tower ringing communities. Bill has taught many ringers of both types over the years and has helped teams to start up successfully.
At January 2016’s AGM the team presented Bill with a gift of an engraved glass, to say thank you for all his hard work and for the enjoyment he has given to many people by his musical activities Although Bill is no longer the team’s Musical Director he is still a valued member of the team.