One of Huddersfield’s musical claims to fame is being celebrated this summer in a new exhibition at the University of Huddersfield.

‘Handbells: Wondrous Little Vehicles of Sound’ explores the fascinating and rich history of handbell ringing.

Still very popular in America and Japan, in the 19th and early 20th centuries it was the area around Huddersfield that was home to the best handbell teams in the world.

These groups, mostly male and often pub-based, rehearsed, performed and competed with the same seriousness as brass bands. Their story, however, is much less known.

This story of working-class musical activity, fierce local rivalry and mass entertainment is being told by Heritage Quay, the archive centre at the university where the exhibition is on display.

Using the recently deposited archive of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain, the exhibition 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.

To help bring the history to life, on July 8, Heritage Quay have organised a free event which will include a performance by the Clifton Handbell Ringers, a chance for visitors to have a go at ringing for themselves, and a look behind-the-scenes at Heritage Quay. The event runs 1.30pm to 5pm.

For more details visit Handbells at Heritage Quay | Heritage Quay.