By Val Javin

Here’s your invitation to share the Sounds of Christmas with Marsh Ladies Choir and Clifton Handbell Ringers.

This seasonal delight of a concert gets underway at Lindley Methodist Church on Saturday, December 16 at 2.30pm. Together, the choir and handbell ringers have put together a programme brimming with festive favourites.

Soloist and story-teller Raymond Ellis will compere the concert ensuring that all those Christmas ingredients are blended to perfection.

The choir, conducted by its musical director Ian Abbott and accompanied by Kim Kaye, will set the atmosphere with John Rutter’s Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, written when the composer was an undergraduate at university, plus a piece capturing the beauty of the winter season, Bells Across The Snow to the tune, We’re Walking In The Air.

John Rutter features again in the programme with the musical reminders, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day and what else but, The Very Best Time Of The Year.

The choir will also be sharing with its audience a number of traditional Christmas carols to ensure everyone can enter into the musical spirit of Christmas.

Joining the choir are the Clifton Handbell Ringers whose seasonal fare offers everything from a pop chart Christmas number one from the Eighties, to a taste of film music, classical pieces from Berlioz and Handel not forgetting the all important ringing sound of Hark The Herald Angels Sing plus a Christmas medley.

The handbell ringers were originally formed around 1890 by a Clifton joiner using about two dozen bells belonging to Clifton Parish Church. The band grew and competed locally and nationally before war intervened.

The team disbanded in 1915 and the bells went into storage in a local mill where they remained undiscovered for 60 years.

The group was reformed in 1975 and the current team of ringers play off a square table using the traditional Yorkshire “off-the-table” style of ringing. Hear it for yourself – and much more – in a concert which will ensure that it is beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. 

Tickets are £10 from 07712 767041 or you can pay on the door.

Image by: Gordon Parks