The story of the handbell as known today was a creation of the brothers Robert and William Cor. They lived in Aldbourne in Wiltshire and between 1696 and 1724 refined the tuning of the bells so that ‘change ringers’ used them to practise their methods without the need of a church tower. Over the years the popularity grew so that in October 1967 a Society was formed in Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester. The Society is now a registered charity and is divided into eight regions and is active throughout the country.
Margaret Shurcliff was a keen handbell ringer and was awarded a set of 10 bells by the Whitechapel Foundry. In 1902 she set off for America and using this set of bells introduced their music to the American people who took to them so that it became a huge success, and still is.
The LAMMAS Ringers performing at Guildford Cathedral in 2007