Handbell ringers struck the right notes to enchant residents at a family-owned Dorset care home.
The afternoon concert at Colten Care’s Avon Cliff home in Bournemouth featured six ladies from Fordingbridge Handbell Ringers playing a tuned set of 12 bells.
The performance was conducted with each ringer reading from their own musical score and wearing gloves to hold two bells.
Among the melodies chiming with the audience were the Skye Boat Song and St Paul’s Steeple.
“We wear gloves to handle the bells so our hands don’t tarnish the metal,” explained conductor and ringer Viv Finch. “The more we have to clean them, the more they have to be tuned.”
The bells belong to St Mary’s Church in Fordingbridge, where some originals cast as far back as 1894 are still kept.
To keep them in pristine condition, the bells have to be periodically overhauled and tuned by campanology experts at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London.
The foundry, Britain’s oldest manufacturing company, was established in 1570 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. It was where both Big Ben and the American Liberty Bell were cast.
Dawn Watson, Colten Care Activities Co-ordinator, said: “We were all enchanted by the pitch, harmony and resonance of the sound. It was beautiful and really stops you in your tracks.”