Echoes of the past: Clifton Handbell group pictured at event in 1976

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Brighouse and its surrounding communities has seen many styles of music played by many home grown musicians.

These styles have been as diverse as brass bands, orchestras, concert bands, marching bands and an almost endless list of choirs, singers, pianists and organists. One musical organisation that has been around since the 19th century is Clifton Handbell Ringers. In the past it was not the only handbell ringing group in our area. For a number of years the Lightcliffe Congregation Church had it own handbell ringing team as well as Park Church in Bethel Street. Handbell contests were a feature of the musical calendar for many years. The sight of teams of handbell ringers descending into the Walterclough Valley for the annual contest at Sunny Vale. This was a well attended attraction both by the number of teams taking part and the number of spectators who went to watch.

In this photograph c1976 it shows seven members of the Clifton Handbell ringers performing. With 14 hands and so many more bells. Having played brass instruments for almost 50 years I appreciate the concentration levels that are required but handbell ringing now there is a real musical challenge.