Whitechapel handbells are renowned around the world for their musical quality, their tone and accurate harmonic tuning across the six and a half octave range produced for tune ringing.

They are also much sought after for change ringing and in addition to standard sets, over the years many sets have been produced which have been manufactured to specific customer requirements. This has sometimes involved tuning bells to different pitch standards or temperaments, sometimes using bells of larger size tuned to higher notes than usual to give a richer sound. Sets with a bass bell of casting size 16 tuned to C (the usual casting size being a 15 for this note) are very popular with change ringers.

For many who use handbells for change ringing, there has long been a “wish list”, at the top of which is the desire to have a set handbells which are light and easy to ring yet still of good tonal quality, reasonably low in pitch and with an absence of the shrillness usually associated with higher pitched bells.

For some years in the early 1900s, Whitechapel did make some so-called “pocket sets” of handbells for change ringing, and a few examples of these still exist. The castings were paper thin - almost like egg shells - in order to achieve a lower than normal pitch for the size of casting; in some cases castings were cut so thin as to achieve a note as much as an octave below that normally achieved. Consequently those sets which have survived are often not very well in tune and rather too fragile to be of good musical quality, but they are considered acceptable for change ringing.

Pocket sets were so named because they were small enough to fit in an overcoat or trench coat pocket and therefore easily taken on train journeys or into the tower for use.

The patterns used to make these pocket set handbells have long since been destroyed but several enquiries for small sets of handbells encouraged us to look again at the possibility of producing something reminiscent of the pocket set for change ringing, but much better for tonal quality and tuning than those from the past.

The result of this research is a new standard set of 8, one octave in C.

The pitch of the tenor bell is equivalent to a standard 8C but the castings used are smaller, the largest being approximately 3” in diameter.

With size-adjusted handles and inside mechanisms to match these smaller bells, the set is perfect for change ringing.

Please contact us for price and delivery details.