About WHMF

WHMF was created as a living memorial to William (Bill) Hartley, the first Chairman of the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain, and very much the driving force behind the first gathering of known British handbell teams, which resulted in the formation of the Society in 1967.

Bill went out of his way to encourage both old and new handbell teams through his support, help and exchange of music. It is most fitting that the main objective of the William Hartley Memorial Fund is to help and encourage handbell ringers and teams in many different ways

Handbells, Belleplates® and Chimes

Through the generosity of handbell ringers and instrument suppliers, the WHMF is able to offer on loan Handbells, Belleplates® or musical chimes to members of HRGB. Instruments are available for periods of up to one year to those who wish to become involved in making music and developing their ringing skills.

All we ask is for a contribution toward insurance of the bells and a performance from the team at an HRGB function to show how skills have developed over the loan period.

  • Handbells are available in one, two or three octave sets suitable for various ringing styles.
  • Belleplates® provide an excellent introduction to the art of tune ringing being lighter and more durable than handbells.
  • Musical chimes produce a mellow sound and can be used on their own or to complement the sound of handbells.

Crescendo Scheme

This scheme was conceived to encourage members to develop their skills and knowledge in handbell ringing. They are designed as an ongoing learning activity for members to help the acquisition of handbell ringing skills, develop experience in public performance and show that handbell ringing can be fun.

Other Fund Activities

Right from the start financial help has been seen as a priority, since so many teams are hungry for funds to purchase new bells, to add to their set of bells or to overhaul and retune old bell sets before they can start ringing and/or make serious progress. ​The Fund makes interest-free loans available for this kind of support.

The Fund sponsored the making of an instructional video packed with information to help both old and new teams. Event sponsorship has also helped to encourage the development of handbell ringing with assistance provided by the Fund in the form of music for workshops involving new ringers. In fact the Fund will consider supporting any project that will further the cause of handbell ringing.

How To Apply

If you have an idea for a project but lack finance, or would like to borrow on free loan handbells, a set of Belleplates® or a set of musical chimes, contact the Patron, Alan Hartley, giving as much detail as you can about your requirements.

Applications can be submitted at any time and will be dealt with as soon as possible. The WHMF Standing Committee which approves loans up to £800, and the loan of the bells, Belleplates® or chimes can convene quickly to consider applications.

Requests for larger amounts may take a little longer as they require approval from the Executive Committee.

Below: Part of the Woodroyd Set refurbished by Whitechapel for WHMF