Whitechapel handbells have a significant historical connection with handbell artistry in the United States, and specifically here in Boston. In the 1920s, Beacon Hill resident Margaret Shurcliff was given a ten-bell set of Whitechapel handbells as a gift from the head of the Whitechapel foundry. It was that gift, and Mrs. Shurcliff’s enthusiasm for the instrument, that launched the growth of handbell ringing as a musical art.
Back Bay Ringers received a generous donation of a nearly complete three-octave set of Whitechapel handbells in 2011. We are grateful for this gift and we enjoy utilizing these bells in our programs. For us, these bells represent a wonderful connection to the local history of the art form. Thanks to a successful fundraising effort, BBR was able to complete the three octave set, and send the bells off to the Whitechapel foundry for a complete restoration.