Bells ring out for Christmas at Wrexham care home


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The bells have been ringing for Christmas at a care home in Wrexham.

Nine members of Gresford Handbell Ringers treated residents and staff at the Pendine Park’s Bodlondeb home to a host of popular carols.

The group, based at All Saints Church in Gresford, was established nearly 40 years ago and has 17 members.

They meet every Monday evening to practise playing a wide variety of music on handbells, ranging from classical through to jazz and modern pop and also enjoy playing traditional Welsh tunes.

The team is affiliated to the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain.

Musical director Jill Roberts: Although we’ll never become one of the Seven Wonders of Wales like All Saints’ Tower bells, we all thoroughly enjoy playing handbells together and sharing our love of music making with so many people around the Gresford and Wrexham area.

“We always look forward to playing at Pendine Park. It’s clear the residents enjoy listening to the music and joining in by singing some of the carols. It’s always an absolute pleasure to play here as the response is always so good.”

“Throughout December we have more than 14 concerts to attend. Any donations go to the church or to paying transport costs so we can get to and from concerts. And of course from time to time we need to replace or repair handbells.”

Pendine Park day care manager Olga Azarcon was thrilled with their performance.

She said: “We invite the Gresford Handbell Ringers every year as residents clearly gain a lot from listening to the play. It’s been a real Christmas treat for both residents and staff.

“It’s certainly got everyone in the Christmas mood. It’s lovely to see the reaction of residents who tap their feet and clap their hands to the carols and join in the singing.”

Resident Eirwen Lazarus said: “They were really good, very professional. I enjoyed all the carols and listening to the music. I wish I could play music like that.”

Jim Gibson, of Chester, was there visiting his wife, Ellen, who is a Bodlondeb resident.

He said: “Absolutely brilliant. They were so good and it was clear everyone, in particular Ellen, really enjoyed listening to them.  This is a brilliant place, there’s no doubt about that.

“Ellen, since falling ill, has been in two other care homes but this one is by far and away the best. Here really is no comparison.”

He added: “There is always something going on and residents are treated so well. Staff are just so good and really professional. I have no doubt Ellen is in the right place. She clearly enjoyed the bellringers and it’s been a really nice afternoon for us all.”

Resident John Kaye added: “I loved it. It really put us all in the Christmas mood. I love it here as there is always something going on, some activity to get involved with. It’s all down to the manager, Ann Chapman.

“She has her finger on the pulse and runs everything so well. She is a very lovely lady and always makes sure we are well looked after. I’m happy here and days like today, having the bellringers come in, have really got us in the Christmas mood.”

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