Book-See How They Ring

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See How They Ring - Travelling Bellringers on the Australasian Popular Stage

Anne Doggett & Gwyn Gillard ISBN 978 1 876478 10 1

The stories of travelling bellringers, their tours, tragedies and triumphs, bring glimpses of a forgotten lifestyle and reveal new insights into the popular culture of the day. This colourful world of entertainment is brought to life through personalities, music, spectacle and laughter, 243pp, B&W, many rare illustrations, comprehensive index.

Launched at the 26th Australasian Handbell Festival, Launceston in 2011, the book focuses on the stories of the major touring handbell ringers, and their performances throughout Australia, New Zealand and overseas. The extensive material culture of the touring performers is a surprising revelation. Many of their unusual musical instruments have not survived in any Australian Museum, nor been documented in any other known historical account.

The narrative of the bellringing families is situated within a wider context. A host of other performers make an appearance, including musical clowns, balloon artists, acrobats, those who worked in waxworks and pantomime, and some of the earliest pioneers of the Australian film industry.