by Wendy Ransom
I’ve been involved in a number of handbell ensembles across a number of states over the years. Everyone has a different method of storage for the plethora of goodies that go along with the basic handbell instrument. Recently, I got tired of lugging around the cumbersome, oversized plastic tub with wheels in and out of storage every week, then digging into its depths just to find a pencil. After much hunting and shopping, I finally found a great storage solution. A US General four-drawer rolling tool cart, which turned out to be the perfect solution for all my handbell tools.
Starting from the top
The lid hinges open to a 4” space we use for storing a shoe box full of extra gloves for ringers who forget theirs. Also, we store felt covers for bells when they are left out between rehearsals.
The next level down has two skinny drawers 2” deep. The left drawer is used for writing utensils, page turners etc.
The right hand drawer holds polishing clothes and cream.
The middle drawer is 2.5” deep and holds singing bell sticks, bell rockers (used mostly by our children’s choir), and our tool kit.
The bottom drawer is the deepest at 3.5” and holds all of our mallets.
The tray at the bottom holds our Lucite music risers in carry bags. We have 2 bags of risers that nest easily in the tray and do not fall out when the cart is pushed.
The cart does require assembly by two people and is a heavy item in its parts. It is easy to push, is not heavy when loaded, and takes up much less storage space than plastic tubs. It is also very durable, yet nice to look at, and it makes an easy job of finding the right tool for the job. Since it is made of metal, the inside top lid can serve as a small bulletin board and hold a calendar or performance schedule. Many hardware stores carry this type of cart. It retails for around $130-150. I have seen it as cheap as $99 on sale. It’s well worth the money.
Wendy Ransom is a past Area 5 board member and avid volunteer at both the area and national level for the Guild. You probably saw her schlepping a large cart full of bells or boxes full of music packets at National Seminar this summer. She is a handbell choir director at Epiphany United Methodist Church in Loveland and a founding member of Queen City Bronze, both located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Always up for a shopping challenge, Wendy shopped for some time looking for just the right storage solution. When not shopping or doing handbell things, Wendy is often in the gym Crossfitting (ask her how much she can deadlift).