Bell Ringers Bring Wonderful Ambiance To Willistead Manor Holiday Tour

(The Silver Bells, bell ringers choir, paid close attention to their music sheets to ensure an accurate replication of each song they performed during the Willistead Manor Holiday Tour on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Photo above by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.)

Facing the prospect of decorating a considerable number of the 36 rooms in the City of Windsor-owned Willistead Manor in Walkerville, the city brought in some helpers. Collectively a number of volunteers took on the task of setting up specific rooms for the upcoming holidays.

All of their work was open for the public to see during the Willistead Manor Holiday Tours of the imposing mansion which sits within the 15-acre Willistead Park.

Willistead Manor dining room fireplace decorated for the holidays.

Marble fireplace decorated, along with the entire dining room, by interior designer Robert Gauthier with help from Nora Harvey, Kristina Palazzi and Jacklyn Boots shown during the Willistead Manor Holiday Tour on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

It turns out, for those visiting the former home of Hiram Walker, scion of Edward Chandler Walker, and his wife Mary, the icing on the seasonal fruit cake turned out to be Central United Church’s Silver Bells, a local hand bell ringers choir. Using bells representing the notes of the chromatic scale, its ten members played to perfection to the delight of those on the mansion tour.

Silver Bells, Bell Ringers

The Silver Bells, bell ringers, hand bell choir worked with precise unity to create its musical magic during the Willistead Manor Holiday Tour on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Being inside Willistead Manor during the holiday season is not new for the choir. The bell ringers have been performing at the manor for almost three decades. An added element to all the decorations on display is the ringing bells in perfect harmony resonating through the 20th Century manor.

Built in 1906, the expansive home is known for its wood paneled walls with the decorators paying close attention to both the wood and the colours of its plaster walls in crafting table, wall and chandelier arrangements. Most of the rooms also had their own Christmas tree each presenting a different take on seasonal décor.

Organized by volunteer group, Friends of The Willistead, the final 2018 Willistead Manor Holiday Tours take place on Wednesday, December 19, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 23, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Admission is $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for students and seniors, $2.75 for children 12 years old and under.

For more information call 519.253.2365 or visit http://www.willistead.ca

Willistead Manor's Drawing Room included a Christmas Tree as part of the Holiday House Tour.

Decorating the Drawing Room included this Christmas Tree on view during the Willistead Manor Holiday House Tour on Dec. 16, 2018. This room was a project of the Dettinger Family’s Mary Jane and Carl, Vince, Nick and Jessica, along with Jodi Wood, Stephen Halligan, Patrick Halligan and Sheri Sidebottom.
Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Willistead Manor Conservatory decorated for the holidays.

The brightness of the Conservatory lent itself to a charming wall wreath assembled by Sherry Domino, Cheryl Key, Bonnie Graham, Lillian Duenk and Diane Drake seen at the Willistead Manor Holiday Tour on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Holiday Candle Christmas Arrangement at Willistead Manor.

Decorators Jacquelyn Capaldi, Donna, John and Blake Oldnall with Mary Vasyliw designed this candle table arrangement for the Great Hall which was a highlight of the Willistead Manor Holiday Tour on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Mary Walker's room at the Willistead Manor.

A dress fitting for a grand soiree graced Mary Walker’s Dressing Room which was on display during the public Willistead Manor Holiday Tour on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Decorations there were handled by Colleen Ann Gaudet, Connie Pitman and Margaret Smith. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Christmas Tree on display inside Willistead Manor's Great Hall.

Putting the seasonal touch to the Great Hall included this Christmas Tree, decorated with style by Jacquelyn Capaldi, Donna, John and Blake Oldnall with Mary Vasyliw ,it was just one of many on view during the Willistead Manor Holiday tour on Dec. 16, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Willistead Manor Holiday House Tour Morning Room

The Morning Room decorated by Gail Drouillard, Ruth Reddam, Val Tabler, Lori Drouillard and Lena Klapper, shown during the Willistead Manor Holiday Tour on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Robert Tuomi

Article and photos by Robert Tuomi

For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.