Site last updated 27 September 2016
The Shropshire Association covers the towers in the Salop Archdeaconry of the Lichfield Diocese, and is roughly the area north of the River Severn, from near Wolverhampton in the southeast to Selattyn in the northwest. The rest of Shropshire is in the Hereford Diocese.
Information about the towers in the Association, practice nights and Association events, and much else, can be found by following the links on the left or below.
Baschurch Bells Out of Action
There will be no ringing at Baschurch from Monday 26th September 2016 until Christmas, or thereabouts, while the tower roof is repaired.
September Training Morning
The third Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. The students were Rob Herbert, Annette Bailey (both from Edgmond), Alice Turner (Hodnet), Vicki Sivess (Meole Brace), Gez Scrivens and Martin Dingle (both from Codsall). They honed their skills on call changes, plain hunt, Plain Bob Doubles, and Plain Bob Minor.
Tony Freemont, the Association's Training Officer was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Jacqui Barden, Chris Fraser, Madeline Harris, Brian Kear, Peter Neil, Biff Patterson, and Cordelia Warr.
The usual refreshments were available. Thanks to Mark for preparing the bells and the simulator.
Further learning opportunities are available at the next Third Wednesday morning practice at Edgmond (19th October, from 10am to 12:30pm, please check with Edric Broom that this practice is taking place) and at the next 6-bell practice (5th November at Meole Brace, from 10am to 12noon).
The final Training morning of the year will be held at Edgmond on Saturday 26th November. As the number of student places is limited please contact Tony Freemont if you would like to attend.
Association Striking Competition 2016
The competition this year was held in the deep south of the Association, at Beckbury on a cool, windy, damp day. The bells there are a tricky light six with a tenor weight of 4½ cwt. More than one ringer was apprehensive about ringing there. Eleven bands participated, and several bands included ringers who had not taken part in a Striking Competition before.
Much preparation had been carried out to prepare the village for the descent of so many ringers - parking was not allowed outside the church and all cars were directed to park in the school grounds, a short walk from the Village Hall and church.
The draw for the order of ringing was held in the Village Hall and tea was served there throughout the afternoon. Bands are pictured below in the order in which they rang.
With the judges, Jean and Jim Nixon from Penkridge, seated in a local ringer's garage (with the door open), the competition began.
The home team was drawn to ring first, and Shrewsbury 'A' was drawn last, again. Seven bands rang call changes and four bands rang a method, Grandsire Doubles by three bands and Cambridge Surprise Minor by the fourth.
The judges arrived at the Village Hall before the last team, so keen were they to get out of the wind and warm up. Proceedings were delayed slightly while the webmaster coralled a couple of bands for their photographs to be taken, then Andrew Gordon introduced the judges, who he has known since he was just a lad.
Jean gave comments on all the performances including: 'the band weren't all ringing at the same speed'; 'an inexperienced band'; 'some nice ringing here'; 'the slowest ringing of the afternoon'; 'very good ringing'. There was little doubt which team had won.
The Ernest Willcox Cup for the fewest faults was collected by Gill Glover for the Shrewsbury 'A' team.
The Call Change Trophy was collected by Jan Snowball for the Oswestry team.
The Charles Allmand Memorial Shield was presented to Darren Pickett for the Baschurch team.
A vote of thanks was offered to the ringers and helpers for the use of their bells and for providing a sumptuous tea. If the Ringing Master had been less disorganised she would have remembered to present the judges with a gift of alcohol, chocolates and flowers. Instead of which Andrew Gordon kindly delivered these to the judges the next day.
In a surprise move, Peter Woollam ran a raffle, raising £102 for the Bell Restoration Fund. Those taking home prizes were: Marion Davies, Tony Freemont, Steve Evans, Chris Ollivier, Darren Pickett, David Beckwith, Chris Cawood, John Williamson and Jan Snowball. Thanks go to all those who generously provided prizes and all those who bought tickets.
(l-r) John Witham, Heather Thomas, Andrew Gordon,
(l-r) Emma Bentley, Marion Davies, Steve Evans,
(l-r) Jacqui Barden, Darren Pickett, Jad Bienek,
(l-r) Nick Green, Madeline Harris, John Neal,
(l-r) Edric Broom, Rob Davis, Mark Adams,
(l-r) Oliver Stokes, Richard Talbot, Kathryn Greaves,
(l-r) Peter Jenkins, Clive Morris, Lewis Roberts,
(l-r) Edric Broom, Bill Deason, Maurice Ingram,
(l-r) Cynthia Costelloe, David Beckwith, Madeline Harris,
(l-r) Peter Neil, Jan Snowball, Peter Woollam,
(l-r) Dawn Offen, Jacqui Barden, Jad Bienek,
Jean Nixon presenting ... Gill Glover with the
... Jan Snowball with the
... Darren Pickett with the
|Shrewsbury 'A'||3½||Method||Ernest Willcox Trophy|
|Oswestry||10||Call Changes||Call Change Trophy|
|Market Drayton||18||Call Changes|
|Baschurch||25||Method||Charles Allmand Shield|
|Meole Brace||53||Call Changes|
Have Your Say on the Future of the Central Council
At its annual meeting in May 2016, the Central Council set up a working group to carry out a review of the rules and activities of the Central Council. This group is called the Council Review Action Group, or CRAG for short. The group will report its recommendations to the Central Council annual meeting in 2017.
CRAG has now had its first meeting and has developed a proposed Vision statement for ringing:
"A vibrant community of ringers; with bell-ringing valued as an enjoyable performing art that is open to all, a beneficial mental & physical exercise, and a unique musical and cultural pursuit which provides service to both community and church."
This would mean that the aim of the Central Council should be:
"To foster a vibrant community of ringers; with bell-ringing valued as an enjoyable performing art that is open to all, a beneficial mental & physical exercise, and a unique musical and cultural pursuit which provides service to both community and church."
CRAG is very keen to have feedback on the Vision statement from as wide a range of ringers as possible. You can read more details of the CRAG's work at cccbr.org.uk/review/part1/ where you will also find details about how to have your say on this issue. Feedback on the proposed Vision statement must be received by CRAG no later than Friday 30th September.
St Martins Bells Out of Action
The bells at St Martins are out of action until October while work is carried out to refurbish the clappers.
A Golden Wedding Anniversary Peal
The eleventh Association peal of the year was rung at Rushall.
Rushall, West Midlands - at the Church of St Michael Archangel
On Saturday, 20 August 2016, in 2 hours and 29 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Surprise Minor
7 methods: 1 extent each London, York, Bourne, Ipswich,
Norwich, Beverley and Cambridge
Tenor 7-1-10 in B
|Chloë A Darby||Treble||Gail K Lawrence||4|
|Anne E Ogden||2||Mark R Eccleston||5|
|Nicholas J Green||3||Matthew Lawrence||Tenor|
Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.
Rung to celebrate the Golden Wedding Anniversary today,
of Elaine and Keith Lawrence,
parents of the Tenor ringer and members of this congregation.
The happy couple
From the Lawrence family collection
Another Association Peal
The tenth Association peal of the year was rung at Morville.
Morville, Shropshire - at the Church of St Gregory
On Saturday, 13 August 2016, in 2 hours and 55 minutes
A Peal of 5152 Spliced Surprise Major
20 methods: 448 Cambridge, Lincolnshire, Rutland; 224 Ashtead, Bristol, Cassiobury,
Cornwall, Cray, Double Dublin, Glasgow, Ipswich, Lindum, London, Pudsey,
Superlative, Tavistock, Uxbridge, Wembley, Whalley, Yorkshire;
all the work; 153 changes of method
Composed by Norman Smith
Tenor 8-0-3 in F#
|Maurice G Ingram||Treble||Alan M Glover||5|
|Gillian R Glover||2||Matthew Lawrence||6|
|Gail K Lawrence||3||Nicholas J Green||7|
|Chloë A Darby||4||Michael Wilshaw||Tenor|
Conducted by Nicholas J Green.
Most methods of Surprise Major - 3 & 4.
August Monthly Practice
This was held jointly with the Church Stretton District of the Hereford Diocesan Guild and was held at Wellington. Fifteen ringers, including one from the local band, participated. The ringing included Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Grandsire Triples, Single Oxford Bob Triples, Stedman Triples, Yorkshire Surprise Major, and 8-Spliced Surprise Major.
Thanks go to Colin Jones for his hospitality. Colin and Karen Compton both had notable firsts during the practice, and these are shown here.
The next Association event will be the Striking Competition to be held at Beckbury on Saturday 10th September, starting at 4pm.
August 6-Bell Practice
This was held at St Martins with 14 ringers attending. Tony Freemont directed the ringing which included call changes, plain hunt on 5, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor and Ipswich Surprise Minor.
Thanks to David and Mark from St Martins for hosting this practice and providing tea and biscuits.
The next 6-bell practice will be held on Saturday 8th October from 10am to 12 noon, probably at Meole Brace.
July Surprise Major Practice
There was a good turn-out for the Surprise Major practice held at High Ercall. Fifteen ringers rang Yorkshire (half a course), Pudsey, London (twice), three leads of Bristol, 6-spliced, Belfast, and spliced London and Yorkshire.
The next Surprise Major practice will be held on Friday 30th September, at a location yet to be organised.
SACBR 90th Anniversary Challenge
To mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Shropshire Association, members are challenged to collectively complete 90 significant firsts during 2016.
This could be your first quarter peal or peal; the first time you call a quarter peal or peal; the first time you call a touch or call changes; the first time you ring Stedman or Surprise Major; the first time you ring for Sunday service. There is a multitude of possibilities that reflect what is significant for you.
Please let the webmaster or any committee member know of these Firsts so that they can be added to the list.
|80||17 Sep||Vicki Sivess (Meole Brace)||First time to call a plain course.|
|79||17 Sep||Alice Turner (Hodnet)||First plain hunt to Plain Bob Doubles.|
|78||7 Sep||Judith Byne (High Ercall)||First tenor to Plain Bob Doubles.|
|77||7 Sep||Lois Crooks (High Ercall)||First treble to plain course of Plain Bob Doubles.|
|76||31 Aug||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First quarter peal of Grandsire||View|
|75||29 Aug||Claire Unsworth (Stanton)||First touch of Grandsire Doubles unaided.|
|74||29 Aug||Geoff Harding (Baschurch)||First quarter peal 'inside'on eight bells||View|
|73||26 Aug||John Clark (Chirk)||First quarter peal away from cover||View|
|72||24 Aug||Rob Davis (Edgmond)||First 'clean' touch inside to Stedman Triples|
|71||22 Aug||Biff Patterson (Shrewsbury)||First quarter peal of Stedman Cinques||View|
|70||15 Aug||Biff Patterson (Shrewsbury)||First quarter peal of 8-spliced||View|
|69||14 Aug||Chloë Darby (Edgmond)||First quarter peal of Maximus||View|
|68||13 Aug||Karen Compton (Wem)||First touch of Stedman Doubles unaided|
|67||13 Aug||Karen Compton (Wem)||First treble bob hunt on eight bells|
|66||13 Aug||Colin Jones (Wellington)||First plain hunt on seven bells|
|65||6 Aug||Steve Evans (Atcham)||First treble bob hunt|
|64||29 Jul||Rob Davis (Edgmond)||First touch of Stedman Doubles|
|63||27 Jul||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First touch of Plain Bob Minor|
|62||23 Jul||Chloë Darby (Edgmond)||First peal of Caters||View|
|61||23 Jul||Biff Patterson (Shrewsbury)||First peal on ten bells||View|
|60||23 Jul||Stanton peal band||First all ladies peal for the Association.||View|
|59||23 Jul||Madeline Harris (Market Drayton)||First peal of Minor and in more than one method.||View|
|58||23 Jul||Cordelia Warr (Oswestry)||First peal as conductor.||View|
|57||22 Jul||Madeline Harris (Market Drayton)||First quarter peal of 7-Spliced Surprise Major||View|
|56||22 Jul||Susan Capey (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of 7-Spliced Surprise Major||View|
|55||17 Jul||David Read (Meole Brace)||First quarter peal on ten bells||View|
|54||13 Jul||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First quarter peal on an 'inside' bell||View|
|53||9 Jul||Annette Bailey (Edgmond)||First plain hunt on seven bells|
|52||9 Jul||Rob Herbert (Edgmond)||First plain hunt on seven bells|
|51||6 Jul||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First Stedman Doubles|
|50||3 Jul||Sue Dancey (Bicton)||First quarter peal of Stedman Doubles||View|
|49||19 Jun||Sue Dancey (Bicton)||First quarter peal of Grandsire Caters on an 'inside' bell||View|
|48||17 Jun||Claire Unsworth (Stanton)||First plain hunt on seven bells|
|47||15 Jun||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First Plain Bob Minor on an 'inside' bell|
|46||11 Jun||Annette Bailey (Edgmond)||First 60 on 3rds, and longest ring of anything||View|
|45||11 Jun||Rob Herbert (Edgmond)||First 60 on 3rds, and longest ring of anything||View|
|44||11 Jun||Paul Dutton (Calverhall)||First quarter peal as conductor||View|
|43||11 Jun||Sue Bower (Calverhall)||First quarter peal at first attempt||View|
|42||5 Jun||Rob Herbert (Edgmond)||First method for Sunday service|
|41||3 Jun||Matthew Wren (Codsall)||First quarter peal at first attempt||View|
|40||23 May||Glenda Kay (Shawbury)||First plain hunt on six bells|
|39||22 May||Madeline Harris (Market Drayton)||First quarter peal on ten bells as conductor||View|
|38||21 May||Alice Stanley (Shrewsbury)||First ringers' outing|
|37||20 May||Liz Menhinick (Unattached)||First quarter peal of Rutland Surprise Major||View|
|36||18 May||Edgmond practice night band||First plain course of Belfast Surprise Major on practice night|
|35||18 May||Kathryn Greaves (Newport)||First plain course of Belfast Surprise Major|
|34||18 May||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First extent of a Doubles Variation on an inside bell|
|33||18 May||Dave Read (Meole Brace)||First touch of Grandsire Doubles on an inside bell|
|32||15 May||Cordelia Warr (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of Plain Bob Triples as conductor||View|
|31||9 May||Chloë A Darby (Edgmond)||First quarter peal of Pudsey Surprise Royal||View|
|30||9 May||Jad Bienek (Unattached)||First quarter peal of Pudsey Surprise Royal||View|
|29||8 May||Liz Menhinick (Unattached)||First quarter peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major||View|
|28||8 May||John Burton (Shifnal)||First quarter peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major||View|
|27||2 May||Cordelia Warr (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major as conductor||View|
|26||2 May||Sue Perry (Calverhall)||First quarter peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major||View|
|25||2 May||Susan Capey (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major||View|
|24||27 Apr||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First quarter peal at first attempt.||View|
|23||20 Apr||Anna Rothera (Oswestry)||First Plain Hunt for Sunday Service.|
|22||12 Apr||Madeline Harris (Market Drayton)||First peal of Major.||View|
|21||10 Apr||Geoff Harding (Baschurch)||First quarter peal on 10 bells.||View|
|20||28 Mar||Biff Patterson (Shrewsbury)||First quarter peal of Bristol Surprise Major,
completing the Standard 8.
|19||21 Mar||Sue Turnbull (Wellington)||First quarter peal of Plain Hunt on the Treble.||View|
|18||17 Mar||Chloë Darby (Edgmond)||First quarter peal of >13 Spliced Surprise Major methods.||View|
|17||12 Mar||Colin Jones (Wellington)||First quarter peal of Plain Hunt on the Treble.||View|
|16||6 Mar||Chris Cawood (Oswestry)||First quarter peal 'inside' on 8 bells||View|
|15||19 Feb||Peter Woollam (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of Royal||View|
|14||19 Feb||Liz Menhinick (Unattached)||First quarter peal of Royal||View|
|13||5 Feb||Peter Woollam (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major||View|
|12||5 Feb||Cordelia Warr (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major||View|
|11||5 Feb||Madeline Harris (Market Drayton)||First quarter peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major||View|
|10||3 Feb||Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton)||First attempt at ringing down in peal|
|9||30 Jan||Tony Freemont (Oswestry)||First quarter peal of Wembley Surprise Major||View|
|8||30 Jan||Jad Bienek (Unattached)||First quarter peal of Wembley Surprise Major||View|
|7||22 Jan||Geoff Smith (Hodnet)||First quarter peal of Spliced Surprise Major||View|
|6||20 Jan||Dave Read (Meole Brace)||First plain hunt to a method on 7 bells|
|5||18 Jan||Biff Patterson (Shrewsbury)||First quarter peal of London Surprise||View|
|4||16 Jan||Vicki Sivess (Meole Brace)||First quarter peal||View|
|3||15 Jan||Liz Menhinick (Unattached)||First quarter peal on 10 bells||View|
|2||2 Jan||Mike Carding (Meole Brace)||First quarter peal as conductor for the Association||View|
|1||2 Jan||David Read (Meole Brace)||First quarter peal away from cover||View|
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) and the Church of England have agreed an update to the Safeguarding procedures for ringers. Guidance Note 3 (GN3), which an be found at www.cccbr.org.uk/towerstewardship/notes/GN3v9.pdf, gives advice regarding child protection in towers. The Appendix to the Guidance Note describes in more detail the ringing activities which require a ringer to be DBS checked.
VAT and Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
The Central Council's Bell Restoration Committee has recently updated its Guidance Note on this subject.
The Guidance Note (GN1) can be found at www.cccbr.org.uk/bellrestoration/pubs
Would you like to ring a Peal? Andrew Gordon is offering to make arrangements and co-ordinate towers and ringers for Peal attempts. Please contact Andrew on 07973 398289.
In order to ensure that all ringers have the opportunity to read the quarterly Newsletter, and to help keep costs down, it would be helpful if the Newsletter could be delivered electronically. Is there someone in your tower who would be willing to receive the quarterly Newsletter by email, and be willing to make at least one copy of it for your tower notice-board? This person should be someone who checks their email frequently (not just once or twice a year!).
Please email Madeline Harris at email@example.com with the name, email address, and tower of your tower’s email correspondent and of any other members who would like to receive their own copy. Email addresses supplied will be stored on the Newsletter Editor's computer and used only for the distribution of the newsletter. They will not be made available to anyone else.
Paper copies will still be sent out to those towers who do not wish to receive it electronically.
Fourth Wednesday Quarter Peals
A group of members attempts to ring one or two day-time quarter peals on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The venues and methods to be rung are agreed by those taking part. Anyone interested in taking part in these attempts should contact Chris Fraser on 01939 250178 or email
Association Monthly Surprise Major Practices
These practices are usually held on the last Friday of the month and at various locations.
The practices are not only aimed at members who want to progress in their Surprise Major ringing, but at those who feel they are capable of starting their Surprise Major ringing career. Those who aspire only to ring the treble may attend, but clearly they may not get much of a ring - there is only one treble in each touch. We rely on the experience of more seasoned Surprise Major ringers to strengthen bands; the ringing master is grateful for their support.
The practices will as far as possible be tailored to the needs of those attending. There will be one or two 'special' methods - probably one of the 'standard eight' plus Belfast or Glasgow. The 'easier' methods of the standard eight will also be rung e.g. Cambridge and Yorkshire. Please let the ringing master know of any special request.
The practices are reasonably well attended and have attracted some positive feedback. There is always room for improvement, and the ringing master is prepared to take constructive criticism and suggestions over the running and scope of these practices.
Training at Edgmond Ringing Centre
On the first Monday evening of the month there will normally be an opportunity for individuals to have a one to one session on a silenced bell with the simulator. The session will be limited to three people, so ring Edric Broom (01952 825851) as early as possible to book your place.
If you have a training requirement which you feel is not being met, and which perhaps could be met with input from the Association, please discuss it with the Association's Training Officer, Tony Freemont, so that we can try to satisfy the need, either in your tower or at the Edgmond Ringing Centre.
The next Association committee meeting will be held on Sunday, 11th December 2016.
Madeline Harris is Editor of the printed Newsletter as part of her Publicity portfolio. She would welcome any comments on the future format of the Newsletter and any items for inclusion in it.
Tel 01948 880494, or email firstname.lastname@example.org