Site last updated 28 June 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.

Treasure Hunt and Barbecue 2016

The prospect of a wet afternoon did not deter six teams from arriving in the car park at Shawbury Village Hall to receive instructions for the Treasure Hunt part of the Association's summer social event. Tony Freemont and Cordelia Warr dispensed the instructions and set the teams on their way. All the teams stayed in the car park for a few minutes sorting out the clues to the places they had to visit and planning the best, most points-effective route from Shawbury to High Ercall.

Meanwhile, back at The Mill House, Chris and Judy Yates's home in High Ercall, work was in hand to prepare for the barbecue; the bar arrived with Jad Bienek and Geoff Harding, awnings were erected, and salads were set out on tables.

Tony and Cordelia sat in the conservatory and marked the teams' answers while members and their families slaked their thirsts at the bar.

Andrew Gordon and Chris Yates were in charge of cooking burgers, chicken and sausages. In Peter Woollam's absence, two young people (whose names your correspondent failed to get) sold raffle tickets, raising £57 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The winners of the prizes of wine, chocolates, and preserves were Hamish Byne, John Neal, Claire Unsworth, Alex Ganley, Mark Adams, and Nicola Adams.

Tony went through the quizzes giving the correct answers and then the teams' scores. The runners-up were 3-Spliced who scored only one point fewer than the winners, Safer Brenda, Dam, who received two boxes of sweets as their prize.

Madeline Harris thanked Chris and Judy for hosting the barbecue and Tony and Cordelia presented them with suitable gifts; Tony and Cordelia for devising the Treasure Hunt and planning the meal; Nick Green for supplying the tickets; all those who had provided a salad or pudding; and everyone who had helped to make the event so enjoyable, despite the rain.

A profit of £205.14 was made from ticket sales, while the bar made a loss of £15.80 (after taking into account the payment for the Temporary Event Notice), but various unsold, in date, items will be carried forward to the Quiz Night.

Thanks go to Cordelia and Tony for organising a very enjoyable afternoon.

The next Association social event will be the Quiz Night at Shawbury Village Hall on Saturday 11th November.

The next Association practice will be held at Newport on Saturday 9th July from 7pm to 9pm, and will incorporate the Quarterly Meeting.

Winning Team

Tony about to be swallowed up by honeysuckle

Winning Team

The winning team and Tony

Team photo by John Williamson
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Further First Quarter Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Sue Bower who rang her first quarter peal at her first attempt at Ightfield. This was also the first quarter peal as conductor for Paul Dutton. Congratulations to them both.

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Ringing at Bicton - update

Ringing at Bicton has restarted. Practices will run from 8pm to 9pm on Mondays. All are welcome to attend.

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More First Quarter Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Matthew Wren who rang his first quarter peal at his first attempt at Codsall.

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June 6-Bell Practice

This was held at Stanton with 15 ringers attending. The Association's Training Officer, Tony Freemont, was in charge. directed the ringing which included call changes, Plain Bob Doubles, Stedman Doubles and Plain Bob Minor. There was also handling practice for a new ringer.

Among the towers represented were Atcham, Market Drayton, Meole Brace, Oswestry, Stanton, Sahwbury and Wem. Thanks to the Stanton/Shawbury band for hosting this practice and providing refreshments.

The next 6-bell practice will be held on Saturday 6th August, at Meole Brace from 10am to 12 noon.

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Central Council Meeting - May 2016

The AGM of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers was held on Monday 30th May when Alan Glover and Peter Woollam attended. Throughout much of its 125 year history the Council has been accused of being remote from and irrelevant to 'ordinary' ringers. Readers of The Ringing World will have seen a crescendo of such criticism in recent months. The Council therefore voted in favour of the following motion (this is a slightly abridged version) at the recent meeting:

That the Council appoint a Working Group to undertake a detailed review of its rules and activities and to make recommendations for modernisation. Specifically:

There is an opportunity here for anyone who is so inclined. If you would be interested in finding out more, and possibly putting your name forward, then contact Alan or Peter. Alternatively, you can go directly to the Council by email at by 30th June with a brief statement of why you are interested and what experience (ringing and outside of ringing) you might bring to this project.

Peter Woollam
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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, which can be seen here.

The most recent additions to the list are shown here.

No. When? Who? What?
46 19 Jun Sue Dancey (Bicton) First quarter peal of Grandsire Caters on an 'inside' bell View
45 17 Jun Claire Unsworth (Stanton) First plain hunt on seven bells
44 15 Jun Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton) First of Plain Bob Minor on an 'inside' bell
43 11 Jun Annette Bailey (Edgmond) First 60 on 3rds, and longest ring of anything View
42 11 Jun Rob Herbert (Edgmond) First 60 on 3rds, and longest ring of anything View
41 11 Jun Paul Dutton (Calverhall) First quarter peal as conductor View
40 11 Jun Sue Bower (Calverhall) First quarter peal at first attempt View
39 5 Jun Rob Herbert (Edgmond) First method for Sunday service
38 3 Jun Matthew Wren (Codsall) First quarter peal at first attempt View
37 23 May Glenda Kay (Shawbury) First plain hunt on six bells
36 22 May Madeline Harris (Market Drayton) First quarter peal on ten bells as conductor View
35 21 May Alice Stanley (Shrewsbury) First ringers' outing
34 20 May Liz Menhinick (Unattached) First quarter peal of Rutland Surprise Major View
33 18 May Edgmond practice night band First plain course of Belfast Surprise Major on practice night
32 18 May Kathryn Greaves (Newport) First plain course of Belfast Surprise Major
31 18 May Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton) First extent of a Doubles Variation on an inside bell
30 18 May Dave Read (Meole Brace) First touch of Grandsire Doubles on an inside bell
29 9 May Chloë A Darby (Edgmond) First quarter peal of Pudsey Surprise Royal View
28 9 May Jad Bienek (Unattached) First quarter peal of Pudsey Surprise Royal View
27 8 May Liz Menhinick (Unattached) First quarter peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major View
26 8 May John Burton (Shifnal) First quarter peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major View
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May Association Practice

A select band of ringers turned up at Hinstock for the monthly Association practice. Twelve ringers, including three from the local band, turned their hands to call changes, Grandsire Doubles, May Day Doubles, Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles, Original Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, and St Clement's College Bob Minor.

A refreshment break was taken so that those present could enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and some delicious cakes and scones provided by the local band. With practised ease, Peter Woollam ran a raffle, raising £28 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The winners of the confectionery and alcohol were Richard Major, Edric Broom and Geoff Harding.

Thanks go to Keith Swinnerton, Pat Swinnerton and Catherine Huyshe for their welcome and hospitality.

The Association's Treasure Hunt and Barbecue will be held on Saturday 11th June. Tickets cost £8 and are available from Cordelia Warr and Madeline Harris.

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May Training Morning

The second Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Emma Bentley, Glenville Davies, Jo Penning, Vicki Sivess and Jan Snowball came along looking for help with one or more of: handling, call changes, plain hunting, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Triples.

Tony Freemont, the Association's Training Officer was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Edric Broom, Susan Capey, Chris Fraser, Alan Glover, Nick Green, Madeline Harris, Brian Kear, Peter Neil, and Simon Rice.

The usual refreshments were available. Thanks to Edric for the use of the bells and the simulator.

Further learning opportunities are available at the next Third Wednesday morning practice at Edgmond (18th May, from 10am to 12:30pm) and at the next 6-bell practice (4th June at Stanton, from 10am to 12noon).

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Another Peal for the Queen

The fifthe Association peal of the year was rung at Ryton and was rung to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

Shropshire Association

Ryton, Shropshire - at the Church of St Andrew

On Sunday, 8 May 2016, in 2 hours and 21 minutes

A Peal of 5040 Doubles

4 methods/6 variations: 4 extents of Winchendon Place, 3 of St John, 3 of St Miles,
6 of Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place, 3 of Clifford's Pleasure, 3 of Southrepps;
8 extents and 240 of Grandsire,4 extents of Plain Bob, 3 of April Day and 3 of Kennington

Tenor 4-2-23 in Bb

Sharon A Collins Treble
Andrew W Gordon 2
Nicola J Galton 3
Adrian G Roberts 4
Gareth B R Jones Tenor

Conducted by Andrew W Gordon.

First Doubles - 1 and 3.

1750th peal - 2.

Rung to celebrate the 90th birthday of H M Queen Elizabeth II.


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First Quarter Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Brânn Himlin who rang his first quarter peal at his first attempt at Market Drayton. Brânn started learning to ring about 18 months ago when he was 12 years old. Afterwards Brann said that his hands were fine but his feet hurt!

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Improving the Use of Photos in Ringing PR

The following is a message from Giles Blundell of the Central Council's Public Relations Committee.

The Central Council's PR Committee is looking to improve the use of pictures in ringing's public relations.

There are at least two legs to this (and probably other ones that we haven't thought of):

1) We want to put together a collection of pictures to use in material we produce to promote ringing. We'll be looking to see what we can find from existing resources (such as, for example, the 'Post Your Church Bell Pics' Facebook group) and we'd also like contributions. So I have today set up a new facebook group at for any other photos that people might want to share with facebook and potentially be used for publicity. Photos can also be emailed to me, and I will shortly be trying to set up a Dropbox account for anyone who wants to send photos that way - please let me know if this would be helpful to you. We won't be using any pictures from these sources without getting in touch with the people who post them: if nothing else, we may well want to make sure we've got the best quality picture, and we'll also want to make sure that everyone shown is happy for their picture to be used in publicity.

2) We want to do what we can to improve the quality of photos of ringing in stock libraries used by the media. One way to do this is by getting decent pictures of ringing into the libraries. Alamy ( seems to be widely used by the media and also seems particularly user-friendly for contributors (who might actually make some money if their professional quality pictures are used in the press). So we would encourage ringers with high quality pictures showing successful 21st century ringing to list their pictures on Alamy - and any other stock photo libraries they think are suitable.

Giles Blundell, CCCBR PR Committee
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Do You Have Any Photos of Ringers?

The Trustees of the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry are in process of updating some of the display boards for the Mobile Belfry and urgently need some new, good quality photos of ringers enjoying themselves, either ringing or eating or dancing...! If you can provide such photos, please email them to Edric Broom ( as soon as possible. Photographers will be acknowledged on the boards.

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Safeguarding Update

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, 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.

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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

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Peal Opportunities

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.

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Quarterly Newsletter

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 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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Committee Meeting

The next Association committee meeting will be held on Sunday, 11th September 2016.

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Newsletter Editor

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

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