Site last updated 24 Jun 2017
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.
Association Ringing Outing - 10th June 2017
The Association's Summer outing was held on Saturday 10th June. Cordelia Warr, the Association’s Social Secretary, planned a day’s ringing at towers in North Wales.
The first tower of the day was at Harwarden (12cwt 6). The church of St Deiniol is next door to Gladstone’s library and, after the ringing, many of the ringers enjoyed coffee in the café there. The next stop was St Matthew’s at Buckley (14cwt 8). The tower before lunch was St Eurgain and St Peter (11cwt 8) at Northop. After a search for the key the band ascended to the ringing room which features a novel sound control arrangement that allowed more than one member of the group to alter the loudness of the ringing in the ringing room. Most of the group had lunch at Pen y Bont Farm pub at Mold, where the meals were served quickly. The first tower after lunch was the 14cwt 6 at Bodelwyddan – aka the Marble Church. Ringing here suffered from the usual post-lunch torpor. The final tower of the day was Abergele (8cwt 6). This has an L-shaped ringing room with the short arm of the L used as a sitting-out area.
Call changes were rung at all the towers, in addition to Grandsire and/or Stedman (Doubles or Triples depending on the tower). Other methods rung included Plain Bob Minor, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Norwich Surprise Minor, Pudsey Surprise Major (half a course), Little Bob Major, Plain Bob Triples, and an attempt at 4-Spliced Surprise Major.
Thanks go to Cordelia for making all the arrangements, to all those who came along and made it such a pleasant event, and to all those who ensured that we didn’t have a lock-out.
The next social event will be the Ceilidh to be held on Saturday 18th November at Shawbury Village Hall.
Tower Access Guidance Notes
The Towers and Belfries Committee of the Central Council has produced some guidance notes on the various ways we access towers. The notes cover the condition of stairs and ladders; handholds; lighting; doorways and trap doors; and some potential hazards.
The notes can be found at, and downloaded from, https://cccbr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/stairways.pdf
June 8-Bell Practice
Visitors to the Plant Fair at Hodnet Hall were serenaded by the efforts of the fifteen ringers who turned up for the June 8-bell practice at St Luke's church, Hodnet. The ringing included plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles with three covers, Plain Bob Triples, and Grandsire Triples, and touches of Grandsire Triples and Stedman Triples. The Ringing Master is grateful to the more experienced ringers who came along to help.
The towers represented included Baschurch , Edgmond, Hodnet, Market Drayton, Meole Brace, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Whitchurch, Wem, and Wrockwardine.
Thanks to John Powell for allowing the use of the bells.
The next 8-bell practice is planned for 5th August, at a venue to be decided.
May Surprise Major Practice
This was held in June at High Ercall and nine ringers participated. The ringing included Pudsey, London, Superlative, spliced Pudsey and London, and 8-spliced.
Thanks to Chris Yates for allowing the use of the bells.
The next Surprise Major practice is scheduled for Friday 30th June at Meole Brace.
May Association Practice
Eleven ringers attended the Association practice held at Chetwynd. The methods rung, included Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Grandsire Doubles, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, and spliced Cambridge/Primrose/Norfolk/Ipswich Surprise Minor.
The raffle run by Peter Woollam raised £17 for the BRF, and the prizes of wine, chocolates and tomato plants were won by Madeline Harris, Edric Broom and Geoff Harding.
Thanks go to Rob Herbert and Annette Bailey for hosting the practice; and to Sue Askey for providing the refreshments.
The next Association practice will be held at Montford on Saturday 8th July, from 7pm to 8:30pm and will be followed by the Quarterly Meeting. All ringers are welcome.
The biennial Association outing will be held on Saturday 10th June and will visit towers in North Wales. For more information look here.
May Training Morning at Edgmond
The second Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Vicki Sivess (Meole Brace), Claire Unsworth (Stanton), Jenny Hodnett and Sam Lloyd (both Shifnal) were the students. The ringing included call changes on eight, Plain Hunt Doubles, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, and Cambridge Surprise Minor.
Tony Freemont, the Association’s Training Officer, was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Edric Broom, Rob Davis, Alan Glover, Gill Glover, Chris Fraser, Madeline Harris, Peter Neil, Biff Patterson, and Cordelia Warr.
Thanks to Edric Broom for preparing the bells and the simulator.
Further learning opportunities are available at the 8-bell practice on 3rd June at Hodnet, from 10am to 12noon; and the next 6-bell practice on 1st July at Atcham, from 10am to 12noon. The next Saturday mroning training session at Edgmond is scheduled for 16th September. Contact Tony Freemont (email) if you would like to participate.
The CRAG has produced a Frequently Asked Questions document, based on the queries submitted to them and some of the other queries they have seen raised online. The document can be found at: http://cc-crag.weebly.com/faqs.html.
A Birthday Peal
The seventh Association peal of the year was rung at Edgmond to celebrate the birth of Enid Mae Darby on 30th April 2017.
Edgmond, Shropshire - at the Church of St Peter
On Saturday, 6 May 2017, in 2 hours and 55 minutes
A Peal of 5120 Bristol Surprise Major
Composed by Maurice G Ingram
Tenor 9-3-12 in G
|Elizabeth (Biff) Patterson||Treble||Maurice G Ingram||5|
|Michael Wilshaw||2||Matthew Lawrence||6|
|Gail K Lawrence||3||Nicholas J Green||7|
|William S Deason||4||Alan M Glover||Tenor|
Conducted by Nicholas J Green.
Rung to celebrate the birth of Enid Mae on 30 April 2017,
daughter for Chloë and Ian Darby,
and first grandchild for Gail and Matthew Lawrence.
Composed by a member of the band 50 years ago (RW 67/548)
and believed not to have been rung before now.
photo: Chloë Darby
Ringing Courses at Tulloch Ringing Centre
The Tulloch Ringing Centre (www.tullochbells.com) in Scotland is the most northerly ring of 12 bells in the world. Two courses are being offered in September 2017.
- Learn to Ring - 18th to 22nd September
- Improve Your Ringing - 25th to 29th September
More details can be found here.
CRAG Final Report
The Council Review Action Group (CRAG) has released its final report and recommendations.
The summary and proposals can be found at https://cccbr.org.uk/review/final/. This page also includes links to PDF versions of the summary and the full report.
PowerPoint Presentations for PR
The Central Council Public Relations Committee has created a set of PowerPoint presentations that ringers can use to explain ringing to others. The set is available on the Council’s website: https://cccbr.org.uk/2017/03/19/powerpoint-presentations-to-use-for-pr-purposes/
Missing From the Report/Handbook
The report of the Atcham ringers' actvities in 2016 was inadvertently omitted from the Report/Handbook which has been sent to all towers recently.
Steve Evans wrote:
It has been quite a successful year. We have had two recruitment days one on Magna Carta day and one on Heritage day which attracted four new members wishing to learn how to ring. We are grateful to John Upton for his enthusiasm in this recruitment and his commitment to providing one to one instruction.
We have rung for 6 weddings with an additional one over Christmas and had 7 bands of visiting ringers.
We have dedicated one practice evening and one Sunday service ring to two service men from Atcham who were killed in action or died from their wounds in WW1.
Lance Corporal Hughes who died in action on 18 August 1916 and Private John Benbow died of his wounds 17th October 1916. A minute's silence was held on each occasion.
Bill Price our steeple keeper maintains our ring of six bells with Elaine, Llynne, Marion and Emma ensuring that social events are arranged and suitable refreshments available when necessary.
We participated in the striking competition and will put our experiences from that day into next year's and hope that we can finish higher up the leader table.
We have also hosted two Saturday 6 bell practices and look forward to doing more in the New Year.
We very rarely miss a practice evening on a Thursday and plan to ring for Sunday services on the 2nd and 4th Sunday and any other special events.
We are as ever grateful to Nick Green and Adrian Roberts for helping us on practice nights.
We plan to ring midday on 1st January as we did last year and welcome members of the congregation to stay for sherry and mince pies and also have a ring if they wish.
In 2016 the Shropshire Association’s 100+ Club continued the trend of recent years with more than 100 members. There were twenty two winners with two members winning twice. The total prize money awarded was £508, and £878.38 was raised for the Bell Restoration Fund.
Brian Kear, the organiser of the 100+ Club, has recently sent out application forms for 2017 to all tower correspondents. To be a member of the Club you must be over the age of 16 years. More members means more and/or better prizes.
To be in with a chance to be a winner, please return your completed application form and cheque to Brian by 1st April 2017. Cheques should be made payable to Shropshire Association of Church Bellringers Bell Restoration Fund.
The total of grants awarded from the Bell Restoration Fund in 2016 was £351. Your support of the 100+ Club will help the Bell Restoration Fund grow and ultimately increase the size of the grants awarded for bell restoration projects within the Shropshire Association.
The first draw of the year will take place at the Quarterly Meeting at Norton-in-Hales on 8th April.
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/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/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
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 Peter Woollam 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.
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, 3rd September 2017.
Peter Woollam is Editor of the printed Newsletter as part of his Publicity portfolio. He would welcome any comments on the future format of the Newsletter and any items for inclusion in it.