Site last updated 23 July 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.

A Peal at Wem

The sixth peal of the year has been rung at Wem. The last time that a peal of Grandsire Triples was rung at Wem for the Association was on 14th March 1970, when the Tenor weighed 12½cwt and the peal took 3 hours and 12 minutes.

Shropshire Association

Wem, Shropshire - at the Church of SS Peter and Paul

On Thursday, 14 July 2016, in 2 hours and 47 minutes

A Peal of 5040 Grandsire Triples

Composed by J J Parker (12-part, 7th observation)

Tenor 13-2-24 in F

Christopher D Parker Treble Alison R Williams 5
E Ann Williams 2 Kevin M Price 6
Gareth B R Jones 3 Andrew W Gordon 7
Adrian G Roberts 4 Ben Kellett Tenor

Conducted by Andrew W Gordon.

First on the bells with the new tenor bell.

First on eight - Treble.
100th peal together - 2 & 7.
250th different tower pealed - 2.

Rung in memory of Brian F Roberts who passed away on 25th December 2015,
uncle of 3rd ringer.

Remembering Freda Willgress, Alision's mother, (died 15th December 2015)
whose birthday it would have been on Tuesday 19th July.


A Peal at Edgmond for the Queen

The fifth peal of the year was rung at Edgmond to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

Shropshire Association

Edgmond, Shropshire - at the Church of St Peter

On Sunday, 12 June 2016, in 2 hours and 48 minutes

A Peal of 5120 Bristol Surprise Major

Composed by William T Perrins

Tenor 9-3-12 in G

Biff Patterson Treble Gail K Lawrence 5
Edric W Broom 2 Paul J Lewis 6
Chloë A Darby 3 Matthew Lawrence 7
Maurice G Ingram 4 Christopher M Wulkau Tenor

Conducted by Christopher M Wulkau.

First in method - 3.

Rung to celebrate the 90th Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II.


July Monthly Practice and Quarterly Meeting

These took place at Newport. Thirteen members attended and the ringing included call changes, Plain Bob Doubles, St Simon's Bob Doubles, plain hunt on seven, Cambridge Surprise Major.

Emma Bentley (Atcham) was elected as a member of the Association.

Madeline Harris reported that the next 6-bell practice will be held on 6th August at St Martins (not Meole Brace as previously advertised) and that Tony Freemont (Training Officer) was hoping that the practice on 8th October would be at Meole Brace. Madeline thanked all those who had supported the Treasure Hunt and BBQ, and mentioned the Quiz Night to be held at Shawbury Village Hall on Saturday 12th November. Madeline also reported that there were 48 notable firsts listed on the website, just about on target for 90 for the year. It was hoped that there would be some special ringing celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the association over the weekend of 22 - 24 July. The Association Striking Competition will be held at Beckbury on Saturday 10th September; Heritage Open Days were also mentioned.

Peter Woollam (Librarian) reminded those present to consider making nominations for Honorary Life Membership of the Association - these would be considered at the next Committee meeting. Geoff Harding (Bell Adviser) reported that a grant had been awarded to St Martins for work on the clappers of their bells.

Peter Woollam reported on a conference he had attended in his capacity as Diocesan Bells Adviser, on the installation of radio masts in church towers. More details will be available on the website shortly.

Peter Woollam raised £20 for the BRF from the sale of raffle tickets. Prizes of wine, chocolate, and fresh fruit were won by Mark Adams, Geoff Harding, Nick Green, Brian Kear, and Paul Lewis. Peter thanked those who had donated prizes.

Brian Kear ran the draw for the 100+ Club. The winners of the second draw of the year are: Peter Gibbins (£50), Angela Gibson (£25), David Coleman (£15), Simon Fraser (£15), Gill Glover (£12) and Rodney Upton (£10).

Thanks go to John Williamson for organising the use of the bells and providing tea, coffee and biscuits.

The next Monthly Practice will be a joint practice with the Church Stretton District of the Hereford Guild, and will be held at Wellington on Saturday 13th August, from 7pm to 9pm. The next Quarterly Meeting will be held at High Ercall on Saturday 8th October.

Heritage Open Days 8 - 11 September 2016

This year Heritage Open Days has joined forces with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers to open up the heritage hidden inside England's bell towers and bring to life the 400-year old tradition of English-style bell ringing.

Challenge 500 has been organised to open up 500 bell towers for the public to explore, and to encourage ringing bands up and down the country to offer special bell ringing experiences. In addition, it is hoped to create a collective bell ringing moment during the festival, on Thursday 8th September, between 6pm and 7pm.

To take part in the challenge and to be counted, bell towers need to register with Heritage Open Days by 1st August 2016. By registering, all participants will be able to access a free marketing support pack and their event will be listed on the Heritage Open Days website from mid-July. Register your event at For more information email

August 6-Bell Practice

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

This is a change to the previously advertised venue.

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

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.

Ringing at Bicton - update

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

More First Quarter Peal Congratulations

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

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.

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:

  • That the Group report, with appropriate recommended changes, to the 2017 Council meeting;
  • That the group consist of 5 Council members who are not officers and preferably not committee members, 5 recent Council members (having left in the period 2008-2014) and 5 representatives from territorial societies who are not in either of these categories;
  • That the Council commits funds to the Group to cover hire of meeting facilities, members' travel and secretarial costs;
  • That the scope of the review shall include but not be limited to: the Council's legal objects and its name, the Council's structure and governance, the Council's size and membership.

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

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?
54 22 Jul Madeline Harris (Market Drayton) First quarter peal of 7-Spliced Surprise Major View
53 22 Jul Susan Capey (Oswestry) First quarter peal of 7-Spliced Surprise Major View
52 17 Jul David Read (Meole Brace) First quarter peal on ten bells View
51 13 Jul Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton) First quarter peal on an 'inside' bell View
50 9 Jul Annette Bailey (Edgmond) First plain hunt on seven bells
49 9 Jul Rob Herbert (Edgmond) First plain hunt on seven bells
48 6 Jul Brânn Himlin (Market Drayton) First Stedman Doubles
47 3 Jul Sue Dancey (Bicton) First quarter peal of Stedman Doubles View
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 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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Committee Meeting

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

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