Site last updated 22 January 2019
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.
If you would like to know more about bellringing click here www.cccbr.org.uk/what-is-bell-ringing/.If you like to learn to ring please contact our secretary [ ], or go along to a tower near you on a practice night.
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.
Surprise Major Practice Cancelled
The January Surprise Major practice, due to be held on Friday 25 January at Edgmond, has been cancelled. Not enough ringers are available to make this a viable practice.
First Peals of 2019
The first two Association peals of 2019 have been rung, at Cheswardine and at Forton. The peal at Cheswardine is the first of Little Bob Major for the Association since 1984, when Kevin Price was, again, the conductor and it was his 650th peal on tower bells.
Cheswardine - at the Church of St Swithun
On Saturday, 19 January 2019, in 3 hours 3 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Little Bob Major
Composed by Stephen H Wood
Tenor 18-3-5 in G
|E Ann Williams||Treble||Cordelia Warr||5|
|Nicola J Galton||2||Gareth B R Jones||6|
|Peter G Neil||3||Kevin M Price||7|
|Madeline J Harris||4||Andrew W Gordon||Tenor|
Conducted by Kevin M Price.
In memory of Prebendary Frazer Williams,
husband of Ann, who died on 28th December 2018.
First peal in the method - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Forton, Staffordshire - at the Church of All Saints
On Saturday, 19 January 2019, in 2 hours and 53 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Plain Bob Minor
Tenor 12 cwt in G
|E Ann Williams||Treble||Trevor L Lock||4|
|Sharon A Collins||2||Kevin M Price||5|
|Nicola J Galton||3||Andrew W Gordon||Tenor|
Conducted by Kevin M Price.
Rung as a 75th Birthday compliment to E Ann Williams.
Association Practice and AGM
This was held at SS Peter & Paul church, Wem. Prior to the Service of Thanksgiving about thirty members gathered to ring call changes, Plain Hunt Triples, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples and 8-Spliced Surprise Major.
Another twenty or so ringers turned up in time for the Service, which, in the absence of Archdeacon Paul Thomas, was led by the vicar of Wem, the Reverend Nick Heron. The address was given by Canon William Price, retired vicar of Myddle/Loppington and now living in Wem.
As there is only one ringer in the Wem band the committee took on the catering task, providing three delicious soups and many different types of sandwiches. All followed by cakes and hot drinks.
At the Quarterly Meeting which preceded the AGM, the following were elected as members of the Association: Sue Mulcock, David Powell (both Bicton); Robin Gilbert (Ellesmere); Celia Green (Hinstock); Sally Green, Louise Millward, Amy Steele, Kathryn Steele (all Lilleshall); Oliver Miller, Ben Rothera (both Oswestry); Jane Hughes, Jayne Hunt, Trudi Tanner (all Shifnal); Lorna Arrowsmith, Jack Ball, Lorna Burrows, Albert Greaves, Claire Ramsey, Ben Warren (all Meole Brace); Lisa Raymer (Shrewsbury); Nathaniel Carter, Alison Johnson (Wellington), Clare White (Tibberton); Pamela Sheldon, Darren Swancote (both Coalbrookdale); Clare Morris (Overton).
There was some discussion about the Association Carol Service, held at Market Drayton. It was thought that the turn-out of members was very poor. The future of the Association Carol Services is under review. Peter Woollam mentioned that The Diocese of Lichfield is promoting succession planning within the various advisory roles within the Diocese, including Bell Advisor. Peter invited anyone interested in becoming a deputy Diocesan Bell Advisor to contact him.
Madeline Harris gave her Ringing Master’s report which touched briefly on a few of the highlights of the year, including:
- the eighteen peals and two hundred and five quarter peals that had been rung, the fact that only 78 members had rung a quarter peal, a number that has been reducing in the last few year;
- Lisa Basden, Emma Bentley, Julie Hartridge, Mark Hayball and Anne Peppiatt rang their first quarter peals during the year;
- the Treasure Hunt around Shrewsbury; the Quiz in November.
- the training mornings at Edgmond, the 6-bell and 8-bell practices and the Surprise Major practices held throughout the year;
- the youth ringers had had a bit of a rest during 2018 but Matt and Gail Larewnce had held a practice in December, and the ART module 2c training session held at Edgmond.
Several former members of the Association who had died during the year were remembered.Madeline thanked the Committee for their hard work; all those members who had supported the Association by buying raffle tickets or joining the 100+ Club. She also thanked all towers that had hosted meetings and events. Bishop Mark Rylands and Archdeacon Paul Thomas were also mentioned.
David Beckwith presented the accounts of the Association. The Independent Examiners, Brian Kear and Karen Compton, had inspected and approved the accounts and Brian reported that he and Karen were happy with how the accounts had been presented.
Geoff Harding (Bell Advisor) reported that BRF grants had been made to Selattyn, Hodnet, St Chad’s, Shrewsbury, Lilleshall and to St Martins. Geoff thanked Association members for their support of the Bell Restoration Fund.
Jan Snowball (Safeguarding Officer) said that she had received no reports requiring investigation.
Elections for the Committee for 2018 were held. Matt Lawrence was elected as the Ringing Master.The position of Social Secretary is still vacant. Gareth Jones replaces Edric Broom as a trustee of the Mobile Belfry, and Andrew Gordon replaces Brian Kear as an Independent Examiner.
Certificates for several members to mark their 50 and 25 years membership of the Association were available, but none of those members was present.
Madeline announced that Jad Bienek would be presented with the St Alkmund’s Cannons for all her work for the Association during the year. The presentation could not be made at the meeting as the newly-elected Ringing Master had left the cannons at home.
Peter Woollam sold raffle tickets, raising £103 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The glittering array of prizes was won by Andrew Gordon, Ginette Pardoe, Nicola Adams, Will Lander, Ben Kellett, John Neal, Geoff Harding, David Beckwith, Lisa Raymer, Gill Glover, Cordelia Warr, and Derek Dancey. Peter thanked all those who donate prizes for the raffles.
The final draw of the year in the 100+ Club was made by Brian Kear who thanked all those who participated in the 100+ Club and said that about £800 had been raised for the BRF. Brian announced that Gill Glover would be taking over from him as organiser of the 100+ Club, and he urged all those present to give her their support. Thanks to Brian for all his efforts in raising about £12,500 on behalf of the BRF were expressed in the usual way. The winners were: £50 – Adrian Roberts, £25 – Peter Neil, £15 – Steve Evans, £15 – Judith Speke, £12 – Jacqui Barden.
The next AGM will be held at Oswestry on Saturday 11th January 2020. The next Quarterly meeting will be held at St Martins on Saturday 13th April. The next monthly practice will be held at Oswestry on Saturday 9th February.
It is with sadness that the death of John Gibson is reported. John was a member of the Association's committee for some time, before moving from Upton Magna to Much Wenlock.
Association Carol Service
Eighteen ringers from the Shropshire Association and the Church Stretton District took part in the Association’s December practice held at St Mary’s church, Market Drayton. The ringing was directed by the Ringing Master and included call changes, Plain Hunt Doubles, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Bristol Surprise Major, and Cambridge Surprise Major.
The ringers were joined by several non-ringers for the Carol Service which was led by the vicar of St Mary’s, Rev Catherine McBride. Various members of the ringing fraternity read the lessons, and the congregation enthusiastically sang the carols, accompanied on the organ by Iris Thomas. Catherine gave a short reflection on the teams involved in the Christmas story, inspired by her first attempt at bell ringing.
Following the service, tea and coffee, and mince pies were served by members of the local band
Thanks go to the Market Drayton band and all who took part in the service.
100th Peal for the Association
The eighteenth Association peal of the year, rung at Wem, was Nick Green's 100th peal for the Association. It was also the first peal of Spliced Surprise Major for Gareth Jones, and Martin Scott. Congratulations to them all.
Wem - at the Church of St Peter & St Paul
On Saturday, 8 December 2018, in 3 hours 9 minutes
A Peal of 5088 Spliced Surprise Major
6 methods: 1152 Rutland; 1056 Cambridge; 864 Lincolnshire,
Yorkshire; 576 Pudsey, Superlative;
Composed by Murray A Coleman
Tenor 13-2-24 in F
|Alan M Glover||Treble||Gareth B R Jones||5|
|Gail K Lawrence||2||Matthew Lawrence||6|
|Chloë A Darby||3||Nicholas J Green||7|
|Martin D Scott||4||Michael Wilshaw||Tenor|
Conducted by Nicholas J Green.
First peal of Spliced Surprise Major - 4 & 5.
A Variable Hunt Spliced Surprise Major Peal
The seventeenth Association peal of the year was rung at Amblecote and marked the 80th birthday of Neil Bennett.
Amblecote, West Midlands - at the Church of the Holy Trinity
On Saturday, 1 December 2018, in 3 hours 17 minutes
A Peal of 5888 Spliced Surprise Major
23 methods: 256 each Wembley, Jersey, Tavistock, Cornwall,
Double Dublin, Bristol, Cassiobury, Lindum, Lincolnshire, Cambridge,
Uxbridge, Superlative, Glasgow, Ipswich, Cray, Rutland, London,
Ashtead, Yorkshire, Pudsey, Whalley, Watford,
183 changes of method and all the work for all eight bells.
Composed by D F Morrison (#6337)
Tenor 7-0-3 in B
|Stuart C W Hutchieson||Treble||Nicholas J Green||5|
|Elizabeth Hutchieson||2||Matthew Lawrence||6|
|Gail K Lawrence||3||Neil Bennett||7|
|Peter L Furniss||4||Andrew C Ogden||Tenor|
Conducted by Stuart C W Hutchieson.
First of ‘Ultimate Smiths’ for all except 7.
600th as conductor.
80th birthday compliment to Neil, showing potential!
December 8-bell Practice
Ringers came from far and wide to participate in this practice. Sixteen ringers had a go at Grandsire Triples, Erin Triples, Stedman Triples, St Clement’s College Bob Major, Little Bob Major, Plain Bob Major, and Double Norwich Court Bob Major.
The towers represented included Calverhall/Ightfield, Clive, Edgmond, Hodnet, Market Drayton, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Wem, and Wrockwardine.
Thanks go to John Powell.
November Surprise Major Practice
Eleven ringers, including two visiting ringers, attended this practice held at Meole Brace. Attempts were made at London, Rutland, Superlative, and 3-spliced.
Thanks go to Michael Carding and Andy Digby.
There will be no Surprise Major practice in December.
November Training Morning
The final Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Annette, Lisa, Vicki, Robin, Pam, Darren, Heather, and Karen were the students. They worked on improving their call changes, Plain Hunt Doubles, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Grandsire Doubles, and Cambridge Surprise Minor.
The training was run by Matt Lawrence because Tony Freemont, the Association’s Training Officer, is recovering from foot surgery. Matt was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Jacqui Barden, Edric Broom, John Burton, Rob Davis, Kathryn Greaves, Madeline Harris, Phil Murphy, John Neal, Ginette Pardoe, and Sue Perry.
Refreshments were available, as is customary on these occasions.
Thanks to Matt and Mark for preparing the bells and setting up the simulator.
The next Association training morning at Edgmond is scheduled for Saturday 9th February 2019. If you would like to participate please contact Tony Freemont.
Association Quiz Night
Forty three tickets were sold for the Association Quiz Night, held at Shawbury Village Hall. The quiz was devised by Tony Freemont. Eight teams sat down to answer questions on Law and Order, UK Royal Weddings, Foody Names, Cars of the Stars, Famous Pets, Operas, Countries in Europe, Musicals, Famous Leaders, Sport, Geography, and General Knowledge. The highest scoring team was from Edgmond and they received a container of chocolates for their efforts.
Baked potatoes were served with chilli, meaty and non-meaty, along with sweet barbecue beans, coleslaw, and cheese. Delicious puddings were provided by several members and included apple pie, apple crumble, banoffee pie, fruit compote, and cheesecake.
It was no surprise that Peter Woollam sold raffle tickets, raising £101 for the BRF. The prizes were won by Chris Cawood, David Beckwith, John Burton, Pete Neil, Nicola Galton, Annette Bailey, Ann Williams, Peter Woollam, Sam Lloyd, Tony Freemont and Catherine Greenfield. Thanks to all who bought tickets and to all who provided the prizes.
Madeline Harris, Ringing Master, thanked Tony for devising the quiz; Biff Patterson, Claire Unsworth, Jan Snowball, and Cordelia Warr and all those who had helped with the catering, and washing up; Jad Bienek and Geoff Harding for running the bar; Peter for running the raffle; and everyone who had helped to make the evening such an enjoyable occasion.
The profit from the bar and the ticket sales will be reported when the final calculations have been made. Thanks to all who supported this Association event.
The Association's Carol Service will be held at Market Drayton on Saturday 8th December, with ringing from 6pm and the service starting at 7:30pm. Refreshments will follow the service. All ringers and their families are welcome.
Support Your Association with SACBR Clothing
We can now offer members a range of items embroidered with the SACBR logo. These are embroidered to order: contact Biff Patterson [ ] for details or to place an order.
The background colour for ‘corporate’ events is burgundy (as shown) but feel free to choose a different background for personal use. Check availability but navy or black are obvious options.
Polo shirts, as worn by those manning the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry at Newport Show, £15. Biff has one lady-fit medium in stock. If you would normally buy small, this is for you.
Sweat shirts £17.50 Rugby shirts £25.
If you supply a garment it can be embroidered for a cost of £6.
SIZING – READ CAREFULLY PLEASE
The polo shirts are pure cotton, wash very well, BUT are skimpy. Biff suggests going up one or even two sizes on what you would normally select. Available in standard rectangular shape (men or unisex), quite long in the body; or lady-fit, which is shorter and more shaped. Choose from M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL.
Sweat shirts are only available unisex: S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL.
Rugby shirts are available in men’s or women’s: S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL.
Photos by Biff Patterson, Edric Broom
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) has produced an update to Guidance Note 3 (GN3) - Child Protection in Bell Towers. This Guidance Note can be found at https://cccbr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GN3-Child-Protection-Issue-12-Oct-2017.pdf. The Appendix to the Guidance Note describes in more detail the ringing activities which require a ringer to be DBS checked.
Books For Bellringers
Are you looking for some practical, written help for yourself or your tower but don’t know what is out there? If so, Books for Bellringers may be what you need. It is a small collection of books aimed mostly at beginners but with some material for those learning methods. Towers can borrow the collection for a period of up to two months so that everyone has a chance to see what they might find useful. Individuals or towers can order copies of the books using the details in the catalogue supplied.
If you would like to borrow the collection please contact me at: or telephone 01939 291014.
Shropshire Young Ringers
Do you have young ringers at your tower?
We have started a youth group designed to get the young people ringing together and help them to progress.
There have been three practices so far, attended by six ringers from different towers across the Association area and we hope to have a regular monthly practice going forward.
The leader is ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) trained and DBS cleared and can offer instruction in bell handling through to ringing call changes, plain hunting, methods and striking.
The aim is to encourage the next generation of ringers and recruit more young people to the exercise.
Please email Matt Lawrence
Young ringers at Atcham
Photo by Matt Lawrence
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
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/
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 contact Peter Woollam [ ] 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 something of the Ringing Master's choosing. 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.
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, 10 March 2019.
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.