Site last updated 17 November 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.
Safeguarding Guide from the Central Council
In The Ringing World of 13 September 2019 Chris Mew wrote a review of the current situation regarding ringers and Safeguarding. That article can be read and downloaded here.
The Stewardship and Management Workgroup of the Central Council has produced a document relating to Safeguarding for Bellringers. The document can be found here.
Loughborough Bellfoundry Appeal
An appeal has been launched to raise £1.1million to help repair and improve the site of the Loughborough Bellfoundry, where John Taylor & Co manufacture bells.
More information about the appeal and what the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust is planning to do, can be found at https://loughboroughbellfoundry.org/.
Wednesday Morning Training at Lilleshall - November
The next Wednesday morning practice will be held at Lilleshall on Wednesday 20th November from 10am to 12:30pm.
Ringers of all abilities are welcome. These practices are a useful way of receiving some expert tuition in a friendly atmosphere. A £2 donation is requested to cover refreshments, a donation to the tower, and to the church.
So that he can be sure that there will be sufficient ringers available for this practice, please let Matthew Lawrence  know if you are planning to attend.
November 6-Bell Practice
This was held at Lilleshall with twelve ringers attending. Those present practised call changes, plain hunting, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, and Stedman Doubles. Towers represented were Dawley, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Newport, Oswestry, and Shawbury.
Thanks to the Matt Lawrence for hosting this practice and supplying delicious homemade shortbread biscuits.
The next 6-bell practice is scheduled for Saturday 4th January 2020 at Stanton.
It is with great sadness that the death of Cathy Gaskell is reported. Cathy learnt to ring at Market Drayton, and was a ringer there until she had to retire from ringing because of illness.
Association Training Morning - 23rd November
The next Association Training morning will be held at Edgmond on Saturday 23rd November from 9:30am to 12:30pm.
There are places still available for this session; please contact Tony Freemont  if you would like to attend.
The cost is £5 per student.
250 Years of Hodnet Bells
The eight bells in the tower of St Luke’s, Hodnet were cast at different times, the two trebles added in 1947. The original six bells, cast by Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester, were hung in the tower in 1769 and so this year marks their 250th anniversary.
October Surprise Major Practice
Thirteen ringers attended October's Surprise Major practice at High Ercall, ringing Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, Yorkshire and 7 Spliced.
Thanks to Chris and Judy Yates for organising the use of the bells.
The next Surprise Major practice will be held at Wem on November 29th.
A Peal at Llansilin
The eleventh Association peal of 2019 has been rung at Llansilin, and is the second peal of Doubles & Minor for the Association, the first being at Edgmond in 1982.
Llansilin, Powys - at the Church of St Silin
On Saturday, 19 October 2019, in 2 hours and 45 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Doubles & Minor
7 methods: 720 each Beverley Surprise Minor,
Surfleet Surprise Minor,
Cambridge Surprise Minor, St Clement's College Bob Minor,
Plain Bob Minor; 960 Grandsire Doubles; 480 Plain Bob Doubles
Tenor 9 in 5–3–0 in B
|Nicola J Galton||Treble||William J Lander||4|
|Madeline J Harris||2||Peter Neil||5|
|Cordelia Warr||3||Anthony J Freemont||Tenor|
Conducted by Peter Neil.
Second peal on the bells since augmentation in 2000,
second peal as conductor.
The band 1-6 from left to right.
Above, in Welsh, is a list of people a man (left) and woman may not marry
Photo from Tony Freemont
October Association Practice and Quarterly Meeting
These were held at Whitchurch, with sixteen ringers attending. Matt Lawrence, Ringing Master, was in charge of the ringing. Some of those present found these bells challenging to ring, and the movement of the tower was disconcerting to those leaning against the walls.
The quarterly meeting was held in the choir room. Eugene O’Connor and Cathy O’Connor (Lilleshall) were elected as members of the Association.
David Beckwith gave a brief report on the state of the Association’s finances.
The major expenses since the July meeting have been the cost of hiring the
Mobile Belfry for the July practice, and the Central Council Representative’s
expenses for attending the Central Council meeting in London.
Matt encouraged all those present to participate in the
- Quiz Night which is to be held at Myddle Village Hall. Tickets are available now. A poster has been sent to all towers.
- The annual Carol Service will be held at Baschuch on Saturday 14th December, with ringing from 6pm to 7:30pm, followed by the service and refreshments. All members of the Association and their families are welcome to take part.
Matt described proposed changes to the Rules of the Association, which will be brought to the membership at the AGM in January 2020. These changes include:
- removing the class of Formerly Resident Life Member;
- allowing all full members to vote at Association meetings and hold office;
- renaming the Report Editor to Membership Secretary, and Children and Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer to Safeguarding Officer;
- including Central Council Representatives as Officers of the Association;
- removing the position of Committee Member;
- changing what constitutes a quorum of the committee;
- removing the need to send notice of an EGM by recorded delivery.
There was also some debate about the Association's sole objective of the promotion of the Christian religion. Both the Central Council and The Ringing World have changed their objectives in favour of supporting ringers.
Peter Woollam raised £24 for the Bell Restoration Fund by running a raffle. The prizes of wine, chocolates, and a scent diffuser were won by Tony, Geoff, and Peter.
In Gill Glover’s absence, Biff Patterson ran the draw for the 100+ Club. The winners of the third draw of the year are:
|1st prize of £50.00||Mary Tetlow (Shifnal)|
|2nd prize of £25.00||Judy Yates (High Ercall)|
|3rd prize of £20.00||Jad Bienek (Unattached)|
|4th prize of £15.00||David Powell (Bicton)|
|5th prize of £10.00||Amanda Craig (Shrewsbury)|
Thanks to Malcolm Monie for hosting the practice and meeting.
The next Quarterly meeting will be held at Oswestry on Saturday Saturday 11th January 2020, and will precede the AGM..
October Quarterly Newsletter
The October quarterly Newsletter has been sent to towers and individuals via email and post.
A Peal for Bill
The tenth Association peal of 2019 has been rung at Lilleshall to remember Bill Reynolds.
Lilleshall, Shropshire - at the Church of St Michael and All Angels
On Saturday, 28 September 2019, in 2 hours and 32 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Minor
4 Methods: One extent each of
Oxford Treble Bob, Kent Treble Bob
and St Clement's; and four of Plain Bob
Tenor 9 in A b
|Ian Friend||Treble||Christopher Adams||4|
|William S Deason||2||Mark Adams||5|
|Gail K Lawrence||3||Matthew Lawrence||Tenor|
Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.
Rung to celebrate the life of Bill Reynolds who died on the 10th
Bill was a lifelong resident of Lilleshall, a ringer at this church since 1943
and Tower Captain for over 50 years.
The same methods as those rung in Bill's last peal, here in September 1973.
Photo from the Reynolds family collection
September Surprise Major Practice
Thirteen ringers turned up at Wem for the September practice, making attempts at Bristol, Cambridge, London, and Yorkshire.
Thanks to Gareth Jones for organising the use of the bells.
Suspension of Ringing at Moreton Corbet
There will be no ringing at Moreton Corbet after 16th June 2019, until November 2019. Ths is because of construction work at the church.
Monday practices will be held at Stanton (at Shawbury on the first Monday of the month).
In 2018 the Shropshire Association's 100+ Club continued the trend of recent years with more than 100 members. There were twenty winners and the total prize money awarded was £468, with £784.98 being raised for the Bell Restoration Fund.
Five grants totalling £1988.97 were awarded from the Bell Restoration Fund in 2018. 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.
Gill Glover, who has taken over from Brian Kear as the organiser of the 100+ Club, has distributed application forms for 2019 to tower correspondents. To be a member of the Club you must be over the age of 16 years and a member of the Association. 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 for £12 to Gill at the address given on the application form. Cheques should be made payable to SACBR Bell Restoration Fund.
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
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
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.
The next Association committee meeting will be held on Sunday, 15 September 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.