Site last updated 19 February 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.
Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Anne Monie
The main celebration of Anne's life will be a Service of Thanksgiving to be held at St Alkmund's Church, Whitchurch, SY13 1LB on Friday 1st March starting at 12 noon. The church is located at the top of the High Street and is an unmistakable landmark. There is a car park approached round the east end of the church but if this is full, there are others nearby. Anyone wishing to attend the earlier Crematorium service, please get in touch for further details. The service will be followed by refreshments.
There will be open ringing both before and after the Thanksgiving Service. If you are coming, please wear something bright and cheerful.
Close family flowers only please. Donations are invited to be made to St Alkmund's Church [any cheques payable to Whitchurch PCC]. The money raised in Anne's memory will be shared between the church and Whitchurch CoE Infant & Nursery School at which Anne was a Governor and led some of the collective worship as well as spending time talking with the children. In both cases, the money raised will be put towards projects close to Anne's heart. At church this will be towards replacing the inner church doors with glass to make the building more welcoming. It would be good if any donations are Gift Aided where possible. Postal donations should be sent to Rolfe's Family Funeral Service, 14 Station Road, Whitchurch, SY13 1RE.
February Monthly Practice
From one side of the Association to the other. Eighteen ringers, half of them from the local band, attended the Association practice at Oswestry, and spent two hours practising call changes, Mexican waves, plain hunt on 7, Grandsire Triples, Little Bob Major, London Surprise Major, and Cambridge Surprise Major.
Raffle-meister Peter Woollam raised £30 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The prizes of wine, chocolates, and coffee were taken home by Oliver Miller, Geoff Harding, Tony Freemont, and Jan Snowball.
Thanks to the Oswestry band for their hospitality.
The next Association practice will be held at Forton on Saturday 9th March, from 7pm to 9pm. All ringers are welcome.
February Training Morning
The first Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Lisa Basden, Emma Bentley, Colin Cockerham, Jonathan Hales-Povey, Lisa Raymer, Simon Rice, and Vicki Sivess were the students.
Ringing included call changes, plain hunt on 5, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Stedman Doubles, and Cambridge Surprise Major.
Tony Freemont, the Association’s Training Officer, was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Jacqui Barden, Karen Compton, Rob Davis, Gill Glover, Nick Green, Madeline Harris, Matt Lawrence, John Neal, Biff Patterson, Sue Perry, and Cordelia Warr.
Thanks to Edric Broom and Mark for preparing the simulator and the bells.
The next Association training morning will be held at Edgmond on Saturday 27th April. If you would like to participate please contact Tony Freemont .
February 8-bell Practice
Ringers came from more than one county to participate in the first 8-bell practice of 2019, held at Hodnet. Nineteen ringers had a go at call changes, plain hunt on 7, Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Single Oxford Bob Triples, and Double Norwich Court Bob Major.
The towers represented included Atcham, Brewood, Codsall, Edgmond, Hodnet, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Oswestry, and Shrewsbury.
New Members' Meeting
We are holding a New Members' Practice on Saturday 23rd February at Holy Trinity church, Meole Brace (postcode SY3 9HF) from 7.00 - 9.00pm.
The practice is an opportunity for new members to come along to find out more about what the Association has to offer, have a ring in a friendly and supportive atmosphere and meet other new members from across the Association.
The meeting is open to anyone who has joined the Association in the last 18 months or so.
Please let Matt Lawrence  know if you would like to come along.
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 peal of Little Bob Major for the Association since 1984, which Kevin Price also conducted.
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.
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.