Site last updated 3 December 2020

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Welcome

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/bellringing/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.

Next Association event:

12 December - Christmas Quiz Night, from 7:30pm, via Zoom

Updated Guidance - 30 November 2020

Covid Winter Plan – updated guidance for England Wales and Scotland has been issued by the Central Council.

England comes out of lockdown on Wednesday this week (2 December) and enters the three Tiers system. The rules in Wales have not changed since 9th November and the Tiers will not apply. In Scotland, Covid restrictions are governed by five Protection Levels. Central Council guidance is now moving to respond to this.

The guidance can be found at https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/

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Winter Social December 2020

Winter Social

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November 8-Bell Practice

Nine ringers took part in the 8-bell practice held using Zoom and Ringing Room. The ringing was directed by Matt Lawrence. Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Major, Little Bob Major, and Treble Bob Hunt Major were attempted. The attempts were generally successful, though there were some unconventional finishes.

Thanks to Matt Lawrence for organising the practice and to all the ringers who participated.

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YouTube Competition - October Winner, November Theme

The October winner is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wivmJivhXXo&feature=youtu.be Church Bell Installation Inspection at Gt Gransden - an alternative approach! by Phillip George.

The November competition is for the film that promotes ringing in the most positive way.

The Central Council's competition for YouTube videos of ringing will run until Christmas 2020. Details can be found here https://cccbr.org.uk/youtube-competition/, where there is also a link to a YouTube video on how to make a YouTube ringing video. The monthly winners will also be listed on that page.

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Lockdown in England

The Central Council issued the following statement on Wednesday 4 November 2020.

The Covid guidance has been updated in response to the lockdown in England that starts tomorrow for four weeks.

The government in England is asking people to stay at home if at all possible. Stopping ringing during this time is consistent with that request. Churches are closed except for private prayer and broadcast worship. We realise England’s senior faith leaders, including the Bishop of London who heads the C of E Recovery Group, are challenging the government’s decision to ban communal worship during this further lockdown period, but at the moment no exception has been made, and even if it was, our guidance wouldn’t change. This is a much stricter lockdown than Tier 3.

However, we support the tolling of a single bell on Remembrance Sunday, if it is with the permission of the incumbent and churchwardens. The tolling of a single bell is a powerful symbol of remembrance understood by communities and will mean a great deal to many. Please be particularly aware of the risks associated with entering a tower and ringing on your own – make sure someone knows you are doing it and can watch out for you. A muffle is not needed when tolling a single bell.

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
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Fifth Association Peal of 2020

The fifth Association peal of 2020, the first since 14 March, has been rung at Lilleshall. This is the first handbell peal for the Association since 10 May 1979, and the first handbell peal for Gail and Matt Lawrence.

Shropshire Association

Lilleshall, Shropshire - at 13 Church Meadow

On Monday, 2 November 2020, in 2 hours 12 minutes

A Peal of 5040 Treble Bob Minimus

105 methods: 48 changes each of: Oxford, Little Solsbury Hill, Browns Folly, Marshfield, Oakford Lane, Hollies Lane, Shockerwick,
Ufton Nervett, Pamber, St Catherine's Valley, Moreton, Steway Lane,
Northend, Crawford, Reverse Gunville, Toller Fratrum, Barby, Charmy Down, Sham Castle,
Ashwicke, Monkswood Reservoir, Ramsbottom, Fosse Lane, Brimpton, Newtown,
Bannerdown, Batheaston, Ashley, Easter, Christchurch and Southampton District,
Cubley, Little Bedwyn, Rawston, Pickwick, Greta Thunberg, Wegg, Biggetywitch,
Havisham, Bucket, Dodger, Tulkinghorn, Wirral, Berkley, Buscot, Reveller,
Reverse Briefcase and Mobile Phone, Spetchley, Outwood, Lockinge, Reverse Berkley, Rushton Old,
Yatton Keynell, Ettington, Reverse Keyneston, Waresley, Reverse Stickland, Reverse Derby, Sparsholt, Slindon,
Towersey, Reverse Fritwell, Reverse Torbryan, Reverse Shipton Gorge,
Foremark, Barkham, Reverse Reveller, Iken, Fritwell, Poppy,
Reverse for the Fallen, Bolnhurst, Reverse Truffler, Langdon Hills, Briefcase and Mobile Phone, Keyneston,
Torbryan, For the Fallen, Tarrant, Kemp Town, Kermit, Upton by Birkenhead, Reverse Spetchley, Eclipse, Shipton George,
Last Post, Donhead, Ashow, Reverse Draughton, Princess of Cambridge, East Horsley, Stickland, Halton,
Truffler, Reverse Kermit, Draughton, Clearwell, Prince of Cambridge, Newington, Derby, Denchworth,
Remembrance Day, Reverse Upton by Birkenhead, Newbold Pacey, St Aelhaiarn, and Guilsfield.

Tenor 13oz

Gail K Lawrence 1-2
Matthew Lawrence 3-4

Conducted by Gail K Lawrence.

First peal in hand for both.

First peal of Minimus for the Association.

1096

October Quarterly Meeting

The first Quarterly meeting since January was held virtually, with fifteen ringers in attendance. Matt Lawrence reported that the Association’s AGM is very likely to be held virtually, and a sub-committee has been formed to make preparations for this event. Matt also spoke about COVID-19 restrictions and how they affect ringing. Local bands must carry out a risk assessment and consult with their church authorities. Biff Patterson will send out her usual letter about membership subscriptions. Geoff Harding reported on the tower maintenance training he had held a Newport. Vicki Sivess revealed that she has had a lot of interest in the Christmas Quiz to be held on Saturday 12 December. Matt reported that the main Association expenses have been the cost of the Zoom subscription, and a £200 donation to the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry, to help offset the lack of bookings for 2020. The other two Associations involved with the Mobile Belfry have also made similar donations.

Following the business meeting a striking competition was held using Ringing Room. Those present had been split into two teams – the East(ish) and the West(ish). The test piece was 120 of Plain Bob Doubles, and the judges were Matt Lawrence and Sue Dancey. Following a brief discussion between the judges, the West(ish) band was announced the winner.

The next Association 6-bell practice will be on Saturday 7 November, from 7pm to 8:30pm using Zoom and Ringing Room. Please contact Matt Lawrence [ ] if you would like to attend.

YouTube Competition - September Winner, October Theme

The September competition was for the best showcase of school or university ringing. It appears that there is no winner.

The October competition is for the most effective instructional video (could be handling, maintenance, rope splicing, etc).

The Central Council's competition for YouTube videos of ringing will run until Christmas 2020. Details can be found here https://cccbr.org.uk/youtube-competition/, where there is also a link to a YouTube video on how to make a YouTube ringing video. The monthly winners will also be listed on that page.

October 6-Bell Practice

Nine ringers took part in the October Association 6-bell practice. Such was the level of experience of those attending that a mixture of 6-bell and 8-bell ringing was possible. The ringing included Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles, St Clement's College Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, and Treble Bob Hunting on 8.

Thanks to Matt Lawrence for organising the practice and to all the ringers who took part.

About the Central Council

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has issued three documents about its work, volunteering with the Central Council, and what it means to be a Central Council Representative.

Those documents can be read and downloaded here:
What's the point of the Central Council.pdf,
Volunteering with the Central Council.pdf,
What does being a Central Council Rep mean?

Central Council Guidance for Returning to Ringing

The Central Council's guidance on ringing and Covid-19 is being regularly reviewed and updated. The current guidance can be found here https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/.

This page also includes a link to a page for individual ringers to help them reduce the risk to themselves and others while ringing.
https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/can-i-go-ringing-safely/

The Central Council has created a page of Frequently Asked Questions, such as why the guidance is still 2m rather than 1m, whether face coverings must be worn, and why only 15 minutes ringing.
https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions-on-covid-19-guidance/

Ringing must only start again with the permission of the incumbent, and after safety and maintenance checks have been carried out.

2020 Quarterly Newsletters

The January Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.

The June Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.

The September Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.

Index of YouTube Videos

The Central Council has put together a list of training webinars and videos which have been recorded and posted on YouTube.

https://cccbr.org.uk/youtube-index/

Zooming With SACBR

The Shropshire Association has taken out a subscription to the Zoom video conferencing app.
If your tower would like to use the app for a get-together please contact Matt Lawrence [] who will email you the necessary login details.

Some Notes on Using Zoom

Shaun Greenfield, the Association's PRO, has put together some useful information about how to use Zoom video calling.
Click here to view and download the PDF.

Practising At Home

One of the more recent innovations in ringing is the ability to learn and practise from home using computer software. Practise and learning at home is known to accelerate progress.

There are some great computer programmes that can be purchased and downloaded on-line (such as Abel, Virtual Belfry or Beltower), with which we can practise some of the methods we learn and develop our listening skills– all with a perfect band around us! Wouldn’t it be great if, when the time comes, we were able to get back to ringing better trained and informed than before?

There is a handy page of resources on the Association of Ringing Teachers website about practising on a simulator at home. This can be found by following this link.

There is also a number of Apps available for mobile phones and tablets. A couple of the most popular examples are:
Mobel - a ringing simulator for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, is available from Apple's App Store. If you choose the tower bells option, Mobel displays pictures of sallies and tail ends, uses tower bell sound, and rings at tower bell speed.
Methodology - a simulator that works on Android phones and is free to download. In the ‘interactive mode’ your selected bell appears at the bottom of the screen. To ring the bell, tap the dark blue rectangle. This doesn’t do anything until you start to ring – then you will see feedback on your timing, the little bars indicating how early/late you are on each stroke. Of course, you will hear if your timing is out as well.

Matt Lawrence

100+ Club Pause

I have decided to suspend the SACBR 100+ Club for the time being. I know many towers have not yet received this year’s application forms, together with their Annual Reports. However, even if you do have these, would you please NOT send any cheques and application forms until we are able to get back to our normal Association activities.

With best wishes to you all at this difficult time.

Gill Glover

SACBR and Facebook

The Shropshire Association now has a Facebook page! Click on the Facebook icon at the top of this page, you don't need a Facebook account to read the page. To add items to the Facebook page, please email them to Shaun Greenfield [ ], SACBR's publicity officer.

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.

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.

COLOUR
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.

PRICES
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.

SACBR Logo on maroon shirt LDMB at Newport Show

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.

Jad Bienek

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

Young ringers at Atcham

Text by Gail Lawrence
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

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 contact Shaun Greenfield [ ] 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.

Shaun would welcome any comments on the future format of the Newsletter and any items for inclusion in it.

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.

Committee Meeting

The next Association committee meeting will be held on Sunday, 13 December 2020.