Site last updated 14 August 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.
It is with great sadness that the death of Arthur Talbot is reported. Arthur learnt to ring at Norton-in-Hales, where his father and brother were ringers. Arthur also rang at Market Drayton.
August 8-Bell Practice
There was a good turnout of ringers at the August 8-bell practice held at Hodnet. Sixteen ringers practised call changes, Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Triples, Little Bob Major, St Simon's Bob Triples, Stedman Triples. Toswers represented included Baschurch, Calverhall/Ightfield, Clive, Edgmond, Hodnet, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Newport, Tong, Wellington, and Whitchurch.
Thanks to John Powell for allowing use of the bells.
Farewell to Edric and Maureen Broom
The following article appeared recently in The Ringing World.
Last summer Edric and Maureen Broom announced that they were planning to relocate to Keynsham near Bristol so that they can be closer to their family.
They moved from Herefordshire to Edgmond in 1985 and immediately became active members of St Peter’s church. Shortly afterwards Edric was elected Ringing Master, a position that he held for nearly 30 years. Edric also served as the Shropshire Association Ringing Master for 7 years followed by a long period as Training Officer. In recognition of his contribution, he was subsequently elected an honorary life member of the Association.
Wednesday the 12th of June was their last official Edgmond practice night. To celebrate the occasion, Edric was invited to be our ‘celebrity ringing master’ for the evening which was rounded off with wine, champagne, food and socialising. As a sign of our appreciation, Edric and Maureen were presented with a framed water colour painted by local artist and ringer, Tony Waldron from Tibberton. Poignantly, the picture is of Edgmond church as viewed across the churchyard from their house.
On behalf of the Edgmond ringers and the Shropshire Association, we thank Edric and Maureen for their friendship and support over the last 34 years and we wish you all the best for the future in your new home.
June & July Surprise Major Practices
Sixteen ringers participated in the June practice at High Ercall, making attempts at Bristol, Glasgow, London, 6-Spliced and 8-Spliced. Fourteen ringers turned up at Wem for the July practice. The ringing included Cambridge, Glasgow, Lincolnshire, London, Yorkshire, and 8-Spliced.
Thanks to Chris Yates and Gareth Jones for organising the use of the bells.
July Association Practice and Quarterly Meeting
In a departure from the usual venues for these Association events, the practice was held on the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry, located on the driveway of Peter Woollam’s home. Six members of the committee met to erect the belfry, under the strict guidance of Peter. Then a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles was rung. An unsuccessful attempt was made at a quarter of Plain Bob Minor. For several of the members who turned up for the practice, this was their first time to ring on the Belfry. Matt Lawrence, Ringing Master, led the ringing of call changes, Plain Bob Doubles and Minor, and Dixon’s Bob Minor.
The quarterly meeting was held on Peter’s patio, looking out towards Wales. Jacqui Barden reported that Robert Milton of the Churches Conservation Trust, is keen to involve the Association in the Carol Service for the Friends of St Mary’s in 2020. Matt thanked John Neal of Shrewsbury for organising the Association’s outing in June.
David Dakin, Pippa Hodgetts and George Hodgetts, all from Sheriffhales, were elected as members of the Association.
The Treasurer, David Beckwith, gave a brief report on the state of the Association’s finances. All the ads in the Association Handbook/Report have been paid for, and Gift Aid has been received for 2017 and 2018. The major expense since the last meeting was for the hosting of the website.
Geoff Harding reported that he has visited Atcham to replace some clapper bolts. Montford have received a quotation from Taylors for work to be done on the bells there. The treble at Montford is currently out of action.
Those present were reminded that nominations for Honorary Life Membership are due to the committee before its next meeting on Sunday 15th September.
Tony Freemont agreed to create a Quiz for the social event in November. Matt is still working on finding a venue for this event.
As well as hosting the Association, Peter ran the customary raffle, raising £23 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The winers of the prizes of wine, chocolates, a scent diffuser and a beautiful bunch of lavender flowers, were Jad, Matt, Ann, and Geoff.
Gill Glover reported that there are currently 115 members of the 100+ Club, and thanked them for their support. The winners of the second draw of the year are:
|1st prize of £50.00||Dawn Offen (Worthen)|
|2nd prize of £25.00||Dave Read (Shrewsbury)|
|3rd prize of £20.00||Alison Johnson (Wellington)|
|4th prize of £15.00||Roy Bloor (Market Drayton)|
|5th prize of £10.00||Peter Hampton (Meole Brace)|
Matt thanked Peter Woollam for his hospitality.
The next Quarterly meeting will be held at Whitchurch on Saturday 12th October.
The next Association practice will be the annual joint practice with the Church Stretton District of the Hereford Guild, at Condover on Saturday 17th August, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. All ringers are welcome.
It is with sadness that the death, on 23rd June 2019, of Chris Henshall of Lower Heath, Prees is reported.
We think Chris began ringing at Wistaston with Frank Morton when he lived in the Crewe area, and he became a regular ringer at St Luke's, Hodnet when he moved to Lower Heath near Prees. In his ringing career, the Association website lists him as ringing six quarter peals between 2006 and 2010 and a peal of Cambridge Surprise Major in February 2002 at Edgmond.
Outside of bellringing, Chris was a keen beekeeper and inspired others to take up the practice. After his retirement as a solicitor for the Council in Crewe, he started learning to fly small aircraft but the emergence of his condition sadly put a stop to that before he was able to fully qualify.
Association Outing 2019
John Neal arranged an excellent outing to the Pershore/Evesham area for the Shropshire Association. About 24 ringers from Shropshire and other Associations enjoyed ringing at Pershore, Great Hampton, Evesham, Fladbury, and Upton Snodsbury. They also rang at Crowle. Call changes and Grandsire were rung at every tower. Other methods rung included Stedman, Bristol Surprise, Cambridge Surprise, London Surprise, and Superlative Surprise. At least two ringers rang on 12 bells for the first time – well done to them. Crowle was the mystery tower of the day. The ringing there was enlivened when a rope slipped wheel. The sound of the bells is nearly as loud inside the ringing room as outside the church.
The weather was rather too wet for eating outside, so those who had brought picnic lunches were allowed to eat them inside the redundant church of St Lawrence, which is situated in the grounds of Evesham Bell Tower.
Thanks go to John Neal for his organisational skills, and to all the incumbents and bands of the towers visited.
First Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Andy Digby of Meole Brace, who rang his first peal to mark the 150th anniversary of Holy Trinity church, Meole Brace.
Meole Brace - at the Church of the Holy Trinity
On Saturday, 15 June 2019, in 3 hours 6 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Plain Bob Triples
Composed by Roger Bailey
Tenor 7-1-7 in Bb
|Gail K Lawrence||Treble||Peter Neil||5|
|Gillian R Glover||2||Michael Carding||6|
|E Ann Williams||3||Matthew Lawrence||7|
|Nicola J Galton||4||Andrew P Digby||Tenor|
Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.
First Peal - Tenor.
First Peal for the Shropshire Association - 6.
Rung for the 150th Anniversary of Holy Trinity, Meole Brace
and for the 50th Anniversary of the bells.
Photo by Matt Lawrence
Suspension of Ringing at Moreton Corbet
There will be no ringing at Moreton Corbet after 16th June 2019, until October 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
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.
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.