Site last updated 17 November 2017
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.
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.
ART Module 1 Training at Edgmond
A cursory glance at ringing in the Association's area reveals that more ringers are needed at most towers. Many of our current ringers probably feel apprehensive at the thought of teaching beginners, and this of course makes it difficult to recruit learners with confidence.
This scenario is not unique to our area and a few years ago a movement began to try to address these issues. The result is the Association of Ringing Teachers and their Learning the Ropes scheme, the idea of which is to provide a structured scheme to learn bell-handling and the early stages of change-ringing, and to train sufficient teachers to deliver the scheme. If successful, it is hoped to make learning more effective and more fun, thereby increasing the chances of recruiting and retaining additional ringers. It is against this background that an ART course was run at Edgmond, tutored by Paul Lewis.
Those attending as potential teachers were Vicki Sivess and David Read (Meole Brace), Ian Darby (Pattingham), Sue and Derek Dancey (Bicton), Jacqui Barden and Biff Patterson (Shrewsbury) and Liz Menhinick (Unattached). Matt Lawrence, Gill Glover and Dawn Offen were present as potential mentors, while Nick Green and Alan Glover lurked as carers, and confusers.
The day comprised a sequence of (mercifully) short PowerPoint presentations, practical sessions in the tower and the sharing of best practice and assorted horror stories. Refreshments were provided by Sue, Biff and Gill, and lunch was taken at The Lion. The course provided much food for thought for the potential teachers and should be the start of a process in which they are assigned a mentor and teach a recruit from scratch to the point where they can handle a bell safely and efficiently and are able to make a contribution to a tower in the area. ART provides much support in the form of publications and online material to make this as efficient and painless as possible for both teacher and learner.
|Paul is intrigued as Vicky tries to sort
out Jacqui's handling problems.
Dawn can't bear to watch
|Sue looks horrified at Dave's suggestion
of a better way
to catch the sally
|Most of the course members
desperately trying to remember
what they had ordered for lunch
Royal Platinum Wedding Anniversary - 20 November
The following appeared in The Ringing World of 10 November 2017.
Monday 20th November 2017 will be the Queen and Prince Philip's platinum wedding anniversary, and we hope that as many ringers as possible will mark the event.
If you want to ring a special method for the occasion, there was an article on learning Platinum Delight Minor and Platinum Surprise Major published on 15 September, but ringing of any length or method is equally fitting.
Please make sure that you publicise why you are ringing locally so that the public appreciate the connection between ringing and this momentous occasion.
After the the event a composite record of all performances submitted to BellBoard will be sent to the Palace, so please make sure you link your performance to the BellBoard event: HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh's Platinum Wedding Anniversary. That will make it much easier to gather all performances together.
There's a copy of the 15 September article referred to at: http://jaharrison.me.uk/New/Articles/BTLC/5.pdf
November 6-Bell Practice
There was another good turnout of ringers at Atcham for the November 6-bell practice. Twenty one ringers, under the direction of Tony Freemont, had a go at call changes, Plain Hunt, Plain Bob Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Grandsire Doubles and Cambridge Surprise Minor. The towers represented at the practice included Atcham, Baschurch, Edgmond, High Ercall, Market Drayton, Meole Brace, Oswestry, and Shrewsbury.
Two Peals in One Day (4)
The nineteenth and twentieth Association peals of the year were rung at Chirbury and Pontesbury. The peal at Pontesbury was Paul Lewis's 50th peal for the Association.
Chirbury, Shropshire - at the Church of St Michael
On Saturday, 4 November 2017, in 2 hours and 50 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Treble Dodging Minor
4 methods: One extent of Norwich Surprise,
two extents each of Cambridge Surprise, Kent Treble Bob,
Oxford Treble Bob
Tenor 11-3-26 in G
|Cordelia Warr||Treble||Gareth B R Jones||4|
|Madeline J Harris||2||Kevin M Price||5|
|E Ann Williams||3||Andrew W Gordon||Tenor|
Conducted by Kevin M Price.
Remembering Richard M Casserley of Berkhamsted, who died recently.
Pontesbury, Shropshire - at the Church of St George
On Saturday, 4 November 2017, in 2 hours and 51 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Minor
7 methods: One extent each of Cambridge Surprise, Kent Treble Bob,
Oxford Treble Bob, St Clement's College Bob, College Bob,
Single Oxford Bob, Plain Bob
Tenor 11-1-8 in G
|E Ann Williams||Treble||Gareth B R Jones||4|
|Peter J Woollam||2||Kevin M Price||5|
|Paul J Lewis||3||Andrew W Gordon||Tenor|
Conducted by Kevin M Price.
First in seven Minor methods - 2.
50th peal for the Association - 3.
South Warrington Ringing Festival
The Mid Cheshire Branch of the Chester Diocesan Guild is holding a ringing festival to mark one year of the bells at Stockton Heath being commissioned, together with the launch of the project to replace the bells at Grappenhall with a brand new ring of 10. Part of the festival is a mini open day on Saturday 18 November, with towers in the South Warrington area open for ringing, including the ring at Stockton Heath. The cost is £2 per ringer per tower.
The following towers will be open:
- 11.00 - 12.00 Grappenhall, St Wilfrid (8), 11-1-6 WA4 3EP, SJ 639863
- 11.30 - 12.30 Stretton, St Matthew (8), 8-3-18 WA4 4NT, SJ620827
- 13.00 - 14.00 Daresbury, All Saints (8), 16-1-5 WA4 4AE, SJ 580828
- 13.30 - 15.00 Stockton Heath, St Thomas (10), 16-3-6 WA4 6HJ, SJ 613863
October Surprise Major Practice
Thirteen ringers, and a very young future ringer, took part in this practice held at Edgmond. The ringing, directed by the Ringing Master, included Belfast, Bristol, London, Rutland, 4-spliced, 6-spliced, and 8-spliced.
Thanks to Mark Adams for preparing the bells and setting up the simulator.
The next Surprise Major practice is scheduled for Friday 24th November at Meole Brace.
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.
October Monthy Practice and Quarterly Meeting
These took place at Upton Magna. Seventeen ringers attended and the ringing included call changes, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Grandsire Doubles, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, College Bob Minor, Stedman Doubles, London Surprise Minor.
Peter Woollam displayed the three banners which the Association has purchased for use by bands to advertise ringing. Contact Peter if you would like to borrow the banners for an event at your church. They can only be used indoors.
Madeline Harris reminded those assembled about the Ceilidh to be held at Shawbury on Saturday 18 November, from 7:30pm to 11pm. Tickets cost £10 (£7.50 for 18s and under) and are available from Jacqui Barden, Peter Woollam, Biff Paterson and Chris Fraser.
Madeline also reminded those present about the annual Carol Service, to be held this year at Ellesmere, on Saturday 9 December with ringing starting at 6pm.
There was a short discussion about insurance, following on from the discussion at the last Quarterly Meeting. Susan Capey, Association Treasurer, was in the process of obtaining a quote from Ecclesiastical Insurance to cover members for Public Liability. There will be more information about this issue at the next Quarterly Meeting/AGM.
There was a short discussion about Safeguarding following on from the recent article by Chris Mew in The Ringing World.
Edric Broom reminded the meeting that the practices he holds at Edgmond on the third Wednesday morning of the month would resume on 18 October.
Madeline mentioned the next 8-bell practice will be held at Hodnet on Saturday 2 December. The next 6-bell practice is still to be confirmed. The next Association Training morning will be held at Edgmond on Saturday 25 November. Contact Tony Freemont [email] if you would like to participate.
Peter Woollam raised £24 for the BRF from the sale of raffle tickets. Prizes of wine, jam and sweets were won by Jan Snowball, Gail Lawrence, and Biff Patterson. Peter thanked those who had donated prizes.
The draw for the 100+ Club took place. The winners of the third draw of the year are: Roy Bloor (£50), Tony Bryant (£25), Karen Hampton (£15), Eric Pridding (£15), Maureen Broom (£12) and Judith Gibbins (£10).
Thanks to Mike Lloyd for organising the use of the bells at very short notice.
The next monthly practice will be on Saturday 9 December, at Ellesmere, prior to the Association Carol Service.
The next Quarterly Meeting will be held at Meole Brace on Saturday 13 January 2018, prior to the AGM.
A Peal at Clive
The eighteenth Association peal of the year was rung at Clive.
Clive, Shropshire - at the Church of All Saints
On Sunday, 8 October 2017, in 3 hours and 18 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Surprise Minor
7 methods: 1. London, 2. Surfleet, 3. Carlisle, 4. Norwich,
5. Bourne, 6. Ipswich, 7. Cambridge
Tenor 25-0-9 in Eb
|Gareth B R Jones||Treble||Matthew Lawrence||4|
|Michael Wilshaw||2||Nicholas J Green||5|
|Gail K Lawrence||3||Andrew C Ogden||Tenor|
Conducted by Nicholas J Green.
A Farewell Peal
The seventeenth Association peal of the year was rung at Edgmond to mark the retirement of the Rev. Preb. Edward Ward.
Edgmond, Shropshire - at the Church of St Peter
On Sunday, 1 October 2017, in 2 hours and 53 minutes
A Peal of 5088 Rutland Surprise Major
Composed by James W Washbrook
Tenor 9-3-12 in G
|Gail K Lawrence||Treble||Paul J Lewis||5|
|Nicholas J Green||2||Edric W Broom||6|
|Mark Adams||3||Alan M Glover||7|
|Maurice G Ingram||4||Matthew Lawrence||Tenor|
Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.
Rung as a farewell compliment to the Revd Prebendary Edward Ward,
who is retiring after 26 years as rector to the parishes of
Edgmond, Kynnersley and Preston on the Weald Moors.
Bill Deason wishes to be associated with this peal.
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: email or telephone 01939 291014.
Lichfield Diocesan Striking Competition 2017
The third annual striking competition between the three associations within the Lichfield Diocese was held at Albrighton on Saturday 23rd September 2017. The three associations each entered a 6-bell band and an 8-bell band. The 6-bell bands had to ring 240 changes of Doubles or Minor, and the set piece for the 8-bell bands was 168 changes of Stedman Triples. The faults for each association's bands were added together and the winning association was the one with the fewest combined faults.
The judges were Tim and Sheila Wellen from Welshpool. After giving brief comments on each performance Tim gave the scores for the bands:
|Lichfield & Walsall||26||32||58|
and the Lichfield & Walsall bands were duly declared the winners. Tim presented representatives of the two bands with the trophy.
|Shropshire's 6-bell band
(l-r) Liz, Amanda, Andrew, Karen, Gareth, Peter
|Shropshire's 8-bell band
(l-r) Maurice, Noj, Mark, Jacqui, Nick, Bill, Tony, Dawn
September Training Morning
The third Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Lois Crooks, (High Ercall), Vicki Sivess (Meole Brace), Emma Bentley, Lisa Basden (Atcham), and Geoff Harding (Baschurch) were the students.
Madeline Harris was helped during the morning by Edric Broom, Jacqui Barden, Jad Bienek, Rob Davis, Chris Fraser, Alan Glover, Gill Glover, Nick Green, Brian Kear, Matt Lawrence, and Biff Patterson.
The ringing included call changes, plain hunt on 5, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Plain Bob Triples, and Grandsire Triples.
Refreshments were available, as is usual on these occasions.
Thanks to Edric for readying the bells and the simulator.
The final Training Morning of the year will be on Saturday 25th November, at Edgmond, from 9:30am to 12:30pm. If you would like to participate please contact Tony Freemont.
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 email@example.com
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/
In 2016 the Shropshire Association’s 100+ Club continued the trend of recent years with more than 100 members. There were twenty two winners with two members winning twice. The total prize money awarded was £508, and £878.38 was raised for the Bell Restoration Fund.
Brian Kear, the organiser of the 100+ Club, has recently sent out application forms for 2017 to all tower correspondents. To be a member of the Club you must be over the age of 16 years. 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 to Brian by 1st April 2017. Cheques should be made payable to Shropshire Association of Church Bellringers Bell Restoration Fund.
The total of grants awarded from the Bell Restoration Fund in 2016 was £351. 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.
The first draw of the year will take place at the Quarterly Meeting at Norton-in-Hales on 8th April.
VAT and Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
The Central Council's Bell Restoration Committee has recently updated its Guidance Note on this subject.
The Guidance Note (GN1) can be found at
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 email Peter Woollam at firstname.lastname@example.org 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, 3rd September 2017.
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.