Site last updated 21 March 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.
March Association Practice
Fourteen ringers attended the Association practice held at Whittington. A wide variety of methods was rung, including Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Plain & Little Bob Minor, Grandsire Doubles, Grandsire Minor, variable hunt Cambridge Surprise Minor, Beverley Surprise Minor, Norwich Surprise Minor, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, Single Oxford Bob Minor, Double Oxford Bob Minor, and Dixon’s Bob Minor.
The raffle run by Peter Woollam raised £19 for the BRF, and the prizes of wine and chocolate were won by Geoff Harding, Andrew Gordon and Jan Snowball.
Thanks go to Jan Snowball and Peter Woollam for hosting the practice.
The next Association practice will be held at Norton-in-Hales on Saturday 8th April, from 7pm to 8:30pm and will be followed by the Quarterly Meeting. The special methods will be Grandsire Triples and Single Oxford Bob Triples; other methods will be rung, depending on the ringers who attend. All ringers are welcome.
Another 23-Spliced Peal for the Association
The fourth 23-Spliced Surprise Major peal for the Association has been rung at Much Wenlock.
Much Wenlock, Shropshire - at the Church of The Holy Trinity
On Saturday, 11 March 2017, in 3 hours and 18 minutes
A Peal of 5152 Spliced Surprise Major
23 methods: 224 each Bristol, Rutland, Jersey, Lincolnshire, Superlative,
Preston, Lindum, Cray, Whalley, Pudsey, Ipswich, Cambridge,
Cassiobury, London, Uxbridge, Glasgow, Tavistock, Watford,
Yorkshire, Ashtead, Wembley, Cornwall and Double Dublin;
160 changes of method; all the work
Composed by Donald F Morrison (#6)
Tenor 16-0-8 in E
|Dawn Grundy||Treble||Nicholas J Green||5|
|Elizabeth Hutchieson||2||Matthew Lawrence||6|
|Gail K Lawrence||3||Stuart C W Hutchieson||7|
|Neil Bennett||4||Michael Wilshaw||Tenor|
Conducted by Stuart C W Hutchieson.
Birthday compliment to Dawn.
March 6-Bell Practice
There was a good turnout of ringers at Wem for the March 6-bell practice. Unfortunately, the practice had to be shortened becauseof a funeral in the church, but eighteen ringers, under the direction of Tony Freemont, had a go at call changes on 8, Plain Bob Doubles, Stedman Doubles, and Grandsire Doubles. The towers represented at the practice included Meole Brace, Atcham, Oswestry, Ellesmere, Edgmond, Market Drayton and Wem.
Thanks go to Karen Compton for hosting this practice and providing refreshments afterwards.
A Variable Hunt Peal
The first variable hunt peal for the Association has been rung at Upton Magna.
Upton Magna, Shropshire - at the Church of St Lucia
On Saturday, 4 March 2017, in 2 hours and 42 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Cambridge Surprise Minor
Composed by A J Cox (variable hunt)
Tenor 8–0–12 in Ab
|Raymond J Ballard||Treble||Timothy M Davis||4|
|Gail K Lawrence||2||Nicholas J Green||5|
|Alan M Glover||3||Matthew Lawrence||Tenor|
Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.
Bell Frame Recording Seminar at Wellesbourne
The Central Council Towers and Belfries Committee is holding an Introduction to Bell Frame Recording seminar at St Peter's Church Centre, Wellesbourne on Saturday 1st April, from 10am to 5pm. The cis £15 and places are limited. To book your place contact Alan Frost tel: 01296 681244 or email: email@example.com
The historical significance and technical performance of tower frames often need to be recorded. Recording skills, of all kinds, are becoming scarce. Come to see how you can use your talents to help keep our bells ringing.
February 8-Bell Practice
Twenty ringers turned up at Market Drayton for the 8-bell practice. The ringing included several plain course of Plain Bob Triples and Grandsire Triples, a plain course of Single Oxford Bob Triples, and a touch of Stedman Triples that nearly came round. The Ringing Master is grateful to the more experienced ringers who came along to help.
The date and venue of the next 8-bell practice will be announced in due course.
Changes to Clive and Wem Practice Times
Starting from March 2017 practices at Wem will be held on the first and third Fridays of the month, from 7:30pm to 9pm. Practices at Clive will be held on the second, fourth and fifth Fridays of the month, from 7:30pm to 9pm.
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.
February Association Practice
A select band of ringers attended the Association practice held at Bicton. Eight ringers, including three from the local band, had varying degrees of success with Stedman Doubles, Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Little Bob Minor, St Clement's College Bob Minor, and Dixon's Bob Minor.
Thanks to Sue & Derek Dancey and Paul Roberts for their hospitality.
The next Association practice will be held at Whittington on Saturday 12th March, from 7pm to 9pm. The special methods will be Stedman Doubles and Single Oxford Bob Minor; other methods will be rung, depending on the ringers who attend. All ringers are welcome.
February Training Morning at Edgmond
The first Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Fin Shelley (High Ercall), Vicki Sivess (Meole Brace), and Alice Turner (Hodnet) were the students. The ringing included call changes, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, and Plain Bob Major.
Tony Freemont, the Association’s Training Officer was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Jad Bienek, John Burton, Karen Compton, Rob Davis, Alan Glover, Gill Glover, Nick Green, Madeline Harris, Peter Neil, Biff Patterson, Cordelia Warr and Luke Wilson.
Thanks to Edric Broom and Mark Adams for readying the bells and the simulator.
Further learning opportunities are available at the next Third Wednesday morning practice at Edgmond on 15th February, from 10am to 12:30pm; the 8-bell practice on 24th February at Market Drayton, from 7:30pm to 9:00pm; and the next 6-bell practice on 4th March at Wem, from 10am to 12noon.
A Centenary Peal
The second Association peal of 2017 was rung at Beckbury to celebrate the 100th birthday of David Tildesley. David's son, Richard, built the frame for the augmented peal at Beckbury.
Beckbury, Shropshire - at the Church of St Milburga
On Thursday, 19 January 2017, in 2 hours and 18 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Grandsire Doubles
12x240 1x360 15x120 340 calls
Tenor 4-2-18 in Db
|E Ann Williams||Treble|
|David E Coleman||2|
|Madeline J Harris||3|
|Andrew W Gordon||4|
|Adrian G Roberts||Tenor|
Conducted by Andrew W Gordon.
First peal of Grandsire Doubles - 2.
First peal of Doubles - 3.
100th Birthday compliment to David Tildesley,
father of Richard Tildesley who gave and built the bell frame.
Also in memory of Barry J Lewis who helped with the
restoration and augmentation of these bells.
Have Your Say on the Future of the Central Council - Part 4
The latest article from CRAG (Council Review Action Group) was published in The Ringing World of 13th January 2017. An online copy of the article is available to read at cc-crag.weebly.com/uploads/9/1/3/4/91345646/rw130117_prjb_-_web.pdf.
Phillip Barnes, Chairman of CRAG, has written the following message to ringers.
The article gives feedback on what ringers told us they feel about the Central Council of Church Bellringers - our current central body for ringing - and some of their suggestions for improvements. We have also given some of our early thoughts on what is needed in the future.
Many say the Central Council (CC) is irrelevant to them and their ringing. We on the independent review group, however, feel that ringing does need an effective central body and that everyone already gets some benefit from the CC even if they don't realise it. However, it could be so much more and it is likely that our proposals will recommend the most radical overhaul of the CC in more than 125 years.
It is all the more important that we hear the view of as many ringers as possible no matter where they live or what they ring. We have a short online survey, which should take no more than a few minutes to complete, and we very much hope that you will take part and thus influence the future of ringing.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Have Your Say on the Future of the Central Council - Part 2
The role of a central body: CRAG wish now to present outline suggestions for what needs to be done centrally to support and develop ringing. These are described as an outline Mission Statement for a central body.
Click here cccbr.org.uk/review/part2/ to read the article published in The Ringing World of 7th October and on the Central Council website.
Have Your Say on the Future of the Central Council
At its annual meeting in May 2016, the Central Council set up a working group to carry out a review of the rules and activities of the Central Council. This group is called the Council Review Action Group, or CRAG for short. The group will report its recommendations to the Central Council annual meeting in 2017.
CRAG has now had its first meeting and has developed a proposed Vision statement for ringing:
"A vibrant community of ringers; with bell-ringing valued as an enjoyable performing art that is open to all, a beneficial mental & physical exercise, and a unique musical and cultural pursuit which provides service to both community and church."
This would mean that the aim of the Central Council should be:
"To foster a vibrant community of ringers; with bell-ringing valued as an enjoyable performing art that is open to all, a beneficial mental & physical exercise, and a unique musical and cultural pursuit which provides service to both community and church."
CRAG is very keen to have feedback on the Vision statement from as wide a range of ringers as possible. You can read more details of the CRAG's work at cccbr.org.uk/review/part1/.
SACBR 90th Anniversary Challenge - The Final List
To mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Shropshire Association, members were challenged to collectively complete 90 significant firsts during 2016.
The final list of these firsts can be seen here.
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) and the Church of England have agreed an update to the Safeguarding procedures for ringers.Guidance Note 3 (GN3), which an be found at www.cccbr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/GN3v9.pdf, gives advice regarding child protection in towers. The Appendix to the Guidance Note describes in more detail the ringing activities which require a ringer to be DBS checked.
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 Belfast or Glasgow. 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 practices are reasonably well attended and have attracted some positive feedback. There is always room for improvement, and the ringing master is prepared to take constructive criticism and suggestions over the running and scope of these practices.
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, 11th June 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.