Site last updated 18 February 2020
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.
February Association Practice
Twelve ringers attended the Association practice at Whittington and spent two hours practising call changes, plain hunt, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, St Martin’s Bob Minor, Original Minor, Dixon’s Bob Minor, and College Bob Minor.
Geoff Harding ran the raffle, raising £24 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The prizes of wine, chocolates, and coasters were taken home by Jad, Jan, and Peter W.
Thanks to Jan Snowball for organising the use of the bells.
The next Association practice will be held at Wrockwardine on Saturday 14th 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. At the last moment several students had to cancel, which meant that the students who did turn up got lots of practice. That practice included Grandsire Doubles, St Simon’s Bob Doubles & St Martin’s Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Plain Bob Triples, Stedman Triples, and Cambridge Surprise Major.
Tony Freemont, the Association’s Training Officer was joined by Mark Adams, Lisa Basden, Karen Compton, Rob Davis, Bill Deason, Madeline Harris, Matt Lawrence, Ginette Pardoe.
Thanks to Mark for preparing the simulator and the bells.
The next Association training morning will be held at Edgmond on Saturday 25th April. If you would like to participate please contact Tony Freemont .
Wednesday Morning Training at Lilleshall - February
The next Wednesday morning practice will be held at Lilleshall on Wednesday 19th February from 10am to 12:30pm.
Ringers of all abilities are welcome. These practices are a useful way of receiving some expert tuition in a friendly atmosphere. A £2 donation is requested to cover refreshments, a donation to the tower, and to the church.
So that he can be sure that there will be sufficient ringers available for this practice, please let Matthew Lawrence  know if you are planning to attend.
Two More Association Peals
The second and third Association peals of 2020 have been rung at Bromfield and Rushbury. The peal at Bromfield was rung exactly six years since the the last Association peal of 5 Minor methods was rung.
Bromfield - at the Church of St Mary the Virgin
On Saturday, 1 Febuary 2020, in 2 hours and 42 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Minor
5 methods: Two extents each of Oxford Treble Bob
and Kent Treble Bob;
and one extent each of St Clement's College Bob, College Bob,
and Plain Bob
Tenor 8-2-19 in G#
|E Ann Williams||Treble||Adrian G Roberts||4|
|Nicola J Galton||2||Kevin M Price||5|
|Peter G Neil||3||Andrew W Gordon||Tenor|
Conducted by Kevin M Price.
Rushbury - at the Church of St Peter
On Saturday, 1 Febuary 2020, in 2 hours and 37 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Minor
7 methods: One extent each of Cambridge Surprise,
Oxford Treble Bob,
Kent Treble Bob, St Clement's College Bob, Childwall Bob,
College Bob and Plain Bob
Tenor 5-3-4 in Bb
|Nicola J Galton||Treble||Cordelia Warr||4|
|E Ann Williams||2||Kevin M Price||5|
|Anthony J Freemont||3||Andrew W Gordon||Tenor|
Conducted by Kevin M Price.
February 8-Bell Practice
There was an excellent turn-out for the first 8-bell practice of 2020, held at Hodnet. Eighteen ringers had a go at Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Plain Bob Major, St Clement’s College Bob Major, and Little Bob Major.
The towers represented included Baschurch, Edgmond, Hodnet, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Meole Brace, Newport, Oswestry, Wellington, Wem, Whitchurch.
Thanks to John Powell for organising the use of the bells.
The next 8-bell practice is scheduled for Saturday 4th April, at Hodnet.
January Surprise Major Practice
Fourteen ringers participated in the January Surprise Major practice at Wem, making attempts at Cambridge, Glasgow, Yorkshire, and various numbers of Spliced.
Thanks to Gareth Jones for organising the use of the bells.
First Association Peal of 2020
The first Association Peal of 2020 has been rung at Upton Magna.
Upton Magna - at the Church of St Lucia
On Monday, 20 January 2020, in 2 hours and 42 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Minor
6 methods: One extent each of Cambridge Surprise,
Kent Treble Bob,
Oxford Treble Bob, St Clement's College Bob, Single Oxford Bob;
two extents of Plain Bob
Tenor 8-0-12 in Ab
|Trevor Lock||Treble||Adrian G Roberts||4|
|E Ann Williams||2||Peter Neil||5|
|Nicola J Galton||3||Andrew W Gordon||Tenor|
Conducted by Andrew W Gordon.
Rung in memory of local ringers John Gibson and Elaine Evans.
Association Practice, Quarterly Meeting and AGM
These were held at St Oswald, King and Martyr church, Oswestry. Prior to the Service of Thanksgiving about thirty members gathered to ring call changes, Stedman Doubles, Grandsire Triples, Little Bob Major, and three leads of Bristol Surprise Major.
Another twenty or so ringers turned up in time for the Service, which was led by the vicar of Oswestry, The Reverend Harvey Lloyd Gibbons. The address was given by Archdeacon Paul Thomas, vice-president of the Association. The Archdeacon spoke about the need for us to cooperate with each other, in ringing and in life.
The Oswestry band provided a delicious tea comprising three delicious soups and many different types of sandwiches, all followed by puddings and hot drinks.
At the Quarterly Meeting which preceded the AGM, the following were elected as members of the Association: Jamie Wordie (Bicton); Rhiannon Davies, Minnie Garvin, Rosie Garvin, Richard Gilman (all Ellesmere); Katie Head, Taylor Millward, Charlie Steele (all Lilleshall); Frankie Hartland, Michael Hartland, Geoff Lowe (all Meole Brace); Kevin Close, Judy Fox, Samuel Jones, Fiona McKeown, Lee Smith, Daniel Wiles (all Newport); Paul Garbett, Dan Matthews, Violet Matthews, Caroline Smith (all Sheriffhales); Paul Jones (Shifnal); Rita Stephens (Wellington); Sam Nelson (Whitchurch).
After the usual business of minutes of the last AGM, and matter arising from the Minutes, Matt Lawrence gave his Ringing Master’s report which touched briefly on a few of the highlights of the year, including: the fifteen peals that had been rung, the one hundred and ninety nine quarter peals rung, the fact that the trend for fewer members to ring quarter peals continued in 2019; Nathaniel Carter and Jonathan Molesworth rang their first quarter peals, and Andy Digby, Clare Morris and Steve Broughton rang their first peals during the year; the outing to the Pershore/Evesham area; the Quiz in November. Also mentioned were the training mornings at Edgmond, the 6-bell and 8-bell practices and the Surprise Major practices held throughout the year. Several former members of the Association who had died during the year were remembered. Matt thanked the Committee for their hard work and all those members who had supported the Association by buying raffle tickets or joining the 100+ Club. Matt also thanked all towers that had hosted meetings and event.
David Beckwith presented the accounts of the Association. The Independent Examiners, Karen Compton and Andrew Gordon, had inspected and approved the accounts and Andrew reported that he and Karen were happy with how the accounts had been presented.
Geoff Harding (Bell Advisor) reported that no BRF grants had been made in 2019, but that he had visited several towers and provided advice and assistance. Geoff brought to the attention of those present changes to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules which come into effect on 1st April 2020.
Biff Patterson thanked all those who had returned information about the tower they ring at. Biff is hoping to have the Report/ Handbook ready for proof-reading at the end of January and is aiming for distribution at the March practice.
Peter Woollam reported that there had been two loans from the library in 2019, and that he had continued to produce the quarterly Association Newsletter, which is sent out to all towers in the Association.
Tony Freemont reported that Training mornings at Edgmond continue to be well-attended and thanked Mark Adams for his help there. Tony also mentioned that 6-bell practices and 8-bell practices and Saturday monthly evening practices continue to offer members opportunities to make progress.
Jan Snowball (Safeguarding Officer) said that she had received no reports requiring investigation.
Madeline Harris reported that she had not made any major changes to the website in 2019, and she asked that quarter peals and peals are promptly sent to BellBoard so that they can appear on the Association’s website in the correct order. Madeline also thanked Alan Glover for his work setting up the website and for supporting it financially.
Elections for the Committee for 2020 were held. Matt Lawrence was re-elected as the Ringing Master. Madeline Harris was elected as General Secretary, replacing Jad Bienek; Vicki Sivess was elected as Social Secretary; Shaun Greenfield was elected as Public Relations & Publicity Officer, replacing Peter Woollam; Paul Lewis was elected as Central Council representative, replacing Alan Glover and Peter Woollam; Adrian Roberts was elected as the Independent Examiner, replacing Karen Compton. All other committee members remain as in 2019.
Matt Lawrence set out proposals to make some changes to the Rules of the Association. There was a robust discussion of the pros and cons of the changes. One of the points to emerge was the need to safeguard the Association’s funds. Archdeacon Paul summed up the discussion and said that the views of members should be fed to the committee with alternative ideas and safeguards, and further discussion would continue at future Quarterly Meetings and the next AGM.
It was agreed that from 2021 the annual subscription would increase to £10 per adult member; the junior subscription would remain at £5. It was agreed that the peal fee would rise to £1 per rope.
The final business of the AGM was the presentation to Graham Talbot of a certificate to mark Graham’s 25 years membership of the Association. Rex Edwards was also awarded a 25-year certificate, but he was unable to be at the meeting.
Peter Woollam sold raffle tickets, raising £105 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The glittering array of prizes was won by Vicki Sivess, Louise Dunsford, Mike Carding, Simon Rice, Biff Patterson, Archdeacon Paul, Madeline Harris, Nik Galton, Ginette Pardoe, Chloë Darby, and John Peppiatt. Peter thanked all those who donated prizes for the raffles.
The final draw of the year in the 100+ Club was made by Gill Glover. The winners were: £50 – Sue Mulcock, £25 – John Neal, £20 –Kathryn Steele, £15 – Chris Evans, £10 – Jo Smyth, and the extra prize of £50 was won by David Powell.
Thanks go to the Oswestry band for hosting the meetings and providing a sumptuous tea, to Archdeacon Paul for chairing the meetings, Rev Gibbons for conducting the Service, and everyone for supporting the Association.
The next AGM will be held at Newport on Saturday 9th January 2021. The next Quarterly meeting will be held at Ruyton XI Towns on Saturday 18th April. The next monthly practice will be held at Whittington on Saturday 8th February.
Graham Talbot and Archdeacon Paul Thomas
Photo by John Williamson
January 6-bell Practice
This was held at Stanton with eleven ringers attending. Under the guidance of the Ringing Master, Matt Lawrence, those present practised Plain Bob Minor, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Cambridge Surprise Minor, and Primrose Surprise Minor.
Thanks to Claire Unsworth for organising the use of the bells, and for providing delicious chocolate and orange brownies.
The next 6-bell practice is scheduled for Saturday 7th March, at Whittington.
January Quarterly Newsletter, and AGM
The Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.
It is with great sadness that the death of Eddie Davies is reported. Eddie, who died on 19th December 2019 after a short illness, was an active ringer at Great Ness.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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 March 2020.
Shaun Greenfield 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.