Site last updated 1 April 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.
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.
Solo Ringing During the Coronavirus Lockdown
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has the following message on its website:
There have been several enquiries as to whether the ringing of a single bell or a set of Ellacombe chimes should be permitted as they are only rung by one person, especially for Easter Sunday.
It is clear from the UK government that we are being asked to stay at home to help halt the spread of coronavirus and that all unnecessary journeys should cease. It is also clear from the Church of England that all churches are to remain closed for the time being:
“Staying at home and demonstrating solidarity
with the rest of the country at this testing time, is, we believe, the right
way of helping and ministering to our nation. Therefore, for a season, the
centre for the liturgical life of the church must be the home, not the
(Letter from Archbishops and Diocesan Bishops of the Church of England to all clergy in the Church of England 27 March 2020)..
We did seek explicit guidance on this point from Lambeth Palace and were referred back to this guidance, and that “churches are closed as part of wider legal restrictions.” The Central Council Executive does not think this needs to be made any clearer.
Something To Do Now There's No Ringing - Week 2
Today we continue our virtual treasure hunt through the world of bellringing. Only by solving each clue in turn can you progress through the quiz.
The answers to the Week 1 quiz can be found here
4. We started with 4 and now we have 3. So if 3 is ones, 4 is about as small as it gets, and a company commander is one less than 8, why is the plural of five 11?
5. 11 is a great number. For one thing it’s a prime number. What is the sum of all the prime numbers smaller than 11?
FIENDISH EXTRA QUESTION (FEQ2): We are sticking with 11, at least to start
with. Who wrote 11 symphonies the last of which was unfinished and written
If you take the surname of the composer and add it to the first name of the designer of the Jules Rimet Trophy, then remove a type of story by Aesop, whatever you have left is an audible clue to a song from a famous musical. Which?
There was another song in the same musical which mentioned two different types of bells. What were they?
6. Back with our prime numbers. In 5 you calculated the sum of the prime numbers smaller than 11. There is a marvellously named village in Essex called Fobbing. Using the sum of the prime numbers less than 11 as a clue, and rung in the year after the 1000th peal rung for the Shropshire Association you will find a QP with a link to SACBR. What is it? (Clue – Use Bellboard)
7. TO COME.
A Message from the Ringing Master
Dear members and friends,
As further measures on social distancing are announced, it seems that we may not be ringing for some time, we are in for a difficult few months. We must not return to ringing until the guidance on social gathering is changed.
Although this is extremely tough, we need not give up all of our interest in ringing. There are many things we can do to help advance our ringing away from the tower, there are some great resources out there. Your committee is looking at how we can help keep us all connected with our fabulous hobby – watch this space [see below].
Let’s all think actively of how we can maintain contact and support each other. I know we will look out for one another, especially for those who are particularly at risk and who may be feeling particularly lonely or vulnerable.
I hope that it is not too long before we can resume ringing, as ringers we will certainly know how to celebrate getting back to our ringing activities.
Keep in touch. Take care and stay safe.
SACBR Ringing Master
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.
Something To Do Now There's No Ringing - Week 1
Today we start our virtual treasure hunt through the world of bellringing. Only by solving each clue in turn can you progress through the quiz.
As you go you will have to collect “key items” that will help you to complete answers you have yet to see, or imagine. You will not know whether you have collected the right material until you are called upon to use it.
So best of luck bellringing travellers. Bon Voyage.
I will post three new questions (plus one FEQ) every week and give the answer to the previous week’s questions.
Websites will be our main source of information so let’s start with SACBR.
1. If the librarian were a liquid measure how many would you get to the pint?
2. This question is appealing. If you were successful with Question 1 you will be able to name the tower where that numbered Association peal was rung. You will also be able to name a ringer. How many peals did he ring for the Association?
FIENDISH EXTRA QUESTION (FEQ1) Here is a chance to cash in your first key item.
If you add the number of bells in the tower in Question 2 to the number of Association peals rung by the ringer, you will get a number. Use that number in a weighty way to find a bell that no longer exists, but whose name might remind you of bellringing that doesn’t exist, or at least isn’t real.
You might then go to a website managed by Interactive Advertising. If you are in the right website you might be able to tell me the possible name of Cain’s sister.
This is turn might remind you of a table and a famous radio show host whose surname is the same as the name of the dog who found Jules Rimet in 1966. What, in the context of this question is so interesting about the designer of the Jules Rimet.
3. If the team who had won the Jules Rimet most often, were a Surprise
method with a military rank, what would be the place bell order?
This link might be helpful: http://www.vismeth.co.uk/main.htm
If you started with the smallest, then added the first to the second bell in that order and then subtracted the next, added the next, etc what number would you end up with.
4. TO COME.
The answers to the Week 1 quiz can be found here
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.
March Association Practice
Eleven ringers, including a visitor from Cannock, made the exciting ascent into the tower at Wrockwardine to attend the Association practice. The ringing, under the direction of the Ringing Master, included call changes, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Original Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, and Norwich Surprise Minor.
Geoff Harding ran the raffle, raising £27 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The prizes of chocolates, and bath smellies were taken home by Michael, Matt, and Richard.
Thanks to the Wrockwardine ringers for organising the use of the bells.
The next Association practice, including the quarterly meeting, is currently scheduled to be held at Ruyton-XI-Towns on Saturday 18th April, from 7pm to 9pm. Whether this practice goes ahead will depend on the situation regarding Covid-19. Please check the website closer to the time.
Fourth Association Peal of 2020
The fourth Association Peal of 2020 has been rung at Oswestry. This was the 50th peal for the Association for both Gail and Matthew Lawrence.
Oswestry, Shropshire - at the Church of St Oswald, King and Martyr
On Saturday, 14 March 2020, in 3 hours 8 minutes
A Peal of 5088 Lincolnshire Surprise Major
Composed by W Barton (rotated)
Tenor 13-3-19 in F
|E Ann Williams||Treble||Cordelia Warr||5|
|Anthony J Freemont||2||Peter Neil||6|
|Gail K Lawrence||3||William J Lander||7|
|Nicola J Galton||4||Matthew Lawrence||Tenor|
Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.
First in method - 6 and 7.
50th for the Association - 3 and 8.
March 6-Bell Practice
Thirteen ringers journeyed to Whittington to participate in the March 6-bell practice. The ringing was led by Tony Freemont, and included Plain Bob Doubles, St Simon’s Bob Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Original Minor, Treble Bob Hunt Minor, St Martin’s Bob Minor, Childwall Minor, and Thelwall Minor.
February Surprise Major Practice
Sixteen ringers (including a visitor from Guildford) participated in the February Surprise Major practice at Edgmond. The ringing included Cambridge, Deva, Rutland, Yorkshire, and 8- Spliced.
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.
January Quarterly Newsletter, and AGM
The Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.
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.