Site last updated 17 October 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.

Third Wednesday Morning Training at Edgmond - October

The next Third Wednesday of the Month morning practice will be held at Edgmond Ringing Centre on Wednesday 18th October, from 10:15am to about 12:30pm. Donations of £2 per person are requested, for a tower and heating donation and for refreshments.

If you are an inexperienced ringer who would like to make some progress, or if you are a more experienced ringer who would like to help, you will be very welcome. As far as possible we try to ring something for everyone.

In order to ensure a worthwhile practice please let Edric know if you are planning to attend.

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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.

Jad Bienek
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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
Shropshire 55 26 81
North Staffs 50 39 89

and the Lichfield & Walsall bands were duly declared the winners. Tim presented representatives of the two bands with the trophy.

SACBR 6-bell band SACBR 8-bell band
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
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Change of Venue for October Quarterly Meeting

The building works being carried out at Wrockwardine have not finished yet, so the October monthly practice and Quarterly Meeting on Saturday 14th October will be held at Upton Magna instead.

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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.

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Association Striking Competition 2017

We were lucky with the weather when the Striking Competition this year was held at Ightfield; a very wet morning and early afternoon was followed by a dry and sunny late afternoon.

Ten bands representing 8 towers participated and the newly-formed youth band had its first experience of a Striking Competition.

The draw for the order of ringing was held in the Amica Centre and tea was served there throughout the afternoon. Bands are pictured below in the order in which they rang.

Six bands rang call changes and four bands rang a method – Grandsire Doubles in each case.

Phil Gay, from Keele, was the judge. Before giving brief remarks on each band's ringing, Phil explained how he marked the test pieces, and said that he also listened to the practising. In every case there was some improvement during the ringing. Some of Phil’s comments were: 'fairly inexperienced band'; 'settled well'; 'random faults throughout'; 'good rounds'; 'very good test piece'; 'long, fault-free pieces'; 'ponderous'.

The Ernest Willcox Cup for the fewest faults was collected by Biff Patterson for the Shrewsbury 'B' team.

The Call Change Trophy was collected by Andrew Gordon for the Wellington team.

The Charles Allmand Memorial Shield, for the highest placed band which had not won a trophy in the preceding two competitions, was presented to David Beckwith for the Market Drayton team.

A vote of thanks was offered to the Ightfield/Calverhall ringers and helpers for the use of their bells and for providing a sumptuous tea. Phil was presented with a gift of wine and chocolates.

Geoff Harding ran the raffle, raising £63 for the Bell Restoration Fund. Those taking home the prizes of wine, chocolates, and fresh fruits were: Andrew Gordon, Mike Carding, Geoff Harding, Vicki Sivess, Edric Broom, and Gail Lawrence. Thanks go to all those who generously provided prizes and all those who bought tickets.

Atcham band


(l-r) Glenville, John, Steve
Marion, Elaine, Lisa

Beckbury band


(l-r) John, Andrew, Peter
Judith, Heather, Frances

Wellington band


(l-r) Dave, Sharon, Andrew
Nicki, Sue, Marion

Edgmond band


(l-r) Mark, Edric, Matt,
Bill, Biff, Gail

Shrewsbury 'A' band

Shrewsbury 'A'

(l-r) Jad, Nick, Jacqui,
Alan, Gill, Dawn

Market Drayton band

Market Drayton

(l-r) David, Maurice, Roy,
Madeline, Brânn, Dawn

Youth band

Young Ringers

(l-r) Joshua, Lois, Gail,
Tom, Anna, Brânn

Baschurch band


(l-r) Jad, Darren, Geoff
Jacqui, Chris, Dave

Shrewsbury 'B' band

Shrewsbury 'B'

(l-r) Maurice, Alan, Brian,
Madeline, Biff, Nick

Meole Brace band

Meole Brace

(l-r) Joshua, Nick, Michael
Peter, Vicki, Ann

Ernest Willcox Trophy presentation

Phil Gay presenting ... Biff with the
Ernest Willcox Trophy for Shrewsbury

Call Change Cup presentation

... Andrew with the
Call Change Cup for Wellington

Charles Allmand Shield presentation

... David with the
Charles Allmand Shield for Market Drayton

Team Faults Ringing
Shrewsbury 'B' 5 Method Ernest Willcox Trophy
Edgmond Method
Shrewsbury'A' 9 Method
Baschurch 21½ Method
Wellington 25 Call Changes Call Change Trophy
Market Drayton 28 Call Changes Charles Allmand Shield
Beckbury 29½ Call Changes
Meole Brace 42½ Call Changes
Atcham 44½ Call Changes
Youth Band 50½ Call Changes
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First Peal as Conductor

Congratulations to Peter Neil for calling his first peal. The sixteenth Association peal of the year was rung at Oswestry to mark the 300th anniversary of the casting of the bells there.

Shropshire Association

Oswestry, Shropshire - at the Church of St Oswald, King and Martyr

On Sunday, 3 September 2017, in 3 hours 9 minutes

A Peal of 5040 Grandsire Triples

Parker's 12 part

Tenor 13-3-19 in F

Nicola J Galton Treble Peter J Woollam 5
E Ann Williams 2 Brian J Rothera 6
Susan Capey 3 Peter Neil 7
Cordelia Warr 4 Anthony J Freemont Tenor

Conducted by Peter Neil.

To mark the 300th anniversary of the casting of the bells.

First peal as conductor.


A Peal at Sandon

The fifteenth Association peal of the year was rung on 19 August, at Sandon in Staffordshire.

Shropshire Association

Sandon, Staffordshire - at the Church of All Saints

On Saturday, 19 August 2017, in 2 hours and 36 minutes

A Peal of 5040 Spliced Surprise Minor

6 methods: 1440 Cambridge; 720 Beverley, Lightfoot, Northumberland,
Surfleet and Wearmouth; 59 c.o.m. - variable hunt

Composed by Andrew N Tyler

Tenor 6-2-19 in A

Gail K Lawrence Treble Nicholas J Green 4
Philip W Gay 2 Andrew C Ogden 5
Timothy M Davis 3 Matthew Lawrence Tenor

Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.

1051.RW5549.869 1.ix.2017

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

Young ringers at Atcham

Text by Gail Lawrence
Photo by Matt Lawrence

August Surprise Major Practice

A large crowd of seventeen ringers, including a visitor from the Hereford Guild, participated in this practice held at Wem. The ringing, directed by the Ringing Master, included Cambridge, Lincolnshire, London, Superlative, spliced Cambridge and Yorkshire, and 8-spliced.

Thanks to Gareth Jones for hosting the practice.

The next Surprise Major practice is scheduled for Friday 29th September, at a venue to be announced.

August Association Practice

This was held jointly with the Church Stretton District of the Hereford Guild and was held at Worthen.

Twenty-three ringers attended, including eighteen Shropshire Association members. The ringing was directed by Andy Wilson of the Church Stretton District. A wide variety of methods was rung, including call changes, plain hunt on 5, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Plain & Little Bob Minor, Ipswich Surprise Minor, Spliced Surprise Minor, and College Bob Minor.

Thanks go to the ringers of the Church Stretton District for hosting the practice.

The next Association event will be the Striking Competition to be held at Ightfield on Saturday 9th September, starting at 4pm. Please let Jad Bienek, (email) by Sunday 3rd September if your tower will be entering a band (or bands) for the competition. The rules of the Striking Competition can be found here, or by using the links on the left hand side of the screen.

August 8-Bell Practice

A record number of ringers attended the August 8-bell practice at St Luke's church, Hodnet. The ringing included plain courses of plain hunt on 7 and on 8, Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, and Plain Bob Major. The Ringing Master is grateful to the more experienced ringers who came along to help.

The towers represented included Baschurch, Clive, Codsall, Edgmond, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Shrewsbury, Wellington, Wem, Whitchurch, and Wrockwardine.

Thanks to John Powell for allowing the use of the bells.

The next 8-bell practice is planned for 7th October, at a venue yet to be organised.

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,


The CRAG has produced a Frequently Asked Questions document, based on the queries submitted to them and some of the other queries they have seen raised online. The document can be found at:

CRAG Final Report

The Council Review Action Group (CRAG) has released its final report and recommendations.

The summary and proposals can be found at This page also includes links to PDF versions of the summary and the full report.

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:

100+ Club

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.

Safeguarding Update

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, 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

Peal Opportunities

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.

Quarterly Newsletter

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 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.

Committee Meeting

The next Association committee meeting will be held on Sunday, 3rd September 2017.

Newsletter Editor

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.