Site last updated 24 June 2019
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.
Association Outing 2019
John Neal arranged an excellent outing to the Pershore/Evesham area for the Shropshire Association. About 24 ringers from Shropshire and other Associations enjoyed ringing at Pershore, Great Hampton, Evesham, Fladbury, and Upton Snodsbury. They also rang at Crowle. Call changes and Grandsire were rung at every tower. Other methods rung included Stedman, Bristol Surprise, Cambridge Surprise, London Surprise, and Superlative Surprise. At least two ringers rang on 12 bells for the first time – well done to them. Crowle was the mystery tower of the day. The ringing there was enlivened when a rope slipped wheel. The sound of the bells is nearly as loud inside the ringing room as outside the church.
The weather was rather too wet for eating outside, so those who had brought picnic lunches were allowed to eat them inside the redundant church of St Lawrence, which is situated in the grounds of Evesham Bell Tower.
Thanks go to John Neal for his organisational skills, and to all the incumbents and bands of the towers visited.
First Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Andy Digby of Meole Brace, who rang his first peal to mark the 150th anniversary of Holy Trinity church, Meole Brace.
Meole Brace - at the Church of the Holy Trinity
On Saturday, 15 June 2019, in 3 hours 6 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Plain Bob Triples
Composed by Roger Bailey
Tenor 7-1-7 in Bb
|Gail K Lawrence||Treble||Peter Neil||5|
|Gillian R Glover||2||Michael Carding||6|
|E Ann Williams||3||Matthew Lawrence||7|
|Nicola J Galton||4||Andrew P Digby||Tenor|
Conducted by Matthew Lawrence.
First Peal - Tenor.
First Peal for the Shropshire Association - 6.
Rung for the 150th Anniversary of Holy Trinity, Meole Brace
and for the 50th Anniversary of the bells.
Photo by Matt Lawrence
June 8-Bell Practice
Weddings, peals, holidays…they all led to a reduction in the usual number of ringers at the 8-bell practice held at Hodnet. Twelve ringers practised (with varying degrees of success) call changes, Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Triples, Plain Hunt Major, Plain Bob Major, Stedman Triples.
Thanks to John Powell for allowing use of the bells.
May Surprise Major Practice
Once again Wem was the location for the Surprise Major practice. Fourteen ringers participated, ringing Bristol, Cambridge, London, Yorkshire, 6-Spliced, and an attempt at 8-Spliced
Thanks to Gareth Jones for organising the use of the bells.
Suspension of Ringing at Moreton Corbet
There will be no ringing at Moreton Corbet after 16th June 2019, until October 2019. Ths is because of construction work at the church.
Monday practices will be held at Stanton (at Shawbury on the first Monday of the month).
SACBR Annual Report and Handbook for 2018/19
The Committee have received three letters of complaint regarding the content of the Librarian’s report in current Annual Handbook and Report. We acknowledge that inadequate consideration was given to the impact that the penultimate paragraph might have had on readers and it should not have been included in the report.
The Librarian’s report also acknowledges contributions from Alan Glover. We would like to clarify that it is the two passages in italics only which are attributed to him.
We will be reviewing our editorial procedures for future Reports. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any upset this has caused.
May Association Practice
Stanton-upon-Hine Heath was the venue for the May Association practice. In the absence of the Ringing Master, a former Ringing Master cajoled the thirteen ringers who attended into ringing Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles, St Simon’s Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, Double Court Minor, Hereward Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Norwich Surprise Minor, Cambridge/Beverley/Surfleet Surprise Minor, and Kent Treble Bob Minor.
Sadly, a broken stay brought the ringing to a close a little earlier than expected.
Peter Woollam raised £17 for the Bell Restoration Fund by running a raffle. The prizes of wine and chocolates were taken home by Lisa and Mark.
Thanks to Claire Unsworth for her hospitality.
The June Association practice is the outing to the Evesham area on 8th June, see below for details. All ringers are welcome.
May 6-Bell Practice
This was held at Atcham with thirteen ringers attending. Those present practised Plain Bob Doubles and Minor (though not at the same time), Grandsire Doubles, Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles, St Simon’s Bob Doubles, St Martin’s Bob Doubles, and Cambridge Surprise Minor.
Thanks to the Atcham band for their hospitality.
April Association Training Morning
The second Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre on Saturday 27th April, and was rather short of trainees, perhaps due to the proximity to Easter. The students were Darren Swancott (Broseley), Shaun Greenfield (Shifnal) and a visitor, Nick, who is a learner at Ludlow. They aimed to make progress with one or more of: handling, call changes, plain hunting, Plain Bob Doubles and Plain Bob Minor, and all departed well satisfied. The morning finished with a course of Cambridge Surprise Major, requested by Ginette.
Matt Lawrence, the Association’s Master, directed proceedings and was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Edric Broom, John Burton, Bill Deason, Nick Green, John Neal, Ginette Pardoe and Biff Patterson.
The superior refreshments that are usually provided by Madeline were sorely missed but we made do with shop-bought biscuits!
Shropshire Ringers Go Continental Again
Last year, a group of us paid a flying visit to Ieper, tagged on to a weekend in Dordrecht. Although some of the party stayed an extra day, there is so much to see and do we soon decided it would be good to go back and spend a bit more time exploring the area. Once again Bill Deason was the driving force, and soon we had a hotel booked and ringing slots organised. We felt it would be fitting to dedicate our peal and quarter peal attempts to those ringers from Shropshire who gave their lives in the two World Wars, and with this in mind we applied to take part in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate and lay a wreath.
Twelve of us set off on Friday 5th April and met up in what was to become our most visited restaurant for a convivial start to the trip. Saturday saw a successful peal on the easy to handle and lovely sounding bells of St George’s Memorial Church. After a delicious lunch provided by the local ringers, some of us spent the afternoon helping them to practise call changes and plain hunting. In the evening we gathered at the Menin Gate for the ceremony. The wreath was laid by the Master of the Association accompanied by two past Masters and the youngest member of the group.
Three quarter peals were scored over the next two days, the last being specially arranged for Liz Millward, who had spent her birthday looking after us. By the time we headed home on Monday afternoon, we had all rung a peal or quarter, most had visited battlefields and cemeteries, walked the ramparts, sampled the local beer and eaten a lot of chocolate.
Thanks from us all to Bill for making it happen, Liz for her excellent hospitality, and especially remembering all those brave young men.
The tourists outside St George's church, Ieper
Photo: Matt Lawrence
In 2018 the Shropshire Association's 100+ Club continued the trend of recent years with more than 100 members. There were twenty winners and the total prize money awarded was £468, with £784.98 being raised for the Bell Restoration Fund.
Five grants totalling £1988.97 were awarded from the Bell Restoration Fund in 2018. 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.
Gill Glover, who has taken over from Brian Kear as the organiser of the 100+ Club, has distributed application forms for 2019 to tower correspondents. To be a member of the Club you must be over the age of 16 years and a member of the Association. 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 for £12 to Gill at the address given on the application form. Cheques should be made payable to SACBR Bell Restoration Fund.
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
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.
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
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/
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 Peter Woollam [ ] 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 September 2019.
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.