Site last updated 22 May 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.
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!
Association Outing - 8th June 2019 - UPDATED
The Association Outing, which John Neal (Shrewsbury) has so enthusiastically planned, and which will take place on Saturday 8th June, has been slightly re-organised. All ringers are invited to attend.
The new schedule for the day is:
- 09:15 - 10:00: Pershore, St Andrew's Parish Centre (8), WR10 1BH
- 10:15 - 11:00: Great Hampton (8), WR11 2PQ
- 11:15 - 12:15: Evesham Bell Tower (12), use Merstow Green car park, WR11 4BD
- Picnic Lunch, bring your own, in the grounds of Evehsam Bell Tower
- 14:15 - 15:00: Fladbury (8), WR10 2QB
- 15:30 - 16:15: Upton Snodsbury (6), WR7 4PB.
The ladies of the village have offered to provide Afternoon Tea and Cake. Booking is required. Names to Matt Lawrence  by Saturday 1st June if you want to take advantage of this offer.
- Mystery tower of the day - to be announced at Upton Snodsbury.
A pdf poster can be found here.
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
April Association Practice & Quarterly Meeting
These were held at St Martins, with twenty one ringers attending. Matt Lawrence, Ringing Master, was able to persuade those present to have a go at ringing Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Cambridge/Beverley/Surfleet Surprise Minor, and Dixon’s Bob Minor.
The quarterly meeting was held in the church hall, where hot drinks and biscuits were available. Matt reported that the Committee had discussed the question of the Carol Service, which had been raised at the January quarterly meeting, and had decided that the 2019 Carol Service would go ahead as planned; the committee would investigate the possibility of combining the Association Carol Service with another Carol Service.
Trevor Lock (Beckbury), Jonathan Hales-Povey (Calverhall), and Octavia Hilton (Market Drayton) were elected as members of the Association.
The Treasurer, David Beckwith, gave a brief report on the state of the Association’s finances. The major expenses so far this year have been the report printing, and the insurance.
Geoff Harding raised £30 for the Bell Restoration Fund by running a raffle. The prizes of wine, and chocolates were won by Gill, Jad, and Mark.
Gill Glover reported that there are currently 108 members of the 100+ Club, representing a high proportion of the active towers in the Association.
The winners of the first draw of the year are:
|1st prize of £50.00||Paul Roberts (Bicton)|
|2nd prize of £25.00||Vicki Sivess (Meole Brace)|
|3rd prize of £20.00||Barrie Hockley (Shifnal)|
|4th prize of £15.00||Heather Vernon (Calverhall)|
|5th prize of £10.00||David Beckwith (Market Drayton)|
Thanks to all the members for their support. The next draw will take place at the July Quarterly meeting.
Thanks to David Cartwright and Mark Hayball for their hospitality.
The next Quarterly meeting will be held at Peter Woollam’s home, featuring the Lichfield Mobile Diocesan Belfry. More details of this will be available closer to the time.
The next Association practice will be held at Stanton-upon-Hine Heath on Saturday 11th May, from 7pm to 9pm. All ringers are welcome.
April 8-bell Practice
Once again the 8-bell practice was held at Hodnet. Twelve ringers practised (with varying degrees of success) call changes, Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Triples, Stedman Triples, and St Clement’s College Bob Major.
The towers represented included Atcham, Calverhall, Edgmond, Hodnet, Market Drayton, Meole Brace, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, and Tong.
Thanks to John Powell for allowing the use of the bells.
An Association Peal at Ieper/Yper/Ypres
The fifth Association peal of 2019 was rung in Belgium, at the church of St George, Ypres.
Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium - at the Church of St George
On Saturday, 6 April 2019, in 2 hours 48 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Spliced Major
2 methods: 3600 Plain Bob; 1440 Cambridge; 90 com
Composed by Roger Baldwin
Tenor 6-1-11 in B
|Madeline J Harris||Treble||William S Deason||5|
|Gail K Lawrence||2||Paul J Lewis||6|
|Gillian R Glover||3||Nicholas J Green||7|
|Chloë A Darby||4||Matthew Lawrence||Tenor|
Conducted by Nicholas J Green.
Remembering those Shropshire ringers who gave their lives in the two World Wars.
Rung prior to laying a wreath to their memory at the
Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.
L to R: MJH, WSD, GKL, PJL, GRG, NJG, CAD, ML.
Shropshire Ringers’ Wreath
L to R: Chloë Darby, Matt Lawrence, Madeline Harris & Nick Green
Recruitment and Retention Workshop
Most ringers know that the recruitment of new ringers is vital to the future of the Exercise. In this workshop led by Matthew Lawrence, and with seventeen ringers in attendance, Matt said that there are many approaches to finding new recruits. These include advertising, bribery, flattery, prayer...
Matt emphasised the need to plan for recruiting. A starting point is to raise the awareness of ringing within the community - write something about your ringing in your church/parish/community magazine; have a display about ringing at a parish open day; contribute to social media; hold an open day in conjunction with other community events; give talks to local groups. Decide who you want to recruit – families, Scouts/Guides, Duke of Edinburgh award participants, church members...
It is also essential to follow up quickly any potential recruits. Consider working with other towers to teach bell handling. Studies show that intensive training (eg an hour a day every day for a week) leads to better retention of new recruits. Be welcoming of new recruits – first impressions matter.
Take part in an ART course to learn to teach bell handling. The Learning the Ropes scheme offered by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) is a learning scheme for new ringers and provides a structured approach to developing ringing skills. ART recruitment resources can be found at ringingteachers.org/resource-centre/recruitment-and-retention.
Contact Matt Lawrence  if you would like help with recruitment and training.
Major E R Trevor Corbett
In his librarian's report in the recently published annual report, Peter Woollam writes, 'I can't tell you much about Major Corbett - I don't even have information that he was himself a ringer.'
The article below, abridged from Teddy Rodenhurst's reminiscences published in The Ringing World of 22nd May 1962, supplies some details.
Major E R Trevor Corbett - the Association's first Ringing Master
A ringer of some note locally, with whom I rang prior to WWI and subsequently, was Mr E R Trevor Corbett (afterwards 'Major'), whose father owned a large estate at Longnor, some eight miles south of Shrewsbury. He was a tall gentleman and the only ringer I have seen at meetings wearing spats, as he sometimes did.
The little church at Longnor having only two bells, he came to take up ringing in the following manner. George J Taylor, one of George Byolin's band at St Alkmund's, Shrewsbury, and a conductor of several peals, was suffering from tuberculosis and lived for a time in a chalet on Lyth Hill. When there he used to go down to Condover to instruct the ringers and managed to teach them to ring Grandsire from the call changes to which they had been used.
One evening Mr Corbett happened to be in the neighbourhood of the church and looked in to watch the ringers. He became interested and expressed a wish to learn and was taught by George Taylor. Later on he used to motor-cycle to St Alkmund's, Shrewsbury for the practices and on Sunday evenings, and learnt to ring Stedman Triples. For his first peal of Stedman Triples he travelled to Birmingham - I suppose he thought there was nothing like making as sure of it as possible - and he rang the fourth in the last peal (Stedman) on the bells of St Alkmund's, called by C R Lilley.
It was through Mr Corbett that Lilley came to Shrewsbury as instructor. He (Lilley) was out of a job at the time and advertised in the ringing press. He was a joiner and cabinet maker (an excellent tradesman as I saw from some of his work. He made himself a fine roll-top desk and when the old bells were pulled out of St Chad's he made pipe racks for the churchwardens out of some of the old oak.) Mr Corbett was able to get him taken on as estate carpenter on the Longnor Estate and the work he did for ringing in the area is, I think, too well known for me to relate here.
On the outbreak of hostilities Mr Corbett got a clerical job in Shrewsbury connected with the military (in the KSLI) and attained the rank of major. He continued his ringing at St Chad's and rang the third in the first peal on the recast bells.
Major Corbett rang some 20 peals in the four standard methods, mostly for the Salop Guild. I only rang one peal with him, that being Grandsire Triples at Condover on January 9th, 1915, half-muffled for George Taylor. I well remember it rained very heavily on that day and I got very wet cycling the nine miles from Church Stretton. On approaching this old world village, I met Major Corbett walking, with a long stick or staff, at least five feet long. [This half-muffled peal was on January 9th, 1915]
This may have been the last peal Major Corbett rang, though he came to the meetings from time to time. For one thing he was a very busy man. His father having died, he had the estate to supervise and he was also on a large number of public bodies. He was interested in the Shropshire and West Midland Agricultural Show and the Shrewsbury Flower Show. He was a magistrate and also, I believe, a county councillor.
When the Guild was reformed on a county basis in 1926 he was elected Master and took the chair at the annual meetings.
The last time I saw him was on a meeting day, sitting in a wheel chair outside St Chad's Church, completely crippled with arthritis and his hands like chalk. It was not so very long after that he died.
[To complete the record; Edward Richard Trevor Corbett was born on 8th August 1872 and died on 14th August 1948]
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, 9 June 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.