Site last updated 20 January 2021
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/bellringing/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.
Please note that the link in the above graphic will not work. Use this link [ ] instead.
Eleven ringers logged-in to this practice held using Zoom and Ringing Room. The ringing included attempts at Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Plain Bob Caters, and Little Bob Major.
January Quarterly Meeting and AGM
This was held using Zoom. Thirty-nine members attended the meetings which were led by the Ringing Master, Matt Lawrence. There was no discussion about changes to the Association’s Rules proposed at the 2020 AGM as there had been no opportunity in 2020 to discuss the possible changes. Carole Slack (Shrewsbury) and Kevin Pilsbury (St Martins) were elected as new members of the Association. Officers’ reports had been circulated prior to the meetings. Matt’s review of the year mentioned the calendar of events held using Ringing Room and Zoom including monthly practices, two quizzes, and a Striking Competition. Matt also mentioned that the Association pays for a Zoom subscription and any band that wants to get together for a practice or a chat can use the subscription. The meeting remembered the following members who had died during 2020: Peter Dean (Newport), Judy Fox (Newport), Richard Dorrington (formerly of Edgmond), John Crum (Shrewsbury) and Gordon Menhinick (Baschurch). Matt thanked the committee and all those who have attended events for their support .
David Beckwith gave the Treasurer’s report noting that there hadn’t been much activity in the accounts during the year. Gill Glover said that the 100+ Club had been suspended for 2020 and there would probably be the same decision for 2021. David stated that the accounts had not yet been examined because of the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Elections for the Committee were held. Geoff Harding had agreed to continue as Bell Adviser for one more year provided he had help. Matt said that he had a couple of ‘apprentices’ who were interested in helping. Jan Snowball had decided not to continue on the Committee and Matt thanked her for all she had done for the Association. There were no volunteers to take over the position of Safeguarding Officer. Ann Williams had agreed to become the Association’s second Central Council representative. Because of the need to have the accounts independently examined it had been decided to recruit two qualified people who were not members of the Association. Susan Capey and David Costelloe had agreed to be nominated for these positions. There were no other changes to the members of the committee and the nominations were proposed and seconded en bloc. The proposal was carried unanimously.
Matt described the events planned for January. In reply to a question from Bill Deason, Biff Paterson said that the next Report/Handbook would be one document covering both 2020 and 2021, in order to make sure that there is a printed record of everything. Biff also said that she was very pleased with how the members had coped with the new way of dealing with membership. She had received details and subscriptions for about 169 adult and 12 junior members.
Tony Freemont thanked Matt for everything he had done in 2020 and for being an extraordinary Master for extraordinary times.
Sadly there was no raffle, no 100+ Club draw, and no tea.
The next quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday 10th April.
Nine ringers stayed after the meeting to make use of Ringing Room. The ringing included Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Plain Bob Major, Cambridge Surprise Minor, and plain hunt on 10.
First 2021 Peal for the Association (and the World?)
The first Association peal of 2021 has been rung at Lilleshall. This was the first peal listed on BellBoard for 2021 so it is possibly the first peal in 2021 in the world.
Lilleshall, Shropshire - at 13 Church Meadow
On Monday, 11 January 2021, in 1 hour 57 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Treble Bob Minimus
145 methods: 1) Oxford, 2) Julie McDonnell, 3) Bhuna,
4) Chaddleworth, 5) Reverse Hinton, 6) Reverse Monkton, 7) Reverse Launceston,
8) Kent, 9) Reverse Margaret Marsh, 10) Battle's Over, 11) Reverse Angela, 12) Lower Basildon,
13) Reverse Breamore, 14) Olive, 15) Reverse Himbleton, 16) Stanford Dingley, 17) Reverse Langley,
18) Little Solsbury Hill, 19) Brown's Folly, 20) Marshfield, 21) Hollies Lane, 22) Oakford Lane, 23) Shockerwick,
24) Ufton Nervett, 25), Pamber, 26) St Catherine's Valley, 27) Moreton, 28) Steway Lane, 29) Northend, 30) Crawford,
31) Reverse Gunville, 32) Toller Fratrum, 33) Barby, 34) Charmy Down, 35) Sham Castle, 36) Ashwicke, 37) Monkswood Reservoir,
38) Ramsbottom, 39) Fosse Lane, 40) Brimpton, 41) Newtown, 42) Bannerdown, 43) Batheaston, 44) Ashley, 45) Easter,
46) Christchurch and Southampton District, 47) Cubley, 48) Little Bedwyn, 49) Rawston, 50) Reverse Little Solsbury Hill,
51) Reverse Brown's Folly, 52) Reverse Marshfield, 53) Bumble, 54) Scrooge, 55) Cratchit, 56) Reverse Ufton Nervett,
57) Compeyson, 58) Reverse St Catherine's Valley, 59) Reverse Moreton, 60) Reverse Steway Lane, 61) Reverse Northend,
62) Reverse Crawford, 63) Gunville, 64) Reverse Toller Fratrum, 65) Reverse Barby, 66) Red Nose,
67) Reverse Sham Castle, 68) Reverse Ashwicke, 69) Reverse Monkswood Reservoir, 70) Reverse Ramsbottom,
71) Reverse Fosse Lane, 72) Reverse Brimpton, 73) Reverse Newtown, 74) Pickwick, 75) Greta Thunberg,
76) Wegg, 77) Biggetywitch, 78) Havisham, 79) Bucket, 80) Dodger, 81) Tulkinghorn, 82) Wirral, Reverse Berkley, Reverse Spetchley,
83) Sparsholt, East Horsley, Reverse Reveller, 84) Briefcase and Mobile Phone, Newington, 85) Berkley, Rushton Old, Eclipse,
86) Slindon, Stickland, Iken, 87) Keyneston, Derby, 88) Buscot, Yatton Keynell, Shipton Gorge, 89) Towersey, Halton, Fritwell,
90) Torbryan, Denchworth, 91) Reveller, Ettington, Last Post, 92) Reverse Fritwell, Truffler, Poppy, 93) For the Fallen, Remembrance Day,
94) Reverse Briefcase and Mobile Phone, Reverse Keyneston, Donhead, 95) Reverse Torbryan, Reverse Kermit, Reverse For the Fallen,
96) Tarrant, Reverse Upton by Birkenhead, 97) Spetchley, Waresley, Ashow, 98) Reverse Shipton Gorge, Draughton, Bolnhurst,
99) Kemp Town, Newbold Pacey, 100) Outwood, Reverse Stickland, Reverse Draughton, 101) Foremark, Clearwell, Reverse Truffler,
102) Kermit, St Aelhaiarn, 103) Lockinge, Reverse Derby, Princess of Cambridge,
104) Barkham, Prince of Cambridge, Langdon Hills, 105) Upton by Birkenhead, Guilsfield.
|Gail K Lawrence||1-2|
Conducted by Gail K Lawrence.
Central Council COVID-19 Guidelines
The Central Council's guidance about ringing during the pandemic can be found at https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/
Another Handbell Peal for the Association
The sixth Association peal of 2020 has been rung at Lilleshall.
Lilleshall, Shropshire - at 13 Church Meadow
On Tuesday, 29 December 2020, in 2 hours 3 minutes
A Peal of 5040 Treble Bob Minimus
129 methods: 1) Oxford, 2) Little Solsbury Hill,
3) Brown's Folly, 4) Marshfield, 5) Hollies Lane, 6) Oakford Lane,
8) Ufton Nervett, 9) Pamber, 10) St Catherine's Valley, 11) Moreton, 12) Steway Lane, 13) Northend,
14) Crawford, 15) Reverse Gunville, 16) Toller Fratrum, 17) Barby, 18) Charmy Down, 19) Sham Castle,
20) Ashwicke, 21) Monkswood Reservoir, 22) Ramsbottom, 23) Fosse Lane, 24) Brimpton, 25) Newtown,
26) Bannerdown, 27) Batheaston, 28) Ashley, 29) Easter, 30) Christchurch and Southampton District,
31) Cubley, 32) Little Bedwyn, 33) Rawston, 34) Reverse Little Solsbury Hill, 35) Reverse Brown's Folly,
36) Reverse Marshfield, 37) Bumble, 38) Scrooge, 39) Cratchit, 40) Reverse Ufton Nervett, 41) Compeyson,
42) Reverse St Catherine's Valley, 43) Reverse Moreton, 44) Reverse Steway Lane, 45) Reverse Northend,
46) Reverse Crawford, 47) Gunville, 48) Reverse Toller Fratrum, 49) Reverse Barby, 50) Red Nose,
51) Reverse Sham Castle, 52) Reverse Ashwicke, 53) Reverse Monkswood Reservoir, 54) Reverse Ramsbottom,
55) Reverse Fosse Lane, 56) Reverse Brimpton, 57) Reverse Newtown, 58) Pickwick, 59) Greta Thunberg, 60) Wegg,
61) Biggetywitch, 62) Havisham, 63) Bucket, 64) Dodger, 65) Tulkinghorn, 66) Wirral, 67) Reverse Berkley, 68) Sparsholt,
69) Reverse Reveller, 70) Reverse Spetchley, 71) East Horsley, 72) Briefcase and Mobile Phone, Newington,
73) Berkley, 74) Rushton Old, 75) Slindon, 76) Iken, 77) Eclipse, 78) Stickland, 79) Keyneston, Derby, 80) Buscot,
81) Yatton Keynell, 82) Towersey, 83) Fritwell, 84) Shipton Gorge, 85) Halton, 86) Torbryan, Denchworth, 87) Reveller,
88) Ettington, 89) Reverse Fritwell, 90) Poppy, 91) Last Post, 92) Truffler, 93) For the Fallen, Remembrance Day,
94) Reverse Briefcase and Mobile Phone, Reverse Keyneston, Donhead,
95) Reverse Torbryan, Reverse Kermit, Reverse For the Fallen,
96) Tarrant, Reverse Upton by Birkenhead, 97) Spetchley, Waresley, Ashow,
98) Reverse Shipton Gorge, Draughton, Bolnhurst,
99) Kemp Town, Newbold Pacey, 100) Outwood, Reverse Stickland, Reverse Draughton,
101) Foremark, Clearwell, Reverse Truffler, 102) Kermit, St Aelhaiarn,
103) Lockinge, Reverse Derby, Princess of Cambridge, 104) Barkham, Prince of Cambridge, Langdon Hills,
105) Upton by Birkenhead, Guilsfield.
|Gail K Lawrence||1-2|
Conducted by Gail K Lawrence.
December Quiz Night
Instead of a Carol Service this year, the Association held a Quiz Night via Zoom. Vicki Sivess organised the event and devised all the questions. Members who had signed up to attend were split into teams and put into breakout rooms on Zoom. The first part of the Quiz was questions from Vicki which were displayed on participants’ screens (not every team noticed these questions though). Then there was time to answer the ‘table top’ quiz which was accessed through a hyperlink. There was an interval during which Michael Carding read his rendition of Chaucer comes to Salop : A Ryngyer's Tayle. This was followed by more questions from Vicki and finally the scoring. The Handbells were declared the winners with 68 points. The other teams taking part were the Bourdon Bells, the Tubular Bells, the Carillon Bells, and the Sleigh Bells.
Thanks go to Vicki for organising an interesting and challenging quiz, and to all though who participated and made the evening so enjoyable.
Ringers who have rung at Baschurch on Sunday mornings and at Thursday evening practice nights may recall Gordon Menhinick. He first learnt to ring in the early 1970s shortly after a new band had been formed to ring the four bells at All Saints’ church. Graffiti to be found in the Ringing Chamber show that Gordon and the team rang for several national events including the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
As an active church member, Gordon became a Church Warden in 1997, serving alongside Neil Gasser who was a fellow ringer. He was Church Warden at a pivotal moment for ringing in Baschurch when the decision was taken to augment the bells from four to six as part of the Ringing in the Millennium project. The installation was truly a village effort and Gordon was a key member of the team.
Since the augmentation, the Baschurch practice has received support from various local towers and it was here that he met his future wife, Chris. They were married at All Saints’ on the 7th June 2003 with a quarter peal being scored prior to the wedding. The event featured in Ringing World at the time. They continued to progress in their ringing at the tower. Gordon rang several quarter peals – always on the Tenor. They also formed part of the winning team in the 2011 Association Striking Competition.
Gordon remained a regular ringer for Sunday services throughout. The last time he rang was on 8th March 2020 shortly before Covid 19 restrictions were announced. He died on 9th December in his 87th year and will be greatly missed.
About the Central Council
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has issued three documents about its work, volunteering with the Central Council, and what it means to be a Central Council Representative.
2020 Quarterly Newsletters
The January Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.
The June Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.
The September Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.
The December Newsletter can be read and downloaded here.
Index of YouTube Videos
The Central Council has put together a list of training webinars and videos which have been recorded and posted on YouTube.
Zooming With SACBR
The Shropshire Association has taken out a subscription to the Zoom video
If your tower would like to use the app for a get-together please contact Matt Lawrence  who will email you the necessary login details.
Shaun Greenfield, the Association's PRO, has put together some useful
information about how to use Zoom video calling.
Click here to view and download the PDF.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shaun would welcome any comments on the future format of the Newsletter and any items for inclusion in it.
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, 14 March 2021.