News Items From 2019
Another Weekend, Another Peal
The fifteenth Association peal of 2019 has been rung at Guilsfield.
Association December Practice and Carol Service
About twenty-two ringers took part in the Association’s December practice held at All Saints’ church, Baschurch. The ringing included Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, and Cambridge Surprise Minor.
Another thirteen or so ringers arrived for the Carol Service which was led by the vicar of All Saints’, Rev. Linda Cox. Various members of the ringing fraternity read the lessons, and the congregation enthusiastically sang the carols, accompanied on the organ by Martin Scott.
Following the service, mulled wine (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and home-made mince pies were served by members of the local band, and the congregation had the opportunity to admire the Christmas trees that had been created by local groups (including the ringers) and displayed as part of the church’s Christmas Tree Festival.
Thanks go to Paul and Edwina Smart, and all who took part in the service.
December 8-Bell Practice
The December 8-bell practice was held at Hodnet and thirteen ringers took part, including two visiting ringers. The methods practised were Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Triples, Plain Bob Major, Stedman Triples, and Erin Triples.
Thanks to John Powell for allowing the use of the bells, and to all who participated and made this a useful practice.
One Weekend, Three Peals
It is with great sadness that the death of Elaine Evans is reported. Elaine learnt to ring at St Chad's in Shrewsbury, and was a ringer at Atcham, alongside her husband Steve.
November Surprise Major Practice
Fourteen ringers participated in November's Surprise Major practice at Wem, attempting (mostly successfully) Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, Yorkshire, 4-Spliced and 8-Spliced.
Thanks to Gareth Jones for organising the use of the bells.
250 Years of Hodnet Bells
The eight bells in the tower of St Luke’s, Hodnet were cast at different times, the two trebles added in 1947. The original six bells, cast by Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester, were hung in the tower in 1769 and so this year marks their 250th anniversary.
November Training Morning
The final Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Lisa, Darren, Vicki, Dan, and Louise were the students. Ringing included call changes, plain hunt on 5, Plain Bob Triples, Plain Bob Minor, and Cambridge Surprise Minor.
Tony Freemont, the Association’s Training Officer was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Jacqui Barden, Karen Compton, Rob Davis, Kathryn Greaves, Madeline Harris, Matt Lawrence, and Ginette Pardoe.
Thanks to Mark for preparing the simulator and the bells.
Association Quiz Night 2019
In a change from previous years this was held at Myddle Village Hall. The quiz was devised and presented by Tony Freemont. Six teams sat down to answer questions on origins of foods, the Bible, USA state capitals, animals in literature and films, words beginning with ‘pass’, number sequences, rivers of the world, modern history, settings of TV programmes, books, 2019, and general knowledge. The highest scoring team was, mostly, from Market Drayton and they received a tin of chocolates for their efforts.
Baked potatoes were served with chilli, meaty and non-meaty, along with baked beans, coleslaw, and cheese. Delicious puddings were provided by several members and included fruit pie, apple crumble, fruit compote, cheesecake, pear frangipane, and chocolate cheesecake.
Geoff Harding and Jad Bienek ran the bar. Peter Woollam and Nik Galton sold raffle tickets, raising £99 for the BRF. The prizes were won by Geoff Harding, Dan Matthews, Gareth Jones, Cynthia Costelloe, Gloria Cawood, Cordelia Warr, Ed Swain, Jan Snowball, and Steve Harris. Thanks to all who bought tickets and to all who provided the prizes.
Matt Lawrence, Ringing Master, thanked Tony for devising the quiz, and everyone who had helped to make the evening such an enjoyable occasion.
First Quarter Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Jonathan Molesworth, ringer at St Martins, who has rung his first quarter peal.
November 6-Bell Practice
This was held at Lilleshall with twelve ringers attending. Those present practised call changes, plain hunting, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, and Stedman Doubles. Towers represented were Dawley, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Newport, Oswestry, and Shawbury.
Thanks to the Matt Lawrence for hosting this practice and supplying delicious homemade shortbread biscuits.
October Surprise Major Practice
Thirteen ringers attended October's Surprise Major practice at High Ercall, ringing Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, Yorkshire and 7 Spliced.
Thanks to Chris and Judy Yates for organising the use of the bells.
It is with great sadness that the death of Cathy Gaskell is reported. Cathy learnt to ring at Market Drayton, and was a ringer there until she had to retire from ringing because of illness.
A Peal at Llansilin
The eleventh Association peal of 2019 has been rung at Llansilin, and is the second peal of Doubles & Minor for the Association, the first being at Edgmond in 1982.
October Association Practice and Quarterly Meeting
These were held at Whitchurch, with sixteen ringers attending. Matt Lawrence, Ringing Master, was in charge of the ringing. Some of those present found these bells challenging to ring, and the movement of the tower was disconcerting to those leaning against the walls.
The quarterly meeting was held in the choir room. Eugene O’Connor and Cathy O’Connor (Lilleshall) were elected as members of the Association.
David Beckwith gave a brief report on the state of the Association’s finances.
The major expenses since the July meeting have been the cost of hiring the
Mobile Belfry for the July practice, and the Central Council Representative’s
expenses for attending the Central Council meeting in London.
Matt encouraged all those present to participate in the
- Quiz Night which is to be held at Myddle Village Hall. Tickets are available now. A poster has been sent to all towers.
- The annual Carol Service will be held at Baschuch on Saturday 14th December, with ringing from 6pm to 7:30pm, followed by the service and refreshments. All members of the Association and their families are welcome to take part.
Matt described proposed changes to the Rules of the Association, which will be brought to the membership at the AGM in January 2020. These changes include:
- removing the class of Formerly Resident Life Member;
- allowing all full members to vote at Association meetings and hold office;
- renaming the Report Editor to Membership Secretary, and Children and Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer to Safeguarding Officer;
- including Central Council Representatives as Officers of the Association;
- removing the position of Committee Member;
- changing what constitutes a quorum of the committee;
- removing the need to send notice of an EGM by recorded delivery.
There was also some debate about the Association's sole objective of the promotion of the Christian religion. Both the Central Council and The Ringing World have changed their objectives in favour of supporting ringers.
Peter Woollam raised £24 for the Bell Restoration Fund by running a raffle. The prizes of wine, chocolates, and a scent diffuser were won by Tony, Geoff, and Peter.
In Gill Glover’s absence, Biff Patterson ran the draw for the 100+ Club. The winners of the third draw of the year are:
|1st prize of £50.00||Mary Tetlow (Shifnal)|
|2nd prize of £25.00||Judy Yates (High Ercall)|
|3rd prize of £20.00||Jad Bienek (Unattached)|
|4th prize of £15.00||David Powell (Bicton)|
|5th prize of £10.00||Amanda Craig (Shrewsbury)|
Thanks to Malcolm Monie for hosting the practice and meeting.
A Peal for Bill
The tenth Association peal of 2019 has been rung at Lilleshall to remember Bill Reynolds.
September Surprise Major Practice
Thirteen ringers turned up at Wem for the September practice, making attempts at Bristol, Cambridge, London, and Yorkshire.
Thanks to Gareth Jones for organising the use of the bells.
Association Striking Competition 2019
On a beautiful late summer afternoon teams representing six towers gathered at Albrighton for the 2019 Striking Competition.
The draw for the order of ringing was held in the Parish Centre, and tea was served there throughout the afternoon.
Every band chose to ring call changes, which meant that the band with the highest score would win both the Call Change trophy and the Ernest Willcox cup. A scratch band also rang.
Chris Adams and Rosemary Wright, were the judges. Before giving brief remarks on each band’s ringing and the points scored, Chris explained how they had marked the test pieces. Chris made short comments on each band’s ringing. The first band’s ringing was good with smooth ringing and a nice rhythm, with only minor errors; the second band spent more time settling down and the ringing got better as it went along; the next band rang better in the test piece than in the practice, and most faults were gaps rather than crashes; the fourth band made a good effort but the transitions were not always crisp; the fifth band were galloping along at the start then settled down and the ringing became pleasant; the sixth band to ring had minor blemishes in most rows, with gaps at the backstroke lead; the last band to ring appeared not to have practised much together, they were steadier in the test piece.
Interestingly, the order in which the bands rang was also the order in which they were placed.
The Ernest Willcox Cup for the fewest faults was presented to Rob Herbert for the Edgmond team.
Rob also collected the Call Change Trophy for Edgmond.
The Charles Allmand Memorial Shield, for the highest placed band which had not won a trophy in the preceding two competitions, was presented to Naomi for the Lilleshall team.
The Albrighton ringers and helpers were given a round of applause for the use of their bells and for providing a sumptuous tea. Thanks were also given to Chris and Rosemary, and to all those who had taken part and had made the afternoon fun. Chris and Rosemary were presented with bottles of wine as a thank you for their expertise.
Peter Woollam ran a raffle, raising £66 for the Bell Restoration Fund. Thanks go to all those who donate raffle prizes. The winners of the wine and chocolates were Kathryn Greaves, Jane Hughes, John Whitham, Karen Bryant, Geoff Harding and Tim Mear.
(l-r) Kathryn, Rob D, Rob H, Mark, Bill, Matt
(l-r) Louise, Rob, Annette, Naomi, Gail, Matt
(l-r) Madeline, Jad, Dawn, Lisa, Jacqui, Gill
(l-r) Judith, Karen, Frances, Gareth, John, Heather
(l-r) Peter, Frances, Chris, Jan, Richard, Oliver
(l-r) Jayne, Mary, Trudi, Jane, Shaun, Catherine
(l-r) Emma, Matt, Rob, Lisa R, Geoff, Lisa B
Chris presenting Rob with the
Rosemary presenting Rob with the
Chris presenting Naomi with the
|Edgmond||23||Call Changes||Ernest Willcox Trophy & Call Change Trophy|
|Lilleshall||34½||CallChanges||Charles Allmand Shield|
|Scratch band||47½||Call Changes|
Two More Peals
September Training Morning
The third Association Edgmond Training morning on the 7th September started 15 minutes early (at 09.15) because of village’s Scarecrow Festival with which the church was closely involved. ( https://www.shropshirestar.com/entertainment/telford-entertainment/2019/09/07/first-scarecrow-festival-at-shropshire-village-is-huge-success/ )
We had six students: Darren, Louise and Pam from Broseley, Ollie (a junior member) from Oswestry, Lisa from Atcham and Vicki from Meole Brace.
The ringing varied from bell handling to Stedman Triples with rounds and call changes, plain hunt, Plain Bob Doubles, St Martin’s Bob and St Simon’s Bob Doubles singly and spliced together, with Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Minor in between.
Some of the trainees who had come armed with the knowledge (and expectation) to ring plain hunt found themselves ringing the treble to Doubles, which they did commendably well.
I am, as ever, very grateful to all those who supported the students including, Matt Lawrence, Kathryn Greaves, Ginette Pardoe, Bill Deason, Cordelia Warr, Mark Adams, Rob Davies. As usual, some of the more advanced learners played their part as helpers.
I was disappointed to learn that Madeline Harris couldn’t attend, not just because she is a great ringer and trusted helper, but also because she brings the cakes!! However, as luck would have it, the ladies of Edgmond had a cake stall within the church. Good to know that we were able to contribute to the financial success of the Scarecrow Festival!
We overran our time (with Mark’s permission), and our trainees and helpers became part of the ringing demonstration.
It is with great sadness that I have to report the death on Tuesday of our Tower Captain Bill Reynolds. Bill learnt to ring at Lilleshall when the ban was lifted in 1943 and remained a loyal member of the band until his recent poor health prevented him from climbing the hill to the church. He was for a time a member of the Association and rang 11 peals. Most notable of these was a fathers and sons peal in 1973 by a Lilleshall Sunday Service band. His funeral will be held at 3.30pm on Monday 23rd September at Telford Crematorium.
A quarter peal was rung at Lilleshall in memory of Bill.
A Peal at Ellesmere
The seventh Association peal in 2019 has been rung at Ellesmere to mark the retirement of the Rev. Philip Edge.
It is with great sadness that the death of Arthur Talbot is reported. Arthur learnt to ring at Norton-in-Hales, where his father and brother were ringers. Arthur also rang at Market Drayton.
August 8-Bell Practice
There was a good turnout of ringers at the August 8-bell practice held at Hodnet. Sixteen ringers practised call changes, Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Triples, Little Bob Major, St Simon's Bob Triples, Stedman Triples. Toswers represented included Baschurch, Calverhall/Ightfield, Clive, Edgmond, Hodnet, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Newport, Tong, Wellington, and Whitchurch.
Thanks to John Powell for allowing use of the bells.
Farewell to Edric and Maureen Broom
The following article appeared recently in The Ringing World.
Last summer Edric and Maureen Broom announced that they were planning to relocate to Keynsham near Bristol so that they can be closer to their family.
They moved from Herefordshire to Edgmond in 1985 and immediately became active members of St Peter’s church. Shortly afterwards Edric was elected Ringing Master, a position that he held for nearly 30 years. Edric also served as the Shropshire Association Ringing Master for 7 years followed by a long period as Training Officer. In recognition of his contribution, he was subsequently elected an honorary life member of the Association.
Wednesday the 12th of June was their last official Edgmond practice night. To celebrate the occasion, Edric was invited to be our ‘celebrity ringing master’ for the evening which was rounded off with wine, champagne, food and socialising. As a sign of our appreciation, Edric and Maureen were presented with a framed water colour painted by local artist and ringer, Tony Waldron from Tibberton. Poignantly, the picture is of Edgmond church as viewed across the churchyard from their house.
On behalf of the Edgmond ringers and the Shropshire Association, we thank Edric and Maureen for their friendship and support over the last 34 years and we wish you all the best for the future in your new home.
June & July Surprise Major Practices
Sixteen ringers participated in the June practice at High Ercall, making attempts at Bristol, Glasgow, London, 6-Spliced and 8-Spliced. Fourteen ringers turned up at Wem for the July practice. The ringing included Cambridge, Glasgow, Lincolnshire, London, Yorkshire, and 8-Spliced.
Thanks to Chris Yates and Gareth Jones for organising the use of the bells.
July Association Practice and Quarterly Meeting
In a departure from the usual venues for these Association events, the practice was held on the Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry, located on the driveway of Peter Woollam’s home. Six members of the committee met to erect the belfry, under the strict guidance of Peter. Then a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles was rung. An unsuccessful attempt was made at a quarter of Plain Bob Minor. For several of the members who turned up for the practice, this was their first time to ring on the Belfry. Matt Lawrence, Ringing Master, led the ringing of call changes, Plain Bob Doubles and Minor, and Dixon’s Bob Minor.
The quarterly meeting was held on Peter’s patio, looking out towards Wales. Jacqui Barden reported that Robert Milton of the Churches Conservation Trust, is keen to involve the Association in the Carol Service for the Friends of St Mary’s in 2020. Matt thanked John Neal of Shrewsbury for organising the Association’s outing in June.
David Dakin, Pippa Hodgetts and George Hodgetts, all from Sheriffhales, were elected as members of the Association.
The Treasurer, David Beckwith, gave a brief report on the state of the Association’s finances. All the ads in the Association Handbook/Report have been paid for, and Gift Aid has been received for 2017 and 2018. The major expense since the last meeting was for the hosting of the website.
Geoff Harding reported that he has visited Atcham to replace some clapper bolts. Montford have received a quotation from Taylors for work to be done on the bells there. The treble at Montford is currently out of action.
Those present were reminded that nominations for Honorary Life Membership are due to the committee before its next meeting on Sunday 15th September.
Tony Freemont agreed to create a Quiz for the social event in November. Matt is still working on finding a venue for this event.
As well as hosting the Association, Peter ran the customary raffle, raising £23 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The winers of the prizes of wine, chocolates, a scent diffuser and a beautiful bunch of lavender flowers, were Jad, Matt, Ann, and Geoff.
Gill Glover reported that there are currently 115 members of the 100+ Club, and thanked them for their support. The winners of the second draw of the year are:
|1st prize of £50.00||Dawn Offen (Worthen)|
|2nd prize of £25.00||Dave Read (Shrewsbury)|
|3rd prize of £20.00||Alison Johnson (Wellington)|
|4th prize of £15.00||Roy Bloor (Market Drayton)|
|5th prize of £10.00||Peter Hampton (Meole Brace)|
Matt thanked Peter Woollam for his hospitality.
It is with sadness that the death, on 23rd June 2019, of Chris Henshall of Lower Heath, Prees is reported.
We think Chris began ringing at Wistaston with Frank Morton when he lived in the Crewe area, and he became a regular ringer at St Luke's, Hodnet when he moved to Lower Heath near Prees. In his ringing career, the Association website lists him as ringing six quarter peals between 2006 and 2010 and a peal of Cambridge Surprise Major in February 2002 at Edgmond.
Outside of bellringing, Chris was a keen beekeeper and inspired others to take up the practice. After his retirement as a solicitor for the Council in Crewe, he started learning to fly small aircraft but the emergence of his condition sadly put a stop to that before he was able to fully qualify.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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]
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.
Jonathan Hales-Povey (Calverhall), and Octavia Hilton (Market Drayton) were elected as members of the Association. Trevor Lock was ratified as a member following election prior to the peal at Forton.
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.
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.
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.
Another Association Peal
The fourth Association peal of 2019 was rung at Clive.
March Association Practice
Fifteen ringers attended the Association practice at Forton, the Shropshire Association tower in Staffordshire. Under the direction of Matt Lawrence, Ringing Master, attempts were made at plain hunt on five, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Plain & Little Minor, Kent Treble Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Cambridge/Beverley/Surfleet Surprise Minor, and Norwich Surprise Minor.
Peter Woollam ran a raffle, no surprise there, raising £22 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The prizes of wine, something smelly, and coffee were taken home by Lisa, Edric, and Janet.
Thanks to Peter Cadwaladr and Janet Guest for their hospitality and for providing hot drinks and biscuits.
Third Peal of 2019
The third Association peal of 2019 was rung at Morville.
First Quarter Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Nathaniel Carter and Alicia Jones who have rung their first quarter peal at Wellington.
It is with sadness that the death of Lewis Roberts is reported. Lewis was a long-time member of the Association and for many years tower captain at Meole Brace.
New Members' Meeting
A special practice was held at Meole Brace for ringers who have joined the Association within the last 18 months or so.
The practice was an opportunity for new members to come along to find out more about what the Association has to offer, have a ring in a friendly and supportive atmosphere and meet other new members from across the Association.
Twenty three ringers participated, of whom about fourteen are new members, from towers including Bicton, Church Stretton, Lilleshall, Meole Brace and Overton. Matt Lawrence led the practice which concentrated on rounds, call changes, plain hunt on 5, and Plain Bob Triples.
Tea, coffee, and cakes were provided by the Meole Brace band and several Association committee members.
February Surprise Major Practice
Wem was the venue for the first Surprise Major practice of 2019. Twelve ringers took part, attempting Cambridge, Glasgow, London, Yorkshire, and 6-spliced.
It is with great sorrow that the untimely death of Anne Monie, a ringer at Whitchurch, is reported. Our thoughts are with Malcolm and the rest of their family.
Donations are invited to be made to St Alkmund's Church [any cheques payable to Whitchurch PCC]. The money raised in Anne's memory will be shared between the church and Whitchurch CoE Infant & Nursery School at which Anne was a Governor and led some of the collective worship as well as spending time talking with the children. In both cases, the money raised will be put towards projects close to Anne's heart. At church this will be towards replacing the inner church doors with glass to make the building more welcoming. It would be good if any donations are Gift Aided where possible. Postal donations should be sent to Rolfe's Family Funeral Service, 14 Station Road, Whitchurch, SY13 1RE.
February Monthly Practice
From one side of the Association to the other. Eighteen ringers, half of them from the local band, attended the Association practice at Oswestry, and spent two hours practising call changes, Mexican waves, plain hunt on 7, Grandsire Triples, Little Bob Major, London Surprise Major, and Cambridge Surprise Major.
Raffle-meister Peter Woollam raised £30 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The prizes of wine, chocolates, and coffee were taken home by Oliver Miller, Geoff Harding, Tony Freemont, and Jan Snowball.
Thanks to the Oswestry band for their hospitality.
February Training Morning
The first Association training morning of the year took place at the Edgmond Ringing Centre. Lisa Basden, Emma Bentley, Colin Cockerham, Jonathan Hales-Povey, Lisa Raymer, Simon Rice, and Vicki Sivess were the students.
Ringing included call changes, plain hunt on 5, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, Stedman Doubles, and Cambridge Surprise Major.
Tony Freemont, the Association’s Training Officer, was helped during the morning by Mark Adams, Jacqui Barden, Karen Compton, Rob Davis, Gill Glover, Nick Green, Madeline Harris, Matt Lawrence, John Neal, Biff Patterson, Sue Perry, and Cordelia Warr.
Thanks to Edric Broom and Mark for preparing the simulator and the bells.
The next Association training morning will be held at Edgmond on Saturday 27th April. If you would like to participate please contact Tony Freemont .
February 8-bell Practice
Ringers came from more than one county to participate in the first 8-bell practice of 2019, held at Hodnet. Nineteen ringers had a go at call changes, plain hunt on 7, Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Single Oxford Bob Triples, and Double Norwich Court Bob Major.
The towers represented included Atcham, Brewood, Codsall, Edgmond, Hodnet, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Oswestry, and Shrewsbury.
First Peals of 2019
The first two Association peals of 2019 have been rung, at Cheswardine and at Forton. The peal at Cheswardine is the first peal of Little Bob Major for the Association since 1984, which Kevin Price also conducted.
Association Practice and AGM
This was held at SS Peter & Paul church, Wem. Prior to the Service of Thanksgiving about thirty members gathered to ring call changes, Plain Hunt Triples, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples and 8-Spliced Surprise Major.
Another twenty or so ringers turned up in time for the Service, which, in the absence of Archdeacon Paul Thomas, was led by the vicar of Wem, the Reverend Nick Heron. The address was given by Canon William Price, retired vicar of Myddle/Loppington and now living in Wem.
As there is only one ringer in the Wem band the committee took on the catering task, providing three delicious soups and many different types of sandwiches. All followed by cakes and hot drinks.
At the Quarterly Meeting which preceded the AGM, the following were elected as members of the Association: Sue Mulcock, David Powell (both Bicton); Robin Gilbert (Ellesmere); Celia Green (Hinstock); Sally Green, Louise Millward, Amy Steele, Kathryn Steele (all Lilleshall); Oliver Miller, Ben Rothera (both Oswestry); Jane Hughes, Jayne Hunt, Trudi Tanner (all Shifnal); Lorna Arrowsmith, Jack Ball, Lorna Burrows, Albert Greaves, Claire Ramsey, Ben Warren (all Meole Brace); Lisa Raymer (Shrewsbury); Nathaniel Carter, Alison Johnson (Wellington), Clare White (Tibberton); Pamela Sheldon, Darren Swancote (both Coalbrookdale); Clare Morris (Overton).
There was some discussion about the Association Carol Service, held at Market Drayton. It was thought that the turn-out of members was very poor. The future of the Association Carol Services is under review. Peter Woollam mentioned that The Diocese of Lichfield is promoting succession planning within the various advisory roles within the Diocese, including Bell Advisor. Peter invited anyone interested in becoming a deputy Diocesan Bell Advisor to contact him.
Madeline Harris gave her Ringing Master’s report which touched briefly on a few of the highlights of the year, including:
- the eighteen peals and two hundred and five quarter peals that had been rung, the fact that only 78 members had rung a quarter peal, a number that has been reducing in the last few year;
- Lisa Basden, Emma Bentley, Julie Hartridge, Mark Hayball and Anne Peppiatt rang their first quarter peals during the year;
- the Treasure Hunt around Shrewsbury; the Quiz in November.
- the training mornings at Edgmond, the 6-bell and 8-bell practices and the Surprise Major practices held throughout the year;
- the youth ringers had had a bit of a rest during 2018 but Matt and Gail Larewnce had held a practice in December, and the ART module 2c training session held at Edgmond.
Several former members of the Association who had died during the year were remembered.Madeline thanked the Committee for their hard work; all those members who had supported the Association by buying raffle tickets or joining the 100+ Club. She also thanked all towers that had hosted meetings and events. Bishop Mark Rylands and Archdeacon Paul Thomas were also mentioned.
David Beckwith presented the accounts of the Association. The Independent Examiners, Brian Kear and Karen Compton, had inspected and approved the accounts and Brian reported that he and Karen were happy with how the accounts had been presented.
Geoff Harding (Bell Advisor) reported that BRF grants had been made to Selattyn, Hodnet, St Chad’s, Shrewsbury, Lilleshall and to St Martins. Geoff thanked Association members for their support of the Bell Restoration Fund.
Jan Snowball (Safeguarding Officer) said that she had received no reports requiring investigation.
Elections for the Committee for 2019 were held. Matt Lawrence was elected as the Ringing Master.The position of Social Secretary is still vacant. Gareth Jones replaces Edric Broom as a trustee of the Mobile Belfry, and Andrew Gordon replaces Brian Kear as an Independent Examiner.
Certificates for several members to mark their 50 and 25 years membership of the Association were available, but none of those members was present.
Madeline announced that Jad Bienek would be presented with the St Alkmund’s Cannons for all her work for the Association during the year. The presentation could not be made at the meeting as the newly-elected Ringing Master had left the cannons at home.
Peter Woollam sold raffle tickets, raising £103 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The glittering array of prizes was won by Andrew Gordon, Ginette Pardoe, Nicola Adams, Will Lander, Ben Kellett, John Neal, Geoff Harding, David Beckwith, Lisa Raymer, Gill Glover, Cordelia Warr, and Derek Dancey. Peter thanked all those who donate prizes for the raffles.
The final draw of the year in the 100+ Club was made by Brian Kear who thanked all those who participated in the 100+ Club and said that about £800 had been raised for the BRF. Brian announced that Gill Glover would be taking over from him as organiser of the 100+ Club, and he urged all those present to give her their support. Thanks to Brian for all his efforts in raising about £12,500 on behalf of the BRF were expressed in the usual way. The winners were: £50 – Adrian Roberts, £25 – Peter Neil, £15 – Steve Evans, £15 – Judith Speke, £12 – Jacqui Barden.
The next AGM will be held at Oswestry on Saturday 11th January 2020. The next Quarterly meeting will be held at St Martins on Saturday 13th April.