News Items From 2019

Another Association Peal

The fourth Association peal of 2019 was rung at Clive.

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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.

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Third Peal of 2019

The third Association peal of 2019 was rung at Morville.

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First Quarter Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Nathaniel Carter and Alicia Jones who have rung their first quarter peal at Wellington.

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Lewis Roberts

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.

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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.

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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.

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Anne Monie

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.

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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.

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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 [].

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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.

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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.

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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:

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.

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