News Items From 2021
The First Association Peal at Kemberton
The first peal on the newly installed bells at Kemberton is the fifteenth peal for the Association in 2021.
Another Handbell Peal at Lilleshall
A peal celebrating the birth of a grandchild has been rung at Lilleshall.
Yet More Association Peals
Two More Association Peals
November Association Practice
A dozen ringers attended the association practice at Lilleshall on Saturday, 20 November. Fortified with tea, coffee and chocolate digestives, the ringers tackled plain hunt, Plain Bob and Stedman Doubles; and Plain Bob, Kent, Cambridge and Norwich Minor. Our thanks go to Matt Lawrence for running the ringing and for putting on a very enjoyable practice.
A Peal at Sutton Maddock
The ninth peal for the Association in 2021 has been rung at Sutton Maddock.
October Practice and Quarterly Meeting
Twelve ringers attended the first in-tower Association practice since March 2020. The ringing at High Ercall included Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Cambridge Surprise Major, and Oxford Bob Triples.
The quarterly business meeting was held after the ringing and refreshments. Matt Lawrence reminded those present that carbon dioxide monitors are available for bands to borrow to check that the ventilation in their ringing room is adequate. Matt noted that High Ercall has good ventilation. Matt also reported that the Association is still without a Safeguarding Officer. Bell Restoration Fund grants have been approved by the committee for work on the bells at Kemberton, and for the installation of a training bell at Lilleshall.
This year the Association will not be holding its own Carol Service but will be taking part in the Carol Service organised by the Churches Conservation Trust at St Mary’s, Shrewsbury. The service starts at 7:30pm, is open to the public and will be followed by mince pies and mulled wine/hot drink. There will be ringing from 6pm to 7:20pm. It is hoped that the bells in Honolulu (formerly of St Alkmund's) will ring at the same time as the service touch. It was suggested that this occasion could be used to raise the profile of ringing.
Matt spoke about the updated Safeguarding Policy that has been produced and is available on the website. Gill Glover proposed a vote of thanks to Matt for all the work he has done on the new policy.
Many Associations/Guilds are talking about how to support training and recruitment. The SACBR has a substantial Bell Restoration Fund. The Association’s annual membership fee is split between the General Fund and the BRF. This split can be changed at the AGM. Bill Deason suggested that the Association could support the installation of sound control.
Thanks go to Chris and Judy Yates for organising the use of the bells and for providing refreshments
Two More Association Peals
More First Quarter Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Ben Rothera, ringer at Oswestry who has rung his first quarter peal.
A Peal at Beckbury
The sixth peal for the Association in 2021 has been rung at Beckbury. This was the 60th peal for the Association for Adrian Roberts, and the 60th Association peal as conductor for Andrew Gordon.
First Quarter Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Shaun Greenfield, ringer at Shifnal and the Association's Publicity Officer, who has rung his first quarter peal.
July Quarterly Meeting and Practice
Eleven ringers took part in the July Quarterly meeting held via Zoom. Vicki Sivess reminded those attending about the picnic to be held on Saturday 7 August, from 3pm to 7pm at Meole Brace. The Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry will also be there. Please let Vicki know [ ] if you are planning to attend.
Geoff Harding reported that since the last Quartely meeting he and his band of helpers have visited several towers to inspect bell installations. Nesting birds were a problem at some of the towers, and Geoff remided everyone that bird and bat droppings are toxic and a face mask should be worn when removing any droppings. Geoff also suggested checking and applying a little grease to clapper bearings where the clapper pin is fitted with a grease nipple or ‘Stauffer’ type grease cap lubricator.
Matt talked about the carbon dioxide monitors that the Association has purchased and that are available to be borrowed by bands wishing to check their ringing room. Carbon dioxide is a good indicator of the level of ventilation. Matt also spoke about the Lilleshall bands experiment with the use of a fan within the ringing room to improve ventilation. The best place for a fan is facing an open door or window.
Matt said that the fact that the Association doesn't currently have a Safeguarding Officer is not ideal. The Association's Safeguarding Officer is primarily concerned with supplying information to the membership and for making sure that Association meetings are safe.
Following the business meeting a practice was held using Ringing Room. The ringing included attempts at Plain Bob Doubles with eyes closed, 3 leads of Kent Treble Bob Minor, St Clement's College Bob Minor, Double Oxford Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor.
A Peal at Cound
18 February 1967 was the last time that an Association peal was rung at Cound... until now.
A Peal at Moreton Corbet
The first tower bell peal of the year has been rung at Moreton Corbet.
Association Peal 1100
Another handbell peal has been rung for the Association by Gail and Matt Lawrence.
June Advanced Practice
Seven ladies, and no gentlmen, took part in the June advanced practice. The ringing included St Clement's College Bob Minor, 3 leads of Kent Treble Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Double Oxford Bob Minor, Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Triples, and Plain Bob Major.
A select band of five ringers took part in the May Association practice. The ringing comprised Little Bob Minor, Plain Bob Minor, Plain Bob Doubles, and Grandsire Doubles. Wheatley participated every time.
April Advanced Practice
Eleven ringers participated in the April advanced practice. The ringing included attempts at Kent Treble Bob Minor, Stedman Triples, Little Bob Major, Cambridge Surprise Major, Yorkshire Surprise Major, and three leads of Bristol Surprise Major.
April Quarterly Meeting and Practice
Sixteen ringers took part in the April Quarterly meeting held virtually. Geoff Harding reminded everyone to check their bells before starting to ring. Geoff and his team are willing to visit towers that are having difficulties with the mechanics of their bells. Geoff mentioned the videos available through the ART Survival and Recovery Toolbox ( https://ringingteachers.org/survival-and-recovery-toolbox/bell-maintenance).
Matt Lawrence gave an update on the Survival and Recovery plan and described the Association’s Recovery Champions and which areas of the Association they would be looking after. Matt reminded those present that there will be a talk on Survival and Recovery on Sunday 25th April from 7:30pm. Please let Matt [ ] know if you are planning to attend.
Following the business meeting a practice was held using Ringing Room. The ringing included attempts at Plain Bob Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Kent Treble Bob Minor, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, and Plain Hunt Cinques.
The next Quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday 10th July 2021. The next Association advanced practice will be on Saturday 17th April, from 7pm to 8:30pm using Zoom and Ringing Room. Contact Matt Lawrence if you would like to attend.
It is with sadness that the death of Kim Evans on 5th April is reported. Kim rang at Chirk for many years, and was a member of the Shropshire Association for a few years, attending practices when she could.
It is with sadness that the death of Dave Pickett is reported. Dave died on 2nd March 2021, after a long illness. He was 80 years old. Dave wasn't currently a member of the Association but had been in the past. He rang in some of the striking competitions for the Baschurch Team and also enjoyed ringing at Baschurch on a Sunday morning when he could. He played a big part in getting the bells at Myddle overhauled in 1998 and rang there for services including weddings. He was also Tower Correspondent for Myddle. He had his own mini ring at his house in Cockshutt and rang many quarter peals on them with family members and visitors. He started his ringing career as a teenager in Middlesex and his enthusiasm for bells and ringing never left him.
March Advanced Practice
Ten ringers (plus Wheatley) took part in the March advanced practice. The ringing included attempts at treble bob hunt on 8, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, and Cambridge Surprise Major.
Ten ringers took part in the Association's March practice, including two ringer who had not used Ringing Room before. The ringing concentrated on plain hunt and Plain Bob, on 5, 6 and 7 bells.
Another Handbell Peal for the Association
The second Association peal of 2021 has been rung at Lilleshall.
February Advanced Practice
Ten ringers took part in the February advanced practice. The ringing included attempts at treble bob hunt on 8 and 10, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Little Bob Major, Cambridge Surprise Major, and Grandsire Caters.
The next Association events are the Pub Night on Friday 26 February, and Chris Pickford with a talk on the History of Bells on Sunday 28 February.
Nine ringers took part in the Association's February practice, including one ringer who had not used Ringing Room before. The ringing included plain hunt on 5, 7, 9, 10; Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Grandsire Triples and treble bob hunt on 8.
January Virtual Pub Night
Eleven ringers took part in the Association's first virtual pub night. As with any visit to the pub the topics discussed were many and varied, and included floods and rivers, lockdown hair, ringing, and a joke.
It is with sadness that the death of Eric Pridding on 22nd January 2021, aged 74, is reported. Eric first rang in Shropshire in the 1980s then moved away for work reasons. He returned to Shropshire a few years ago and was a member of the Clive band. He will be missed.
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.
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.
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.