News Items From 2022
Association Peal at Hodnet
The twenty-seventh Association peal of 2022 has been rung at Hodnet.
It is with great sadness that the death of Roy Bloor, a ringer at Market Drayton, is reported.
November Quiz Night
The Association’s first Quiz Night since 2019 was held at the Trinity Centre at Meole Brace. The quiz was devised by Vicki Sivess. Six teams sat down to answer questions on flags, cities around the world, literature, history, geography, science and nature, and general knowledge. The highest scoring team (by one point) was from Meole Brace and they received some chocolate bears. The lowest scoring team were awarded some chocolate coins, rather than a wooden spoon.
Participants were asked to bring along food to share, and what an array of delicious things there were – more than enough. Hot drinks were also available.
Michael Carding read 'The Ringers' Tale', one of his poems in the style of 'The Canterbury Tales'. Michael also thanked Vicki for organising the evening and all those present for making the event so enjoyable.
Three Association Peals
Association peals have been rung at Wem, Llansilin, and Forden. The peal at Llansilin was Nicola Galton's 50th peal for the Association. The peal at Forden was the second Association peal there, the first being in 1980.
Association Peal at Clun
The first Association peal of Plain Bob Caters has been rung at Clun.
October Practice and Quarterly Meeting
Sixteen ringers attended the practice and quarterly meeting at High Ercall. The ringing included call changes, Plain Hunt Triples, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples, Cambridge Surprise Major.
The quarterly business meeting, led by Matt Lawrence, was held after the ringing. Mandie Lee from Bicton was elected as member of the Association.
Ann Williams distributed flyers from Vicki Sivess about the Association’s Quiz Night to be held at Meole Brace on 12 November. Please let Vicki know what food you will be taking to share (see above).
The Association will be joining other volunteer groups for a Christmas service at St Mary’s, Shrewsbury on Saturday 3 December. Vicki is looking for volunteers to read John Betjeman’s poem about Christmas, at the service. Please contact Vicki [ ] if you are interested. There will be ringing after the service.
Matt reported that although Tony Freemont had been seriously ill he was now out of hospital and on the mend. Matt suggested that a training session be held before the end of the year to train those who would like to teach bell-handling.
Matt said that he would be stepping down as Ringing Master at the next AGM, and said that of particular need at the moment is a Report Editor for the next Report/Handbook. Without someone to take on this role there would be no Report/Handbook.
Madeline Harris showed a certificate produced by BellBoard of some ringing following the Queen’s death, and explained how band's could obtain such certificates.
The raffle raised £27 for the Bell Restoration Fund. The winners of the prizes of chocolate, beer, pears, and fruit bars are Sue Dancey, Chris Yates, Madeline Harris, and Gareth Jones. More raffle prizes are needed.
The winners in the 100+ Club draw are Cathy Fitchew (Bicton) - £50, John Fawcett (Tibberton) - £25, Tony Waldron (Tibberton) - £15, Neil Comerford (Loppington) - £10.
Those present showed their appreciation in the usual way to the High Ercall ringers for providing refreshments and for organising the use of the bells.
The next Quarterly meeting will be held at Newport on 21 January 2023 and will precede the AGM.
First Quarter Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Sally Green and Paul Heminsley who rang their first quarter peal at Lilleshall.
Congratulations, also, to Joshua Oakley who rang his first quarter peal at Meole Brace.
September Association Practice
The September practice, aimed particulary at new ringers/members, saw twenty three ringers in attendance at Lilleshall. It was encouraging to see many new ringers and new Association members present. The ringing included rounds, call changes, and Plain Bob Doubles. Several ringers tried out the newly installed training bell. Thanks to all those who came along, and to those who baked flapjacks and brownies. The BRF benefitted from the £31 raised from the sale of raffle tickets.
Andrew Gordon's 2000th Tower Bell Peal
July and August Practices
Thirteen ringers made the trip to Upton Magna. Ringing ranged from rounds and call changes to spliced surprise minor. The hundred club draw was made prior to the business meeting. First prize of £50 was won by Sue Ganley from Oswestry, £25 went to Jackie Rushall from Market Drayton, £15 to Peter Gordon from Beckbury and £10 to Frances Major from Oswestry. The raffle returned, and prizes of wine and chocolate were won by Gill Glover, Ann Williams and Gail Lawrence.
Nine ringers turned up at Moreton Corbet for the August monthly practice. They were joined by two passing visitors who were interested in finding out about ringing. The visitors were given several opportunities to have a go at ringing, under the guidance of Matt Lawrence. Other ringing included Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, Beverly S Minor, and London S Minor.
Yet More Peals for the Queen's Jubilee
Two More Peals for the Queen's Jubilee
Association peals celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee have been rung at Calverhall and Cardington. The peal at Calverhall is the first Association peal there since 1948, and the peal at Cardington is the first Association peal there.
Association Outing - 18 June 2022
On Saturday morning, twenty-three ringers from across the county and beyond met up at Malpas tower to start the Association ringing outing, the first since the pandemic. Ringing ranged from rounds and call changes to Stedman triples and Yorkshire major. A highlight of the day was a visit to the ring of eight at Eccleston. After an excellent lunch at Handbridge, ringing continued at St Mary-without-the-Walls, Waverton, and Acton and the day was concluded at Audlem. Many thanks to all who led the ringing.
The Visitors Outside Eccleston Church
Photo by Matt Lawrence
Another Peal for the Queen's Jubilee
The first Association peal at Worfield has been rung to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
May Association Practice
There was a good turnout at Kemberton for May's monthly practice. Ringing ranged from Rounds and Call Changes to Surprise Minor. The 100 club draw which was postponed from April was made with first prize (£50) going to first Paul Heminsley of Sheriffhales, with the other prizes going to: Mary Leonard-Johnson (Market Drayton - £25), Chris Fraser (Shawbury - £15) and Chris Yates (High Ercall - £10).
Thanks to Andrew Gordon for the use of the bells and for providing refreshments.
The eleventh peal for the Association this year has been rung at Leighton. This is the first Association peal there since December 1980. Ann Williams and Neil Bennett also rang in that peal.
April Association Practice
Twenty three ringers attended the practice and quarterly meeting at Lilleshall. The ringing included call changes, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Cambridge Surprise Minor, and Beverley Surprise Minor.
The latest edition of the Association's Annual Report and Handbook was available for collection.
The quarterly business meeting was held after the ringing. Matt Lawrence presented the St Alkmund’s Cannons to Geoff Harding in recognition of his work as the Association’s Bell Advisor.
Matt spoke about the requirement for all ringers to take the Church of England’s Basic Safeguarding training (available at https://safeguardingtraining.cofeportal.org/). The Basic training takes about an hour to complete. Tower captains must also complete the Foundation training. The training certificates are valid for three years. Darren Swancott asked what happens if a ringer refuses to do the training. Matt replied that it is within the church’s rights to refuse that person access to the bells. We must all take Safeguarding seriously. Matt also reminded those present that the Association’s Safeguarding policy can be found on this website.
The Association’s centenary is only four years away and the committee is thinking of ways to celebrate this event, for example with ringing, social events, bell restoration projects, recruitment and training of new ringers.
Matt asked for ideas for getting more Association members to attend Association events, noting that there were 23 out of about 250 members present at the meeting. Suggestions included having a social event after the practice, are practices at the right times?, encouraging other ringers to attend practices.
Biff Patterson spoke about having the Mobile Belfry at the Newport Show on Saturday 9 July. The organisers have offered a free pitch and twelve tickets for those coming along to help. It is acknowledged that the belfry doesn’t generate any recruits but it does generate a lot of goodwill.
The raffle returned! £45 were raised for the Bell Restoration Fund. The winners of the prizes of port, chocolate, brandy snaps, and toiletries are Michael Carding, David Beckwith, Chloë Darby, and Geoff Harding. More raffle prizes are needed.
Thanks go to the Lilleshall ringers for organising the use of the bells and for providing refreshments.
It is with sadness that the death of Graham Parker, tower captain at Ightfield and also a ringer at Calverhall, is reported.
Graham was born in Ightfield and lived almost all his life there apart from a few years living in Whitchurch. He was a funeral director by trade and a keen gardener and walker. Graham was also very keen on rugby. He used to play for Whitchurch and continued to go as a supporter.
Graham had been a bell ringer for over 60 years at Ightfield and Whitchurch, and tower captain at Ightfield for longer than most of us can remember. He never aspired to be a method ringer (although he could find his way through Plain Bob Doubles) but was a very reliable tenor ringer, and if you’ve ever needed a little extra height to ring a bell at Ightfield then you have probably stood on a box made by Graham.
Ringing on a Sunday morning, Graham would regularly tell us what had been on ‘Bells on Sunday’. He is already very much missed by the local ringers.
Graham’s funeral is at Ightfield church on Friday 8th April at 2pm following private cremation earlier in the week. We will be ringing half muffled before the service.
Another Peal for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
A peal has been rung at St Martins to mark the Queen's 70 years as monarch.
First Quarter Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Kathryn Steele, a ringer at Lilleshall, who rang her first quarter peal as part of the Round the Wrekin Teaching Hub's celebration of the 10th anniversary of ART.
March Association Practice
Fifteen ringers attended the practice at Oswestry. The ringing included call changes, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, Dixon's Bob Minor, Beverley Surprise Minor, Plain Bob Triples and Major, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Cambridge Surprise Major, and Original Major. Thanks to all those who came along to the practice, and to Peter Woollam, Jan Snowball and the Oswestry ringers who made us welcome.
February Association Practice
Fifteen ringers attended the practice at Atcham on a cold, wet February morning. The ringing included call changes, Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, St Martin’s Bob Doubles, Plain Bob Minor, St Clement’s College Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, and Norwich Surprise Minor. Thanks to all those who came along to the practice, and to Steve Evans and the Atcham ringers who made us welcome and provided much-needed hot drinks and biscuits.
Another Weekend, Another Three Peals
Three more peals have been rung for the Association, all in Staffordshire. The
peal at Lapley was rung
in memory of Ashley Pugh of Cheshire.
The peal at Church Eaton
was the second there for the Association, the first being in
July 1981. Ann Williams and Andrew Gordon rang in both peals.
The peal at Gnosall was the second at Gnosall for the Association. The previous being in September 1950. No-one rang in both those peals. The most recent peal at Gnosall was Andrew Gordon's 150th peal for the Association, and was Peter Neil's 50th peal.
A Peal at Moreton Corbet
The fourth Association peal of 2022 has been rung at Moreton Corbet.
January Quarterly Meeting and AGM
Once again this was held using Zoom. Thirty-three members attended the meeting which was led by the Ringing Master, Matt Lawrence.
Adam Turner (Albrighton); Diana Dalton, Hazel Kanaar, Roger Paul, Vicky Weilding (Ellesmere); Sarah Riley (Hodnet); Ingrid Aitken, Jackie Rushall (Market Drayton); Alan McKeown (Newport); Isla Rothera, Chris Hoare, Jenny Hoare (Oswestry); Oliver Wilson (Shawbury); Paul Heminsley, Catherine Rogers, Chris Williams (Sheriffhales); Henry Flyn, Teresa Harbon, Mandy Jacks, Richard Tranter (Dawley) were elected as new members of the Association.
Matt’s review of the year mentioned the calendar of virtual events and practices that had been held, he also mentioned the picnic, practices, and meeting which had been held in person. Association ringers who has died during the year were remembered. Matt mentioned the centenary of the Association (in 2026), and the Rope Bank. Matt thanked the committee for their support and all those who have attended events. The St Alkmund’s cannons were awarded to Geoff Harding for his work as Bell Adviser.
David Beckwith gave the Treasurer’s report noting that there hadn’t been much activity in the accounts during the year. David stated that the accounts had not yet been examined.
Geoff Harding gave the Bell Adviser’s report in which he spoke of the towers that he’d visited during the year, the future installation of a training bell at Lilleshall, and the installation work done at Kemberton to increase the number of bells to 6.
Matt, as acting Safeguarding Officer, reported on the need for all ringers to complete the Church of England’s Basic safeguarding training and tower captains to complete the Foundation training [see above].
Biff Patterson, in her role as Membership Secretray, disclosed that the Association continues to have about 250 members. Certificates marking 25 years membership of the Association were awarded to: Keith Atkey, Neil Comerford, Patrick Comerford, Martyn Lake, Graham Parker, Becky Richards, Adrian Roberts, Paul Smart, Angela Standage, John Stokes, Oliver Stokes, Heather Vernon, Sue Walton, E Ann Williams.
Ann Williams and Paul Lewis reported on the Central Council annual meeting which included discussion of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a national Ringing Centre in Northampton, and a national mobile belfry.
Elections for the Committee were held. Geoff Harding had decided to step down as Bell Adviser; Darren Swancott and Gareth Jones both volunteered to take over the role and it was agreed that they would split the work between them. Tony Freemont volunteered to take over the position of Safeguarding Officer. Biff Patterson stood down from the position of Report Editor but there were no volunteers to take over from her. Jacqui Barden stood down from the post of Committee Member and no-one was elected to this position. David Costelloe has moved to Sussex, and David Beckwith recommended Peter Bruty, former Treasurer at the Market Drayton Community Amateur Sports Club, as the second Accounts Examiner. There were no other changes to the members of the committee and the nominations were proposed and seconded en bloc. The proposal carried unanimously.
Gill Glover mentioned the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and that 6 February would be the anniversary of the Queen’s Accession. Liz Menhinick asked that Unattached members receive acknowledgement of their membership payments, and that they be included in mailings. Gill said that the 100+ Club was back in business and forms had been circulated to tower correspondents with the AGM materials. The first draw of the year would be held at the April Quarterly meeting.
Sadly, once again, there was no raffle, no 100+ Club draw, and no tea.
There were no ringers who wanted to practise using Ringing Room.
Two More Peals
First Peal Congratulations
Congratulations to Simon Rice who has rung his first peal. This was also the first Association peal of 2022 and was rung at Kemberton.