News Items From 2023

Association Ceilidh 2023

The first Association ceilidh since 2017 was held at the Meole Brace Memorial Hall and was organised by Vicki Sivess. Music and calling were provided by the Devil’s Chair Band. This year’s cooks were Cordelia Warr, Gill Glover, Biff Patterson, Madeline Harris, Vicki Sivess, Ann Williams. They provided diners with vegan chilli stew, vegetable stew, chicken stew, chicken pie, cheese and onion flan, coleslaw, carrot salad, rice, and couscous. The main course was followed by trifle, brownies, apple crumble, and apple and ginger fridge cake. The bar was run by Geoff Harding and Jad Bienek, and raised £58.40.

The raffle, run by Nik Galton, raised £95.50 (as the tickets cost £1 each that 50p is a mystery). The prizes of wine and spirits were won by Sheryl Davies, Michael Carding, Paul Partridge, and Linda Leighton.

Forty tickets were sold for this event. Thanks go to all who organised and promoted the event and all those who helped make this a very enjoyable evening.

Return to top of page

October Practice and Quarterly Meeting

Seventeen ringers attended the practice and thirteen stayed for the Quarterly Meeting at Kemberton. The ringing, run by Matt Lawrence, included call changes, Plain Bob Triples, Grandsire Doubles, and Cambridge Surprise Major.

The quarterly business meeting was held after the ringing and was run by Madeline Harris. Ruth Partridge and Alan Jackson from Shrewsbury were elected as members of the Association. The election, prior to a peal attempt, of Timothy Hine as a Non-Resident Life Member was ratified

Proposed changes to Rules 5 and 9 of the Association’s Rules and to Rule 7 of the BRF Rules were presented and discussed. In addition, Matt Lawrence proposed that the maximum grant that can be awarded from the BRF should be raised from £7,500 to £10,000. These proposals will be presented and voted on at the AGM.

Those present were reminded that all members of the committee are voted for at the AGM. A vacancy for Report Editor still exists so a small committee has been formed to produce the 2023/2024 edition of the Report/Handbook.

The winners in the 100+ Club draw are Peter Hampton (Meole Brace) - £50, Karen Hampton (Meole Brace) - £25, Tony Waldron (Tibberton) - £15.

Thanks to Andrew Pooler for organising the use of the bells.

The next Quarterly meeting will be at Hodnet on 20 January 2024 and will precede the AGM.

Return to top of page

60 Years of Ringing, and a Retirement

A peal has been rung at Moreton Corbet to celebrate Ann Williams's 60 years of ringing. The following day a peal was rung at Condover to mark the retirement of Condover's Rector.

Return to top of page

Eric Lane

It is with sadness that the death, on Wednesday 9 August, of Eric Lane is reported. Eric was Ringing Master of the Shropshire Association from 1975 to 1977.

Return to top of page

August Association Practice

A select group of ringers participated in the Association practice at Bicton. The ringing included Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, and Plain Bob Minor.

Return to top of page

Two More Association Peals

The fifth and sixth Association peals of the year have been rung at Lilleshall and Kemberton.

Return to top of page

More First Quarter Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Josh Tagg who has rung his first quarter peal.

Return to top of page

First Quarter Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Isla Rothera who has rung her first quarter peal.

Return to top of page

Harry Poyner

Harry Poyner Harry Poyner, former Master of the Shropshire Association,died on 11th March, aged 92. An outstandingly talented ringer,he came to Shrewsbury in 1959 to teach physics at the Priory Boys’ School. In 1963 he moved on to become head of physics at King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford

In the few years he was in Shropshire he, and his wife Mary, did much to raise the number of Association members and their level of ringing activity.

The annual report of 1962 (produced by Harry on the school duplicator) shows just how many activities the Poyners were involved in during the year: eleven full meetings, eleven evening meetings, the first recorded striking competition held at Cound, the Lichfield Diocesan Festival held in Shrewsbury and a five day, thirty-eight tower trip to Somerset organised by Horace Toogood.

1962 was the Association’s most prolific year for peal ringing, with the 50th being brought up on New Year’s Eve when Harry and Mary were joined by Hector Bennett to ring Bob Minor on handbells. Harry rang 59 peals in all for the Shropshire Association, of which he conducted 48. In his whole career he rang over 1,000 peals, reaching that total with the appropriately named Kilopeal S. Royal at the Loughborough Bell Foundry campanile on 15th October 2003.

Harry was instrumental in acquiring the metal from the bell in Shrewsbury’s old market hall. He had this recast in 1962 into a sharp second for St Chad’s church, giving a light eight. When the ring was remodelled in 2000 the sharp second was sold and is now the second bell at Albrighton

He also produced the design for the Association badge, which was first displayed at the 1961 AGM and has been in use ever since. Harry left Shropshire in January, 1963. Both he and Mary became Honorary Members of the Association.

Gill Glover
taken from A M Glover: Biographies of the Shropshire Association Masters.
Return to top of page

500th Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Ann Williams who has rung her 500th peal.

Return to top of page

April Training Morning

The first Association training morning of the year was held at Meole Brace and was led by Matt Lawrence. The focus of the training was plain hunt and Plain Bob Doubles. The students came from Calverhall, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, and Meole Brace. The helpers came from Broseley, Lilleshall, Market Drayton, Meole Brace, and Oswestry. Thanks go to Michael Carding who organised the use of the bells, and who provided half-time refreshments.

Return to top of page

April Association Practice and Quarterly Meeting

Twenty ringers attended the monthly Association practice, held at Baschurch. The ringing included Rounds, Plain Bob Doubles, Stedman Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, St Simon's Bob Doubles, April Day Doubles, Single Oxford Bob Minor, London Surprise Minor, and Norwich Surprise Minor.

The quarterly business meeting was held after the ringing. As there is no Handbook/Report this year information cards have been produced and were available for collection. Thanks to Biff Patterson for organising the creation and printing of the cards.

In David Beckwith's absence Madeline Harris gave the Tresurer's report and announced that a very generous donation of £8000 had been received specifically for the purchase of a new bell.

Bell Sunday was described. Details can be found at

Ring For the King was also discussed. More information can be found at www.

Gareth Jones reported on the Association Outing to be held on 17 June. There would be three towers in the morning and two towers after lunch. More details will be available shortly.

The first draw of the year for the 100 Club took palce. The winners are Ann Williams (£50), Jackie Rushall (£25), and Chris Yates (£15).

The raffle raised £29 for the Bell Restoration Fund, and the winners of the prizes of chocolate, wine, sceneted candles are Biff Patterson, Alan Glover, Sue Dancey, Jad Bienek. More prizes are needed.

Thanks go to the Baschurch ringers for organising the use of the bells and the church for the meeting, and for the welcome hot drinks and biscuits.

The next Quarterly Meeting will be held on Saturday 8 July at Edgmond.

Return to top of page

March Association Practice

Despite the horrible weather, fourteen ringers turned up at Oswestry for the March Association practice, led by Nik Galton. Ringing included call changes, Original Minor, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Plain Bob Triples, and Cambridge Major.

Thanks go to the Oswestry ringers for their hospitality.

Return to top of page

Peal Congratulations

The third Association peal of 2023 has been rung at Beckbury. This was the 499th for Ann Williams, and the 300th as conductor for Andrew Gordon. Congratulations to them both.

Return to top of page

February Monthly Practice

We had 15 ringers turnout for our first meeting of the year. A wide variety of ringing took place including, Stedman, St Martin's, Bob Minor, Cambridge, London, Ipswich and Dixon's Bob Minor! It would be good to see new members at these meetings. A huge thanks to the ringers at Atcham who provided tea and biscuits.

Gareth Jones
Return to top of page

First Peal Congratulations

Congratulations to Alicia Jones on ringing her first peal.

Return to top of page

Firsts at Clive

Congratulations to Greg Moir on ringing his first peal, which was also the first Association peal of 2023.

Return to top of page

January Quarterly Meeting and 2023 AGM

For the first time since January 2020 the Association’s AGM was held in person. This year the Association went to Newport. Prior to the meetings there was ringing followed by a service of thanksgiving. The service was led by Eddie Loewendahl, and the organist was Mike Hallam. Forty one ringers attended the meetings which were led by the Ringing Master, Matt Lawrence.

The following were elected as new members of the Association: Ken Davis, Gregg Moir (Atcham); Jan Darby (Baschurch); Andrew Morris (Ellesmere); Paige Millward, Sapphire Millward, Josh Tagg (Lilleshall); Simon Myatt, Lyn Sherratt (Market Drayton); Peter Griffiths (Newport); Alex Finnie, Amy Green, Amy Hammond, Louise Wakelin, Laura Worton (Norton-in-Hales); John Hobley (Oswestry); Steve Hayes (St Martins); Dave Haley, Julie Haley, Sarah Haley, Lauren Medhurst (Shifnal); Patrick Braven-Giles, Andrew Chapman (Meole Brace), Paul Bennet (Whitchurch); Suzy Roberts (Broseley). The elections of Christopher Pickford and Mark Pugh prior to peal attempts were ratified.

Matt Lawrence thanked the Newport ringers for providing a delicious tea. Matt also thanked Eddie Loewendahl for leading the service and Mike Hallam for playing the organ. A moment’s silence was held for A J Barnfield, Roy Bloor, Graham Parker and Daniel Wilde. Matt thanked the committee for their support and all those who have attended events. The St Alkmund’s cannons were awarded to Paul Smart in recognition of his work with the Rope Bank.

David Beckwith gave the Treasurer’s report. The balance in the General Fund was £1714.60, and the balance in the Bell Restoration Fund (BRF) was £38,751.32. Grants from the BRF had been made to Kemberton and Lilleshall. Expenses from the General Fund had included stock rope for the Rope Bank, attendance at the Central Council AGM, and Report/Handbook printing.

Biff Patterson, in her role as Membership Secretary, reported that the Association continues to have about 250 members. Biff thanked everyone who’d followed the instructions when renewing. A certificate marking 25 years membership of the Association was awarded to John Neal.

Ann Williams reported on the Central Council annual meeting. Ann and Paul had attended seminars on Ringing Champions, and the 2030 strategy. The 2023 meeting will be held in Ipswich.

Elections for the Committee were held. Matt Lawrence stood down as Ringing Master and Gareth Jones was elected in his place. Darren Swancott had decided to step down as Bell Adviser, Gareth volunteered to continue in the role. Matt was elected as Training Officer. Nik Galton was elected as a Committee member as was Biff Patterson. Gareth stood down as a Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry trustee and Tony Freemont was elected in his place. There were no volunteers to take over as Report Editor. There were no other changes to the members of the committee.

Paul Lewis asked what were the consequences of not having the current tower correspondents available in a Report. Biff replied that she keeps an up to date record of tower correspondents. It was thought that this information should not be on the Association’s website, although some people don’t object to having this information available online. It was agreed to discuss this at the next Committee meeting. Rob Davis stated that he still has an 8-bell spider available to any tower that wants it. Gill mentioned that she is hoping to have participants send 100+ Club money electronically. Ann Williams had spoken to the Bishop of Shrewsbury about the Association presidency. Michael Carding suggested asking the Archdeacon instead. Michael said that the participation of the Shropshire Association in the Carol Service organised by the Churches Conservation Trust at St Mary’s, Shrewsbury, was a good idea.

The raffle raised £65 for the BRF. Winners are Gill Glover, Nik Galton, Sue Dancey, Michael Carding, Chris Yates, and Madeline Harris.

The final draw of the 2022 100+ Club was held and the winners are Adrian Roberts (£50), Karen Hampton (£25), Marek Bushby (£25), Steve Evans (£15), and Bill Deason (£10).

The next quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday 1st April, at Baschurch, and the next AGM will be held at Hodnet on 20th January 2024.

Return to top of page
Return to top of page