The Tower Handbook
In most towers it is whatever you can get that will fit in! But it doesn't hurt to keep your eyes open for something better. Chairs are often more comfortable than benches, and you can position them where there is a bit more space, in the corners or where there are no ropes. Many towers have some ledges (window sills) at seat height. Line them with something comfortable (carpet samples, old hassocks, ...) and you get extra seating that does not take up valuable floor space.
Many leaded windows, especially facing the prevailing wind, leak during heavy rain. If water is likely to run down onto the sitting area, it is worth putting in a board to act as the seat. Support it on battens and the water will run under the board rather than into the soft seating. The battens need not be thick and you don't need to screw anything to the masonry.
A table is a useful place to put the collecting box, newsletter, etc. If like most towers, you do not have much space outside the rope circle, then the centre is the only place left where you could find space for a table. Your table should be small enough for people to walk round it without walking into the ropes, and this may mean hunting round for a rather small table. Some towers prefer a low table which seems to take up less space because only your legs go past it rather than your hips.
A book shelf is better than a heap in the corner. Most ringing books are only A5, so a shelf 6" (150mm) deep is adequate. A couple of feet (600mm) long is enough for most towers. Don't put it where it will impede any of the ropes, and remember you will need some sort of book ends to stop things falling over.
Most towers are given furniture or carpets at some time or other, or you may have something large like a white board. Getting them up spiral stairs can be difficult or impossible. You may find that by turning the object around to a different angle what seemed not quite to fit will just fit after all. Usually this happens when the pillar up the middle of the stairs passes between protrusions like legs. But remember that what one person can carry on the flat may take two or more to manoeuvre up the stairs. Make sure you have enough people above and below it before you start.
If it still won't go, you can consider the trapdoor used to hoist the bells, but then you are into serious lifting. Make sure you have enough rope and that it is strong enough. Make sure it is properly secured to the object and make sure it will stay securely attached if the object tips up while being lifted. Remember something like a sheet of hardboard can bend and so could slip out of two seemingly secure loops round opposite corners. As with all things where safety is involved, think carefully how you are going to do it and try to think of what could go wrong before you start. Make sure no one is underneath what you are lifting and that anyone near the open trap door could not get pulled over the edge.
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