The Tower Handbook
Why not! If you have earned them by winning striking competitions there is no harm in letting other people see them. But if your ringing room is not locked, it might be better to keep trophies of any value somewhere else. You can take it in turns to look after them. If six of you win a striking competition you can each have the trophy on your shelf for two months. Don't forget to bring it along to the tower dinner and the AGM to put on the top table.
Non ringing trophies count as well. If you've beaten the choir at skittles, or won the district rounders competition that shows the diversity of your talents.
You may have inherited old peal boards. These can be of historical significance and quite valuable. Ensure they are properly cared for and not damaged. A new peal board can be quite expensive (hundreds of pounds), so you will probably only consider one for a very special occasion like a centenary anniversary of the church, an augmentation of the bells or an event of great public importance. But if you ring a peal for such an event, it is worth considering passing something on for future generations to look back at.
Some towers put them in a scrap book. Others fix them around the walls. But before you start, think how many you are likely to have in a few years, and whether the space you want to put them in will have run out. You also need to think whether you have cards for all peals, or just important ones.
And what about quarter peals? They are probably a better indicator of the activity in your tower, but if you ring a lot, it can lead to a lot of cards. As an alternative, you could have a sheet of squared paper on the board with a column for each member of the band and a row for each quarter peal rung during the year. In each square you write the number of the bell that person rang in that quarter peal. Of course you need some space at one side to write in the names of visitors who ring with you. At the end of each year, the sheet could go into the tower scrap book. The picture shows a creative use for old peal cards.
These are often framed and hanging on tower walls, for example copies of ringers rules dating back to the 19th century. They form a valuable part of the record of your ringing heritage. If they are in good condition, it is normally best to leave them where they are. If your tower is very damp perhaps you should consider moving them to a less damp spot.
These often accumulate in a box in the clock room or in the secretary's loft. You could consider a more satisfactory home for them. Discuss it with your church, diocesan or association archivist.
It is a shame such records are rarely kept. They can show a side of tower life beyond the formal words of the minute book and the peal book, especially if there are details of who or what is portrayed. Perhaps 'volume 0' of your tower scrap book should contain all the material you have inherited from before your records began. Tap the memories of those who remember any of the events and write it down while you can.
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