The Tower Handbook
Have you ever stopped to think how your band and your tower appear through the eyes of an outsider? This could tell you something about yourselves as well as influencing whether visitors come a second time. Is the ringing room cheerful and welcoming? Do you treat your visitors well?
How would you like to be treated when you visit a new tower? You want a warm welcome. You may be a little nervous in strange surroundings and don't want to be put under pressure. You want to be asked what you would like to ring.
Do your ringers always welcome visitors? Do people talk to them or leave them to sit alone? Do you think they feel their time has been well spent? Do you thank them for coming? Do you ask them to come again? Do you invite them to join you for a drink after the practice?
It is courteous to thank the locals for letting you ring with them, even if you have been a great boost to their practice.
People like to leave their names in a visitors' book. They also like to look back and see whether anyone they know has visited your tower before them. You can buy purpose made visitors' books, but many towers use an inexpensive hard backed A4 ruled book. Of course, if you do have a visitors' book, don't hide it away. Make sure people can see it and offer it to visitors when you are there. A ball point pen is also useful. It is surprising how many people travel around without any means of writing.
Most visitors like to check the weight and note, some are interested in the founders and other information. You may have a neatly printed notice from when the bells were last re-hung, but if not, find out what information you can and type something up: dates, weights, founders, inscriptions etc. This should fit on a single sheet suitable for display.
If you can find out more about the history of your bells, tower and ringers, it is worth preparing something more substantial. It will be interesting to visitors, it will be something for your recruits to browse through in their early ringing career and if you produce extra copies, you will find people happy to buy them when you have a tower open day. It could just be a few photocopied sheets, or it could be a more elaborate booklet. Either is worth doing.
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