The Tower Handbook

3.6: Housekeeping

a: Does the state of the ringing room matter?

Yes. It is a multi-purpose room: a learning place, a meeting place, a place to receive visitors, a place for prayer and of course a place for ringing. Anyone entering the ringing room will form a first impression of your band as well as the tower. Entering the ringing room sets the mood before you actually ring. It is the only part of the tower most people enter. If it looks and feels gloomy you will all feel gloomy, so try to keep it clean and bright.

b: Can we make the ringing room more homely?

Yes. As well as keeping it clean and tidy, make sure you have good lighting and adequate heating, with comfortable seating (if there is enough room). Add a few creature comforts.

c: Should we set up cleaning rotas?

If it helps to get things done, then yes. But it may be more convenient for whoever turns up first [11] to use the few spare minutes for a quick tidy up. Everyone will take pride in the cleanliness of the ringing room if they have done their bit cleaning it. It is better to ask people to volunteer. People can then fit in their turn when they are less busy, and no one can complain they were coerced since it is voluntary.

d: Should we have a spring clean?

Towers accumulate dirt like anywhere else. Even if you sweep the ringing room floor regularly, dirt will accumulate in the corners, and on the stairs and in the bell chamber. An annual clean out stops things getting too bad. It is also a good opportunity for a team effort. The most difficult bit about a spring clean is often getting round to doing it. If you have an open day coming up, or if your Guild runs a 'best kept tower' competition, these can act as useful spurs to action.

e: How can we control dust when sweeping the tower?

Try to avoid making a dust. If possible use one or more vacuum cleaners. They will suck the dust up whereas sweeping, however skilfully done, always raises some dust into the air. If you do sweep, try to arrange that any draught through the tower carries the dust where it does least harm. For example, there is often a strong current of air up the stairs, especially if you have a door to the roof open. If you work your way down the stairs, as most people would normally, then all the airborne dust is blown back over the area you have just swept. In fact brushing dust down from step to step means that most of it is stirred up lots of times. Use a dustpan.

f: Can we put photographs up?

Why not? Pictures of you socialising, or on an outing, or post cards from your ringers or friends, all add variety and interest. You could put them on a notice board. See section 6.3a.

g: Do we need a faculty to change anything?

Strictly speaking yes. Any addition, removal or alteration to the structure or fabric of the building needs a faculty, but in practice some things do not warrant one. See section 7.5b.

h: How can we look after ropes?

The steeple keeper may be responsible for the bell installation, but you all use the ropes, so take some responsibility for at least their lower ends.


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