One of the aspects of bell ringing enjoyed by almost every ringer is that of visiting other towers. Ringing different bells with different ringers is an excellent way to increase your skill and experience. There are hundreds of towers with ringable bells and although they are all different there are a few general guidelines and customs that you should know about.
The most important guidelines are concerned with safety:
- Never go into a ringing room or belfry alone.
- Never touch a bell-rope until you know that it is safe to do so.
- Do not move around while ringing is in progress.
- Keep both feet on the floor when seated.
You will always be welcome at other towers, but it is helpful to contact the tower correspondent beforehand (names are in the Annual Report of the local guild or association) and you should keep the following in mind when you are visiting a tower for the first time:
- Keep quiet while others are ringing – chatter can be distracting.
- Don’t ring until invited to do so by the Tower Captain.
- If you would like to have someone standing with you when you ring then say so.
One final point to bear in mind when visiting another tower: it is not easy to learn to ring a bell and every experienced ringer knows this and most are happy to help new learners – they are only paying back the help that they themselves got in the past. So don’t be shy about asking for advice or assistance.