Whether you are on holiday, moving house or moving to University, you may be hunting for a band of ringers to join for Sunday or Practice Nights. Here’s a five minute guide to how to do it:
Search for a tower by Postcode…
Dove Online (the database of towers which covers the whole world) has a Postcode Search on this page: http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/postcode.php You can look in 5 mile radius or further afield.
… Or Search for a tower by town/village name
If you don’t have a postcode then start on the home page of Dove http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/dove.php
Now Find out more about the likely towers
By one of those routes, you should now have a list of towers with very basic information (Practice Night, Number of Bells, Tenor Weight). Clicking on a tower’s name will give you the full page of information – check the “additional information” in case the bells are out of action for any reason.
The Google Map option can be very helpful – you will see not just a map of the tower, but also all the nearby towers. Click a tower’s icon on the Dove map if you want Google to give you Directions…
Jump to the local website
Where the local ringers have a local website (it could be a Guild, District or Tower site), Dove may list a URL for it – fingers crossed this should work, and you will hope to find more about the band including the all important Contact Information…
Get in Touch
If your visit to the tower is going to entail planning and travel, then it will be disappointing if you find that there is no practice or service ringing this week… and not all towers keep their web page(s) spotlessly up to date. So you are advised to ring/email beforehand just to check.
If there is no URL given on the Dove page…
Then some more detective work can be helpful:
- Try the “Affiliation” link on the Dove page. This will send you to the CCCBR directory of Guild Websites and you should be able to find at least some local information there.
- If you cannot find any contact information for the tower itself (and Guild websites do vary on this) District or Guild officers are usually more than happy to give you the benefit of their local knowledge.
- Googling a church can be fruitful – the church’s own website often has contact information for the ringers.
- If all else fails, ask your local ringing friends (you would be surprised how well travelled some of your local friends may be!) either on Facebook or in person.
And if you don’t like computers…
.. you probably would like to own a copy of Dove’s Guide in its original book form. This is currently £15.