So, you’ve agreed to run a
Group Visit or Tower Open Day ……….

from the Central Council Website with their kind permission

You may have decided in a rash moment to open your tower to a group visit or to the public, perhaps to support an event such as Heritage Open Days or to achieve a recruitment goal.  If you have and you’re now wondering how best to go to about it, this article is for you.  It brings together practical tips which have worked at many successful tower events, but please don’t feel you have to do everything – just pick out the ideas that are useful to you.

Why run a Group Visit or Open Day ?

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a ground floor ring, the world which you and your band inhabit will seem remote and somewhat secretive to the average member of the public.  Visits and Open Days are a superb opportunity to pull aside the curtain which hides you and your band and so generate interest, engagement and often new ringers from your community.

Know Your Aims

As with any event, the more you put in the more you will get out !  You’ll probably have one of both of two aims :-

If you’re just looking to raise awareness of bell ringing, your objectives will be more limited, but if you’re looking to gain new recruits, running a hands-on ‘taster session’ will work very well.   Whatever the aim, make sure everyone helping knows beforehand what you are trying to achieve.

Advertising and Publicity

If you’re running an Open Day you’ll need to think about advertising.  Here are some ideas:
An article for the parish magazine, church notices, or local paper :-



An A5 flyer

Your congregation

An Outside PVC Banner

‘What’s On’ Guides

Working with larger events

Enrolment and Ticketing

Your Event Plan


Event Risk Assessment


Fire Assessment Limits


Safety Notices


Unauthorised Access


Maximum Group Size and Minimum Age


Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Permissions and Insurance

Don’t allow yourself to be suffocated by rules, but do demonstrate an awareness of public safety and show you have made an effort to mitigate any potential risks.   This is essential to ensure that your church’s insurance cover is maintained.

The Welcome




Safety Talk 

Explanation of English change ringing

In the Ringing Chamber

In the Belfry
If you choose to include a Belfry tour :-


If you decide that a Belfry tour would not be practical, there are other ways in which you can convey to your visitors how the bell movement relates to what the ringer does :-


Ringing Demonstrations

Taster Session
If you choose to include a ‘taster session’ :-

Other Things to See and Do

You may need something to occupy people while they are waiting :-

Ringing ‘Stuff’




Belfry Quiz for Children



In the Church


The ‘hard sell’

After the Event

Follow-up Session