• Robin Shipp
    The ring of bells in our tower (8, 18cwt) was rehung in the 1990s, with a metal frame located under the old oak frame. With the extra space afforded by the metal frame, Whitechapel offered a 10-bell frame for a reasonable additional cost. That was accepted, but insufficient money was raised for the two extra bells. So we still have two empty pits and a gap in the rope circle. I enjoy 10-bell ringing and they could make a decent ring of 10. So the temptation is there!
    In the current financial situation, there is no way we could justify trying to raise money for an augmentation. But it has got me thinking about the rights and wrongs of a decision to go for augmentation.
    Our current band usually manages to ring on 8 for Sunday services, and we are progressing on practice nights with help from friends. But would we ever ring on all 10? There is an argument that having 10 bells would attract other visiting ringers, but would that help our band to develop? Having a 10 would give us a light front 6 but would we then finish up never ringing the back 4? (I know of 10-bell towers where all 10 are only rung on special occasions with the help of visitors.)
    I genuinely do not know the answers to these questions, and I wonder if I am being a bit negative. Are there any thoughts from people that have faced a similar situation?
  • A J Barnfield
    Given the 18cwt tenor I recon a light front six would be handy.
  • Simon Linford
    Moseley is a similar weight, and if they were an eight I would be arguing for putting in two trebles for a light six. Practices are probably 40% front six, 40% back eight, and 20% ten. It adds variety. Sometimes there's the temptation not to ring the back ones up if we're looking to be a bit short, but I think that's a slippery slope, which you have indentified. There are plenty of bigger tens which are getting harder and harder because back bells are hardly ever rung up except for peal attempts.

    (However I wish we had a 10cwt eight not an 18cwt ten!)
  • Steven Hughes
    We are planning on launching our own augmentation project next year. One of the questions we were asked was is this the right time to do it? My answer was that there always reasons not to do it but sometimes you just have to go for it.
  • Tristan Lockheart
    It depends where else the money could be used - augmentation can be right in some circumstances; but in others, improvements to the ringing room, a simulator, courses, teaching aides etc. could better. Also whether you will get good use out of them - there have been a few cases where a great deal of time and money has been spent on augmentation but 5 to 10 years later, there is no local band and the bells are silent.
  • Phil Ramsbottom
    What are you planning to augment to? 6, 8 or 10? I've known too many towers go from 6 to 8 because they have 12 ringers in the band. The most important fact that they totally overlook though is, of those 12 ringers who already is, or who are most likely to become 8 bell ringers. If the answer is less than 8 then I would seriously consider if this a good idea. Also there was a time when my T shirt drawer was full of purchases in aid of augmentations which 5 years later were a silent tower. Beware.
Add a Comment

Welcome to your Ringing Forums!

If you would like to join in the conversation, please register for an account.

You will only be able to post and/or comment once you have confirmed your email address and been approved by an Admin.