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ODG Tower Maintenance Award Scheme

Tower Maintenance Award Scheme

The Tower Maintenance Award Scheme was established to encourage bands to improve the standard of maintenance in their towers, and to offer a tangible result when certain standards were met.

It replaced a previous competition with the same aim (which it was failing to achieve). Unlike a competition, there is no limit to the number of awards that can be made when the required grade is achieved and re-inspections can be asked for at any time to improve an existing grade.

The main features of the award scheme are as follows:-

1. There are three award grades (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) based on the results of an inspection using a marking sheet that is made available, in advance, to participating towers to enable them to prepare for the inspection. The grades will be based on the percentage of the “perfect” mark (currently 235), as follows: –

  • Gold 85% +
  • Silver 70 – 84%
  • Bronze 55 – 69%


2. The award takes the form of a certificate that is current for two years from the date of inspection (rather like an MOT) and can be displayed in the tower.

Here is an example of what the Certificate looks like

3. Towers holding current awards are listed in “Odd Bob” and the Guild Report.

4. Each inspection is carried out by judges from the Towers & Belfries committee and the detailed results of the inspection are made available to the tower.

5. Inspections can be requested at any time, via the Secretary or the Chairman of the “Towers & Belfries” working group, irrespective of whether the request is for an initial inspection or to try and improve an existing grade.

So what will the Inspectors be looking for?


These notes offer guidance on those items on the marking sheet (click the link to download) which require an assessment of the level of compliance. No guidance is offered – or necessary – on those items, such as bells and fittings, where there is only a yes/no option.

There are five criteria to be applied to the various rooms in the tower according to the table shown below.

Four marking levels are used with 10 for Excellent, 7 for Above Average, 4 for Below Average and 1 for Poor

Ringing Room Bell Chamber Stairs/Access Other Rooms
Cleanliness X X X X
Tidiness X X
Decoration X X X X
Lighting X X X X
Other X X



10 Immaculate, no dust or cobwebs etc. visible, even on close inspection.
7 First overall impression very good but closer inspection reveals dust/cobwebs in less accessible places.
4 Main ringing area clean but obvious dirt in corners and windows.
1 Obvious dirt everywhere.


10 Immaculate. Everything organised and nothing out of place.
7 Less organised but everything stacked neatly.
4 Most (but not all) things in their place, some items in corners/window ledges for want of better storage. Inappropriate items in the room.
1 No obvious attempt to keep the room tidy.


10 Immaculate. Paintwork bright and clean without obvious blemishes.
7 Good overall impression but closer inspection reveals need for some redecorating.
4 Reasonable overall impression but closer inspection reveals obvious areas of deterioration such as paint peeling.
1 Overall poor impression with very noticeable major areas of deterioration.

Note: Where walls etc. are undecorated, apply the criteria to the surface finish.

Lighting Level

10 High level of even lighting throughout entire area.
7 Lighting level adequate but not even.
4 Lighting level poor (overall impression gloomy), generally from single source. Torch or hand lamp needed to inspect areas in Bell


1 Lighting level inadequate or lack of installed lighting requires torch or hand lamp.


Dangerous floors: Floors where rot or beetle damage means that there is a risk of injury due to boards or beams giving way. Floor has sizeable openings through which items could drop to injure persons working below.

Damaged or worn stair treads: Treads where, in the opinion of the inspector, the leading edge is sufficiently worn or damaged as to give rise to an increased risk of a person slipping off the tread when descending the stairs.

These Inspectors Guidelines were last reviewed in December 2003

So, if you haven’t already started, why not consider taking part?

We will provide you with all the details of how you will be marked so that you can plan what has to be done to get an award; if asked, we will even do a preliminary inspection, before you start, to help the process.

If you do gain an award you can be confident that your tower and bells are in a good, safe condition and, whether or not an award is gained, you will be given useful information on how they can be improved.

John Davidge

Towers and Belfries Committee