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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Church clock silenced after noise complaints
St Mary's Church in Totnes
People in Totnes complained bells kept them awake
A church clock which has been chiming quarter hours for 115 years has been silenced after local people complained they were being kept awake at night.

The Victorian timepiece in the Grade One listed 15th century St Mary's Church in Totnes, south Devon, was stopped after the rector received two letters of complaint.

Reverend Nicholas Martin said the clock was stopped after an ecclesiastical lawyer advised him the sound of the chimes could be in breach of noise legislation.

The clock, which was automated three years ago, has been completely wound down because it is not practical to keep it going during daylight hours only.


A lot of people think it is a shame, because the clock has been striking since 1887

Rev Nicholas Martin

The rector received one letter of complaint directly. Another one was forwarded by Totnes Town Council.

Reverend Martin said: "I miss the chimes, not least for starting services when the clock strikes.

"But I can understand how infuriating it must be to be kept awake.

"The church is very close to a lot of houses in the town and the bells are loud.

"But a lot of people think it is a shame, because the clock has been striking since 1887."

However, the chimes could be sounding again before Christmas - if 1,500 is raised for apparatus which will silence them during the night.


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20 Mar 02 | England
09 Nov 01 | England
09 Oct 01 | England
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