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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 13:53 GMT
Villagers' call for bell to toll
Villagers have launched a petition to reinstate the tolls of a clock bell overnight after a single complainant caused it to be silenced.

Jonathon Milton said the half-hourly ringing kept him awake at night after moving to St Day in Cornwall.

Kerrier District Council inspectors then found the ring was 20 decibels louder than the law permitted.

The petition calling for the bell's 100-year-old tradition to continue has been signed by a number of villagers.

Kerrier District Council has decided to install a timing device to turn off the clock's bell between 2300 and 0700.

'Strong feeling'

Mr Milton, who lives about 20m (66ft) away from the clock, said the ring sounded "like a scaffolding pole being dropped".

Council environmental health officials said noise tests carried out revealed the bell was above the standard observed by the World Health Organisation which would cause "detriment to sleep".

The thing was put there for people to hear
John Newcombe, St Day Parish Council
But the campaign spokeswoman and secretary of the St Day Women's Institute Pensioners, Marlene Richards, said: "The clock has always been there and we want to keep it going.

"Knowing St Day people, they will put up a good fight. We will fight it to the end."

One of the people to have signed the four-page-long petition is Jo Hoskain, whose six-year-old daughter initially had trouble adjusting to the sound of the bells when she recently moved to the village.

"It did keep the little one awake. But after a couple of days, she was asleep. It is not a problem at all," she said.

John Newcombe, chair of the St Day Parish Council, said: "General opinion of everybody seems to be that they want the bell to continue to strike.

"The thought is that it might have to be quietened down and that would be a poor thing. The thing was put there for people to hear."

When the decision to silence the ringing at night was made, Mr Milton said it meant that the bell would ring during the day, preserving the heritage and character of the village, but that it would also be quiet at night.


SEE ALSO:
Village bell silenced by one man
16 Mar 06 |  Cornwall
Court gives 'Amarillo' woman Asbo
09 Mar 06 |  Somerset
The rural alarm clock
30 Jan 06 |  UK


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