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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 May 2006, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Mystery surrounds parish hall bug
Villagers have been left baffled by the discovery of a bugging device hidden in their parish hall.

The electronic transmitter was found in a wall socket during a safety inspection at Malham village hall in the Yorkshire Dales.

Speculation is rife in the village that someone has been listening in to parish council proceedings.

But residents have joked the listener could be a fan of the Womens' Institute who also use the hall.

Alan Boatwright, caretaker and treasurer, said the bug was discovered when an electrician came to check the hall for a safety certificate.

'Gob-smacked'

It was found in a 13 amp wall socket and had a range of several hundred metres.

Mr Boatwright said: "I was absolutely gob-smacked. I have showed it to various people and everyone has been falling about laughing.

"It has been the talk of the Dale. This is Malham - population 120 - and nothing goes on here, although we are a busy tourist village.

"This really has made everyone's day. Maybe he is a fan of the WI singing Jerusalem, or he might have been listening in to the whist drive."

The bug has been handed to North Yorkshire Police for analysis.


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