Council to look into complaint over ringing of Baldock church bells

CHURCH bells which have rung out for centuries have hit a wrong note in a market town after a resident complained they rang too loudly and for too long.

Reverend Andrew Holford of St Mary the Virgin Church in Baldock held a public meeting for people to raise their views on the matter.

Rev Holford, who has been the church’s reverend for the past eight years, said: “I want to make sure the view of the town is heard and I want to work for the town.”

The complaint, which has been made to North Herts District Council, took issue with the clock bells chiming every 15 minutes from 7am to 10.45pm each day.

Rev Holford said: “The chimes have been used for centuries and it is a method for the people of the town to know what time it is.

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“Obviously in 2012 we all have watches and can tell the time from our mobile phones but I feel the decision to either ring the chimes every 15 minutes or not to is not down to me, but the town’s decision.

“It is something I can’t make a decision on myself,” he added.

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The church, which has eight bells, rings out during services, weddings, the start of Baldock Festival and other events.

Rev Holford said the vast majority of residents regard the bells as a main focal point of the town.

He added: “As a church we are keen to work to find a solution to help everybody.

“We are also looking at sound proofing the church tower but some people have aired their concerns they may not be able to hear the bells at all.”

Andy Godman, head of housing and public protection at North Herts District Council, said the council had received a complaint and were looking into the matter to consider if any action should be taken.

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