Church bells ding dong resolved after too loud chime now more ‘gentle’

Church bells that created a ding-dong after keeping villagers awake could ring out again after £3,000 was raised for a device to make them “chime more gently”.

The quarterly chimes at St Mary’s have been silenced from 11pm to 7am, but now villagers fighting to have them restored in Ashwell, Herts, have “a compromise”.

They want to test a hammer that muffles overnight chimes.

Campaigner Maria Brown said everyone had been impressed by the prototype and the situation “should be resolved soon”.

The quarterly chimes in the 176ft church steeple had been silenced between 11pm and 7am but supporters were given time to find another option.

Now the Save Ashwell Church Chimes campaign group said it believes it has found ‘a compromise’ after raising £3,000.

Poll loading …  

Wayne Francis of Clockwise Restorations was commissioned to design a hammer device, which the group believes can control the overnight volume of the chimes.

Campaigner Maria Brown said everyone who had seen the prototype was impressed and the disagreement ‘should be resolved soon’.

If there are no objections, work to install and test the device can start next month.

The St Mary’s bells have been ringing for more than 100 years, but were silenced while repairs were carried out two years ago.

Following the repairs, complaints led to an investigation by North Herts District Council, which decided the chimes were “prejudicial to health”.

Save the Chimes called for a referendum, claiming it was not what most of the village wanted and the group was given six months to develop and raise funds for an alternative solution.