Peer's pyjama hunt for mysterious hum

A MYSTERIOUS hum has not only left sound experts scratching their heads but also caused a peer to stride through a town at night wearing only his pyjamas.

Will Clarke

A MYSTERIOUS hum has not only left sound experts scratching their heads but also caused a peer to stride through a town at night wearing only his pyjamas.

Numerous theories have been put forward to explain the as-yet untraceable noise - including one from Lord Andrew Phillips, who was woken by it in the early hours.

Lord Phillips said he was disturbed by the “Sudbury Hum” recently at around 3.30am and immediately marched out onto The Croft in his pyjamas to switch off what he initially believed might be a generator on the riverside beauty spot.


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“It was a generalised and all pervasive noise,” he said. “It was very intrusive so I went out onto The Croft in my pyjamas. I went out into town and got as far as the Victory Hall.

“I concluded it was an old air conditioning unit, which had been left on overnight. It could have been coming from one of the big offices but it was certainly a mechanical sound.”

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The hum was first brought to light by Sudbury Town Council warden Bradley Smith earlier this month when he received 80 complaints.

Grandmother Chris Cunningham also followed the sound on another occasion and traced it to the ruins of the former Tarantella Hotel.

“I was walking down Brandon Lane when I heard the noise so I followed it,” she said. “I wanted to get to the bottom of this. I found it was coming from the scaffolding pipes on the Tarantella Hotel.

“You can only hear it when the wind blows and it is something like the sound when you blow across the top of a bottle.”

James Buckingham, principal environmental protection officer at Babergh District Council, said a number of investigators had been sent to Sudbury but no firm evidence of any sound had been found.

“We don't doubt people are hearing something,” he said. “We need more concrete evidence and until we hear it and pinpoint it we have got nothing to go on.

“We have scoured half of Sudbury and come up with nothing. We have been there at different times and in different places with staff of different ages - because that does affect hearing - and we have not heard anything.

“Different people have described different things but we are open to suggestions - there are lots of theories.

“The wind can be an important factor but my suspicion is that the sound carries further on still days.”

Anybody who hears the hum should call the council on 01473 822 801.

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