Sound-proofing not an option in bell row

EXPENSIVE sound proofing to limit the noise of church bells is unlikely to be used in Aldeburgh to appease a minority of objectors who say they are disturbed by the Sunday peals.

Richard Smith

EXPENSIVE sound proofing to limit the noise of church bells is unlikely to be used in Aldeburgh to appease a minority of objectors who say they are disturbed by the Sunday peals.

A few churches nationally are going to great expense to bring in a “sound lantern” to stop excessive noise disrupting the lives of nearby residents.

However, St Peter and St Paul's Church in Aldeburgh is hoping a less costly solution can be reached in a dispute with a few people about the noise from the Sunday afternoon three-hour peals once a month in the summer.


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Nigel Hartley, vicar of Aldeburgh, said his church would need a new roof and it would lose the flagpole to accommodate a “sound lantern”.

He added: “It would be easier for her [the main objector] to go out for one afternoon a month or go to somewhere further from the bells, or not sit in her garden, than it would be for us to spend a great deal of money on changing a tower that has been there for almost 700 years, even assuming we received permission from the authorities to do so.”

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Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer is appalled by the unholy row over the bells and he said: “The bells are part of our heritage and I think it is absolutely unacceptable that people should have complained to the district council's environmental health department.

“One of our great glories are the bells and I think the people of Aldeburgh are very lucky to have them.”

Richard Munnings, ringing master of the Suffolk Guild of Ringers, urged complainants to attend a bell ringing session so they could understand more about the hobby.

Mr Munnings said: “In an age where all things British are being eroded, it is sad that yet another British institution is being attacked. But bell ringing is more than that. It is a hobby that brings joy to people of all ages and many backgrounds.”

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