Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Ringing alarm bells

Yesterday on the breakfast news there was a report from Aldeburgh in Suffolk - to give you some background - Aldeburgh used to be a sleepy town of artists and fishermen.

In recent years it has become a rather 'popular' place to move to.

Aldeburgh is rightly proud of it's heritage, including the 500 year old church, and the rather wonderful bells.

Church bells may be silenced after residents have complained about the noise!

The Aldeburgh Festival, in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, was launched 60 years ago by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears and features the peal of the church bells, but 20 residents have complained that they disturb Sunday peace and amount to a statutory nuisance under environmental laws.

The Rev Nigel Hartley, the Vicar of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Aldeburgh, said: 'Our tower has stood here since the 14th century and its bells have been rung for at least 500 years. They have called the faithful to worship and reminded the less faithful of their heritage.'

Rev Hartley said that one of the petitioners had bought a house next to the church. 'What would happen,' he asked, 'if someone bought a house close to Ipswich Town football stadium? Would they, on the same grounds of finding it a nuisance, be able to silence the crowds at every home game?'

A council spokesman confirmed that there had been a complaint, although said that a formal petition had not yet been received.

It's interesting that the local council say that they have not received a petition - so it appears that this is only one individual - who obviously doesn't understand how to live in the country - or what a part of our heritage she is trying to lose.

Until 2007, we lived for 13 years in a village with an 800 year old church - complete with bells - every wednesday night the bell ringers practiced hard.....all evening.
It's a shame they weren't terribly good at it - but even so, the sound of the bells ringing was a pleasure - and an important part of our community.

I have to say it really irritates me, when people move next to a school, then complain about mothers parking and dropping off, or buy a property on a busy road, and then complain about traffic noise...
...buy a house next to a church, and hello! what on earth did you expect to hear from a church tower? heavy rock music, yodelling, elephants trumpeting?

If you really can't bear the natural noises which are part of everyday life in the country - then be a hermit, go live in a cave up a mountain - just be careful you don't get annoyed by bird song or the sound of wind blowing trees in a breeze - 
I suspect the Revd Hartley is far too nice to say this!

Keep Ringing! 
Ring loud and ring proud - we are too quick in this green and pleasant land to throw away our culture and heritage.

images courtesy of Google