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IPFS News Link • Scotland

Church bells that have rung every hour for 200 years silenced after noise complaint

•, By Bradley Jolly

A killjoy council has silenced a church bell which sounded every hour for more than 200 years after one complaint about noise.

Beith Parish Church in Ayrshire won't gong around the clock anymore as the resident said their sleep had been disturbed. Now, Church of Scotland has stopped the bell between 11pm and 7am.

But more than 900 people have signed a petition to restore the chimes to 24 hours as they say the bells represent Beith's "history and heritage". Bryan McWilliams, who has lived next to the church for 23 years, started the petition as he believes the tradition is "ingrained in our community for generations".

North Ayrshire Council asked the Church of Scotland to consider silencing the bell overnight after the noise complaint. The church's Kirk Session said members were "empathetic" and recognised it could be disturbing for some people.

A spokesperson said: "The Kirk Session took Environmental Health's suggestion on board, embracing the bible teaching of love thy neighbour as thyself."

But Mr McWilliams, speaking to the BBC, said: "The chiming clock is more than just a timekeeper. It serves as an audible connection to our history and heritage and has been chiming for 200 years.

"Many townsfolk have shared stories about how they've relied on these chimes throughout their lives - from knowing when it was time to head home as children playing in the streets, to relying on them during power outages.